My feed

to access all these features


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:
Changing2011 · 13/04/2011 13:28

well he should be considering his wifes MH after her traumatic birth and pressure to work and keep things to his standard. I really hate men like this.

ratspeaker · 13/04/2011 13:32

OP you are still trying to justify his abnormal actions
"I think his point would that I often leave wardrobe/cupboard doors open and it grates on him."


Why should you have to justify a wardrobe door being left open when you have plenty other things to do
It's your house too, he can close the door, he's not there for many hours of the day to see it open so why make a fuss?

He is looking for something to criticise

The house could be immaculate, the children fed and in bed, a meal waiting for him and he would still find something to make you feel inadequate.
( eg the coats arent hung in order in the cloakroom- I witnessed my aunts ex doing that)
He'll start on the kids next unless he changes his behaviour

scottishmummy · 13/04/2011 13:33

no one is condoning what he does but exploring of any precipitating factors or significant life change (such as new baby) is preferable to knee-jerk hes a goon

exploration of any factors isnt a get out of jail card,is a way of getting a picture and understanding of triggers and stressors. and gives a clearer picture of which things to assess and address

and things he can address in his psychology sessions too

purplebrickroad · 13/04/2011 13:35

Great Pooter reference. Give him the book.
Great 'Sleeping with the Enemy' reference.

Show him this thread.

sprinkles77 · 13/04/2011 13:36

maybe some couple's counselling might help. If you can both find time. Might help address somethings his usual psychologist is not, and help you both understand how the other is feeling. Some people are just twats. You don't have to stay together. You could stay together but not live together (hardly ideal but things are not ideal at the moment, and it works for some couples).

thebody · 13/04/2011 13:36

RILLY.. you are clearly the opposite of selfish.. please dont stop posting, your comments are as valid as everyone elses and can quite understand your actions..

but please just remember that its your RIGHT to be happy and realaxed at home,

yes totally get the not shouting tactic of his. my dad is the same.. can drive mum to tears and then he turns round and asks her whats the matter and why is SHE blowing things up like this and starting a row!!!

nasty games some men(and women)play..

do hope both you and op sort out... horrible for you both.. keep posting both as you get lots of support on here....

purplebrickroad · 13/04/2011 13:38

And buy him a whistle, so that all the children can line up.

purplebrickroad · 13/04/2011 13:38

I feel sorry in advance for the baby's first teacher.

chicletteeth · 13/04/2011 13:39


Do nothing, nothing at all ..... then lets see how he likes that.

He is spoilt and selfish and he is trying to undermine you.

Why the fuck is he encouraging his heavily pregnant wife up a ladder - my husband would have been very unhappy if I had done that.

He sounds awful, I'm sorry you are having to deal with his shit!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell · 13/04/2011 13:39

Rilly, every time you post about your husband I feel so sad for you.

You can't live like this.

Nor you, OP, and I'm sorry not to have responded to you first, but I recognised Rilly's posts about her - frankly, awful - husband.

StayFrosty · 13/04/2011 13:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy · 13/04/2011 13:40

i really need to caution against show the thread encouragements

only do it if is constructive and doesnt backfire

im not sure a group of anonymous women opining is constructive,may add to his ire or just make him feel got at.and frankly this situation needs a real life resolution not the mn jury

focus upon the here and now and satisfactory resolution rather than the mn jury

iskra · 13/04/2011 13:57

Ah, my DP is prone to this as well. You have my sympathies.

Laquitar · 13/04/2011 14:10

Sorry this is not about 'having high standards' , it is being nasty and bully.

I really feel for you this is not a way to live. You cant have joy and feel happy.

I actually have high standards and mild OCD. But i am aware that i am the one with issue. I don't make my dh to feel bad, i don't dismiss him as person, i don't reduce him. I do the most of the work and i recognise my 'problem' and work on it. Your dh is bulling you. And i bet that if everything is perfect he will still not be happy.

How is he with your friends? Can he have fun on social occasions? Is he happy when you have a success in your bussiness? I bet he is a miserable nasty bully in other areas of life too (sex, career, friends).
Be very careful that he doesn't reduce you little by little and sucks all your energy, joy/zest for life and self-esteem.

I agree with the poster who said that you would be better off on your own as you can do everything and have an income. Whatever you do don't let this man to ruin your friendships, your family and your career , hold on on these 3 things don't let them go.

Laquitar · 13/04/2011 14:19

OP i just wanted to add something.

Try to have an altenative childcare ready (cm, your mum, a friend) because i can bet you my money that he will find a reason to sack the nanny and force you (inderectly) to give up your business.

