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Relationships

Looking for guidance...relationship resentment

42 replies

AnotherGrilledCheese · 24/01/2023 22:32

I'm wondering if any of you have gone through a similar situation or can talk some sense into me. I'm in my mid-30s, with my partner for 4 years. He's funny, romantic, kind and makes me laugh like no other. But we are also very different, especially around his drive and life expectations. He's always been this way but I seem to be getting more frustrated at him recently, so I don't know if I've changed.

I have a great career and am very ambitious. My partner is happy with where his life is, thinks it could be better but isn't interested to put more work in. When I started a side business that made my income twice his, he said he wished he had a side business...and then didn't do anything more. When we've both had a long day at work, he just wants to watch movies and I'm left to take care of the cleaning, building my rental property (my 3rd side business), researching investments, etc. I feel tired from juggling a lot. He asks how he can help, but says he doesn't take the lead because I'm a perfectionist, so if he helps me with laundry, I'll just tell him he used the wrong detergent. If he helps me call the plumber, I'll just tell him he asked the wrong questions that led to a higher bid. I admit I'm a perfectionist and like things done correctly, but I can't help feeling annoyed that he doesn't know what's correct.

I feel ridiculous for complaining about this, because sometimes I think he's simply able to enjoy the present and accept mistakes, and I'm focused on the future and perfection. Are we too different? How do we make it work?

This has become a bigger weight on my mind recently as we're talking about kids and who would get up when the baby cries when we're sleeping. He insisted that workload should be 50/50. It sounds fair, but I couldn't help feeling resentful of him for not "wanting" or offering to let me sleep more since I pull my weight in other ways. Anyone else had a partner you felt wasn't pulling their weight before kids? How did it improve / not improve after kids?

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Bard6817 · 24/01/2023 22:38

You clearly are driven.
He isn’t.

It’s about long term goals…. Do you have the same goals in mind, or do yours exceed his, or is he more complacent about his day to day in the knowledge that his goal will happen naturally.

Some people are driven, others just have blue eyes and great things happen to them toward their plan.

What won’t work, is if in ten years you want stately home and he wants 2 bed cottage. I’m sure you know that.

50/50 is fair generally, but it should be adaptive to the daily/weekly circumstances and how weary the parties are.

I think only you can answer the question.

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Lollypop701 · 24/01/2023 23:20

The header says it all , you resent it. If you want to share the spoils of Uber careers it’s not going anywhere with him. but who are you going to do the fun stuff with? Do you even agree on what that is . You don’t have to want the same thing if you both appreciate what you are bringing to the table and feel the contribution is equally valid

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supercali77 · 24/01/2023 23:22

If ambition is something you highly value then the resentment will only grow and tbh its unfair to him. Hes happy with his lot and offers help, none of that deserves resentment

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Zanatdy · 25/01/2023 06:44

Stick a label on the detergent like a child and tell him to get on with it. There’s plenty of stuff he can do that doesn’t require a professional to do! He’s just using that as an excuse not to do stuff. Do you have joint finances?

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MaireadMcSweeney · 25/01/2023 06:46

You spend your evenings researching investments and building third businesses? You sound fun 🤔 seriously, when do you relax? I agree that housework needs doing but could you pay a cleaner?! How can you expect him to contribute if you have a go when he does it wrong?

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Warspite · 25/01/2023 06:57

There’s room in life for plodders.
Seems like he’s a plodder.

The long and short of it is you're not entirely compatible at this stage of your life. You’re driven he is not.
Sorry to say, n your shoes, I don’t think I’d have babies with him because your child rearing style and goals will clearly not be his. You simply won’t be on the same page and you’ll hate that. It’ll all end in tears.

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Beercrispsandnuts · 25/01/2023 07:01

I don’t think you can feel resentment over the fact he won’t do more than 50% for kids who don’t even exist. Surely you want to do 50%. It’s your choice to work all these hours and have three careers. You can’t then blame him as you need to work a lot.

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KangarooKenny · 25/01/2023 07:03

You’re not compatible, and bringing a baby into it will make it worse.

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rookiemere · 25/01/2023 07:06

You just don't sound compatible.

It sounds like he does try to do some of the household things, but you - by your own admission- want it done exactly the way you would do it. Honestly that's not going to get better with a baby.

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Captainfairylights · 25/01/2023 07:11

Would you like him better if his lack of ambition translated into him taking up a more supportive role? Maybe this is what you subsconsciously thought would happen, which is the scenario that would allow you to have children and maintain your career. I don't think this is going to happen with him though he's less ambitious than you, but without a corresponding more supportive/nurturing side. I think for this to work, when children come along, you will have to outsource all the domestic stuff cleaners, nanny, etc -- and this will frustrate you if he is not bringing in the big bucks to help fund it.
I think it is a sad fact that men, generally, just do not value ambition in women. Deep down, they expect to be cared for, no matter what they bring to the table. And probably, deep down, women do not respect men who don't earn and attempt to reduce a woman's burdens so she can have children without worrying.

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Captainfairylights · 25/01/2023 07:12

I don't know why some of my post is scored through!

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YouSoundLovely · 25/01/2023 07:12

It's somewhat odd that you think he should be 'rewarding' or 'compensating' you for your drivenness (which is presumably your own choice) by taking on more of (what you presumably consider) the grunt work. Think for a moment how this post would read if you were a man.

