Is there hope? fixing your marriage when things look bad... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-04-2004, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I am feeling very hopeless about our marriage right now. I sort of need to sound this out and hope to get some advice along the way.

We have been married for four years. We have one child and another on the way. We dated for a few years before we were married. Our friendship and partnership was great... until we moved here. Then everything seemed to go to hell. (we have been here almost two years). DH is three years younger than me... we are from different countries and I have yet to apply for a green card to the States. I am from Canada though so we are not so different. It just makes the idea of splitting up hard.

I can't seem to figure out what exactly when wrong. Everything just seemed to happen all at once. He hates his job but he is locked into it until December 2005. He doesn't like the person I have become since having our son (a mother). I lost interest in partying and drinking and clubbing and all that other stuff (drugs were involved too) just before we got married. He misses that life. He doesn't drink all that often but when he does he goes overboard with it and ends of being very hung over and puking. His new friends out here don't respect women, treat their wives like crap, drink every day, say they "babysit" their kids. I can see him turning into them.

He loses his temper at everything. He was gone for most of my pregnancy with DS and always told me how he wished he were their to help me (my hormones were everywhere and I tend to lose it emotionally and lose my temper a lot when pregnant...) I am pregnant with #2 and now is his chance to be there for me and he loses it when I lose it. He is making things worse! I handled it better when he wasn't there. When I lose it now I want him to hug me to make it better and to calm me down. Instead he yells at me.

We fight too much and never work anything out. He avoids me. He doesn't want to talk things over because it ends in fighting. He wants to do drugs again someday when he is a civilian. That upsets me and he says I have no say in it. He knows how I feel about it... we have decided to cross that bridge when we get there.

He is never home. He is ALWAYS down the road at his friends. All they do is play darts and drink beer. He knew before we got married I never wanted to spank our children. The past month he has hit our son twice! I talked to him about spanking and how it is lazy parenting and next time he wanted to do it to come hit me instead. He goes, "That is different!" I told him it was different because I could hit back. He promised to not do it again but I wonder if his friends are telling him to spank our son.

I have decided I need to be a better person. I was self-involved for a long time. I am a mother now. I want to stop yelling at my son, stop yelling at the dog, stop yelling and nagging at DH. If course, if I don't nag him he doesn't do anything. I have been asking him for a year to fix the flap on the TV and it still isn't done!!

I work full-time out of the house, am getting my MBA, do the majority of childcare, do all the laundry, cook 98% of the meals, clean the house (we do have a cleaning lady come once a week but we have a dog so the floors need cleaning often!), do the yard work, walk, wash, feed the dog... bake, pay all the bills, etc. and volunteer with rape victims AND the Stray Animal Shelter.

Today I asked him to clean and organize DS's toys to help me out and he said no, what is the point? He didn't seem to realize I do it once a month. I lost it and we started fighting. I told him I was going on strike and that I wasn't going to cook, clean or do his laundry. I was only going to take care of DS and I (and the dog). I mean it but that also means I have to let parts of the house get filthy which drives me crazy.

What upsets me the most, is the fact that he doesn't seem to want to improve himself. He doesn't want to learn, to grow up, to be a better person, to help others. He doesn't read about parenting. he doesn't read about relationships. When I tell him what I read about when we are discussing things he gets upset... says I think I am better than he is because I read a lot and research things. And you know what... sometimes I do think that. I am starting to realize we really don't want the same things from life. So I wonder... can we save this marriage if we don't want the same things? If he really wants to party and do drugs when he gets out and drink and just fart around on the computer all day... should we even bother to fix it? I don't know...

I love him. I do. But it might not be enough. Can one person really fix a relationship? Sometimes I think the only way to fix this is by me just shutting the hell up, have sex with him once or twice a week, and just keep on doing everything so it gets done. But I can't do this. This isn't me. I know I need massive improvement in areas and I am at fault for lots that is wrong in our relationship... but how can I fix me when he won't try to fix himself?

