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<p>I feel as if we are standing on a cliff deciding whether or not to jump. DH & I are fighting all the time, and he's starting to fight with the kids a lot, too. I really don't want to get a divorce. I mean, I really, desperately DON'T want to, but I find myself more & more dreaming about how relaxing life could be with just the kids & me. </p>
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<p>We have bedtime issues (which I've posted about in the Nighttime Parenting forum, hoping to get some good answers there), but we have "all other times of day" problems, too. </p>
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<p>The absolute worst thing for us right now is that DH is just b!tching & moaning about everyone and everything all the time. Within 5 minutes of getting home from work, he's complaining. The mornings are a nightmare. I've tried to talk to him calmly, not in the moment, about the fact that he's just nit-picking everyone. This morning, I resorted to trying to get my 5YO not to fight w/ DH but then realized, "he's the kid! Why am I trying to get him to be the adult?"</p>
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<p>Problem 1: Ages ago, DH walked home from work. It was only about 1/2 mile, but it was enough that it gave him time to clear his head. He does have a stressful job. I get that. Then his office moved. It's still not too far, but he doesn't want to walk it. He would ride home with the radio blasting and then come in edgy. All attempts at getting him to ride home in quiet didn't work. Now, though, his car's dead. We are picking him up while he looks for a new car. I'm hoping he'll find one by mid-January. So, for starters, the kids & I get home around 3:30 and then have to pick him up at 5 - too long to stay out, too short to be back home. It's a disaster, and he's usually fussing at/about one of us before we get out of his work's driveway. </p>
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<p>Problem 2: One of the worst mistakes I made in parenting was that I worked from home for 6 years and never got up and ready by a certain time (i.e. never prioritized what everyone else had). So, though the kids & I were up, the mornings were all about DH. He had full claim to our bathroom, and I helped him get whatever he needed together. This year, DS started Kindergarten, DD started daycare, and I rented an office. Great. DS has to be at school by 7:55, so everyone needs to be out the door. DH STILL takes 1-hour+ in the bathroom and then gripes if anyone needs it or asks him to hurry up. I get myself & the kids ready. Anything he has to do results in screaming (mostly on his part, but sometimes the kids, too).</p>
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<p>This morning, he just went on & on because DS was playing at breakfast. Okay, he was, but once he started eating, LET IT GO. It's over now, thanks. DH can't let it go, and he ended up storming out because he was pissed off. </p>
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<p>So then I feel like we all get everywhere in the mornings and are angry and frustrated. I'm not sure of the first step to take here - besides counseling. That's not likely to happen.</p>
 

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<p>problem 1: stop picking him up.  tell him it's not working for you and the kids, and he needs to get a ride with a coworker.  if it's not far, then it must not be that far out of the way for someone to drop him off.  or walk, or ride his bike, or take the bus.  whatever his other options are.</p>
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<p>problem 2: how much time do you need in the bathroom?  are you able to get yourself ready before he starts his morning bathroom routine?  maybe that is what you are already doing, but if not, i would try that.  you may find that then you have an hour (while he gets ready) to get the kids dressed, brush teeth in the kitchen, have breakfast, etc in peace!  it might work a lot better.</p>
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<p>why do you not want to get divorced?  is it because this man is the love of your life and you desperately want to be with him every waking moment?  or because divorce is wrong, bad, failure, or just not what you wanted for your life and your kids?  there are other options, like separation.  if you think you can't get him into counseling, separating may force him to decide whether he wants to work on it or walk away.  otherwise, he has no motivation to work on anything.</p>
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<p>also re: counseling, go by yourself!  this will probably do you much more good than going with him.</p>
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<p>i would not want to live with this.  in fact, i did live with someone who was like this some of the time (my step-dad).  it was very stressful and damaging to my self-esteem.  my mom catered to it, which taught me that my feelings, wants and needs were less important than other people's and definitely less important than the avoidance of upsetting anyone else.  do you want that for your kids?  do you want that for yourself?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p><br>
re: problem 1: Public transit is, unfortunately, not an option. He could possibly ride with co-workers. I will have him ask around. I'm at the point that I'd pay someone just to go pick him up! He wouldn't walk or bike home in the ice/snow, and I'm not about to leave him sitting at work, as tempting as that is sometimes.</p>
