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Am I expecting too much from dh?

(37 Posts)
Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 07:38:23

We have 2 dc, ds is 5 & dd 16 months. As you will know this is full on and pretty exhausting most days. Since dd arrived my relationship with dh has really suffered. We are irritable with each other and were arguing alot.

We went to Relate which was good for us both and they gave us some ideas to improve things. But they just don't seem to be happening. We never spend much time together and what really bugs me is my dh just can't wait to go to bed (to sleep) in the evening. He will go as soon as we've eaten and cleared up, usually around 9.00pm. I am the opposite and like to stay up longer as it's the only time I get to do my own things.

I have told him many timed that I'd like him to stay up and talk and maybe watch something together. But if he does do it I know he wishes he wasn't and then I just feel it's tense. I know he gets tired but this is the only time of day we have alone and I just feel like he's only interested in sleep and I feel really lonely.

I know we love each other but I am finding this really hard as our relationship is nothing like it was pre dc. If I try to tell him how I feel he just says well I can't help being tired. To be fair his job involves driving quite alot which is tiring, but I work and look after dc so I'm exhausted too.

Am I making too much of this? Shall I just find my own hobbies, join a gym, make friends and do my own thing?
Is this normal for couples with small dc?

PurplePidjin Sat 24-Aug-13 08:15:22

If he's tired, let him sleep. Why are you trying to control his bedtime?

Longtalljosie Sat 24-Aug-13 08:18:43

God almighty - my DH could have written this. He's a night owl and I'm knackered and fall into bed as soon as dinner is over. I know he'd like me to stay up longer but he never says so - that would make him a twat if he did to be honest.

fieldfare Sat 24-Aug-13 08:22:16

If he's tired then leave him be and let him sleep.
Why not book a date night out together once a fortnight so you get that time together without distraction.

I know it's hard with small children but maybe you need to find your own things to make you happy - hobbies, activities, friends etc.

Vivacia Sat 24-Aug-13 08:23:28

I think you need to compromise. Can't you just explain why this is important to you and ask for one night a week when he stays up?

Sleepyfergus Sat 24-Aug-13 08:24:11

I really don't think the OP is "trying to control" her DHs bedtime. She just wishes he would stay up and extra hour or so to make the most of some couple time with DC around. Absolutely nothing wrong with that! I don't imagine she's standing poking him with a pointy stick!

Another example of not helpful and fairly pointless 'advice' on here. Sheesh!

Sleepyfergus Sat 24-Aug-13 08:24:43


madasa Sat 24-Aug-13 08:29:18

My DP is like this and we don't have children at home! I'm not sure I have any advice but I do understand.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 24-Aug-13 08:31:33

I woudl go with the date night idea. But then, I'd go to bed at 9 with him and read a book.

Licketysplit123 Sat 24-Aug-13 08:31:43

I would try to make plans for one or two nights a week, like watching a DVD, a glass of wine after your meal or even going out. The rest of the time, let him go to bed and as you said get yourself a hobby or join a gym. I've done this in the last six months and feel loads better about myself and I suddenly don't care as much that my OH works most nights.

CoffeeandScones Sat 24-Aug-13 08:53:11

OP I empathise with you. I think the bit that hurts the most is the feeling that your DP doesn't want to find the energy to give time to you?

As you say, he has a very tiring day - but so do you. And yet you want to keep something in reserve that you can give to him to keep the bond of your relationship strong. It's like a rejection (perceived or real) that he doesn't want to do the same.

Do you mind sharing the ideas that were brought up in Relate to improve things? It might help explain what you've tried (and presumably didn't work) and so what else might be an option.

StillSeekingSpike Sat 24-Aug-13 09:00:42

I can't think of anything LESS likely to promote intimacy than being made to stay up when I want to go to bed. And 'perceiving' this as rejection will not help anyone- feeling tired is not rejection; tiredness is not a competition. And if he has a job involving a lot of driving- for everyone's sake, including other road users, it's much better that he is well rested.