We did see a counsellor for a while and that helped but DH has made no effort to try any of his suggestions. He was supposed to go to an anger management class and to see a councellor to get to some issues he has about his upbringing... nothing. Gets mad at me when I bring it up.

I hate to give up on us. I know marriage is hard work. I am willing to put that work in. I am not sure he is. He seems to think if it doesn't come easy to us then it isn't meant to be.

Where the heck do I start?

I am sorry this is so long... I really needed to get that out. I left the house (a mess I might add) and left DS with DH at home (I am at work) because I thought I might start throwing things at him if I didn't get out of there. Plus I hate fighting in front of DS.

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#2 of 13 Old 04-04-2004, 03:08 PM
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i have often asked myself the same things. i wish i knew the answers; but things have settled down for me. less questions these days.
my only advice would be, to look at the big picture. it sounds like there are alot of outside things affecting your situation. where you are, hormones, etc.
we have been together 11 years and it has never been easy. there is still some resentment there, things he hasnt done or does do, but heres what i've learned;
we are both trying. and we are headed in the right direction. sure we went through hard times but we are here now, where we planned on being. and i have faith in making the rest of our lives even better.
marriage is all about "in good times and bad". do you believe things will only get worse? or do you have solid plans that include the two of you working together to raise your children?
we both have our bad habits, but i know, you have to draw the line somewhere. dh never cared about counselling etc. but thats not to say he hasnt changed. he has, and he was willing to. i dont think he set out to though, nessecarily...
& i've changed to. mainly, i try harder to stay on top of the cleaning, and he tries harder not to stress about mess. we've adapted to each other better.
we both brought our own baggage, but we've got it almost down to a matching set. but boy do we need a vacation.
what i mean is, i dont see some things getting easier. but i have invested this much time and am looking forward to the next part.
dh is older than me which can be good and bad; he got alot of immaturity out of his sysyem but he also has different expectations and is more set in his ways.
i am sure you will try your hardest to work it out. but marriage is a 'partnership'. maybe you should draw up a plan? after all he is the father of your kids, and they deserve parents who love each other. even if you eventually go different ways!
all u can do is give it your best, but i dont think you can fix it on your own. he has to realize he risks losing his family to spend lonely nights puking behind clubs; i hope he wakes up and works with you not against you.
good luck
and coming here to get things out is the way to go, i can totally relate!
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#3 of 13 Old 04-04-2004, 05:30 PM
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get a counsellor. Set the appointment. Get someone to watch ds. Set the appointment. Tell DH about the appointment. Tell him when it is.
if he shows...great. If he doesn't than you go.

you have some work in front of you. You've got a relationship that is not working. Y ou know that, you don't need me to tell you that. But my guess is when second child comes it will only be not working times two.

my own opinion is that he does not really GET IT how bad it is. Stop nagging him.
Read the book, 'THE DANCE OF ANGER'. Don't bitch at him. Your bitching at him is keeping him 'small'.

watch what happens when you don't bitch and you do all the work. you will disengage from him in a huge way and THAT he will feel.
and no.... you should not have sex with him.

set the appointment. get the book. stop nagging. stop engaging. make your own plans. and if he asks, if you are angry or mad at him you say.... "No. I'm changing patterns with our without you."

this will send home the message.

set that appointment.


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#4 of 13 Old 04-05-2004, 07:26 AM
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Your husband clearly doesn't want to grow up and be a responsible husband and father.

You can't make him.. but you CAN stop buying into his acting out.
It sounds like he wants someone to rebel against.. and you are it. You can stop playing that role. You can focus on yourself and your child and your pregnancy. You can tell him what you want and need without the bitching.

Go to counseling by yourself if he won't go. Figure out how to detach from his behavior and refuse to play the role he is setting up for you.. but let him take the consequences for his own behavior.

I hope he starts growing up. If he won't you will have to make some hard decisions, especially if he does start using drugs.
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#5 of 13 Old 04-05-2004, 07:47 AM
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I feel for you in a lot of ways, my dh isn't As bad as yours but he doesn't help much around the house and I felt I was/am nagging way to much. Here's what I do. I just live my life as if he isn't here most of the time. I do the chores I need to do. I leave his own laundry up to him. I ask him to wash his own dishes. I just make sure the sink is always empty so he has no excuse. I am opening my own bank account to start saving money so he can't blow it.

