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DH very unhappy with our relationship. WWYD

(21 Posts)
problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 11:35:49

Will try to keep this brief.

Have been together for 20 yrs, married for 18, have a 15 yr old dd.

For the first 9 years or so things were extremely rocky on a frequent basis and there were quite a few incidents of DV. The last one was 10 yrs ago and as a result of my walking out for one night he finally changed his behaviour and there have been no further incidents of DV.

We then went through a long period of stability but for the last year things are getting worse. In Jan, I felt constantly criticised for my behaviour, even just the way I said things seemed to wind dh up, he'd accuse me of being disrespectful, not listening (the not listening is a problem, I must admit, I'm a bit of an eyeroller etc).

Anyway, we then had a massive row in public on holiday and he said he hated me, wanted to get divorced etc. This was in front of dd and she was really upset.

Latest was this weekend. Dh got annoyed because I described him as reclusive and said I wasn't happy with the fact we have virtually no joint social life. Also said I'm not happy because holidays are always very dull. He likes to go to Devon and basically do nothing which is very boring for dd and so I find myself pushing and pushing for us to do something she'd enjoy & that makes him feel pressured when all he really wants is to switch off for two weeks.

Upshot at the weekend was that he feels that I'm never happy, always pushing for more and not appreciating what we have. Materially we do have a lot, he's a very high earner, we live in a large house in the country, bla bla bla. I said, fine, I'll accept that you've changed and no longer want the sort of social life we used to have. The holiday thing we can sort out, maybe compromise at lesast on the location for next year.

I thought we'd patched things up but this morning when I went into his study to say goodbye he was in tears and said he doesn't think it's worth carrying on with the marriage because no matter how hard he tries, I don't appreciate the good stuff and he's basically just wrung out.

We have had these emotional times before and always patched them up but now I'm really quite worried.

He's away today and tonight and I know he's staying in a hotel about 60 miles away. I'm thinking of driving over there tonight when I know he'll have finished his business dinner, not so much because we can sort much out in the couple of hours we'll have before I need to get back to get dd off to school, but just to show that I do care about him and the marriage.

WWYD? Go tonight or let him have some time to settle his emotions down?

Sorry it's such an epic

howdoo Tue 20-Oct-09 11:48:27

I feel quite sorry for him TBH. I think you probably are quite disrespectful ("large house in the country bla bla bla") and by your own admission you don't listen (eyerolling). He works really hard for his family and wants to relax on his holiday, but you tell him he can't as it's boring for DD and you. You then tell him he's "reclusive", which is emotive and critical, rather than trying to work out a compromise on the social life.
I agree with him, you do seem difficult to please and maybe you should take a look at yourself.
And leave him alone at the hotel to think and hopefully calm down a bit.

problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 11:59:04

Thanks for your reply, Howdoo. The only reason for the "bla bla bla" was because sometimes on MN when people get specific about how wealthy they are they get flamed.

Maybe you're right about leaving him to calm down, I don't know. Really I just want to give him a big cuddle and take the pain away. We do have a lot going for us in terms of love and affection, but I know I'm not as vocal as I probably should be about appreciating how hard he works for all of us.

birdbox Tue 20-Oct-09 12:02:24

You could send something really thoughtful to the hotel with a note saying you are thinking of him.

Turning up might be a bit too full on?

eyetunes Tue 20-Oct-09 12:09:13

agree with birdbox.

Difficult siutaion you are both in here. He obviously is a very very hardworking chap, as you have been provided with what sounds like a beautiful home etc. You obviously get bored and need more than the material things in life which too, is understandable.

His holidays, he obv just wants and needs to switch off and relax, whereas you are looking for excitement.(both fair enough)

It is now a question of finding some sort of middle ground with which to start building on. Do you work? Perhaps you need to do something with yourself, or get a few hobbies etc on the go. He needs to compromise with a different holiday, perhaps abroad somewhere, you and dd can go and have fun and he can relax on the beach.

I hope you manage to work it out though.

problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 12:16:01

Thanks. I do work, but only part time, and have recently started lots of hobbies because I have been feeling a bit of a spare part now dd is growing up and dh is away a lot.

I've just called the hotel and ordered some flowers from his room.

Thanks all.

colditz Tue 20-Oct-09 12:18:01

have you actually forgiven him for the domestic violence?

LaurieScaryCake Tue 20-Oct-09 12:20:15

Any chance he is depressed?

You sound like you enjoy your life - it doesn't sound like he does.

