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Husband (50) seems apathetic to anything other than work and hobbies
45

AhAgain · 08/05/2022 17:49

Ok, not sure where I am going with this, but going mad. Think that I have just realised this is (hopefully) not normal.

I will caveat but saying that DH has a good job and earns quite a bit of money. I work part time: good professional job, not as well paid. Job gets referred to, by DH, as a “vanity job”. Took time out - from work - when DS was younger and I think that hasn’t helped things.

Because of DH’s job, we can buy in quite a lot of help (cleaner, someone to help with the garden - not enough though, handymen occasionally).

BUT DH takes no responsibility for / interest in anything outside of work and his sports / hobbies:

  • sorting out the house is me
  • trying to get anything done very hard (unless literally we are leaking water or something): he has no interest in home improvements or decorating (either doing any or getting someone in).
  • sofa falling apart? No interest in doing anything.
  • garden, that’s me.
  • fences - no interest they are falling down.
  • holidays? That’s me.
  • school stuff? Me
  • childcare during holidays or nights out? Me
  • days out? Me
  • anything out? Me
  • washing? Me
  • too much rubbish? Need a dump run or skip? Me
  • friends coming around? Only if I arrange it?
  • Keeping in touch with friends? Only if I do.
  • socialising with the neighbours? No interest.
  • christmas? Yes, that’s all me.
  • birthdays? Yes me

on and on and on and on.

everything comes from me. Complete and utter apathy on everything.

can’t see it getting better at all. Feel very sad. Don’t feel like I have a partner, just a second child.

he was born abroad: his dad is very very similar, but they are very wealthy and DH’s mum has never worked.

don’t know what I am saying, but 😔

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springtimeishereagain · 08/05/2022 17:52

Has he always been like this? Have you discussed this before? Has he ever changed or acknowledged that this is unfair?

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Gettingthereslowly2020 · 08/05/2022 17:53

What was your relationship like before marriage and children? Has he always been like this? Why doesn't he respect you? He sounds so disrespectful of your job, and of you in general expecting you to be his skivvy/PA.

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 08/05/2022 18:23

You are still with your husband because…..

I do not like your H referring to your part time job outside the home as a “vanity job”, that’s a red flag re him right there. He also seems very much like his own father.

What does your son think of his father?. And of you for putting up with this from his dad?. What do you want to teach your child about relationships and what is he learning here

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blueagain · 09/05/2022 04:52

Sounds like you are single living within the confines of a marriage!

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AgentProvocateur · 09/05/2022 05:01

I think it’s fair that the part-time worker in a relationship (whether that’s male or female) does all that extra stuff. At the moment, I work more hours than DH and I have a longer commute. The last thing I want to do when I get in after a 12 hour day is housework/organising our social life. In the past, I’ve worked fewer hours so I’ve done that.

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Oblomov22 · 09/05/2022 05:19

This is really common from many wealthy men I met. And from MN generally. I worked for one, incredibly rich Asian. You must know that this is the norm. So how can you complain about something that is what you knew it was, when you got into it?

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AhAgain · 09/05/2022 07:17

I don’t think these things were as apparent pre-children: much smaller house (and lower maintenance), no garden or smaller garden, no kids (that is a lot). Things are a lot easier.

Since DS a LOT more work. Plus bigger house, much more maintenance, garden, etc.

I am juggling a job (4 days a week), plus everything else. It feels like a massive mental load and I think that is the thing: the mental load. Just absolutely no help in thinking about anything in life.

Yes DH is Asian. Didn’t really consider that he would never want to be engaged in anything: only got to know his parents (and how insular they are) about 15 years into the marriage.

if I didn’t work, it would be easier. But my job is demanding (sometimes very). DH works from home. He does work hard, but I think uses at as an excuse to hide away a bit and avoid other stuff.

I do make a point to DS that it is not acceptable to not engage or help out. That isn’t great either is it?

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AhAgain · 09/05/2022 07:28

And DH is not wealthy. His parents are rich, but he is not. We are very comfortable financially, but not rich.

there just seems like a lot of things going on in your life (in your late 40s, with kids) other than work and hobbies. Takes a lot of headspace and responsibility. None of that I am getting any support with.

Feel overwhelmed and lonely tbh.

physically (sexually) our relationship is good, although we seem to be on completely different schedules (I get up first and go to bed first, he gets up later and goes to bed much later): so in other respects, we are like ships that pass in the night.

