I have been married for 16 years now and finally at my wits end with my wife. I do about 90% of the cooking, finances, cleaning, yardwork, grocery shopping, house/car maintenance, mowing, flowerbeds, helping kids with homework, etc. You get the picture. She is a slob, depressed and chooses to do nothing most of the time around the house (unless it is reading a book or playing video games—DUH!) although she does work full time and we have 2 children whom I love dearly. I am so tired of not getting the help I deserve from her. Did I mention that I worked on my Master’s degree and PhD also while working full time? She chose not to finish college and doesn’t want to go back…too much work for her I guess? I average around 100 hours per week (due to my PhD) and she works 40. Yet I get to do all the above items….I went into this marriage as a 50/50 split to share responsibilities and committments yet get very little from her at all. Have you ever fell asleep standing up, leaning over a dryer at 2 am because your partner wouldn’t do the laundry but she would read a book??? A romance novel to boot???? I have left the bathroom in our Master bedroom go uncleaned for the last 9 months to see if she would clean it….not a chance…she wiped out the sink and the toilet seat with a cleaning wipe and that was it. Amazingly it is OK with her. She doesn’t get dirty = germs which = people get sick more often. Her clothes are piled all over the room, she will walk out of the kitchen without thinking of doing the dishes or even wiping the counter after she messes it up. The new car we bought is constantly a disaster (so is our home) and she NEVER attempts to clean it, wax it or even take care of it. It is just over and over the same thing. I usually have to get up the next morning early and clean up everything prior to feeding my kids–which she won’t do most times “find yourself something to eat” is what normally comes out of her mouth. Weekends are a terror to me….she stays in bed until 9 or 10 am and watches TV most of the day…while I clean, have to work at the University, mow, shovel snow, etc. Can you believe what a completely non-caring self-centered individual she is?? This is the kind of lunacy that I have put up with for the last 16+ years and I am just so done with this. I am worried about my kids, whom I love dearly, and how this will impact them as well as the house being unfinished and not ready to sell yet – which it will most likely have to be since I sunk a large part of my assets into it for the down payment (she added none of her money for it). She is depressed but I am the one that is always to blame and I am SOOOO tired of it. Sex is infrequent if ever (have went as long as 8 months without her doing anything and we now are at 3 months and counting, once a month lately is a miracle)…We see a marriage counselor but that is just fingering pointing at me again and again and again. She tries a little to change but goes right back to her old habits very quickly. She never completes the change. What am I supposed to do and where can I find a woman who is caring, respectful, and wants a husband who will share the burden 50/50, not complain about it, is active, highly intelligent and deeply cares about a partner that they are in love with???? I am to the point that I have stopped caring about her and rarely have anything positive to say about her, to her or for her. I have lost my sex drive for her and really don’t care to have sex with her anymore. She has caused so much hurt and anxiety with her “not doing it ” attitude (I realize that this is linked to the depression also – which is permanent post partum and will most likely never get any better). I am the one with the “problem” —HUH???? OMG I will go insane if I hear that again at the counselors office. What can I do? All I want is a nice, caring, share the burden with me, wife that appreciates a good relationship and is willing to care about the family, house and us???? I apologize for the poor grammar, spelling errors and the associated but I am just so fed up with it!!!
Is your marriage worth fighting for, or is it over? I don’t know the answer, but I do believe that you can save your marriage if you try. You can’t change your husband, and you can’t stop him from ending your relationship…but you can change how you respond to him. This doesn’t mean you let him walk all over you, or you force yourself to become someone you’re not.
my questions? how can i continue to waffle? how do you know when it’s truly over? when you feel like you’ve failed, when you’re not sure if there’s anything left to save? and when your son (my son lives with me – is planning to move out, but has made it very clear that he hates the man I married – not because of my husband’s treatment of him, but because of the way my son has seen and heard my husband treat me) despises your husband? how do you forgive and move past?