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<p>re: problem 2: I need maybe 15 minutes, which is part of why I hate that he needs so long. I was getting up at 5:30 and getting ready before waking everyone, but that felt frustrating for different reasons. I should just start doing that again because it was slightly better.</p>
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<p>I have to wake DH multiple times - seriously, one day it was 7 times. I've never just let him sleep and suffer the consequences, though I probably should. He needs to get to bed earlier. (He often stays up until 12:30 or 1 doing...something. Just killing time.) He also needs to get his medications altered. He's a type 1 diabetic. For those unfamiliar, T1 is genetic or viral, not lifestyle-based. So he does workout, and we eat well, but he's just always going to need his insulin. When he doesn't have it, he complains. Right now he's out of test strips, and I've just refused to go on my own initiative and get them because, damn it, he's 31 years old! Even if he asked me to, that'd be different, but I've taken care of his illness for too long.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100018"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>why do you not want to get divorced?  is it because this man is the love of your life and you desperately want to be with him every waking moment?  or because divorce is wrong, bad, failure, or just not what you wanted for your life and your kids?  there are other options, like separation.  if you think you can't get him into counseling, separating may force him to decide whether he wants to work on it or walk away.  otherwise, he has no motivation to work on anything.</p>
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<p>It's probably some of both. I do love him dearly, and I am grieving for the relationship we used to have. Having children has been incredibly difficult on our marriage. He's struggled with parenting, and I also realize that I took care of everything before kids. We both worked insane hours, and I never really realized I was doing it. Now, I would say that I handle 90% of everything that has to be done, and I have little patience for him stepping in at the last second and complaining or just whining. A couple of weeks ago, he got in the car, and I had NPR on it. The kids were chattering in the back, but I can listen and tune them out. He can't, so he told them to be quiet. When they didn't, he turned the volume up as loud as it would get. Of course, I turned it off, but it became a huge argument about how he's so deprived that he can't even listen to a story on NPR because of the kids. He just wants to relax after work, yada, yada.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
re: problem 1: Public transit is, unfortunately, not an option. He could possibly ride with co-workers. I will have him ask around. I'm at the point that I'd pay someone just to go pick him up! He wouldn't walk or bike home in the ice/snow, and I'm not about to leave him sitting at work, as tempting as that is sometimes.</p>
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tell him as of jan 1 you will not pick him up any longer, and he can make arrangements.  that is plenty of time to figure it out.  at that point, you won't be leaving him sitting at work.  if he hasn't figured it out by then, it's not your problem.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>re: problem 2: I need maybe 15 minutes, which is part of why I hate that he needs so long. I was getting up at 5:30 and getting ready before waking everyone, but that felt frustrating for different reasons. I should just start doing that again because it was slightly better.</p>
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he occupies the bathroom from 6-7 it sounds like?  what time do you have to leave the house to get your child to school at 7:55?  if you get up at 6:30, spend half hour getting the kids ready, then pop in the bathroom right at 7 for your 15 minutes, is that enough time?</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><strong>I have to wake DH multiple times</strong> - seriously, one day it was 7 times. I've never just let him sleep and suffer the consequences, though I probably should. He needs to get to bed earlier. (He often stays up until 12:30 or 1 doing...something. Just killing time.) He also needs to get his medications altered. He's a type 1 diabetic. For those unfamiliar, T1 is genetic or viral, not lifestyle-based. So he does workout, and we eat well, but he's just always going to need his insulin. When he doesn't have it, he complains. Right now he's out of test strips, and I've just refused to go on my own initiative and get them because, damn it, he's 31 years old! Even if he asked me to, that'd be different, but I've taken care of his illness for too long.</p>
