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Ok, practical advice - what would YOU do?

(38 Posts)
costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:07:22

Am feeling really low today and haven't a clue what to do about this situation. Over the last 10 weekends, DH has been involved with his sporting hobby for 8 of them, meaning at least 1 day away from home. (He thinks it's absolutely fine to just spend one day of the weekend at home, and the other for himself.) He is away in Australia for 3 and a half weeks over Christmas, with his work, so I'm single Mum again then. Looked at the calendar last night, he has booked himself in for his sport EVERY single weekend through November - one day at home, the other away.
He has taken half term off work and we're going away.
BUT I am SO pissed off with his attitude that he can bugger off as much as he likes at weekends, whether I want to be "single Mum" or not. This has gone on for years and years - have been to Relate God knows how many times, he doesn't listen to them and they just look at him, appalled. Right at the moment I want nothing more to do with him. Have said I want to separate in the past, but he refuses to leave which means uprooting the DC (not fair.) I can't make him leave! He, btw, thinks everything is fine! He's a great Dad, and the kids adore him. It would break their hearts to take themn away. How do assert myself and say "stop taking the piss?"
I work part time, get a quick swim twice a week and even went out with friends last week! He's supportive if I want to do things - so long as it doesn't interfere with his friggin plans. What can I do?

mumblechum Mon 19-Oct-09 10:10:16

How old are your children, and the implicit question in that is how much care do they need? Are they old enough to join in with his sport?

Is the problem that you enjoy his company and want him to prioritise you, or is it that you have to do quite a lot of work still because your children are little and you don't get any weekend time to yourself?

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:17:10

DS1 is 8 and DS2 is 3. They can't join in with his sport because he is an umpire. I think it is so unreasonable for one person in a marriage to take so much time for their own interests, with no regard to how the other feels. We're not talking a quick game of golf here, he travels all over the country so leaves early/or the day before, doesn't get back till mid-late evening.

mamas12 Mon 19-Oct-09 10:17:19

Bloody hell costa.
He is taking the piss and I feel for you what else can you do

Well how old are the dcs and can you get up early on the morning he is supposed to go away and leave before him and leave him with the dcs. Or even go the night before.

Why don't you go away on your own and leave him with dcs for at least a week including two weekends so he can see what it's like.

That's what I would do tell him you are going away on your own for the half term and he and the dcs can do what they like. Mind you with with a holiday situation it could be different that's why I suggest going away before the half term. If he has to take time off work so be it. This is serious.

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:20:30

Mamas, that's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of. I am SO utterly peed off and worn down by this (we have rowed for years over it.) Part of me wants to book a weekend away for myself in November so he will have to cancel his friggin match - but then I feel really guilty about leaving the DCs. I'd miss them a lot. But I need to take a stand somehow, feel very powerless. Have even thought of changing the locks before now!

LaurieScaryCake Mon 19-Oct-09 10:22:10

What would I do? Nothing, my dh plays cricket over the summer for one day every weekend and I encourage him.

It keeps him fit and healthy, sane, involved in his community and most importantly I knew this when I married him.

And we would review it yearly if I asked him to - as I do when I take on extra activities.

If he did it when you got together then you have to ask him if he will review it or wait til your kid is old enough to go with him.

If he won't review it and this is a deal-breaker for you then choose to leave if this relationship is no longer what you want.

mamas12 Mon 19-Oct-09 10:23:37

One weekend won't kill them to be without you and you need to learn to have a life independent too you know.
Dcs also need to 'bond' with their dad too.
Book that well earned weekend and then tell him that you will be having a weekend like to yourself regularly and also to build up to having a weekend away together (shock) with out dcs!
The way to keep his marriage.

womblemeister Mon 19-Oct-09 10:24:21

This is a tricky one.

In my family this attitude has caused total emotional carnage.

Does your DH see himself as the "provider" - providing financial/material support so he can bugger off and do what he likes? On the basis that every marriage is a kind of contract, this might be his "deal". What's yours?

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:27:00

Laurie, I hear what you're saying - what I hadn't added was that he works 7 days a week in the summer term, from 7.30am till late evening. In the spring term he works 6 days a week. So I think overall, it's a bit unrealistic for him to demand so much time for his hobby as well. It doesn't make for a happy marriage.,

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:29:40

Yes he does think of himself as the 'provider', money is an issue as well. We canm't live on his salary so I work part time, and really enjoy it - have been increasing it of late as I seem to be in demand and I love it. He looks after the kids at tea time while I work.

LaurieScaryCake Mon 19-Oct-09 10:30:50

But is he umpiring football so that in the summer when he's not at work he's with you?

And in the winter the day he could have been at work in the summer is instead spent on his hobby?

If so does that mean that the overall effect is the same - that he is out six days a week working or playing his hobby?

Or in the summer is he then gone 7 days a week cos it's not football?

mamas12 Mon 19-Oct-09 10:31:22

Doesn't sound like there is a marriage as far as I can make out.
He has a nice place to stay, gets his needs looked after i.e. food, clothes washed, kids laundered, hobby catered for etc. etc.
What do you get?
Honestly, when I left my ex he saw so much more of the dcs than he ever did while we were together it was good for them all.
That does sound mad but it's true.

womblemeister Mon 19-Oct-09 10:32:11

Then IMO he is totally, totally out of order and his attitude will only lead to more unhappiness (speak from personal experience). Could you manage without him?

mamasunshine Mon 19-Oct-09 10:34:24

I can completely understand where you're coming from. i have DS1 19months, DS2 4months. DH works 6 days a wk 7:00am-5:30pm minimum and then plays football on his 1 day off which means he's out of the house from 9.30am-1pm. Leaving us with a few hrs on a sunday afternoon to spend together as a family. His mother thinks this is reasonable as he needs to do his own thing! He also plays 6-aside football on a mon and thurs night sad. if i ask him not play he gets quite moody and always brings it up, which makes me feel awful as it seems that he would much rather be with his friends at football than me and dc. He would let me do as and what i wanted whenever etc but how when i have such young dc's to put 1st??!! And i don't think he would be happy if it was the other way round!