Some days we have good days, but when we don't it's easier to just ignore him.


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#6 of 13 Old 04-05-2004, 03:46 PM
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#7 of 13 Old 04-07-2004, 03:13 PM
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oh girl I am going through almost the same thing except fot the drinking and spanking.......we have been married for 3 years and DH is 4 years younger...I am a sahm and i go to night classes 2 nights a week...we are so unhappy...he works 2 jobs that he hates and i am 7 months preg..he was gone with our 1st preggo he was down the street at his bros house smoking pot and lying about it while i was stuck at home on semi bed was so lonely and this time he is just mean, snappy and always crabby...I beg for backrubs and afferction... nothing....I am wondering in my head how divborce would go..i dont want to not have my kids on the weekends or whatever crappy rules divorce brings I never have wanted to consider divorce...I am so lonely and mad..I l;ie in bed and say I actually Hate him sometimes...He too wont better himself..He works 2 lame jobs for little money and I beg him to go to school he has no college and get a degree in ANYTHING.... I take totall care of DD and do all the cooking and 90% of hous work..I feel you..I dont have sex with him I told him last night if he dosent fullfill me spiritually I wont fulllfill him sexually...I think thats fair, I found if I had sex because he wanted it it made me more mad and I felt icky NONE FOR HIM...I have no answers only love for you if you want to im me we can talk if we need to...just know you have many friends here and lots of support keepstrong and love your babes
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#8 of 13 Old 04-15-2004, 11:19 PM
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#9 of 13 Old 04-16-2004, 03:41 AM
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Oh mama

There's times I want to just pack up and leave. My dh doesn't drink or want to do drugs--he doesn't want to DO ANYTHING but sit on his ass and watch TV! He's a good father, but he believes in spanking although he does it rarely but threatens it alot. He supports me on homebirth, breastfeeding and he likes co-sleeping, but refuses to change cloth diapers or eat organic foods.

He spends money like it's going out of style (but I have a secret stash) He is so hell bent on material things it drives me crazy. All of our fights revolve around money, housework and discipline. His goal in life is to own a 4 by 4 F350 truck and own multiple 4-wheelers. The man is strange.

I hope it all works out in your favor!!

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#10 of 13 Old 04-19-2004, 03:56 PM
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Maybe he's depressed. Find a therapist for all of your sakes. He has to want to be a better person, though. You obviously want to do anything in your power to be the best mom/partner that you can be, but if he's not on board, your struggles will only wear you down. At the very least, a therapist will be a "safe" place to air your greivances. BTW...drugs are an ABSOLUTE NO for a parent! What if your child ate some cocaine or ecstacy or stuck himself with a dirty needle? I mean, I don't know what he means by drugs, but hard drugs come to mind.
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#11 of 13 Old 04-22-2004, 11:34 AM
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Sounds like my SO pre-counseling AND before he quit drinking (got busted and fired for smoking marijuana; it's a long back story). He drank the same way you DH does, had the same attitude, but as part of his rehab he has to quit. He is less angry and aggressive BY FAR.

You also need to realize (and it took me FIVE YEARS of this) that YOUR HAPPINESS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. You do a ton of stuff w/o your DH, and that's great. Keep it up, don't expect much from DH, and don't put up with ANYTHING from him. Therapy really helped me see that I actually could send him packing, and therapy helped him realize A: that I would and B: if he didn't get his sh*t together he was more harm than good to our family.


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#12 of 13 Old 04-24-2004, 09:42 PM
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Have you considered giving Al-Anon a try? It won't change him, but it could give you some tools to work with. When you're in a better place emotionally, you can make the big "stay or go" decision. Hugs.
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#13 of 13 Old 04-24-2004, 11:45 PM
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I ditto Tracy's post up above about the Dance of Anger.

And I ditto Al-Anon. Whether he's a hard core drinker or not. It works...really.

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