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#1 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, it isn't any of my business. But if I can't tell my friend how I feel, I want to let off a little steam here. 

I have a dear friend. We understand each other, even if we haven't seen each other in a few weeks. She will drop everything for you to lean on in a crisis and get a warm hug, and vice versa. We have been friends 10 years, pre-kids. Now we have kids around the same age. 

 

The last time I was at her house, I really snapped at her husband. He didn't get up until noon and then complained that she didn't wake him. It disgusted me. I said something like "You are a man, You can set the alarm and get up yourself." Yes, it was rude. But I have been holding my tongue for 10 years and something snapped.

 

He was her first boyfriend, and they have been together for 18 years. A long time ago her family and friends gave her a lot of flack for being with him, and she told me how hurt this made her feel. She said that this was the man she chose to be with and no one can see inside a marriage, and know what is about, except the people that are in it. What she said was wise, and I respected this, and kept it to heart, and made a real effort to not criticize him. When she was pregnant with her 3rd child, her family gave her grief again, and she said I was her only friend that said "That's wonderful, congratulations!" and that meant a lot to her. In my mind, I also thought, wow, she doesn't need that now; but I also thought this is between her and him and if she is sharing the news, then they have already decided and there is nothing left except to be warm and happy for her and supportive. 

 

But I am so so so sad for my friend. Her husband does NOTHING, contributes NOTHING. Or at least that I can see. And my friend is so tired and warn down. He does not work. He does not cook, or clean, or shop or help in any way. He does NOT take care of the kids - HIS KIDS - ages 6, 2 and 6 months. He plays video games on the computer and chats on line etc. He goes to bed at 5am and sleeps until after noon, while she is busy taking care of the kids. Right now the baby is up multiple times a night teething, which of course she takes care of, so she is quite sleep deprived. If she is literally at her breaking point - like when I was there the baby was too tired to sleep, the 2 year old was whining on her leg, she is trying to get lunch on the table and the 6 yo started crying, then she says very stressed that she needs him to take over and he steps up to the plate and takes the baby. But he makes a big deal of doing it - like it is a favor he is doing taking care of his own children. And 20 minutes later, as soon as she has had a bite to eat, she gets the baby back, and he is back on the computer. In two months the baby will be in daycare, and she will have to go back to work. While his is still doing NOTHING. When I am there I can help her make lunch or take the older kids with me for a while, but of course this is just a tiny dent. 

 

He does have some pluses. He is very artistic. You can have interesting conversations with him about various topics. He says nice things about her on a regular basis, and I do not see any emotional or physical abuse at all. 

 

I don't know what I am asking for. Just feeling so sad for my friend, but I don't want to tell her all this. She must know it on some level, and has accepted it for whatever reason. Thanks for reading. 

 

Edited: meant to say he does NOT take care of his kids.

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#2 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

 

When she was pregnant with her 3rd child, her family gave her grief again, and she said I was her only friend that said "That's wonderful, congratulations!" and that meant a lot to her. In my mind, I also thought, wow, she doesn't need that now; but I also thought this is between her and him and if she is sharing the news, then they have already decided and there is nothing left except to be warm and happy for her and supportive. 

 


well, the baby may have been an accident. Even women I know who are pro-choice are hesitant to abort a child they are having with their spouse.

 

I don't know -- I seem to know a lot of women with one more child than they really wanted. Difficulty using a preferred form of BC while BFing is why some families I know are the size they are. It's definitely not that the parents made a conscious choice to have more babies! I know women who've discovered they were pregnant and felt there was nothing left to do but make the best of it -- to take the stance that a baby is always a blessing.

 

She may feel very trapped. She may feel like she got on a roller coaster and there isn't an off ramp at this point in the ride.

 

I suspect *most* moms with a teething baby, a demanding toddler, and an older child are overwhelmed and exhausted. I wouldn't judge her situation based on the fact that right now, she's really, really, really tired. Even though a baby IS always a blessing, they are a freakish amount of work.