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NO YOU DO NOT.  inform him that you will no longer be waking him and he needs to wake up to his own alarm clock, cell phone, beeping watch, whatever.  also inform him that you will no longer be managing his health care, test strips, etc.  reading about this is like reading about myself and stbxh - the details are different but the dynamic is the same.  are you familiar with codependency?  i didn't think that was me, but i didn't really know that much about it.  i don't fit all the indicators/descriptions, but that's because it manifests in a lot of different ways, so i'm one type of codie with my own subset of behaviors and beliefs that aren't exactly the same as someone else who could also be described as codependent.  anyway, i'm rambling, but this is something to explore.  it can be really freeing.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It's probably some of both. I do love him dearly, and I am grieving for the relationship we used to have. Having children has been incredibly difficult on our marriage. He's struggled with parenting, and I also realize that I took care of everything before kids. We both worked insane hours, and I never really realized I was doing it. Now, I would say that I handle 90% of everything that has to be done, and I have little patience for him stepping in at the last second and complaining or just whining. A couple of weeks ago, he got in the car, and I had NPR on it. The kids were chattering in the back, but I can listen and tune them out. He can't, so he told them to be quiet. When they didn't, he turned the volume up as loud as it would get. Of course, I turned it off, but it became a huge argument about how he's so deprived that he can't even listen to a story on NPR because of the kids. He just wants to relax after work, yada, yada.</p>
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he sounds incredibly selfish and childish.  what do you love about him?  what do you get out of this relationship?  do you feel loved, cherished, respected and supported?<br>
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<p>In regards to much of what you have posted it sounds like you are enabling him.  He is 31 years old...HE can figure out how to get to work and home again.  He can figure out how to get to bed sooner, get up on his own and get out of the bathroom 15 minutes sooner so that others in his family (who have just as much right to the bathroom as he) can use it!</p>
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<p>In the meantime can you bring an ipod with headphones for him to listen to in the car?  Then you don't have to deal with him and he doesn't have to hear the kids.  Turning up the volume all the way is the reaction of a child, and abusive towards those in the car.  If he ever does this again I would pull over immediately and make him walk home.</p>
 

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 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100340"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
tell him as of jan 1 you will not pick him up any longer, and he can make arrangements.  that is plenty of time to figure it out.  at that point, you won't be leaving him sitting at work.  if he hasn't figured it out by then, it's not your problem.<br><p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">This seems mean. I mean, he works. Even during a good month (my income is flexible), he makes 3X what I make. We are holding off on his car for a few weeks because I have $6K in medical bills from this year. So to then say that I won't drive to pick him up from work just seems really mean.</span></p>
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<div class="quote-container">he occupies the bathroom from 6-7 it sounds like?  what time do you have to leave the house to get your child to school at 7:55?  if you get up at 6:30, spend half hour getting the kids ready, then pop in the bathroom right at 7 for your 15 minutes, is that enough time?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">We talked about the AM issue tonight. I'm am going to try to get up at 5:30 and be ready by 6. Then he will (hopefully) get up at 6 and have until 7 to be ready. (Right now, he's usually not ready until 7:30, and we need to be getting into the car then.) I'll get the kids up at 6:15, and he can deal when they have to use the bathroom and brush their teeth. Hopefully that will give everyone some time to get ready and not feel rushed.</span></p>
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<div class="quote-container">NO YOU DO NOT.  inform him that you will no longer be waking him and he needs to wake up to his own alarm clock, cell phone, beeping watch, whatever.  also inform him that you will no longer be managing his health care, test strips, etc.  reading about this is like reading about myself and stbxh - the details are different but the dynamic is the same.  are you familiar with codependency?  i didn't think that was me, but i didn't really know that much about it.  i don't fit all the indicators/descriptions, but that's because it manifests in a lot of different ways, so i'm one type of codie with my own subset of behaviors and beliefs that aren't exactly the same as someone else who could also be described as codependent.  anyway, i'm rambling, but this is something to explore.  it can be really freeing.</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">We may be co-dependent. I don't know exactly. Some of the problem, though, is that our schedules are intertwined, so while it sounds good to say that I won't wake him (and I agree that I shouldn't have to) the thing is that 1) we have to be out the door and don't have time to wait on him and 2) getting to work later would mean staying at work later, which would just screw up my evening schedule. Even when he has a car, it would still mean that work late equals not helping with bedtime with the kids, so then I feel like I'm punishing myself. Maybe that's what I have to do for the short-term to make the point to him. THIS is exactly why I think of leaving, though - because if it were just the kids & me, I wouldn't have to worry about what someone else is doing.</span></p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">he sounds incredibly selfish and childish.  what do you love about him?  what do you get out of this relationship?  do you feel loved, cherished, respected and supported?