Notmoreschoolholidays Sat 24-Aug-13 09:06:50

I second crumbledwalnuts suggestion. Go to bed early one night with him, then ask for your dh to spend an evening with you. If his energy reserves are depleted any requests from you to do 'extra' are going to be met with reluctance or even resentment. I understand completely that it feels like rejection when he doesn't choose to stay up with you, but it sounds like he's running on empty. Give him the chance to replenish, then ask him to give time to you. Also, when you talk about this issue it's really important not to be accusatory. Hope you work it out.x

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 09:11:43

Fine with him doing it in the week but he still does it at weekends. Is it so wrong to want one night a week to stay up past 9.00pm and chat, have fun, spend some actual time together? When else are we meant to do this? We have barely any proper communication going on anymore.

BrianButterfield Sat 24-Aug-13 09:13:48

We're usually both exhausted at the end of the day so as a compromise sometimes we get into bed after DS's bedtime and chill out there together - watching TV, MNing or reading, it doesn't matter but we can chat without feeling like we're 'staying up'. It's quite decadent to lie in bed with snacks etc!

MissStrawberry Sat 24-Aug-13 09:15:07

Does he spend any time with you other than sat at the table eating food?

What do you do at the weekend?

Does he use excuses to not be at home with you?

Tiredness is exhausting and can really get you down. DH and I have 3 children who are quite a bit older than yours and we are still shattered all the time. We always go to bed together though and if DH wants to stay up longer than me I just read in bed until he comes up.

You need to talk, try and compromise and make your life a happier one.

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 09:15:33

I like that idea BB thanks, sounds fun.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Sat 24-Aug-13 09:18:43

It does make the date night idea impracticable if he's always going to bed then.

I need a lot of sleep and am not an evening person, but I have often stayed up late in order to spend time with my OH. It's a compromise, isn't it?

I don't suppose he's up before the dcs at weekends and you could spend time together then...?

Does he have any solutions to offer?

Apileofballyhoo Sat 24-Aug-13 09:31:27

How many hours a week does he work? What is his diet like? What time does he get up in the morning? Is he depressed?

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 24-Aug-13 09:34:09

Could you have dinner earlier? Then you could have sometime together.

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 09:40:20

Youngest dc wakes up at 5.30am, comes in our bed and has milk. Then we get up and both go to work. He gets home at 5.00pm. We eat about 7.30 once dc in bed. He loves cleaning the kitchen and then generally goes to bed. I have mentioned it and said I'd like him to stay up with me on Saturdays but it just doesn't really happen. I'm kind of losing interest to be honest which is sad as we used to have such a laugh together.

Silverfoxballs Sat 24-Aug-13 09:43:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Squitten Sat 24-Aug-13 09:46:12

If you are waking up at 5:30am every morning, no wonder he's asleep at 9pm - I would be too!

Why not eat earlier with the children then everything will be finished up earlier and you can spend 7:30pm onwards together?

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 10:37:16

Yes both awake from 5.30am so of course I can understand he is tired by 9.00pm, so am I! But on Sunday he gets a lie in so I thought it would be reasonable to stay up a bit later on Saturday night. I can't sleep at 9.00pm even if tired as I like to make the most of my child free time.
Perhaps I just need to accept that this is what it's going to be like while dc are young. I just miss his company really that's all.

kutee Sat 24-Aug-13 10:48:02

I have a 19 month old. I go to bed about 9pm. My partner can stay up till the early hours of the morning. I have always gone to bed early even before our dd. I think that it is unreasonable to expect a full time working parent such as myself to stay up. Even if i was not working i would still find it unreasonable that my partner would expect me to change my bed time to suit him. Why don't you have an early night and watch something together. Plan a film night or a date night. I have tried the staying up thing to please him. It does not work. I still fall asleep. If I'm tired he tells to go to bed as if I don't get a proper nights sleep it has a knock on effect. You should learn to accept your partners as he is. If you want to compromise either plan a date or film night in advance and maybe let a relative have the kids overnight.

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