I can't wait for the day when I feel I can up and leave dc with him for a long weekend. Probably as soon as I've stopped breastfeeding! Go for it, just book yourself a holiday away for a week with lots of activities etc to keep your mind from worrying about the dc's, they'll be fine!

LaurieScaryCake Mon 19-Oct-09 10:35:05

My questions are too complicated grin

How much is he with you? does it average as one full day every weekend?

And did he do this hobby when you married him? did you make the fatal mistake of going to watch at the beginning?

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:44:38

Laurie he is with us 1 day at the weekend in the Autumn term. Spring term he works 6 days, and usually goes off for umpiring on the 7th. Summer term - works 7 days. Yes he did it when I met him, but he is not a bachelor now - he is married with a family!

purpleduck Mon 19-Oct-09 10:45:01

Laurie - The op's situation sounds different.
Whether he did it when they married or not is beside the point. We ALL did other things before we had children.
I - for example - liked to spend days at a time reading a ggod book, or at the mall. Things change when kids arrive - FOR EVERYONE!!!

Your situation is different because your dh discusses it with you. You review it together.
The OP's dh just does it, no discussion.
Much, much different in terms of respect, and how the marrieage and the partner are treated.

mustrunmore Mon 19-Oct-09 10:45:31

The time over xmas is work, so cant be helped, I assume.

The weekends... sorry if I''ve missed an answer to this, but, has it always been this way? If so, then you dont have a leg to stand on. If its a new situation, then of course you should have discussed the changes before he decided he could just do them.

But tbh, and here I'll get shot down in flames, its one day out of seven. From your point of view, its half your weekend, I see that. But from his point of view, he works 5 or 6 days a week, so he only gets one day to do his hobby. If he takes one day, you take the other. I know that eats away at family time. But its a logical fact that if you work full time and odd hours you see your kids less, and its also a fact that if dont do anything for yourself you'll go mad.
I'm just trying to relate it to me and dh; if either of us had to give up our gym time, we'd go mental. Dh works long hours and crap shifts, he also trains hard, he doesnt see the kids for days sometimes due to the hours he works. But it hasnt had any detrimental effects, they get quality time with him when they see him.
We put things on hold while the kids were tiny, and tbh it made it more stressful, because neither of us had free time to relax and vent! Now the kids are 5 and 3 its perfectly managable.

womblemeister Mon 19-Oct-09 10:46:04

what do you want to do, OP?

mustrunmore Mon 19-Oct-09 10:49:19

Oh hang on, did you mean its both weekend days for November? Sorry, not really concentrating this morning as I have a ghost under a blanket next to me!

6feetundertheGroundhogs Mon 19-Oct-09 10:50:16

LaurieScaryCake speaks good sense.

Totally understand your frustration, but 'getting him back' by buggering off for a trip away doesn't sound like the most mature of responses.

What does he say when you ask him about it? does he seem to think that because he works so hard, he is entitled to his sport?

could he realistically cut back on umpiring? is it a thing that you are either IN or OUT, and can't pick and choose?

He has booked half term off, and you are going away. Have a truly lovely time, he may re-engage and realise how lovely family time is. THEN, you can very gently broach the subject of every other weekend, starting from next year. Could you compromise with him on that?

Men will dig their heels in if you try and force them to give boy stuff up, and sadly, they are in the position that they can very often just do what they want, and we just sit there and are fuming. They don't have the physical rsponsibility of the DC, unless we hand them over.

I'm not saying he's right, but going head to head with him may not be sucessful. A negotiated position, with compromise on both sides and realistic expectations is much more likely to be an ongoing success.

Slowly Slowly catchy monkey!

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:52:30

mustrun, I totally understand that everyone needs time to do their own thing, that's not the issue! There is a world of difference between going to the gym and buggering off for whole days/overnight trips for your hobby. Oh, and he goes to the gym as well! grin

mustrunmore Mon 19-Oct-09 10:54:54

God, where does he fit the gym in?! We have trouble just doing gym, let alone whole-day hobbies! I genuinely think we must be v bad at time management. Dh trains straight after work, and me after him, and then thats our whole evening gone.Or when he's on late shift, he trains first, I miss out.

costagirl Mon 19-Oct-09 10:55:32

6feet, we have 'negotiated' the time spent on sport/family for years. Several years ago, it was 'agreed' that one weekend was for family, then next for hobby. The goalposts totally change as and when he wants to do things. I'm all compromised out, I'm afraid. His answer when I get upset is "other people manage." Maybe their wives fantasise about sticking a hockey stick where the sun doesn't shine as well.

womblemeister Mon 19-Oct-09 11:05:17

Present him with a fait accompli.

OK, so he's written off the next 8 weekends with his sport. Get your hands on the calendar and organise the next 8 weekends for family things/your own personal time. Spell it out in black and white. If he doesn't like it, then he can do what you suggested with the hockey stick grin

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