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AIBU?

I've been asking DH to share the burden of housework for ten years now, AIBU to issue an ultimatum?

320 replies

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 21/05/2022 21:14

Just that really. Have tried every single way of asking. I've shouted and screamed in frustration, I've burst into tears, I've quietly and calmly asked, I've made reasoned arguments as to why it should be an equal division of labour (at different times!) Every time he agrees to do more. And then does even less. If I raise it now he acts like I'm being a nag, or hysterical over something unimportant. Am now at the end of my tether. AIBU to give him an ultimatum?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1019 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
5%
You are NOT being unreasonable
95%
SenselessUbiquity · 05/06/2023 09:43

Just wanted to say good luck, OP.
I separated from my exP, father of my children, about 7 years ago now and afterwards lots of women asked me how it was going and how I was. Some of them were definitely wistful. There was definitely an edge of "how did she get to the other side? How can I do that too?" in some of my social interactions with burnt out women. So many women are exhausted with men who present themselves as "one of the good guys" while using every ounce of their wives' energy as domestic appliances. When you get there, the only way is out.

I would advise any woman with children not to give her job up (even if she thinks everything is fine now), and if she has, to get some work up and running again - because having a job was how I was able to get out. On the other hand, the difficulties of big job + childcare were not trivial, but better to have to solve that than to not know how to support yourself. You are in a good position.

Yes, my ex threatened me with never having the children again. As you are hearing here, everyone reassured me that this was nonsense. It's nonsense.

I know you know what you are doing, but I am just coming on here to reassure that you will be fine and whatever practical or emotional difficulty is in your path, there is a solution. And you will be envied for having found it.

Have you watched Marriage Story? If not, spoilers alert.

I think there is probably a reading of that film in which the Scarlett Johannsen character double crossed the Adam Driver character by getting a big lawyer involved instead of just "working it out themselves" - at one point, him feeling like his life was ruined because he was losing everything by the way her divorce and her move to LA was taking everything away from him. But the swing of the pendulum in her direction was only slightly in proportion to how selfish he had been all through the marriage. Men who have their own way all the time are often horrified by how little of their own way they get in divorce. Because they don't deserve any of it. Any of how they have had it all their own way so far. Every correction towards a woman having some autonomy, agency, even a little freedom and happiness, feels like a massive violation because she has had to go so far to get it. If they would only be a little less selfish in marriage, they wouldn't have had to give up so much when the marriage ended.

Scalottia · 05/06/2023 09:47

Gettingthereslowly2020 · 21/05/2022 21:24

10 years?! Ffs grow a bloody backbone! Why do women put up with this shit? I'd have been long gone a decade ago. You deserve an equal partner, not some misogynistic arsehole who thinks you're his personal servant. You know he won't change, an ultimatatum would be pointless.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, it angers me to see thread after thread of women allowing themselves to be disrespected.

I know, it makes me so angry! Thread after thread after thread. Ten years though! I would have been gone long ago.

For the love of god, get some backbone.

billy1966 · 05/06/2023 10:17

Keep careful notes of his lack of involvement.

Text as much as you can for proof.

Reach out to family and friends for support.

Tell the truth.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 14:35

Scalottia · 05/06/2023 09:47

I know, it makes me so angry! Thread after thread after thread. Ten years though! I would have been gone long ago.

For the love of god, get some backbone.

Thanks for this.

OP posts:
AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 14:48

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 14:35

Thanks for this.

Ignore.

You move at your own pace, just as all of us did. I was lucky in that I was in the catbird seat; good job, no kids, could order ExH out and he had to go. I was able to get him out in about 48 hours and go on my merry way. But I would NEVER criticize anyone's 'timetable' simply because mine was 'speed of light'.

You start by getting legal advice. Then take it from there.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 14:54

AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 14:48

Ignore.

You move at your own pace, just as all of us did. I was lucky in that I was in the catbird seat; good job, no kids, could order ExH out and he had to go. I was able to get him out in about 48 hours and go on my merry way. But I would NEVER criticize anyone's 'timetable' simply because mine was 'speed of light'.

You start by getting legal advice. Then take it from there.