HHLimbo · 13/04/2011 14:24

Agree with Laquitar - OP please be careful and keep your eyes open, he sounds like a bully who is continually seeking to undermine you. While you may feel strong at the moment, make sure you dont let him get you down - to the point where he has sucked the life out of you and ruined all you have worked so hard for. This is where you are heading at the moment - dont let him do it!

If you feel you cant speak to him about it, please consider ending the relationship asap.

Otherwise I would sit him down, to address these problems he spots continually, tell him he must do an hour of housework when he gets back from work, every evening. That should sort the problem and he can do it to his 'exacting' standards.

scottishmummy · 13/04/2011 14:36

ok,a note of balance here before everyone assume worst and begin to speculate on what he may or may not do at given point in future

what do you want op?
have you addressed any of this with him
why is he seeing psychologist?
is this a new behaviour or has he always manifested self like this

i do agree maintain work and financial independence
do monitor ingoing situation and his behaviour and if it gets worse or you feel threatened seek advice

his behaviour is appalling,and noteworthy that your mum noticed it too. make sure you have a confidant dont bottle all this up

nijinsky · 13/04/2011 18:56

YANBU to lose patience with him. I'd be tempted to tell him to earn more money and employ a housekeeper, since it sounds like thats what he's looking for. I also note that you used to own your own house, which he lived in. Has he ever lived on his own and been responsible for looking after his own home? By selling your own home to help fund the purchase of the joint home, you have done more than enough compared to most women with young children and to expect you to decorate it to his standards is too much as well. Why can't he decorate at the weekends? He actually sounds quite lazy, despite the 12 hour days.

QuietTiger · 13/04/2011 19:36

My DH once made the mistake of telling me the dining room floor needed vacuuming. After I informed him that he knew where the hoover was kept and he was quite capeable of doing it himself, he apologised for being a prick and got the hoover. My DH works 12-14 hour days every day as he's a farmer. He also helps where he can around the house if he sees that I'm busy.

THAT is a healthy relationship - one where you work together, not one where you are blamed for not being good enough. Sorry, but your DP sounds a complete arse.

HerHissyness · 13/04/2011 19:50

This situation worries me greatly.

OP don't put up with this, don't enable it. He talks about the hoovering, you present him with the hoover, the dusting, give him the Mr Sodding Sheen.

He started this behaviour when you went from YOUR space to your JOINT home space, and it has escalated from there.

I see massive abusive/controlling red flags, but I could be projecting, but please, keep a close eye on this and don't let him get away with a thing of this telling you what to do.

Rilly, I am horrified. Please stick around, please post more and more and more, eventually you will see what the rest of us have seen and that is that YOUR relationship is not like that of others. In your own time love, but you need to stop this abysmal treatment of you as well.

Nagoo · 13/04/2011 19:57

I really wouldn't show him the thread. You might need us (and privacy and anonymity to get your thoughts in order) again later :)

squeakytoy · 13/04/2011 20:12

Quiet Tiger is spot on.

I work from home, and keeping the house tidy is my domain, but my husband knows if he criticised it, he would get shown the cupboard where the cleaning stuff is.

His attitude is, so long as he has clean socks and boxers to wear, he is happy..

I just looked at the vase of very wilted and dead tulips that I have been meaning to bin for the last few days and said to him "oops... I forgot them again" and he just laughed and said "call it modern art"..

That is a healthy relationship too. I have been in shit relationships with a control freak, and all I can say to you Op, and especially to you Rilly, dont live that way, it really isnt how it should be.

A bit of dust, and a bit of clutter never hurt anyone, and it is better to get to your silver wedding anniversary saying "he always makes me laugh", and not "he always makes me feel inadequate".

CocktailQueen · 13/04/2011 20:18

OMG!!!!!! Shock

Agree with molemesses - If 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.

Whata flaming cheek. if my h ever inspected the house he'd be kicked into the middle of next week. How arsey. If he wants to do the housework he can whinge about it.

FriedSpamButty · 13/04/2011 20:44

My DP tried this when I was on mat leave. Very briefly!

My response was 'If it bothers you that much then either do it yourself or shut the fuck up'

He hasn't tried it since. That was 23 years ago.

Start as you mean to go on! DS has been similarly trained as I will not have that shite visited on whoever he settles down with.

I am obviously a harpie and a harridan though.

Oblomov · 13/04/2011 21:07

Dh has very high standards. Is quite a perfectionist. Have had similar to this, but not so extreme. But I tolerate nothing. Am wondering why you do ? Or why you do not say anything in a very gentile, soft voice, which can be very effective.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.