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Can we have a support thread for those who reluctantly wear the trousers in their relationship?
293

DropMyTrousers · 28/11/2010 20:22

Have namechanged...

Does anyone else have a partner that they love and don't want to leave, but is exhausting in their inability to make decisions/take control/plan/lead etc etc?

Whether it's moving house or deciding which packet of biscuits to open with a cuppa, DH dodges all responsibility by looking to me to decide and act. We have been doing a lot of talking lately about how tiring I find this.

We've been together 11 years and married for 9, friends for a good while beforehand. In that time I have tried various approaches. For the last couple of years I have been trying to build his confidence by handing over control to him regularly and supporting his decisions, but he still ducks out and things take aaaaages to the point that I want to scream "FFS let's just do it like this!"

The trouble is that I'm not a natural leader or at all dogmatic. I feel pretty uncomfortable in a leadership role myself, but I'm being forced there minute to minute.

Everyone thinks he is lovely, and he is - kind, loyal, safe, good career, handsome.

But he has just spent 3 minutes checking with me that it's all right to watch the Antiques Roadshow, and am I really happy doing something on the laptop? And we can watch something else if that suits me? And he can always watch it on the iPlayer another time? And am I sure? Etc. And then a few minutes in... Am I still okay with this, because we could have the X Factor on if I like? (I don't watch the X Factor!)

You can imagine what our sex life is like, can't you?

I hate it because I feel I am being put in the role of tyrant when that's not me at all. I would eat my own jumper if it meant that DH would just once say. "Hey, let's do this today!" or "I've decided we need to save up for this" or even "Make us a cup of tea, love."

I think he has a basic lack of confidence in his abilities and I want to help him to overcome this. However there are phone calls, driving, DIY, accounting, planning and raising children to be done and I am doing all of it.

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PercyPigPie · 02/12/2010 20:40

Oh you're not still quacking on about me LeQueen? What are you, my stalker?

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LeQueen · 02/12/2010 21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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maryz · 02/12/2010 21:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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AnyFuckerForAMincePie · 02/12/2010 21:57

that's my Pinot Grigio, thanks

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PercyPigPie · 02/12/2010 22:19

Dear me LeQueen, I thought an intelligent gal like yourself would understand irony.

'and trying to get people to see my real colours' I think you'll find the process is well underway Wink

I'd love a glass, thank you, but I'm driving later. Thanks for offering though.

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maryz · 02/12/2010 22:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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AnyFuckerForAMincePie · 02/12/2010 22:32

< swipes the bottle of Pinot and necks it >

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LeQueen · 03/12/2010 07:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Dominatrix · 03/12/2010 08:17

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Dunoon · 03/12/2010 13:29

This is just like RL when you go round to your friends houses and tell them all about the failings of DP, they don't have these problems, express horror and then you get squiffy together on wine and have a laugh and gossip about the nutters you know.
Xmas Grin

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LeQueen · 03/12/2010 13:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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GraceAwayInAManger · 03/12/2010 14:50

Sorry for interrupting mouldie-fest Xmas Grin

I'm a bit like your DHs, I'm afraid. I was punished for absolutely bloody everything as a child, ending up with little confidence and zero sense of entitlement. I'd find it hard to insist on my choice of TV programme over someone else's. Until fairly recently, I couldn't give an honest answer to "What do you want?" because 'wants' did not apply to me. If you'd met me, you'd never guess I was such a non-entity. I wasn't like this at work ... until I started working for a bully, then my automatic underdog kicked in full-time.

I ended up in relationships with controlling men. Had I had the sense to choose a decent partner, however, I think he would have felt very much like you ladies before long! It's really very hard to eradicate such deeply-ingrained faults - and no-one can fix it for you. You can fake it, though! Seriously, I'd recommend asking your DP/DH to pretend they care which programme they want to watch; take a risk and buy the chutney; have the trust to believe you want what you said you want; jump off the metaphorical cliff and guess whether wholegrain or multiseed bread will be nicer!

Some of the men in this thread - unaware of which takeaway you prefer, seemingly incapable of cooking fish fingers and so on - sound more like passive-agressive controllers than spineless dipshits tbh. Speaking as a secretly spineless one: it's a disability, really. It must be hard for a 'normal' person to get how RISKY it can feel to face possible crticism. But it can be done! Just takes practice ... lots of it.