Thank you! I have a counselling appointment booked to work out exactly what to say to him and how to go about leaving him. Also have a solicitor appointment booked for the beginning of July. There are a whole host of issues in addition to this one, and life is unpleasant pretty much every day so I don't feel that I have any choice but to get out.

OP posts:
AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 16:11

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 14:54

Thank you! I have a counselling appointment booked to work out exactly what to say to him and how to go about leaving him. Also have a solicitor appointment booked for the beginning of July. There are a whole host of issues in addition to this one, and life is unpleasant pretty much every day so I don't feel that I have any choice but to get out.

I agree, there isn't another choice if you and DC want the lives you deserve.

Counselor and solicitor, excellent! Sounds to me as if you're thinking straight and are determined to move forward.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 17:16

He's seen that I'm on mumsnet and is livid. Was talking to my best friend yesterday on the phone out of earshot and he tried to interrogate me about details of our conversation. I told him to do one. It's made me realise that he is trying to control me, and he obviously has been counting on me being isolated from sources of support. Am nervous and scared about the future but can see that ANYTHING is better than this. So thank you all, because without the reasoned rational reactions and advice from mumsnetters I'd not have the guts to do this.

OP posts:
Thelnebriati · 05/06/2023 17:50

Is he monitoring your internet use? Women's Aid can help with tech abuse.

AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 18:02

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 17:16

He's seen that I'm on mumsnet and is livid. Was talking to my best friend yesterday on the phone out of earshot and he tried to interrogate me about details of our conversation. I told him to do one. It's made me realise that he is trying to control me, and he obviously has been counting on me being isolated from sources of support. Am nervous and scared about the future but can see that ANYTHING is better than this. So thank you all, because without the reasoned rational reactions and advice from mumsnetters I'd not have the guts to do this.

OK, Love, I know I said to go at your own pace. But now that he's no doubt suspicious it may be a good idea to 'speed up' your own pace if you can.

I don't mean to scare you, but it can be a dangerous time for a woman when a controlling and abusive man feels he's losing that control. Just walk softly, try to keep your demeanor the same as always to allay his suspicions. You know the old adage about a swan "gliding on the water, while their feet paddle fast below the surface". You need to be that swan.

AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 18:09

Oh, and clear your cache and your internet history every time you use MN. Leave no electronic 'bread crumbs' to lead him here. Do you think he has your user name or he just overheard you talking? If you think he'd be the type to go looking for you here, if your user name has anything he might guess, it may be time to change names and start a new thread.

If you don't have one and can put a passcode on your devices without arousing suspicion do so. If you have Apple devices, check to see if you're on any kind of 'share plan' where your info is jointly on iCloud.

WA should have people who can tell you how protect your devices.

SchoolShenanigans · 05/06/2023 18:26

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 04/06/2023 09:59

He'd just stick our DS in front of a screen for the whole weekend I suspect.

Or he'll meet another woman who's willing to do all of the parenting.

I see where you're at OP. You're very unhappy in the relationship and the cleaning has highlighted to you how disrespected you feel.

It's really hard, without knowing a relationship well, what the best course of action is. Because I don't think it's always a case of, doesn't pull his weight = doesn't love you. Some people just have lower expectations and lower abilities to keep on top of chores. I've seen it with the difference in lifestyle of friends; some keep a top house but something else gives. Others have low standards around the house but high stress jobs for example.

It's also hard to know how big the issue is without knowing how else the relationship plays out. You mention you work more hours, does he do more childcare? Who looks after the car, DIY, holiday planning, finances etc (all rhetorical).

I think it's also worth noting that there aren't perfect people out there. That's not to say you should end the relationship over this, if it's really getting you down, and he won't change, then yes, you deserve to be happy. Just go onto a divorce with your eyes wide open. You may meet someone else, but they won't be perfect. And if you don't want to meet anyone else, aspects of life will be tougher.

I'm it trying to put you off leaving, but just don't get caught up with Mumsnet - it's great for some things and very off on others. I guarantee you that most women here have issues with their partners, unfortunately that's part of long term relationships (and that's not an excuse for men, women can be pretty shit in lots of ways too).