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">He is selfish. I've known that for a long time, but before we had kids, it just wasn't an issue. I can't explain exactly why, but I realized then that he is very high needs about some things. He's gotten considerably worse over the past 18 months or so to the point that I don't really recognize the person I married in some of the things he does.</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">What do I love about him? We have shared values & interests. We still enjoy each other's company when it's not dealing with family/household stuff - just the regular nights out, good conversation kind of company. He is fiercely loyal - to me, to work. He's motivated & ambitious at work. He will do anything needed to help someone else out. </span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I feel supported but no, I rarely feel loved or respected. I've had this conversation with him. He says that of course he loves me, so I don't know the "answer" to how to feel that way if I don't.</span></p>
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<p>I was too lazy to read the nighttime parenting post but it sounds like sleep deprivation might be doing everyone in a bit? Just a guess.</p>
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<p>I think I'd attack things on a few fronts, which are slightly contradictory (but not really).</p>
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<p>I think he does need to take on more responsibility, for himself and the kids. There are lots of ways to approach it but the main thing is for you to step out of it fully and completely, whether that's taking a class one night or a week or going out every Saturday or something.  It's not really a long-term acceptable situation for him to see you as the buffer between his kids and his private time and the person who should make them be quiet and so on. I would let him figure it out by getting out of his way. (Not that you have been trying to be there.)</p>
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<p>And then I would really work with him on this after work thing. I'm not saying it's right, but it's a pretty clear need on his part to have some kind of transition time, and you only have one car. So... this is an issue. Is there a spot near his work where he could go for 1/2 an hr to listen to an iPod or read or destress? Is there any way you could park the car halfway and you and the kids walk a bit (not in terrible weather, but most days; it might be nice if they got that outdoor time after school) and then he walk a bit? I'm just brainstorming.</p>
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<p>The constant nit-picking though, is a dealbreaker for me. I will admit I occasionally get in that mood myself but I work hard to snap out of it. It's awful to live with. I think if some adjustments to routines do not help your DH to change that (I assume you have gently let him know it's happening and upsetting), then counselling is pretty much in order.</p>
 

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<p>It sounds to me that after having kids, he's begun to feel trapped and feels like he doesn't get any time to himself..or is grieving his past life. Aside from counseling, on your part or both of your parts, it sounds like you guys are destined for separation or divorce unless he can wake up, see how lucky he is to have you and his kids and learn to appreciate you guys. I would first recommend solo counseling, trying to get DH to counseling, and if he refuses, then separate. Maybe it will give him a wake up call. He either needs to man up or he's going to lose you. That might be enough right there. Marriage is difficult..having kids can sometimes make it even more difficult or can drive the couple closer together to work as a team. It sounds like it's driven him apart. Ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life like this?</p>
 

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no, it is not mean to set boundaries such as, "we will no longer disrupt the rest of the family's evening to provide transportation for you, because you scream at us and treat us poorly, and it's not working." it's no meaner to ask a man to carpool one way than it is to ask a woman to drop everything so she can do twice the driving to fetch the man from work.<br><br>
why did you not care that he was selfish? in other words, why was (is) it acceptable to you that your partner would regularly put himself ahead of you?
 

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<p>Yes, "enabling", like a PP said, is just the right word.  It's not mean to expect an adult to act like an adult - as in, solve the problem of how to get home by himself, since he's so miserable with the current arrangement!  My whole life I've figured how to get around on my own.  I'm sure your husband can too!</p>
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<p>The rest - he sounds like a spoiled child.  He fights <em>with the kids</em>?  Do you think they'll be able to continue respecting him?  And as for "<span style="color:#FF0000;">We still enjoy each other's company when it's not dealing with family/household stuff</span> " - well, you'll both be dealing with family/household stuff for a long while.  Things are never going to go back to being just you and him, so it would seem to me that either he needs to adapt or you need to make some big decisions.</p>
 

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when you say he would do anything to help someone else out, it makes me wonder if he would do "anything" for you? for the family?
