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Help my husband is driving me mad

(23 Posts)
grandmacarole Fri 05-Mar-21 21:18:08

Hi we’ve been married 46 years this year, blissfully happy until recently. We both retired in summer of 2019 it’s been tough together 24/7 in a small house together. He has severe hearing problems I admit but it seems puts all his effort into concentrating outside. Eg Rotary, volunteering as vaccine administrator comes home and has no patience for me. I speak doesn’t answer gets annoyed at me for repeating loudly etc it goes on. Lockdown hasn’t helped but much as I love him I don’t really like him anymore. I fantasise of life on my own not doing his washing, the cooking, cleaning etc I would never leave him (I don’t think) but do unhappy with life. Anyone feel the same!

Septimia Fri 05-Mar-21 21:30:42

I think you've hit the nail on the head - it's 'tough together 24/7 in a small house'. However much you care for someone, being obliged to spend so long in close proximity as we have during the various lockdowns is bound to cause friction. He's getting out more than you, by the sound of it, so you're perhaps suffering more.

I would suggest that you try to acknowledge that and plan what activities you'll do as all our lives open up again. When you can mix with other people more and get out and about a bit, hopefully the things that are irritating you will fall back into perspective and you'll be able rub along together better.

Hetty58 Fri 05-Mar-21 21:35:58

I think it's a very common situation, at the moment, with people cooped up together.

My neighbour's OH is driving her up the wall too. He has memory problems, rapidly getting worse - so asks the same question over and over again.

She's at the end of her tether. I suggested earplugs and a sudden 'hearing problem'. She could get him to write things down instead.

ellienate Fri 05-Mar-21 21:38:10

I sympathise. Being together in a small space for a while can take it's toll and it sounds like he isn't being nice to you or contributing to the household and that you both need time to think about what you want from eachother and then have a conversation. I'm surprised you've lasted as long as you have if you have to come here for ways to deal with an issue like this, or is it just moral support you want?

Corryanna Fri 05-Mar-21 23:20:27

Grannacarole, I totally sympathise especially “I fantasise about life on my own.......” he does his garden, house maintenance stuff, internet banking then spouts forth that we are having a day to ourselves going for a walk and a picnic (whooop-eee-do!,) he gets taken aback when I say no, I’ve choir music to go over or want to get on the computer to catch up with my old friends....... Elliienate, we’ve been together 43 years and I’m not looking for ways to deal with this issue. I don’t think grandmacarole is either, it’s sharing how we are right now to see how others feel. I don’t know where the years have gone-is it a woman/wife thing where we throw ourselves into husband, children, adult children+in-laws, grandchildren caring then want time for ourselves ? I don’t want to be on my own but I’m definitely going to holiday with some like minded girlfriends when it’s safe to do so!

Redhead56 Fri 05-Mar-21 23:56:28

We worked together that certainly had its moments. I worked a couple of days DH full-time. Becoming grandparents changed things I helped with babies DH retired and tried to overtake the kitchen.
I resented it and we argued a fair bit. It's a similar situation with our friends who retired same time as us.
Since the first lockdown we have learnt to compromise be more organised and give each other space. Missing our family has brought us together even more and we appreciate everything we have.

welbeck Sat 06-Mar-21 03:08:25

since you are both retired, i can see why you are annoyed at doing all the housework, laundry, cleaning, cooking.
how about involving him in some of this.
for both your benefits.
if he is reliant on you for all this, how would he manage if you were ill, and it's good to share tasks.

Nicegranny Sat 06-Mar-21 04:10:18

Granmacarole I am looking at this as a happy single woman.
You were blissfully happy for 46 years.
Is it because your husband isn’t focusing on you? Or did you did everything together?
I had two rotten marriages and decided to make my own happiness at the age of 49 and never to have a relationship with a man ever again. Ideally I would have wanted to be happily married and grow old with one of my husband’s but I made bad choices and except the fact that I couldn’t be bothered to start the process ever again.
There’s one thing I would like to say, if you have had so many happy years together during this strange time maybe you could be a little more tolerant and talk to your husband about the things you are unhappy about.
Perhaps he feels the comardery of being a part of this pandemic doing his bit. Perhaps you are not looking at his needs of a relatively newly retired man. Look at some things that you have always wanted to do away from the joined at the hip retirement that some people have.
It sounds to me that your retirement hasn’t flowed yet in normal times for you to adapt to a lovely rest and recreation for yourself.
Bugger doing all the chores yourself, leave them until he runs out of clean underwear and then ask him exactly what he wants of his retirement.
Surely eventually he might see that it’s not “retired hotel” and we are all responsible to look after each other in a relationship.

But hey l wouldn’t wash a mans pants unless he paid me I never wanted to be an unpaid housekeeper.

But if you have always been happy give him a break and talk. ❤️

OlderthanIthink Sat 06-Mar-21 06:53:02

@nicegranny is right @grandmacarole - why on earth are you skivvying for him?

That needs to stop! Possession of a vagina doesn't equal servant and possession of a penis doesn't entitle him to be waited on hand and foot.