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maryz · 03/12/2010 21:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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AnyFuckerForAMincePie · 03/12/2010 21:15

I am not a mouldie

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maryz · 03/12/2010 21:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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AnyFuckerForAMincePie · 03/12/2010 21:19

It's always LeQ's fault

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LeQueen · 04/12/2010 10:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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DropMyTrousers · 07/12/2010 06:53

Wondered whether to start a new thread about this, but I think this thread might have been a catalyst.
I fear the rot may have started as I have decided that the only way to save my sanity at this point is to start sleeping elsewhere in the house and for me to live my life as though I am bringing up my children with a housemate. Have told DH this and had yet another speech about how he is going to start trying harder but I am at breaking point. Sleep deprived, disrespected, shat on is how I feel right now. The number of jobs, big and small, that have piled up are threatening to overwhelm me and DH seems to think that if I'm not making too much fuss then it must be okay for him to carry on being an ostrich. So I'm drawing a line.

I hope that removing the pressure of keeping everything sunny & nice for DH will allow me more headspace for me and the kids.

Been up since 3am looking after wakeful toddler and crying. Have a heavy day at work today so wish me luck everyone.

Time to get showered, do the school & nursery run, and then get a passable day's work in. I will probably come home later to find that while listening to iPlayer working from home he has managed to squeeze in a one-pot meal and hoover the middle of the lounge, so I will get the puppy dog eyes and another "I'm trying" speech.

As I believe the great orator Ice T once had it, "Fuck dat shit."

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DropMyTrousers · 17/12/2010 06:35

I seem to have killed the thread but I'll carry on anyway, it feels helpful to have a record of where I'm up to.
Had a major meltdown shortly after my last post and told DH that I couldn't offer him a wife any longer and we would have to just be housemates while I figured out what to do next. He was a bit stunned and the following night told me that he realised he didn't want that. He said he would make some changes (the main one being the working from home thing; he has done this since leaving college and we still have the largest bedroom in the house devoted to this shit bachelor kind of lifestyle. Our DC have a bedroom each, so, I don't actually feel like I belong in my house. Better close brackets). I have chronic insomnia because I have no sleep hygiene at all. I feel like I'm falling apart, I am just so tired of living with constant anxiety about our lack of financial, material and emotional security. DH seems to think that if I am not actually screaming at the top of my lungs then everything must be okay. In the meantime, all my friends and family think he is marvellous because he does the morning school run and changes a couple of nappies every day.

Anyway he has made one phone call about office space and keeps telling me they haven't got back to him. It's been 10 days and I don't expect things to turn around overnight, but I have been shocked at how DH's response to me losing it, breaking down and crying snotty tears about how desperately exhausted and unhappy I am has boiled down to making one phone call and pulling a sad face when I'm nearby. Aside from that he is still merrily occupying the house with mess, spending hours in his office on the iPlayer and smiling and winking and calling me darling.

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AnyFuckerForAMincePie · 17/12/2010 07:38

You haven't killed the thread.

I am on my way out to work, so just wanted to let you know someone is reading.

I won't advise you what to do, all I know is your husband sounds like a fucking moron and like I said at the beginning of this thread, any respect I had for him would have evaporated a long time ago.

I am sorry you are so stressed and unhappy, whilst he continues to take the piss and make like a pig in shit Xmas Sad

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purplepeony · 17/12/2010 12:34

OP- a lot of what you have said rings bells with me as ay times I would kill for a more dominant partner instead of one who is so nice but so wet at times. He has never cooked once ( except under duress or when i am ill- in over 25 years- and even then he has to ask how to heat up a pizza- what temp and for how long, FFS). The thing that makes me scream is "How much butter do we put in the mashed potato?"

However, the point about you is surely this. The practical side canbe sorted out- such as office space etc. You just need to put your foot down or physically move the stuff out of your bedroom and make him take control.

The question is- do you want to be w ith him or are you staying becuase he loves you- but you are not sure if you feel the same back?

it's not on that your bedroom is also his office- I really don't know how you stood it for so long.

But even if this were sorted tomorrow- would you want him?

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KERALA1 · 17/12/2010 13:29

Forget about killing the thread Drops posts make me want to kill her DH. No wonder you are at breaking point. Sorry nothing constructive to add.

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MysteriousHamster · 11/01/2012 14:04

This is an old thread, but someone linked to it elsewhere.

Are you still around, OP? What happened in the end?

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mrspepperpotty · 11/01/2012 22:11

I remember this thread, what happened OP?

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Abitwobblynow · 15/01/2012 11:21

I just want you to know that I am saying this with a HUGE plank in my eye, but....

look at the co-dependency. You cannot change another person, you can only change how YOU respond.

And that means, looking at the patterns. So maybe saying at a calm time 'when you look to me for a decision that is reasonably yours to make, I will walk away. Can you see this as not a rejection but a reminder that you are an adult, and once you have made the decision yourself, come and get me and we will keep calm and carry on'

(or whatever). But it does mean that when he makes a decision you don't like.... !!!!

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