Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

dh and i barely talking, probably my fault....

(62 Posts)
Fairylea Sun 28-Apr-13 13:09:15

I am feeling really sad and angry at the same time... I'm hoping posting about it might be cathartic or at the very least help give me some perspective.

Dh and I have for the past week or so barely talked, and had no physical contact at all which is totally out of character. Things have been difficult for a while, I'm going through a very tough time with my mum (which I had a thread on, I will try and link in a bit for background). It's come to a head because my mum's dog bit someone so obviously I cannot take the dc to her house anymore. I understand and know this. But mum thinks it's all a bit of a joke the dog biting the postman and doesn't understand why I won't bring the dc round, she is however welcome to visit ours. We live 5 minutes away.

Dh hates my mum. Understandable considering the background. And he gets frustrated that I seem to make allowances for her behavior based on the fact she's my mum. He gets annoyed I don't hate her as much as he does. If it was down to him she would not see the dc at all. I feel sad about the relationship with my mum and feel very caught between dh and my mum. When mum texts or comes to visit dh gets into a mood and becomes very negative about it.

This has all built up into me talking to him and saying I don't particularly like my mum but she is my mum and it's hard for me. Especially as an only child and no other family. He said he won't say anything but he just can't help himself.

I am also struggling with looking after two dc (one 11 months one 10 year old) all day every day no support as he works everyday most days 8-10 and we have no family or friends to help. Literally no one. So I'm doing it but it's bloody hard.

We seem to constantly get into this tiredness competition over whose life is more difficult and I feel I can't have a moan without him alluding to how awful work is for him at the moment. So I've literally just stopped talking to him really.

This week on his day off we went into town which is actually 40 min away in the car as we live rurally. Ds started moaning and whinging in the car as its a long journey and I got very fed up feeling sorry for ds and generally stressed. Dh then got fed up with me as I couldn't calm down even when we got to town. I felt really wound up. And I was annoyed as the only reason we went was for some book that he wanted. He can't drive so I had to go to. None of the shops had the book so he ended up in a mood and had to order it online later anyway !

We ended up having lunch somewhere and ds was enjoying some food and suddenly had a bit of a choke (which is one of my major anxiety things as dd nearly choked and died when she was little) . Dh went to offer him some more food and I don't think he realised ds was choking so I put my hand out to stop dh and dh got annoyed with me and said he knew what he was doing.... it's so frustrating, he thought I was attacking his parenting, ie that I'm the better parent.

It has now been a few days and neither of us are really talking at all. I have said sorry for snapping etc and just said I'm finding everything difficult. He said well there's nothing he can do as I obviously don't want anything to do with him... which is partly true as when I'm stressed I just want to be on my own. I'm usually in bed by the time he gets in as I just don't want to have conversations that time of night.

Ds is sleeping 12 hours a night so it's not a sleep issue.

I don't know where to go from here. None of this makes much sense.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Fri 31-May-13 22:55:19

Unfortunately you can't have everything you want in life. You have mentioned a lot of aspects of it that you don't want to change - you don't want to move to a different area, you don't want to lose your DH, you don't want to cut contact with your mum, you don't want to use childcare. But if nothing changes, there is no way out of this situation for you - except for the 'giving up everything' option you have mentioned where you just run away on your own. I can see, frankly, why that sounds appealing but for most people it just isn't a reality, plus it would lose you all the good things in your life as well as the bad ones.

I second the suggestion of counselling and I also think some time on your own, without having to please either your mum or your husband, would help. I'd really urge you to think about your childcare aversion and think about getting someone else to take the kids at least for a few hours here and there. Could a family support organisation like HomeStart (if you have them near you) help?

Snazzywaitingforsummer Fri 31-May-13 22:58:39

OK, have just read the thread you linked in your second post. You know, really, I think, that your mum has too much of a hold in your life. The question is, how are you going to change that?

Fairylea Fri 31-May-13 23:05:36

Thanks. You're right something does have to change. I've seen a different nursery locally and thought I might go and see it... I don't know if I'd go back to work, or even if putting ds in nursery for an afternoon or two a week would give me some time to be able to move forwards with everything. I'm worried something will happen to him at nursery and I'd blame myself... irrational I know.

I have just come up to bed now after waiting up for dh and making an effort to talk, just generally. I am trying. In my own way.

I just feel very unhappy in all aspects of my life. It's not a depression as such because when I do have time alone I don't feel depressed. For example, when ds has a nap I have been doing a lot of gardening this week and enjoying doing that. But when everyone is around me I just feel overwhelmed. I don't think that's very normal is it?

Snazzywaitingforsummer Fri 31-May-13 23:42:45

Well, to be honest, if everyone around you is stressing you out then you probably will feel overwhelmed when there are all there. And if in contrast, when you're on your own and it's peaceful and you get to do something nice and fulfilling that you have control over, then both those responses actually seem pretty rational to me.

It says that your depression comes from your dealings with the people in your life. In other words, it's not you in essence so much as you in your current situation. Which is good, because then if the situation changes then your feelings have the chance to change.

I would definitely consider using the new nursery for 1/2 afternoons a week, and spend that time doing things you like and to hell with anything else. To be honest, while many parents have fears about what will happen to their child in childcare, it's very rare anything does, and it sounds to me like this fear is actually fear of a future where you might in some way not be dependent on your mum, because you've internalised the idea that you can never do without her and terrible things will happen if you try. I would really push yourself to trust others with your kids because that will give you more freedom. Plus it would open up the opportunity for you and your DH to have more quality time together and I think that would help, as well as the time on your own.

