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How would you feel about this...?

(12 Posts)
purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 08:44:22

This might seem trivial, but I feel it's at the bottom of my dissatisfaction with my DH- after being married for ages.

I have always been the one to initiate everything - holidays, house moves, buying things for the house, etc etc over 25 years. He is happy to dowhat I suggest but never suggests anything himself.

Now it is is birthday soon- and I asked him what he's like to do thinking that a mini break somewhere or even overnight B&B might be a good idea so we can spend time together (still got a grown up DS at home.)

Unknown to my DH I have spent hour s online looking at flights, hotels, places to stay etc so that if he suddenly says "Oh I really fancy going to..." I have then done all the hard work.

However, he says nothing. I brought it up again last night and he said he has booked a day off work to make a long weekend- but then the conversation was left.

This is so typical. It will be down to me again to mention it, or if he does it will be so last minute that we can't do anything!

The point is, I want someone who will be enthusiastic , take the lead, and come up with some ideas, not simply be happy to fall in with mine.

I know that in the sheme of MNs discussions this seems trivail, but it is very fundemental to our relationship.

I suppos e you might ask why I don't ask again, but I feel I have mentioned it enough and if he wants to do anything I need a bit more back from him.

CMOTdibbler Wed 28-Oct-09 08:49:19

If you want to go away, then you need to say so. Waiting for someone to psychically know that you want to do something is a recipe for getting annoyed. Similarly, if you want him to take the lead in thing, you need to clearly tell him.

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 08:52:40

It's not so much that I want to go away as that I want him to have some imagination and ideas about things rather than leaving it all to me. If I tell him, it will be me doing all the hard work again. I just want someone who takes the initiative now that Ihave made the suggestion.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 08:55:57

You can't expect him to suddenly change after 25 years of you always sorting things out. Why not just say to him you think it would be nice t have a weekend away alone, you have done some research and where would he like to go.

WartoScreamo Wed 28-Oct-09 08:58:46

I have no real suggestions but you have my sympathy. My DH is exaclty the same. t drives me bananas.

I so dream of the day that he will spontaneously call the babysitter and whisk me off for dinner. Can't see it happening though.

Let alone book a holiday or weekend away.....

FlamingoBingo Wed 28-Oct-09 09:27:02

I think that you just have to accept that different people get enthusiastic about different things. It is frustrating that he's not excited about the same things you are - the things you are looking forward to doing together - but it doesn't mean he doesn't want to do them, just that the planning of htem doesn't fire him up in the same way it does you.

You just have to accept it and enjoy the planning yourself and then spending hte holidays with him.

stakethroughtheheartofgold Wed 28-Oct-09 09:31:30

that's how it is in our relationship - i'm the great architect, he's the willing henchman. its just who we are, and it works well for us.

Intergalactic Wed 28-Oct-09 10:31:13

I sympathise, my DH is like this and it does get you down. He will never suggest what we should have for dinner, let alone where we should go on holiday. If I didn't suggest these things then we would never go anywhere.

We went for relationship counselling a couple of years ago and I raised this as a big issue. I don't think he had even realised he was doing it. One reason he gave was that he never went on holiday as a child. Anyway, after I explained the issue and why it was important things did improve - although now I am a SAHM while he works full time so we are moving back to our old pattern, but I feel this is reasonable.

I think if you want him to take initiative here you are just going to have to tell him. "when you never suggest holiday destinations it makes me feel... and I'd really like it if you would, eg, choose a destination for our break". I think, especially after 25 years, subtle hints aren't going to achieve what you want.

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 10:54:03

interg- yes, I agree.
I am not one for subtly anyway- though I suppose in this instance I am hoping he might take the initiative rather than the hint. If I was asked by him what I'd like to do for my birthday- the world's your oyster kind of question- I could come up with plenty, even if it was just a trip in the UK.

He just shelves it- as he does everything that involves thinking or planning- ironic as he spends all hi s time at work doing exactly that!

I am sure he- and maybe other MNs- feel it is no big deal- but the way that Isee it is that he goes to work, does the DIY ( with nagging) and that's it- I am the one taking care of the home ( yes I work too) the holidays, the LIFE PLAN! He has no vision and no desire to do anything except if I suggest it!

When he was 40 I arranged a romantic trip abroad and booked it secretly, even talking to his secretary so she didn't book him for anything at work, got my mum to come and babysit from the other end of the country etc etc- then when it was my 40th, all he could come up with was "What would you like to do...?" and in the end we went to our local city for the day. sad

I just wonder if Ishould move -on- literally.

MaMight Wed 28-Oct-09 11:04:31

I can really relate to this.

My advice is to make your peace with it. As you say, there are far worse things.

I spent so much time and energy railing against my dh, trying to make him someone he wasn't. I wanted him to be spontanious and take the reigns and that's just not him.

Result?
He feels got at and unhappy.
I feel let down and unhappy.
We don't do whatever it was I so wanted him to take charge of.

Now, I have conciously taken control of the situation. I get that our marriage works best when I do the organising of things. This was my issue to resolve (he never had a problem with the status quo).

He has so many other wonderful qualities, and I know he makes allowances for things that are not my forte too.

So now, I organise things and feel happy to do so because it is my choice to do so.

Result?
Dh is happy that he is not being nagged into doing something he doesn;t feel inclined to do.
I am happy that I feel I have owned the situation and made a satisfactory compromise.
We are both happy that we get to go away / see that concert / move house / have another baby / take up archery lessons.

I realise the above might read as a bit Stepford, or even a bit sickly, but it really does work for us. In a functioning relationship each partner has strengths and weaknesses, and there must be compromise about this. Why force your husband to play to his weaknesses (organising things) when it is one of your strengths? That makes no sense. You are fighting a battle that needn't be fought. Why?

Katisha Wed 28-Oct-09 11:06:23

Sympathies. I know where you are coming from and all that.

But they are not mind readers.

Also it really doesn't apear to be a big deal for them.

BUt what do you mean by "moving on - literally"?

mathanxiety Wed 28-Oct-09 14:15:53

I think there might be a problem with your self-talk. And also with a lack of clear transmission of your feelings about this to your DH. And also with your DH having some kind of unspoken expectation that you are the leader when it comes to your social lives as a couple.

As far as the self-talk goes, it's best to avoid repetition of the line "I always...he never...so typical.." and start figuring out some way to get your DH to sit down and listen to your feelings, maybe write it all down for him to mull over. He can't read your mind, and you casting yourself as the martyr is only reinforcing the negative hamster wheel aspect of this.

He does this kind of thing at work, so it's not against his nature or outside of his capability -- maybe he's sick and tired of it, maybe he only associates it with a paycheque. Maybe he thinks his paycheque is enough of a contribution and he deserves a social life all laid on for him, but obviously the division of labour here is unequal and maybe he doesn't appreciate this enough. But you have to tell him clearly that you want him to plan and execute some nice gesture for your big events, at the very least, because it isn't fair of him to cop out the way he has in the past. Tell him a relationship takes work by both partners, and this is part of his job requirement from now on. Assure him you will appreciate whatever he comes up with hmm and that you are confident he can carry it off.

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