Ultimately though, you know how you feel and how your relationship is day to day. Perhaps a counsellor for yourself can help you gain clarity over the situation before making any drastic decisions.

SchoolShenanigans · 05/06/2023 18:30

Thelnebriati · 05/06/2023 17:50

Is he monitoring your internet use? Women's Aid can help with tech abuse.

It's hardly tech abuse.

To me, it sounds like he feels a change in OP and can sense this could be it for the relationship and he's getting panicky and things (wrongly) that he can win her back as long as people aren't encouraging her to end things.

Anyway OP, it sounds like you really aren't happy with him. And you deserve to be happy. Best of luck.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 18:37

SchoolShenanigans · 05/06/2023 18:26

Or he'll meet another woman who's willing to do all of the parenting.

I see where you're at OP. You're very unhappy in the relationship and the cleaning has highlighted to you how disrespected you feel.

It's really hard, without knowing a relationship well, what the best course of action is. Because I don't think it's always a case of, doesn't pull his weight = doesn't love you. Some people just have lower expectations and lower abilities to keep on top of chores. I've seen it with the difference in lifestyle of friends; some keep a top house but something else gives. Others have low standards around the house but high stress jobs for example.

It's also hard to know how big the issue is without knowing how else the relationship plays out. You mention you work more hours, does he do more childcare? Who looks after the car, DIY, holiday planning, finances etc (all rhetorical).

I think it's also worth noting that there aren't perfect people out there. That's not to say you should end the relationship over this, if it's really getting you down, and he won't change, then yes, you deserve to be happy. Just go onto a divorce with your eyes wide open. You may meet someone else, but they won't be perfect. And if you don't want to meet anyone else, aspects of life will be tougher.

I'm it trying to put you off leaving, but just don't get caught up with Mumsnet - it's great for some things and very off on others. I guarantee you that most women here have issues with their partners, unfortunately that's part of long term relationships (and that's not an excuse for men, women can be pretty shit in lots of ways too).

Ultimately though, you know how you feel and how your relationship is day to day. Perhaps a counsellor for yourself can help you gain clarity over the situation before making any drastic decisions.

That's just it, there have been multiple things that I've been advised to leave him over. He has accused me of conceiving our DS on the sly, given that he was adamant he wanted kids and he was conceived within 3 months of out wedding and that not using contraception was a joint decision he's way out of order. He's taken big financial decisions behind my back, lied constantly, and has been absolutely vile the last four days. So although the housework was an issue, it's not the main issue iyswim. Am done with this as I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are capable of treating others with respect, kindness and honesty!

OP posts:
WiggyClawsThe2nd · 05/06/2023 18:38

AcrossthePond55 · 05/06/2023 18:09

Oh, and clear your cache and your internet history every time you use MN. Leave no electronic 'bread crumbs' to lead him here. Do you think he has your user name or he just overheard you talking? If you think he'd be the type to go looking for you here, if your user name has anything he might guess, it may be time to change names and start a new thread.

If you don't have one and can put a passcode on your devices without arousing suspicion do so. If you have Apple devices, check to see if you're on any kind of 'share plan' where your info is jointly on iCloud.

WA should have people who can tell you how protect your devices.

He's been peering over my shoulder, caught him earlier. Think he could guess this username but have name changed for other more distressing threads and not used anything obvious. Tbh I no longer care. I just want out.

OP posts:
billy1966 · 06/06/2023 09:54

OP,

I think you should contact Women's aid and consider the police via 101.

This is a really bad man.

Tell family and friends you need help.

Be clear.

You need to get away safely.

AcrossthePond55 · 06/06/2023 17:23

"He's been peering over my shoulder, caught him earlier. Think he could guess this username but have name changed for other more distressing threads and not used anything obvious. Tbh I no longer care. I just want out."

@WiggyClawsThe2nd

I get you. But the 'being careful' isn't just to avoid him hassling you. It's to keep you safe and to keep the advice you've been getting confidential so he can't make 'preemptive strikes'.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 06/06/2023 19:57

Well the sh*t has hit the fan. He's announced that he is moving away. A relief in a way as I'll finally be free of him, but I must confess to being scared. I don't think he's actually rational and I don't trust that he's in control of himself. Have asked a close friend to come and stay from Friday. It's crazy but I'm not so sure he's not having an affair atm, in a way it would actually be positive as I may be free of him sooner. Thank you all for being so supportive.