Does he have much in the way of hobbies? Sometimes 'liking it quiet' or being reclusive is a sign of not really knowing what you want to do.

problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 12:20:42

Colditz, yes. He has worked really hard on himself to change.

birdbox Tue 20-Oct-09 12:21:04

That is a lovely gesture.

Well done.

problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 12:23:10

Laurie, he's a very very keen gardener. I don't think he's depressed, he's a very - how shall I put it - Zen person. He meditates every day and has absorbed a lot of Buddhist philosophy, is generally very calm and accepting.

I think a lot of the problem is that I have a ridiculously low boredom threshold and tend to want to change things rather than accept things as they are.

Blu Tue 20-Oct-09 12:25:30

Would you consider some counselling?

It sounds as if you are wanting him to provide you with the excitement and interest in your life, and that he has no time fo excitement and interest because he is working non-stop to provide a certain lifestyle..which maybe isn't what you and your dd wnat. it must be dispiriting for him to find that you and dd do not enjoy the holiday, and dispiriting f you that he is constantly away / too tired to socialise.

This will drive you further and further apart unless you talk openly and honestly and calmly - and maybe some professional facilitation would help that. Relate or other counselling services.

stellamel Tue 20-Oct-09 12:27:44

Good one with the flowers smile.

Maybe you could do the 2 weeks in Devon and if you are wealthy (and good for you, nowt wrong with that!) then maybe a week with you and your daughter somewhere more to both your tastes? let hubby stay behind, he might appreciate the time alone.

Hope you can sort it out, you do sound like you want to and that's half the battle.

Good luck

thatsnotmymonster Tue 20-Oct-09 12:29:06

I still think it's a valid point that your dd needs to do interesting stuff on holiday and that should include your dh. He should make some effort to do something all together that you will enjoy, just as he should be able to have time to swtch off and relax too.

Seededbiatch Tue 20-Oct-09 12:31:24

Does he still love you and want to be married to you do you think?

Do you love him and want to be married to him?

Sounds like hard work a lot of the time. This isn't an easy relationship. Is it worth it?

What is keeping you together? Habit? DD? Fear? Or is the fact that you really love each other despite your problems?

birdbox Tue 20-Oct-09 12:32:38

You need to do things away form him then.

problemsproblemsproblems Tue 20-Oct-09 14:10:20

Seeded, yes, I definitely want to stay in the marriage. I know it sounds like a trainwreck at the moment, but we normally rub along quite happily. I've just sent him a long email as I've decided not to turn up at the hotel out of the blue tonight & poss. make things worse.

Thank you all, you've all been really helpful.

countingto10 Tue 20-Oct-09 14:13:15

If money isn't a problem, please try couples counselling, it really helps to communicate better if nothing else. It also helps having an independent third party to help each other put view across. You see why the other person is behaving in a certain way, you will find out about yourself and your DH and family dynamics etc.

2rebecca Tue 20-Oct-09 14:19:15

The eye rolling sounds bizarre. I don't understand why anyone would roll their eyes when talking to someone they love. Have never done it to husband and we'd be heading for divorce courts if he did it to me. It's the sort of passive aggressive gesture teenagers make when their mum is telling them off.
Most holidays can incorporate a mixture of chilling out and excitement. If in Devon it would be easy to leave husband by the beach for a while whilst you and your daughter went off somewhere, although at 15 she'll soon not be wanting parents accompanying her on her jaunts on holiday and will just get a bus into the nearest town herself or find some teenage friends to hang out with.
Teenagers can moan about being bored in any situation though so I wouldn't arrange your holiday around what your 15 year old wants. She's old enough to start entertaining herself, different if she was 3 or 4.

poshsinglemum Tue 20-Oct-09 19:14:24

Excuse me- am I the only one here who has noticed the DV meaning Domestic Violence? Or does it mean something else?

Op if he was beating you up then no wonder you are rolling your eyes.

If Dv does mean Domestic Violence then I think that your treatment of him is perfectly reasonable.

2rebecca Wed 21-Oct-09 09:17:29

I always presume Ds on mumsnet mean darling. May mean domestic violence but if so maybe as well to say who was violent to who and spell it out rather than make it look like another darling acronym. Wonder if poster has changed post as didn't notice that before.
I think if the abuse was 10 years ago then that doesn't justify being unpleasant to him now.
If you still think of him as an abusive man (and I presume the poster does or she wouldn't have mentioned it) then leave him rather than be continually critical.
On the other hand if you feel his wanting holidays always his way is an example of him being controlling, rather than needing a break if he's the main earner, then you may be better off without him if he wants a divorce.

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