Hattieboomboom Fri 31-May-13 23:47:01

Fairylea, you're doing well with the steps you've taken to distance yourself from your Mother. I can understand that the minimal contact etc is a big deal for you.

It must be especially hard as it hasn't made you any happier, but it was never going to instantly.

You have to stick to your guns, that's really important.

And now, as has been said in a previous post, your focus has to be on yourself, your DH and DC.

Its no wonder you don't fancy sex btw; you're depressed and not even talking to your DH - when the situation there improves, the other will come. The same applies to your confidence with looking after your DS - you're a wonderful mother to him, I can tell from the way you've said several times how much you enjoy being at home with him.

What happened with the counselling?

Try and let your DH in - he can help you feel happier.

topsyandturvy Sat 01-Jun-13 10:13:26

When you see your dh there is no need to "talk" if you are both not ready for that. Just a chat about casual stuff every day is going to start to improve things between you, whereas avoiding the poor man will make it worse.

You need to work hard to get comfortable with your new identity, really make some effort, the "not closely ensnared with mother" identity. I know it is really hard when you have a major life change like this, coming to terms with who the new you is (I have been there myself) but please try hard to look forwards and not back and when you are through the adjustment period you will feel truly relieved, like a new person

DistanceCall Sat 01-Jun-13 13:15:11

I think you should sit down with your husband and talk. Perhaps you might want to show him this thread, or your original post. It seems like you are both very exhausted, very tense people who care about each other.

And it sounds like each of you doesn't know what the other one is thinking/feeling because he/you won't say it. For example, when he gets annoyed because you won't have a snack, have you said something like "I'm trying to lose some weight, because I don't like looking like this and I would feel happier and sexier if I was a bit thinner"?

And I agree that counselling might be a good idea. Having a place where you can talk in front of an objetive third party would be good.

DistanceCall Sat 01-Jun-13 13:16:58

I just read your thread about your mother. Get some counselling for yourself. You are trying to disentagle yourself from your mother's suffocating web, and it's hard, more so if you do it on your own. Get some support.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 01-Jun-13 14:41:24

Do you feel disloyal to your mother for putting yourself & DH first?

I think you're doing well reducing contact.

There is a feature in today's Guardian about people bitten by dogs. Says a lot your mum and how she carries on in her own sweet way when she wouldn't countenance thinking about weighing up risks about keeping a dog that bit the postman when she has GDCs.

I suspect you are feeling raw and need time to adapt. I am not taking sides but I feel your DH might feel like by withdrawing you are punishing him.

Are you punishing him?

DistanceCall Sun 02-Jun-13 01:52:27

I understand that you worry about your mother. But what you are doing is killing your marriage and potentially harming your children. And of course, it is killing you and your life.

PavingAnotherRoad Sun 02-Jun-13 14:33:53

"I just feel very unhappy in all aspects of my life. It's not a depression as such because when I do have time alone I don't feel depressed. For example, when ds has a nap I have been doing a lot of gardening this week and enjoying doing that. But when everyone is around me I just feel overwhelmed. I don't think that's very normal is it"?

OP this paragraph struck chord with me. You have a lot to deal with emotionally at the moment wrt to your relationship with your mother, on which I am not going to comment because I feel I would be a little out of my depth. But PLEASE do not feel 'abnormal' for enjoying a little snatch of 'alone time'.

Over the last few years (after changing jobs) I am dealing with constant interaction in my day-to-day life - when I get up, when I travelled to work, a public facing job, then at home in the evenings - and I find it very difficult to deal with the constant stimulation. It has affected my mental health leaving me feeling constantly anxious, paranoid and generally unhappy in my life. Until recently I would find myself sitting in the bathroom(!) with my head in my hands, despairing, thinking 'I just want an hour alone, with no-one looking at me or talking at me' and believing that I must be some kind of anti-social freak who isn't 'normal' because I cannot deal with being in company ALL THE TIME. I would also go to bed early and pretend to be asleep so that I did not have to 'deal with' interacting in the evenings (and then fret about the horrible person I was for doing so - adding to the stress!).

A few months ago I stumbled across the book 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking' and it has been a revelation. If you are an introvert (seems possible from your posts?) there is evidence that you physically NEED periods of low stimulation/alone time to 'recharge' and help maintain a strong healthy psyche. Over stimulation can encourage anxiety and confusion.

Reading about the possible neurological reasons for the feelings I was experiencing has led to a certain level of self-acceptance. I now recognise that it is ok to structure my life in a way that ensures I have a little bit of 'alone time' every once in a while, alongside the time I spend with my family, and recognise this time as essential to my (now much improved thankfully) mental health, rather than feeling guilty about 'neglecting' the people I love, and labelling myself as 'anti-social'

Anyway - apologies for the massive post that is not really 'on topic' as such, but your post made me think of the self-loathing/sense of failure I used to feel for 'needing' time alone and not being more 'social'. Please DO NOT FEEL GUILY OR ABNORMAL for enjoying short periods of time alone as a part of your life.

PavingAnotherRoad Sun 02-Jun-13 14:50:36

Oh no that really was loooong - apologies. I guess what I was trying to say, albeit in a really long and convoluted way, is that you can be a wife and a mother, and your life might be stressful and complicated at the moment, or your life might be really easy at the moment, but in any of these circumstances it is natural to enjoy some time alone if you are an introvert. So please don't beat yourself up about it, or automatically take it as a sign that there must be something 'wrong' with your marriage.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now