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16100823"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
  <span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">He will do anything needed to help someone else out. </span></p>
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Except for you and your children apparently.</p>
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<p>If you are feeling mean about setting boundaries then sit down and discuss it first. Give him a chance to make some changes. Tell him that you are happy to meet his need to be collected from work if he is happy to meet your need not to be picked on the whole way home.  You are happy to meet his need to be woken up if he will help you to meet your children's needs in the morning. I presume if he actually got up the first time you woke him then he would have time to help the children get ready.</p>
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<p>It sounds to me from your subsequent posts that you are simply planning to further alter your life so that his wife and children don't inconvenience him at all. This is definitely enabling his selfish behaviour. It is not mean to expect respect, support and an equal division of labour from you husband! I can understand why you don't want to get divorced but, if you stay with this man then the relationship needs to change or your children's future relationships will look exactly the same. Would you be happy to see them living like that? Would he?</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GuildJenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101001"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
I think he does need to take on more responsibility, for himself and the kids. There are lots of ways to approach it but the main thing is for you to step out of it fully and completely, whether that's taking a class one night or a week or going out every Saturday or something.  It's not really a long-term acceptable situation for him to see you as the buffer between his kids and his private time and the person who should make them be quiet and so on. I would let him figure it out by getting out of his way. (Not that you have been trying to be there.)<br><p> </p>
<p>And then I would really work with him on this after work thing. I'm not saying it's right, but it's a pretty clear need on his part to have some kind of transition time, and you only have one car. So... this is an issue. Is there a spot near his work where he could go for 1/2 an hr to listen to an iPod or read or destress? Is there any way you could park the car halfway and you and the kids walk a bit (not in terrible weather, but most days; it might be nice if they got that outdoor time after school) and then he walk a bit? I'm just brainstorming.</p>
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<p>The constant nit-picking though, is a dealbreaker for me. I will admit I occasionally get in that mood myself but I work hard to snap out of it. It's awful to live with. I think if some adjustments to routines do not help your DH to change that (I assume you have gently let him know it's happening and upsetting), then counselling is pretty much in order.</p>
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There's nowhere close to work for him to go. It's part of why I've pushed him to ride his bike to work. He could go somewhere in our house to have a few minutes, but I don't know that he'd do that consistently. Yesterday he said it's my fault that he yells in the car because I'm talking to him and the kids are talking (sometimes to him, sometimes just to the air). So, yeah, he needs downtime, but I don't know how to make it happen. Maybe he could sit in the lobby and read for a few minutes and we could just get there later to get him. He has a very hard time turning off work, and it's a high-stress time at work for him right now (and probably will be for the next 5 months or so). Before kids, we talked about work a lot, so it wasn't as noticeable, but now I just don't have time to listen to his work complaints until much later in the evening, and I don't think he can make that switch.</p>
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<p>When he's with the kids, I always come back to him telling me how bad they were and them complaining that they got into trouble the whole time. I don't know if it's better to say to everyone that they'll have to deal with it in the short term or if it's better not to leave for big chunks of time. He does enjoy playing with the kids. It's trying to get work done with them around that just sends him over the edge. He's definitely a single-tasker at home. I don't know about work. He's insanely productive & motivated there. He keeps talking about hiring a housekeeper, which ideally I'd like, too, but I haven't been able to bring myself to the point of taking that leap yet.<br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MrsBone</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101097"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It sounds to me that after having kids, he's begun to feel trapped and feels like he doesn't get any time to himself..or is grieving his past life. Aside from counseling, on your part or both of your parts, it sounds like you guys are destined for separation or divorce unless he can wake up, see how lucky he is to have you and his kids and learn to appreciate you guys. I would first recommend solo counseling, trying to get DH to counseling, and if he refuses, then separate. Maybe it will give him a wake up call. He either needs to man up or he's going to lose you. That might be enough right there. Marriage is difficult..having kids can sometimes make it even more difficult or can drive the couple closer together to work as a team. It sounds like it's driven him apart. Ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life like this?</p>
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<p>I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this, but there are many times when I think that once the kids are older, it will be better. Yes, that's a long time, and it's not fair to them to live like this their entire childhood. I know that, but I really do LIKE my husband's company in general. He's not always been this way, and I hope we can get to a point when he's no longer this way.</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101146"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 why did you not care that he was selfish? in other words, why was (is) it acceptable to you that your partner would regularly put himself ahead of you?</div>
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<p>I'm not sure. I don't think it mattered as much when it was just us. I took care of pretty much everything in our lives, which means the misery, whining, the "woe is me" part of him wasn't as apparent. Now, I just can't do everything. Our house is a disaster. I'm embarrassed by how bad it looks, but I just don't have time to make it look better right now. He hates it, too, but he's more inclined to just complain. So I guess I knew he had that tendency, but it didn't come up often.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MissLotus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101154"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Yes, "enabling", like a PP said, is just the right word.  It's not mean to expect an adult to act like an adult - as in, solve the problem of how to get home by himself, since he's so miserable with the current arrangement!  My whole life I've figured how to get around on my own.  I'm sure your husband can too!</p>