 

My DH was a better helper when the kids were little when no one else was around. It goes back to his upbringing and what he was taught was "manly."  He didn't do squat when others where there, but he was great when it was just us. May be you aren't seeing the whole picture.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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Some guys aren't cut out to do household stuff. They will if pressed and it's needed maybe but it's not their forte, taking care of all these details at once, observing what all needs doing. Is he looking for work? I know several people, women and men, who are just discouraged and get to the point of being useless because they've been out of a job and another is hard to find. Honestly what this guy needs is a man close to him to set him straight about being responsible. That and his wife's support and encouragement.

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#4 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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Keep in mind that being the hero/heroine who does everything and keeps it all together in the face of no help (perhaps a milder form of martyr) really, REALLY does it for some people.  Considering the pattern of what you say (people have been expressing concern for a long time over what seems to be an unequal partnership;  she digs in even deeper), while I understand that your impulse is to blame him for everything...gotta tell you, for all her tiredness and perhaps complaints, she's getting something major out of it too.

 

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#5 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Sounds like my DH, smart as heck.  However he's mentally ill.  He's gotten better and tries really hard.  I know this, I know how much he can help.  And so I don't add more to my plate.  I know this about my marriage and realize some of my friends may see things differently than I do, however I would not be pleased with them coming in and snapping at my DH. 

 

Also saying he contributes nothing while also stating that he does takes care of his kids is akin to putting down a stay at home mom. 

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#6 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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I have a dear friend with a less than dear husband. it hurts me to see him leave her in the lurch time and again. She has a chronic illness (lupus) and does *everything* with the children and the household, and he gets fussy if there's not a hot meal on the table when he gets home.

 

What I've realized, though, is that making her defensive about him won't help anything. I certainly don't hide what I think if she asks me or if she starts complaining about him, but I try to keep it as neutral as possible. "Yes, i think he should have helped you with that." or "It's a shame he couldn't have found the time to come to the children's play at school." But I don't bring anything up about him myself. She needs to feel supported and not judged.

 

I do understand how maddening it can be, though! GRRRRR for useless husbands!

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#7 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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You sound like a wonderful friend.  smile.gif

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#8 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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I have three kids too. I can definitely relate to how tired your friend is right now.My husband doesn't do anything at home either. He never has. But he DOES work 50+ hours outside the home.  I know you are not asking for advice, but is there a chance that your friend might want to talk about it, and might open up if you are subtle?

 

You have every right to speak to her husband in the manner that you did. You have known him for a long time as well. If he isn't your friend, he is at the very least a key player in your network of friends.  He upset you, and I think your friend knows you well enough that she will let it pass.  By the way, I TOTALLY think it's your business. Just my opinion though.


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#9 of 20 Old 10-04-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Has your friend expressed unhappiness or complained about her dh often? Does her dh really complain or ask her to do stuff for him a lot?

 

 

I think looking at things from the outside many marriages could look different than what they are. Some people are unhappy with the amount their spouse does and wish for a more even division but other couples  find something that works for them and it isn't a 50/50 situation.

 

It's good that you care so much for her friend. If she really wants help and isn't getting it then maybe encouraging her to ask for what she wants/needs is better than snapping at her dh.

 

 


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#10 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

My DH was a better helper when the kids were little when no one else was around. It goes back to his upbringing and what he was taught was "manly."  He didn't do squat when others where there, but he was great when it was just us. May be you aren't seeing the whole picture.

 


Oh, hadn't thought about this. Maybe he is better when friends are not around. I can only hope so. 
 

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Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Some guys aren't cut out to do household stuff. 


And that is fine. But he isn't cut out to go to get a job, or clean, or drop-off / pick-up kids from daycare or any other activity, or cook or even wash dishes or anything else. It isn't a new situation. He has never had a job or taken the kids or whatever. And it is not my problem, but right now when my friend is so tired and so stressed, it hurts me to see her hurting. 

 

Quote:
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Has your friend expressed unhappiness or complained about her dh often? Does her dh really complain or ask her to do stuff for him a lot?