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BlueLorikeet · 09/05/2022 08:08

Nothing to do with him being Asian or a breadwinner imho, my British husband who earns half of what I do is exactly the same :)

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 09/05/2022 08:13

I'd be more furious that he refers to your job as a vanity job. That then breeds the rest of it "ops job isn't important therefore she can do all the grunt work while I focus on the actual important job"

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KangarooKenny · 09/05/2022 08:32

He’s not going to change, question is whether you love him/your life enough to stay.

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THisbackwithavengeance · 09/05/2022 08:38

Come on, OP.

You are married to a high earner, you only work PT, you can afford to outsource the cleaning, gardening and DIY.

And you are moaning about having to arrange a holiday by yourself?

You could always LTB and then do all the same jobs, plus work FT, have less income, and be unable to afford any help.

You are complaining about nothing.

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DoItAfraid · 09/05/2022 08:44

THisbackwithavengeance · 09/05/2022 08:38

Come on, OP.

You are married to a high earner, you only work PT, you can afford to outsource the cleaning, gardening and DIY.

And you are moaning about having to arrange a holiday by yourself?

You could always LTB and then do all the same jobs, plus work FT, have less income, and be unable to afford any help.

You are complaining about nothing.

I really don’t agree with you. I don’t think this is nothing.

OP mentions being lonely. Being lonely in your marriage is one of the most painful mind fucks ever.
Yes no doubt it is nice to be able to afford to outsource domestic jobs but true companionship, closeness, feeling like you have an actual life partner - these things are all priceless imho.

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TheHatinaCat · 09/05/2022 08:52

THisbackwithavengeance · 09/05/2022 08:38

Come on, OP.

You are married to a high earner, you only work PT, you can afford to outsource the cleaning, gardening and DIY.

And you are moaning about having to arrange a holiday by yourself?

You could always LTB and then do all the same jobs, plus work FT, have less income, and be unable to afford any help.

You are complaining about nothing.

That's really helpful!

The Op WORKS FOUR DAYS in a demanding job and does EVERYTHING ELSE.

If he's not receptive to change I would be considering my options. It's one thing doing everything and it's another doing everything and being disrespected as well. Calling your job a vanity job is overstepping. I would be upset too.

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KangarooKenny · 09/05/2022 08:54

If you weren’t with him you could let the resentment go, and you wouldn’t have to organise/clean his part.

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Ohsugarhoneyicetea · 09/05/2022 09:07

The main issue with this is the lack of partnership, you're not a team, he lives his own life on his terms and you facilitate it. Its a very selfish way to behave in a relationship, dripping with male privilege and entitlement. In my experience most men are like this though. Really you just have to decide if its what you want in life and if the alternative would be better or worse for you.

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Dacquoise · 09/05/2022 09:21

BlueLorikeet · 09/05/2022 08:08

Nothing to do with him being Asian or a breadwinner imho, my British husband who earns half of what I do is exactly the same :)

Yep my exH was the same, British and eventually a high earner (because of his workaholism). No interest in anything but his work and sporting holidays. I used to say he wouldn't know what country we were in on holiday if there wasn't a sign at the airport!

I realised through therapy that he had extreme issues with intimacy (dismissive avoidant). His perpetual absence and keeping me at arms length was an avoidance strategy. Do you think @AhAgain this could be the case with your husband? If so, the only solution is therapy for him to alter his attachment style?

Didn't work with mine ( as he was very content with the situation) but I am now very happy with a more securely attached partner.

Don't waste your life being tied in a marriage to a 'single' man. It's an awful role model for your children.

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Thesefeetaremadeforwalking · 09/05/2022 09:40

@Dacquoise

"Yep my exH was the same, British and eventually a high earner (because of his workaholism). No interest in anything but his work and sporting holidays. I used to say he wouldn't know what country we were in on holiday if there wasn't a sign at the airport!
I realised through therapy that he had extreme issues with intimacy (dismissive avoidant). His perpetual absence and keeping me at arms length was an avoidance strategy."

^^
This nails it.

My exH was the same - just substitute "football" for "sporting holidays".

The problem with this style of attachment is that the individual won't get their needs met in the relationship and often feel lonely as a result.

When I put my foot down, and asked that he pull his weight more, and spent more time at home, he started an affair.
One of his (many) excuses/reasons was "he didn't get enough affection" ( ! )

He eventually married OP but unless he has addressed his issues it will be just "the same book with a different cover".