'Ambitious' sounds in your case as if it means financially ambitious. It could be that your partner's 'ambitions', or aspirations, are elsewhere. My dh and I have aspirations that we pursue, but they are more related to developing our skill and expertise than maximising our income, so you would quite possibly think us plodders.

Apart from the fact that chasing perfection is no way to live real life, your annoyance that he 'doesn't know what's correct' implies that you believe there is only one 'correct' and it's what you think is so. I believe strongly in doing things well, but I'd struggle to live with that level of rigidity.

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AnotherGrilledCheese · 25/01/2023 07:20

Ironically, in 10 years I want to retire and travel with the kids every summer, while he doesn’t mind working, likes the daily structure and his work friends. Ha I suppose I surround myself with similar friends so never thought this wasn't fun. I've always felt like the lazy one! 😅

I think the resentment comes from small things - when we work from home and are both in meetings, I'm always expected to run and get the door, stop to make our lunches, etc. When he thought about his side business, I was really excited he might keep busy and learn new things, but he was back on the couch. I don’t want to feel resentment, guess I wish he would take more initiative and want to grow.

Very open to how others have resolved feelings of resentment and bounced back in the relationship

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Notonthestairs · 25/01/2023 07:22

You've chosen to add 2 further businesses to your working day.

Are you irritated that he hasn't done the same? Is your ideal that you'd have 6 businesses between you?

Or is that you believe he should be contributing more domestic chores to (in your mind) make up for the perceived shortfall?

Partners shouldn't have to be mirror images of each other - just able to work as a team.

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Merlott · 25/01/2023 07:25

You both wfh and you're "expected" to make both your lunches?

You need communication skills OP.

First internally to work out what YOU WANT and then externally to communicate to him!

I would not be making lunch because someone "expected" me to. What are you, 10? Grow up.

"DH I don't think it's fair I make you lunch every day. Moving forward I want us to take turns. You are responsible for making lunch half the time and I expect the food to be as good as anything I would make."

Then stick to it...!!!!!!!!!

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Daffodils320 · 25/01/2023 07:26

I think my exH could have written this post about me! He considered me too unambitious and a plodder too while he wanted to strive for more & more and never seemed content.
Short answer is - it didn't work for us but we had kids and spent far too long (and some extra marital affairs on his side) before realising it.
I would suggest you have a long think about what you really want and if this relationship is right for you before you go further - and definitely before you have children.
Children are amazing but having a baby is like throwing a hand grenade into a relationship and if there are any cracks already there it probably won't survive.

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arethereanyleftatall · 25/01/2023 07:28

I was just about to type like everyone else / you're just not compatible. Recognise it and split up, which will be very very hard but needs to be done. Wedge wil only get larger.

And then you wrote 'he expects me to make the lunch' ...you what now? Why? This moves it in to a whole new area of ltb.

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YouSoundLovely · 25/01/2023 07:30

I have sympathy with your dh there - the idea of retiring at (at a guess) 40 wouldn't have appealed to me, nor my dh, as there's a reason (beyond the practicalities of making a living) a working life is long - you gain experience, develop skill, learn. And retirement can mean rudderlessness for many people even when they do so at a more typical age.

The being expected to get the door etc would piss me off, but surely that is simple enough to communicate about? 'Dp, I've noticed it's always me who deals with interruptions when we're wfh. Can we change this?' Even if you have to set days where it's your job and days where it's his.

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Jimboscott0115 · 25/01/2023 07:32

You're too incompatible to make this work OP, I can't see how it can last long term.

He's not driven enough to keep you're interest and you're likely too driven at the expense of actually enjoying yourself. Having children really doesn't sound a sensible idea right now.

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Blanca87 · 25/01/2023 07:38

Stop answering the door and making his lunch.

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KatherineJaneway · 25/01/2023 07:44

You're not compatible. You have lots of drive and ambition and he is happy to just pootle along. You need to accept that and deal with it if the relationship is to last.

If you have a go at him for not using the right washing powder, how will you be when he is looking after your kids and isn't doing it exactly to your standards? Very stressful.

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frozendaisy · 25/01/2023 07:45

So you are 4 years in and want to change him.

But this is who he is.

My H changed, big change instantly, then a gradual change for the better after having kids, but I knew he would. I can't really explain how, he wanted to change, but just needed that bigger reason.

But it's a gamble.

Personally I would take kind, funny, hot over driven anyday. You can be the go getting one, he can be more of a homemaker. That's if you let him use whatever laundry soap he wants.

Trying to control too much is not very good for you.

And you can't be a perfectionist with kids.

Perhaps you can talk to him and try and meet in the middle somewhere.

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GreyCarpet · 25/01/2023 13:08

I was really excited he might keep busy

May be he just doesn't want to spend all day every day filling it with 'busyness'.

When do you spend any time together?

What do you do for fun?

You make it sound like you are right and he is wrong. You're not and he isn't. You're just different.

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GerbilsForever24 · 25/01/2023 13:15

You are incompatible for multiple reasons:

You are ambitious and driven, he's not. This is exacerbated becuase you want a driven man.

He is lazy and does not do his share around the house, making him basically a cocklodger.

You are a perfectionist and a bit controlling and lack flexibility.

Overall, I'd say point 1 is just one of those things, move on. Point 2 is all on him and you should LTB. Point 3 is something you should probably work on as otherwise you're never going to be happy and will never find a real partner.

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SlouchingTowardsBethlehemAgain · 25/01/2023 13:21

If he expects you to make his lunch when you are both wfh don't have kids with him, just don't - you will find yourself doing everything and hating him.

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