I have been married to my wife for 22 years this year. She and I have had a very up and down life together. she told me when we got married she wanted to stay home and raise children. I agreed. Now we have a 17 year old and a 9 year old. She has never had to work, and my job has been high stress and full of disappointments as I have strived to make enough for us to have the lifestyle we both say we want. I have been wrongfully terminated three times (proven in court). I have really struggled to rebuild my career but being in a public position has been very strenuous. As a longtime CEO and now private consultant in the public sector for the past 6 years my economic stress has been huge. I gained a 100 pounds over the years. So in 1999, my wife had an affair with a man, while I was working on the road to make enough money to take care of my family and find a way for us to relocate together. I was devastated. We did go to marriage counseling and our marriage survived this very hurtful situation. I found out she blamed me for the affair, saying our life had taken a toll on our emotionally and she thought she needed to jump ship to find economic security. I relocated us and then again to another state. So we reconnected and had our next little one. Now we have a second home in a well known lake community about 2 hours from our home. She over the past three to four years has taken to going there on her own because she is on a local talk show and says doing that gives her purpose and makes her happy. I usually have to stay behind and work and take care of the kids when she goes there. She gets no pay for the show, it is quite popular and she goes out usually when she is there with her local girlfriends some married, some divorced and some just barfly’s in their late 40’s looking to hook up and be told their sexy. She has gotten into several situations where either a friend has texted me seeing her out with the girls and other men and been suspicious and so on. I have told her repeatedly if you put yourself in these situations sooner or later something bad will happen that will affect us negatively. She thinks I don’t trust her and she loves to dance and have fun. She thinks I am being overly paranoid. She also says she has not been attracted to me because of my weight and that is what has been keeping us apart and less than intimate. She says she loves sex and she is always used to being the center of attention, she is still in great shape and gorgeous even at 49. She gets hit on all the time by men and she seems to enjoy the third party attention and affirmation of her sex appeal still. So then 6 months ago I find out she has been having another cyber affair over facebook and she hooked up with this guy in our lake town to have dinner and chat… she says nothing happened. He is the brother of one of her closets friends who comes over every week to have dinner with us as she just got divorced herself. Our two sons are friends and play baseball together. So I confronted her about all this and she just said, It was stupid I don’t want out of our marriage and she says she ended it. I even found a card he sent her where he said, he felt their meeting had brought them to a new level in their relationship. So I went on a diet and have lost about 50 pounds thus far. Things seemed better, then she went over to the lake house this past weekend with a married girlfriend that was visiting from out of town, who has been her friend since childhood. They went to the bar with the girls, my wife got so drunk she couldn’t drive and was talking to some 20 something man for a longtime and being very confrontational. She drinks at least a couple glasses of wine per day she says it keeps her sane in my high stress and uncertain world of finances. I got behind on our taxes after 2008 and dug a big hole and have been negotiating with the IRS to find a way to settle them. Being self-employed is hard to keep them current and pay for everything. Everytime I confront her about how her going out makes me feel really insecure she just says I am holding onto the past and that I think she is a whore and/or slut, and she has done nothing wrong. I wish I could believe her, but I just can’t get 100% comfortable with this lifestyle or trusting her again. She has broken my heart now two times. Somehow I still love her. I love our family and I don’t want to break it up. But this is killing me and she always places the blame on me for all circumstances and then says this is what gets her stressed out. I am just lost. I don’t know what I should do, or how I can get our relationship back on track or whether she really wants to do so. Everytime we fight she says after our son graduates we are over. That just makes my heart sink… then later she will come back and say, I was just mad, I didn’t mean it. I don’t want our marriage to end. But it happens again always and it did last night as well. This time I just said, “You created this situation, I am not willing to accept the blame for it, and I can see our attorney next week and end this if that is what you want?” Then she says I threatened to divorce her and it is my fault again. I can’t get her words out of my mind I am fat, she is not attracted to her and when we are intimate she has to hold her breath or she says I nearly crush her until she can’t breath. Now I am a big guy. 6’3″ and 280 pounds still and most women find me attractive. Even her girlfriends say they would kill to have her life. Many of them have told me that they think she is crazy to not be truly happy she has a kind, loving and caring man in her life that treats her like a queen and never berates her, or abuses her mentally or physically. I try to make everything our family needs come true… I work really hard, but I also attract a great deal of public detractors due to my public life by way of bloggers and web postings. I am a public speaker, author and public sector consultant engaged in negotiating deals between local governments and businesses that want to expand or relocate to a new area and create jobs. I have been doing this for 22 years since we first married. I don’t have any other knowledge of how to make enough to pay our bills. I feel trapped, confused and don’t know if my marriage is salvageable and/or whether I should keep trying. I have suggested that we go to a counselor again, but she says no, that is not what she needs. So, long story but I am totally at a loss for what direction I should choose.
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.
Let me try to address the first one, your depression, I have many friends with clinical depression and they are all on anti-depressants, not a fan of meds, but they seem to work for them. Your husbands unhappiness, When someone is unhappy we all know that it is up to that person to figure it out, and really there is nothing we can do except offer support. Does your husband have a good relationship with his parents?
For many of us, survive until tomorrow may be the closest we get to a mission statement. But once we have the basics of survival managed, we need something bigger to ground our lives in. In our twenties and thirties our goals are often 'find a job, find a partner, raise children, provide for our family.' These are very praiseworthy goals, but what happens when the kids leave home and the mortgage is paid off? That's when we find out that we never had any bigger mission.
This is the oldest trick in the book. Why do we start a relationship hoping a man is going to change? It’s important to accept your boyfriend for who he is, in the flesh. If you fell in love with your idea of him, and not the real him, that’s not his fault. If you are pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it’s not going to make him happy.
My boyfriend told me is isn't happy, that things aren't the same between us. He says I'm not fun anymore and that I'm more serious now and I don't hold on a conversation with him like I use to. I'm going through some things, I lost my job things at home aren't good. I don't know what to do, he says he wants to me with me and he loves me and is in love with me. Should I give him space. I cant imagine losing him, he means everything to me . I want to change, I don't want to lose him and what we .
Me too. But “disappointment” isn’t a value nor a boundary. What is a non-negotiable value of yours that precedes your disappointment? What decision would you make as a result? What consequences are you willing to face when your boundary for your relationship values is crossed? What invitation could a man/woman make to their partner to address the situation without blaming them? Self-reliance is all about owning our responsibility for our own initiative – without dependence on the outcome.