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Can't cope with Partner's high standards

77 replies

Oneofthethreewitches · 13/04/2011 10:45

Please help me, I feel like I am beginning to lose it. Sorry its so long.

I have a 6 month old son with my partner and a 6 year old daughter from a previous relationship. Met my partner about 4 years ago. When I met him had my own v modern house and had successful career. I was financially independent, had a great cleaner and everything was good. He moved in quite quickly and DD now calls him Daddy.

We outgrew the house and bought a Victorian house that we both liked knowing that it would need quite a bit of work done to it. The mortgage is at a rate that we can both afford. We knew that we wouldn't be able to afford to do up the house quickly because we don't have that much extra money.

At the time of the move I was 6 months pregnant with DS. DP is useless at DIY, works 12 - 13 hour days and can't really do anything around the house in terms of improving it because he isn't home. We got a professional in to do DS's bedroom - replaster, paint etc. He found fault with the plastering but no one else can notice it (plaster is a tiny bit bumpy on a small section of the ceiling). He spent significant amount of time in the room looking for other flaws. Asks me if I will paint over miniscule cracks in the plaster.

I am good at DIY, a great cook, good at cleaning but absolutely hopeless at tidying up. I try to do too much and the mess just gets bigger. Up until the week before I had the baby I was climbing ladders, painting, sanding etc. I was also working in my proper job.

Had DS by C-Section and he was 10 lbs 2oz. After baby was born I continued with the decorating but with less mobility initially. Had my mum come and stay for relatively long periods of time to help me with the baby because I couldn't move around easily in the beginning or take DD to school etc. My mum also stayed so that I could go to work and take DS with me to breastfeed. I am self employed and need to work to stay solvent. DD at a private school and have to pay her fees. Have the sort of job that allows me to work when it is financially worthwhile. Did 10 days work over the first 4 months of DS's life.

When my mum was at the house DP changed dramatically. Became huffy. Kept asking me when she would leave. Found minor faults with bits of DIY I had done. My mum is fantastic at running a house - everything v. clean, great food, brilliant with the baby . . . He kept asking why I couldn't have his mum come and help. Explained that after a C-Section need your own mother in the house (my mum is a retired nurse). My mum sensed the atmosphere he created and told me that Partner reminded her of protagnist in Diary of a Nobody.

Have no gone back to work but it is taking a bit of time to build up. Went back early because got fed up with him assuming that I am responsible for everything in the house. Have a nanny who comes to the house on the days I work away from home otherwise I am at home alone with the children. We don't have a cleaner at the moment. He leaves at about 7 am and comes home between 7 and 8 pm. When he comes home he goes on a tour of the house inspecting. It drives me crazy. Last night he came home and said hello to DD. DS already in bed. He went upstairs saying he needed to get out of his work suit. When he came downstairs could sense he was huffy. I was preparing dinner and clearing up kitchen. Asked him what was wrong and he said that I had left the cupboard doors open and he nearly banged his head and I had left a wet towel on the floor of DD's bedroom. Clarified that in fact I had left wardrobe open, that there was absolutely no danger of him banging head whatsoever (it was a complete lie) and towel was left by DD without my knowledge after her bath.

I went absolutely crazy with him. Told him that I expect him to be positive when he comes home. That it is impossible to be perfect. That I have far too much to do with the baby and DD on school holidays and my own work and that it was graceless of him to be huffy/grumpy because of something so small. He is just so petty I don't think I can cope with the next 20 or 30 years with him. I need someone with some spirit of largesse. I told him I am sick of him being so petty. Can hardly bring myself to speak to him. AIBU?

OP posts:

molemesseskilledIpom · 13/04/2011 10:51

You are not being unreasonable.

It I were in your shoes I would take the week off and do nothing. and I mean nothing. When he comes home and moans, tell him you are on strike, he can cook his tea, he can clean up because you are not going to lift a bloody finger until he pulls his weight around the house.

I dont care if he works 12 hour days, that's his choice. Even so, it is still not a reason to expect hotel standards in a house with 2 kids, and two full time working parents.

Either he gets a grip on himself and helps out, or he goes as he is making your life more miserable.


TheSmallClanger · 13/04/2011 10:53

Has he always been like this, or has the nitpicking started very suddenly, or escalated?
I don't think YABU at all - the person who sorts out the housework gets to dictate the standards in my book. I can understand him being a bit put out about your mum being there for extended periods, but that's over now.
Is there something you think has triggered a change?


diabolo · 13/04/2011 10:55

If have to say that if my husband ever dared to "inspect" the house, he would no longer be my husband! In fact, he would no longer be alive.


TheSmallClanger · 13/04/2011 10:55

Mine neither, Diabolo. That's why I wanted to know if he had always done it.


SpringchickenGoldBrass · 13/04/2011 10:57

If his standards are so high it;s up to him to do more housework. You are not his servant. He is not the boss/owner of the household.


GypsyMoth · 13/04/2011 11:00

yes,wondering if he's always been like that too!!


WriterofDreams · 13/04/2011 11:00

He sees you as a maid and treats you like an employee. That needs to change or you need to get out.


ginnybag · 13/04/2011 11:01

Your reply is this:

'If you don't like it, do it yourself!'

You sound very much like you were perfectly capable without him - own job, house, kid in private school. I'm sure you love him and I am sure there are things about him that validate your relationship, but don't forget the self you were before him.

Don't let him take that from you. Next time he starts with this, say to him he can either explain in detail what you've done wrong and what he would have done differently - and then go do it! - or he can be an adult and explain what's really wrong.

At a guess, he was in no way ready for the chaos a baby brings, and he's overcompensating!