 


Yes, she has. Many times, about big things, and little things. But mostly when she feels overwhelmed. But what am I going to say? He is a lazy, selfish moocher? No. What good would saying that do, except make her feel even worse? 

 

I can take her kids on occasion, but that is really it, yk? I just feel I can't say anything constructive to help her, so it is better to just be a supportive friend and say nothing at all. 

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#11 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

Keep in mind that being the hero/heroine who does everything and keeps it all together in the face of no help (perhaps a milder form of martyr) really, REALLY does it for some people.  Considering the pattern of what you say (people have been expressing concern for a long time over what seems to be an unequal partnership;  she digs in even deeper), while I understand that your impulse is to blame him for everything...gotta tell you, for all her tiredness and perhaps complaints, she's getting something major out of it too.

 


Interesting thought. What does the herione get out of it, major or minor? Not disagreeing with you, just can't figure out what. Can you explain? Thanks. 

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#12 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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Read up/do a search on codependency.

 

A lot of people feel better about being the "strong/put-together/competent" one in a relationship, even while they are angry/frustrated/vent about it the whole time.  Yet changing that pattern, accepting the person for who they are while *taking responsibility for one's own part and one's own happiness* is a lot harder than you'd think.  Having an incompetent partner actually has a lot of payoffs.  Gives you a lot of excuses, and wins you a lot of sympathy (until your lack of doing anything but complain drives off your sympathetic people).  If the partner is grateful/dependent on you, so much the better.  You get to rescue things every single day (and for some personalities that is a HUGE ego stroke, even if it's not "fun").

 

In any case, I would be careful about blundering into this.  If she has to pick between lazy spouse and you, when the chips are down, you're going to be kicked to curb.  Some attacks on him are going to feel good to her because you're acknowledging her plight, but it won't take long for you to cross the line and then you'll be one of the many mean, unsupportive people who just don't understand their love.  If someone has stayed with someone like this for this long then you can be sure that they're getting something out of it, and they are part of the problem as well.

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#13 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

 

Interesting thought. What does the herione get out of it, major or minor? Not disagreeing with you, just can't figure out what. Can you explain? Thanks. 


I've known many women who love to play the martyr. One friend goes from relationship to relationship where she is the martyr in everyone. She definitely does it by choice - she always ends up as the sole financial support in each relationship. It cannot be a coincidence that every time she moves in with or marries a man (she is on her third marriage, and numerous live in relationships in between) the man decides to give up work.

 

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#14 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

Her husband does NOTHING, contributes NOTHING. Or at least that I can see. And my friend is so tired and warn down. He does not work. He does not cook, or clean, or shop or help in any way. He does take care of the kids - HIS KIDS - ages 6, 2 and 6 months.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

He has never had a job or taken the kids or whatever. 


Between the bolded in your OP and this, I'm confused -- is the bolded a typo? Should it say, "He does not take care of the kids"? 


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#15 of 20 Old 10-05-2011, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Between the bolded in your OP and this, I'm confused -- is the bolded a typo? Should it say, "He does not take care of the kids"? 



OOPS - Yes, I did mean to write he does not take care of the kids. No wonder everyone is confused. Sorry. 

 

Tigerchild - thanks for your post. That is much more clear, and makes sense. I also know what you mean as well about being careful - I guess that is why I really posted. I know nothing can be done, and I do feel bad for her, but I also know she is a grown woman and has made her choice. I just don't get the power trip thing from being a codependent. My mom was one, because my dad was a functioning alcoholic, my mom is one now as well, and it just does not make sense to me. 