OP posts:
pointythings · 06/06/2023 20:01

Just be careful and don't hesitate to call the police if he escalates. Other than that - sod him the trash is taking itself out. Carry on with the mechanics of getting rid of him.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 06/06/2023 20:06

pointythings · 06/06/2023 20:01

Just be careful and don't hesitate to call the police if he escalates. Other than that - sod him the trash is taking itself out. Carry on with the mechanics of getting rid of him.

Thank you, am feeling as if there is some hope for the future now.

OP posts:
Longtitude · 06/06/2023 20:13

He won’t change. I put up with it for 18 years and it was a huge part of why I left. We had a family emergency that lasted a few months when he was BRILLIANT at doing his share. As soon as it was over he stopped. It was then that I realised it wasn't that he couldn't do it, but that he didn't want to, and was happy to let me carry it all.
That’s not love, its the most terrible lack of respect and complacency. I’d ask him to leave if I were you, and stick to it.

pointythings · 06/06/2023 20:19

There's going to be some tough times ahead, but your life is going to be so much better without this waste of space around. You don't realise how much work they generate until they're no longer around.

AcrossthePond55 · 06/06/2023 20:55

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 06/06/2023 19:57

Well the sh*t has hit the fan. He's announced that he is moving away. A relief in a way as I'll finally be free of him, but I must confess to being scared. I don't think he's actually rational and I don't trust that he's in control of himself. Have asked a close friend to come and stay from Friday. It's crazy but I'm not so sure he's not having an affair atm, in a way it would actually be positive as I may be free of him sooner. Thank you all for being so supportive.

Well, Hallelujah!! Has he said exactly when he's 'moving away'? Does he actually have anyplace to go for an interim before getting his own place? Good idea about having a friend come stay. But don't be surprised if nothing happens or it drags out. Maybe he's serious, but maybe he thinks saying this will 'get you back in your box'. So for right now, watch and wait.

If he does leave, secure your home. I know you legally aren't allowed to change locks on a jointly owned home, so I will leave that to your discretion. Personally, I'm in the 'better to ask for forgiveness than permission' school. And I figure the worst that can happen is that I'd be ordered to give him a key. But at the very least, put chains or bolts across the doors so he can't walk in when you're home.

Right now, scour the home and hide or take out of the house important papers and items you don't want to 'walk away' with him. At the very least, take pictures of the important papers. Also, get paperwork in order to file for any benefits you may be due once he's gone as well as child maintenance, if applicable. You cannot count on him voluntarily contributing one penny towards the house if/when he walks out and court orders take time.

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 06/06/2023 21:38

AcrossthePond55 · 06/06/2023 20:55

Well, Hallelujah!! Has he said exactly when he's 'moving away'? Does he actually have anyplace to go for an interim before getting his own place? Good idea about having a friend come stay. But don't be surprised if nothing happens or it drags out. Maybe he's serious, but maybe he thinks saying this will 'get you back in your box'. So for right now, watch and wait.

If he does leave, secure your home. I know you legally aren't allowed to change locks on a jointly owned home, so I will leave that to your discretion. Personally, I'm in the 'better to ask for forgiveness than permission' school. And I figure the worst that can happen is that I'd be ordered to give him a key. But at the very least, put chains or bolts across the doors so he can't walk in when you're home.

Right now, scour the home and hide or take out of the house important papers and items you don't want to 'walk away' with him. At the very least, take pictures of the important papers. Also, get paperwork in order to file for any benefits you may be due once he's gone as well as child maintenance, if applicable. You cannot count on him voluntarily contributing one penny towards the house if/when he walks out and court orders take time.

No, no details from him. Just avoiding him atm as his rage is scary. Thank you for the advice, very much appreciated.

OP posts:
billy1966 · 06/06/2023 23:11

Change the locks the minute he's gone, coincidentally you "lost" your keys.

He may well only be saying this to scare you, not realising how much you want to see the back of him!

Do not hesitate to contact the police.

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