Morloth · 13/04/2011 11:01

'he goes on a tour of the house inspecting'

Yes, well fuck that, tell him if he doesn't like it he has two hands and a heartbeat and to feel free to do it himself.

Boot him out and move your Mum in?


ginnybag · 13/04/2011 11:02

Him to go do it, I mean. No way in hell should you jump to his orders.

A cupboard door and a towel. Really? That's it?

Also, why not re-employ your cleaner? And he can pay for it, since he's not happy!


Cats49 · 13/04/2011 11:03

YA definitely not BU! This reminds me of the male character in 'Sleeping with the enemy', who used to come home and if the food tin labels weren't facing the right way in the cupboard he would have a fit! Hope he is not as bad as that. I couldn't live with someone like that. However, as 'thesmallclanger' said, maybe something has triggered it? Could you sit down and talk about it reasonably with him? Does he have OCD tendencies/routines in other areas? My DH is the opposite - very untidy and I find I have to bite my tongue sometimes about the mess he leaves all round the house. And I am not a particularly tidy person myself!
Good luck.


Oneofthethreewitches · 13/04/2011 11:04

Thank you all for replying. TheSmallClanger - the nitpicking started when we bought the house together. When he lived in my house we didn't have these problems. He used to complain about the cleaner (for putting things away in the wrong place) but otherwise he was fine.

I think he accepts that he has a problem with this. He told me that he thought he had OCD. He went to see a psychologist and discovered that it wasn't OCD because he isn't OCD in other aspects of his life. In fact he sees the psychologist every week (because about 3 months ago I said he had to do something about his behaviour). In fact last night's row (as detailed above) happened when he came home from psychologist.

OP posts:

kaj32 · 13/04/2011 11:05

Yanbu. My dh gets told to do housework himself if it bothers him that much.

I'm currently registering as a childminder so doing the paperwork for that and doing all the cooking, cleaning and childcare. DH does his own ironing and buys takeaway cooks oncea week. When i have mindees dh will be doing half the cleaning and cooking and takin dd out for a few hours each week to allow me to do paperwork and have a bit of me time. Oh and my dh is one of the laziest man alive by his own admission.

I think you need to sit him down and tell him it's not acceptable to behave as he is and also considere some councilling.


Whatevs · 13/04/2011 11:07

It isn't a healthy way to live, is it? He sounds unsupportive and charmless.


molemesseskilledIpom · 13/04/2011 11:07

Ah..the phycologist has said something to him that is very, very true and he didnt like it. So he taking it out on you. Ask if you can both go to the next session as it may help, if someone explains to him what you are feeling.


TheSmallClanger · 13/04/2011 11:07

What sort of psychologist is he seeing? Are they registered? Do you know who they are?


paulapantsdown · 13/04/2011 11:11

what a knob! what are you - his servant?

so, you run the home, look after 2 kids, hold down a (what sounds like) a well paying job, do the DIY etc etc etc...

He goes to work and thats it!? It does not matter how many hours he works, he still has holidays and weekends where he could his weight, pay for tradesmen and cleaners to help run and improve the home for ALL OF YOU.

This is passive aggressive, nasty behaviour and should not be tolerated. If he is that concrened, then perhaps he could book some holiday off work and stay at home and do some of this work himself.

If he is seriously bothered about a towel on the floor, then he really needs to get himself a life - pathetic


Oneofthethreewitches · 13/04/2011 11:12

molemesseskilledIpom - I didn't even think the psychologist might have upset him - might be the problem. SmallClanger - the psychologist is above board but I don't know him. DP won't talk to me about what happens with psychologist. I understand this because I think blokes need their own space. Maybe I should try counselling with him - but I am afraid that it will turn into a recrimination session.

OP posts:

Oneofthethreewitches · 13/04/2011 11:15

We are trying to organise a new cleaner.

OP posts:

Squirrelsmum · 13/04/2011 11:21

You sound like a very patient woman to put up with his nit picking for this long. I have the opposite problem here, I live with a bunch of slobs, but at least no one complains about the mess lol.
You are doing your best, your working and caring for 2 young children, one of them a babe while living in a reno house. Tell him to bite his tongue, you have enough on your plate without dealing with that sort of dribble.
Wonder what has set him off, obviously he isn't happy, is it the house? Would it be worth consider selling and buying something that doesn't need any work done to it. What is happening with his psych I wonder for him to be coming home in those sorts of moods?


SpringchickenGoldBrass · 13/04/2011 11:22

I don't think you can insist on seeing his psychologist with him: psychologists are quite strict about patient confidentiality.
YOu can, however, set rules for your DP about behaviour within the house ie if he shouts at you or says unpleasant things, you can tell him not to speak to you like that.
Remember all the time that this man is not your boss or your owner. If he behaves in such a way that you are afraid of him, you need to take steps towards getting rid of him.


NJE · 13/04/2011 11:24

Does your husband have problems at work?


TotemPole · 13/04/2011 11:25

Oneofthethreewitches, what type of job does your OH do?


ratspeaker · 13/04/2011 11:26

He is totally unreasonable.
He is trying to undermine your self confidence by looking for faults, then blaming you and often for things that are not your doing
A normal person finding a door open or towel on the floor would deal with it, not make a laundry list of complaints to take to a harassed working mother.
It isn't normal tour the house looking for faults

and why cant HE paint over cracks in the plaster?

Read back your post
He has got you justifying why your DIY was not perfect- you were" less mobile after a c section". FFS HE shouldn't have expected any work being done let alone criticise it. HE should have been running after and pampering YOU

Its not turning into a healthy relationship in my opinion


Changing2011 · 13/04/2011 11:32

I wouldnt hold out much hope of finding a cleaner to put up with this anal prick!

Neither should you or your kids!

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