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#16 of 20 Old 10-06-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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What Tigerchild said about codependency goes well with my first thought when I read your post--I wonder if he has an internet addiction. Is he just online looking around or is he gaming? Either way, it can be a true, serious addiction. That may not be his problem at all, but it definitely helps explain her behavior. She may also just be a "savior" playing into that role of always having to fix someone. In that case, it wouldn't matter who she was with, she'd never pick someone she deserves. greensad.gif

Perhaps the best way you could support her is to talk to her about going to therapy to help her deal with her stress & overwhelmed feelings--maybe watch the kids while she's there. A therapist would hopefully be able to address some of these things that as her friend you just can't.
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#17 of 20 Old 10-06-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Quote:
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What Tigerchild said about codependency goes well with my first thought when I read your post--I wonder if he has an internet addiction. Is he just online looking around or is he gaming? Either way, it can be a true, serious addiction. That may not be his problem at all, but it definitely helps explain her behavior. She may also just be a "savior" playing into that role of always having to fix someone. In that case, it wouldn't matter who she was with, she'd never pick someone she deserves. greensad.gif
Perhaps the best way you could support her is to talk to her about going to therapy to help her deal with her stress & overwhelmed feelings--maybe watch the kids while she's there. A therapist would hopefully be able to address some of these things that as her friend you just can't.


I think it's less about picking "someone she deserves" and more about her picking someone that she can handle.  I get that she's complaining about his behavior--but if he were to magically change and be active (and probably want more of a voice in childrearing and the household) that can even be HARDER to deal with if you're used to being autonomous (as stressful as that is).  A lot of people who are struggling to learn how to be true partners and healthy partners (myself included) really do not like sharing.  Sure, we'd love to have "equal partners"--as long as they did whatever we thought they should do and be the good little actor in the play we're directing and in charge of.

 

Sometimes, you do get what you "deserve";  meaning, you get what you are capable of working with.  Many, many, MANY codependent people, regardless of how loudly and strongly we fuss, do NOT like to share or relinquish our desire for absolute control.  And having an absent-in-all-but-body partner gives you a HELL of a lot of control.  Even when you're complaining that s/he is not doing what you SAY you want him/her to be doing.

 

Real partners probably disagree with you about parenting issues sometimes, they might set and maintain their own standards of doing things, they might seek out and ask for changes from YOU, and they don't LET you do it all (your way or otherwise).  For many folks, passive uninvolvment is better than the former.

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#18 of 20 Old 10-06-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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Ive yet to meet one person that has the perfect husband.  Once I get to know most couples well enough I find that both of them can be real asses to each other.  DH is an ass... He's looking over my shoulder.  HA!  Most couples complain about each other most heard complaints...

 

He never helps with house work

He takes too much time for himself

He doesn't spend enough time with the kids

 

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#19 of 20 Old 10-07-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

 

Oh, hadn't thought about this. Maybe he is better when friends are not around. I can only hope so.  

And that is fine. But he isn't cut out to go to get a job, or clean, or drop-off / pick-up kids from daycare or any other activity, or cook or even wash dishes or anything else. It isn't a new situation. He has never had a job or taken the kids or whatever. And it is not my problem, but right now when my friend is so tired and so stressed, it hurts me to see her hurting. 

 

Yes, she has. Many times, about big things, and little things. But mostly when she feels overwhelmed. But what am I going to say? He is a lazy, selfish moocher? No. What good would saying that do, except make her feel even worse? 

 

I can take her kids on occasion, but that is really it, yk? I just feel I can't say anything constructive to help her, so it is better to just be a supportive friend and say nothing at all. 


I have trouble being sympathetic to people who complain about their spouse to others without doing much of anything to change the situation themselves. I think a supportive friend would lay out some things that she can do if she is unhappy in her marriage. I don't actually think she needs a sympathetic friend to listen to complain to or babysit for her; she needs a marriage counselor or therapist. She doesn't need to divorce the guy but they probably both need help to make things better... if she wants things to get better.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#20 of 20 Old 10-12-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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You may not like her husband but you should have enough respect for HER to not cause more tension or fights. HAd this been an abusive relationship your outburst could have caused more harm for her and had you banished from her home, eliminating any support system she had.

 

I personally would have kicked your butt out of my house so fast your head would have spun. Then I would have seriously asked why you thought I was so stupid that I coudlnt stand up for myself and where you got off speaking to another adult like that in their own home.

 

.

Maybe she would have had a discussion with her husband about it later. Maybe she perfers not to argue infront of other people.

 

I would have been humilated if I were your friend.

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