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muppamup · 09/05/2022 09:48

OP, does this man have any redeeming features? I would not be with someone who treated me like this.

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Dacquoise · 09/05/2022 10:06

@Thesefeetaremadeforwalking , have a 💐for team #miserable marriages. I think I ended up with a dismissive avoidant because my family of origin are dismissive avoidants. It seemed normal to me. I also suspect my exH was a cheater, I found condoms after he moved out and his next wife appeared very quickly. It's another tactic to keep distance with the spouse.

He's now going through a second divorce. Not surprised as he would have been a nightmare in lockdown confined to a house with another human being. Also estranged from our daughter due to unresolved issues with wife number two. Really sad for all involved.

If this is the case for the Op I would recommend therapy for her too. I was anxiously preoccupied attached which are magnets for these types of marriages. People pleasing and no boundaries kept me locked in for far too long. What a waste of life!

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Wordlewobble · 09/05/2022 10:07

I haven’t read the whole thread but if you are also nearing 50 you could be menopausal or pre menopausal (not that you are in the wrong here but it can really mess with your head, feelings, self esteem and confidence etc).


So from your list your DH needs to either take on more or sole responsibility for some tasks either by doing it himself or organising and paying for someone else to do it.

sorting out the house is me
trying to get anything done very hard (unless literally we are leaking water or something): he has no interest in home improvements or decorating (either doing any or getting someone in). (This should be more shared your DH needs to step up here).
sofa falling apart? No interest in doing anything. garden, that’s me. (This should also be joint. But if DH not interested I would go sofa shopping myself).
fences - no interest they are falling down. (Shared or DH).
holidays? That’s me. - (If you like holidays as I do and your DH is less keen I would carry on as I wouldn’t trust DH to pick somewhere I was happy with).
school stuff? Me (I do this too but also work PT and am much more organised than DH).
childcare during holidays or nights out? Me
days out? Me (as above)
anything out? Me (as above)
washing? Me (as above although DH will sometimes put a wash on if I ask)
too much rubbish? Need a dump run or skip? Me (DH does this)
friends coming around? Only if I arrange it?
Keeping in touch with friends? Only if I do.
socialising with the neighbours? No interest.
christmas? Yes, that’s all me. (Maybe your DH is less sociable than you so less interested, I also do all this and would rather do it than leave it to DH).
birthdays? Yes me (as above me).

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noborisno · 09/05/2022 13:17

So he's the breadwinner and is basically tell you, via calling your job a vanity job, that you don't need to work and instead he would like you to take care of the house.

Did he not tell you this beforehand? He should have done. Many would be happy with such an arrangement.

You need to discuss what you want from each other now and see what's reconcilable. Should have done this before settling down really.

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WombatNo12 · 09/05/2022 13:22

Yep, it's ingrained sexist traits.

When you're menopausal, you suddenly notice & shift from making excuses & trying to frantically compensate to being fed up of carrying the mental load.

I tell my DH I want to live with a grown up fairly often... 😁

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Besttobe8001 · 09/05/2022 13:23

AgentProvocateur · 09/05/2022 05:01

I think it’s fair that the part-time worker in a relationship (whether that’s male or female) does all that extra stuff. At the moment, I work more hours than DH and I have a longer commute. The last thing I want to do when I get in after a 12 hour day is housework/organising our social life. In the past, I’ve worked fewer hours so I’ve done that.

This is true but what the OP is describing is an attitude problem. Whoever does the least should be appreciative and still engage in conversation about what the holiday should be or where they might like to go for Christmas or what sort of fence would be a good replacement. You don't just opt out of family life.

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AhAgain · 09/05/2022 18:35

Yes I am pre-menopausal and on HRT.

both parents have passed away: so I don’t have ageing parents to, but equally don’t have much familial support (ie sounding board).

when we met, we were both university students. I had a career, but took a break to have DS and until he went to Junior School. This DH got used to that. Have been back about 5 years. Have been married over 20 years.

part of me wonders about giving up my career and being a full time housewife again, but that really does limit my options and independence. I have a good job (about £50k).

It is an attitude thing. I just feel overwhelmed: honestly if I didn’t do anything, nothing would get done. He has no enthusiasm for or pride in anything. Even if I didn’t work, I would probably still want him to have some interest in family life. Rather than being completely passive.

When we go out for a lunch / coffee and I am at the counter, I literally have to say “you order for yourself then” things like that. 😳

I am knackered and life weary I think. Feels like having another child.

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