You need to sit down and discuss how you equally divide the chores now he is at home.

Katie59 Sat 06-Mar-21 07:53:20

My sympathies with the lockdown in your first year of retirement, you really do need to be more sensitive to his disability of deafness. If it was a mobility disability it would need much more effort, don’t try to talk to him from the next room, speak to his face in a normal voice. It means you have to gain his attention then he will hear you properly. I am deaf on one side so I know the frustrations

When it comes to washing and housework, leave his stuff in a pile, when he mentions it, quietly suggest that now you’re both retired you share duties, men can be trained, make sure you do the ironing yourself.

Billybob4491 Sat 06-Mar-21 08:01:14

Corryanna, life on your own is not all fun you know.

Lucca Sat 06-Mar-21 08:56:39

“Blissfully happy” yet you do all the housework, so you must have always done it I guess ? So wait till he’s listening and sort it out. He sounds like a nice guy doing all that voluntary work.

sodapop Sat 06-Mar-21 09:19:18

Retirement is such an important phase of our lives and yet people do not prepare for it. A couple living together need to discuss their expectations of this new way of life. Division of chores, holidays, care of relatives and grandchildren etc. Finances and how we will live in possibly more reduced circumstances. It's all important when you are together 24/7.
Time to have this discussion with your husband grandmacarole its good he has some outside interests as you don't need to be joined at the hip.

grannyrebel7 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:20:13

You could probably sort out the hearing problem with a hearing aid. I'm sure that would make him happier and then maybe things will improve. Worth a try.

Jillyjosie Sat 06-Mar-21 10:36:09

I completely understand the frustrations. Locked in a small house 24/7 is just awful. I have the other side of the coin, he's clever, held a highly professional job, does everything, literally everything in the house unless I stop him. I sometimes say that all he needs is a cardboard cutout wife.
I fantasise about my own place, in the meantime I do as many online activities as I can to carve out some space for me and I chat with friends online. I am lucky enough to have my own room. If it doesn't feel better post lockdown, it's got to end.

PamelaJ1 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:38:10

Gosh he goes out grandmacarole count your blessings??
Don’t you enjoy the time on your own or doing something interesting yourself? I know it’s difficult at the moment but soon you will have more freedom to develop your interests.
Reading some of these comments makes me smile, some resonate some don’t but we all have to find our solutions.
Mine is to work part time.
My DH seems to think that I don’t know how to cook so I let him do it. What isn’t to like?
I just thank him a lot and don’t mention that I’ve just cleaned the bathroom. That’s not nearly as important as how well he has hoovered. ??
I was going to make another light hearted comment but it could possibly be construed as sexist so I won’t!

sodapop Sat 06-Mar-21 12:51:53

My husband is very helpful round the house and does all the cooking. Apart from the usual ^I've done the hoovering for you !^ I am expected to check everything and offer praise for jobs well done. Like PamelaJ bathrooms, oven cleaning etc are not mentioned.
Hey ho I'm a lot better off than some other retired women who are still expected to do all the house work.

LadyGracie Sat 06-Mar-21 13:17:02

I was going to comment this morning to say that DH seems to think everything in the house is womens work. However this morning he asked if I'd like him to dust and polish. Shock horror!

Baggs Sat 06-Mar-21 13:19:46

Not saying this is the case with your husband, grandmacarole, but just for a heads up: "There is a strong link between hearing loss and dementia. According to one study, people with mild hearing loss are two times as likely to develop dementia, and this increases to three times for those with moderate hearing loss (Lin et al 2011)"
link: hearing loss and dementia

Might be worth a hearing test and possibly hearing aids.

sazz1 Sat 06-Mar-21 20:37:23

My OH has started to get bossy during this lockdown. This is something he's never done all our married life. I'm quite a strong person so have put him straight quite a few times now and it's easing off. Mainly minor things like telling me to sit in the garden when I'm busy in the house, telling me what to do around the house, telling me I should go out walking or shopping with him (but I'm trying to stay in) etc. Think the lockdown is having a strange effect on people

Redhead56 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:00:10

Sazzl I would agree to sitting in the garden and say a nice glass of wine will do too! I never ever take my husband shopping.

foxie48 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:03:12

My joking test of how much I like someone is whether I'd be able to spend a week in a caravan with them, for most of my friends it would probably be a weekend! I have spent the last year mainly cooped up with my husband of 35 years and not surprisingly we have, at times, got a bit scratchy with each other. He's actually very helpful around the place and certainly pulls his weight but we are both getting a bit pedantic in our old age. My way of trying to keep our ship in calm waters is to tell him if he's annoying me, apologise when I'm in the wrong and try to find something to laugh about and most importantly, have my own hobbies and space so I don't have him around all day. Honestly, I think most long term marriages are held together with compromise and an acceptance that nothing is perfect.

timetogo2016 Sun 28-Mar-21 14:35:08

Stop doing so much for him,your his wife not his slave.
The more you do the more he will let you.