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<p>The rest - he sounds like a spoiled child.  He fights <em>with the kids</em>?  Do you think they'll be able to continue respecting him?  And as for "<span style="color:#FF0000;">We still enjoy each other's company when it's not dealing with family/household stuff</span> " - well, you'll both be dealing with family/household stuff for a long while.  Things are never going to go back to being just you and him, so it would seem to me that either he needs to adapt or you need to make some big decisions.</p>
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To be fair, working out arrangements to get home from work is a bit complicated. He doesn't work a job that has "shifts." People pretty much come & go as needed. They're all salaried so there aren't hours. So getting a ride home consistently will be pretty much impossible unless he's going to run around everyday working out a ride home. Then if things go wrong in his department, he has to stay until it's handled - or at least can wait until the next day. I'm hoping after Christmas, he can spend more time looking for a car. He knows what he wants; it's just a matter of finding it at the right price. </p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101164"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
when you say he would do anything to help someone else out, it makes me wonder if he would do "anything" for you? for the family?</div>
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We have argued about this before. His parents argue about it as well. FIL is the same way. In many ways, it's okay to inconvenience us for the sake of helping someone. Many times I don't mind because we do a lot of things to help out people who are in much worse situations. There are other times when it is bothersome. He will help his co-workers with things at their houses when they all make enough money to hire someone to do the work. If we were breezing through things and didn't have a mountain of laundry in the basement, sure help them save a little money and get a beer in exchange for helping. But when we're scrambling to make things work, spend your manual labor time at home! </p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>katelove</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101193"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
If you are feeling mean about setting boundaries then sit down and discuss it first. Give him a chance to make some changes. Tell him that you are happy to meet his need to be collected from work if he is happy to meet your need not to be picked on the whole way home.  You are happy to meet his need to be woken up if he will help you to meet your children's needs in the morning. I presume if he actually got up the first time you woke him then he would have time to help the children get ready.<br><p> </p>
<p>It sounds to me from your subsequent posts that you are simply planning to further alter your life so that his wife and children don't inconvenience him at all. This is definitely enabling his selfish behaviour. It is not mean to expect respect, support and an equal division of labour from you husband! I can understand why you don't want to get divorced but, if you stay with this man then the relationship needs to change or your children's future relationships will look exactly the same. Would you be happy to see them living like that? Would he?</p>
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<p>No, of course I don't want my children in a relationship where they don't feel valued. I also don't want to demonstrate that we should walk away from problems rather than try to solve them. That's what's holding me back from leaving right now. We talked a lot last night, and he just doesn't think "family life" is what he expected. Fine. It's not exactly what I had planned in my head either. DS is high-needs; he's always been extremely intense and...difficult. And I don't work at a salaried job or make a 'real' income. (No, he has not used that word, but my pay really is insignificant compared to what both of us thought I'd be making.) He feels like until a month ago, I was mostly a stay-at-home mom, and that isn't/wasn't okay with him. That's not what I planned, but it's how things turned out because of a variety of reasons (like DS, who was really ill for a long time and required tons of doctors' visits).</p>
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<p>DH & I have been over this, and I don't know how to make him suck it up and deal. Leaving could help ME, but the kids still would have their time with him. I can't stop that (and don't want to), and he's still a parent. It's still something he needs to learn to handle.  <br>
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 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101817"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p><br>
There's nowhere close to work for him to go. It's part of why I've pushed him to ride his bike to work. He could go somewhere in our house to have a few minutes, but I don't know that he'd do that consistently. Yesterday he said it's my fault that he yells in the car because I'm talking to him and the kids are talking (sometimes to him, sometimes just to the air). So, yeah, he needs downtime, but I don't know how to make it happen. Maybe he could sit in the lobby and read for a few minutes and we could just get there later to get him<strong>. 1) He has a very hard time turning off work, and it's a high-stress time at work for him right now</strong> (and probably will be for the next 5 months or so). Before kids, we talked about work a lot, so it wasn't as noticeable, but now I just don't have time to listen to his work complaints until much later in the evening, and I don't think he can make that switch.</p>
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<p><strong>When he's with the kids, I always come back to him telling me how bad they were and them complaining that they got into trouble the whole time.</strong> I don't know if it's better to say to everyone that they'll have to deal with it in the short term or if it's better not to leave for big chunks of time. He does enjoy playing with the kids. It's trying to get work done with them around that just sends him over the edge. He's definitely a single-tasker at home. I don't know about work. He's insanely productive & motivated there. <strong>2) He keeps talking about hiring a housekeeper, which ideally I'd like, too, but I haven't been able to bring myself to the point of taking that leap yet....</strong></p>
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<p><br>
We have argued about this before. His parents argue about it as well. FIL is the same way. In many ways, it's okay to inconvenience us for the sake of helping someone. Many times I don't mind because we do a lot of things to help out people who are in much worse situations. There are other times when it is bothersome. He will help his co-workers with things at their houses when they all make enough money to hire someone to do the work. If we were breezing through things and didn't have a mountain of laundry in the basement, sure help them save a little money and get a beer in exchange for helping. But when we're scrambling to make things work, spend your manual labor time at home! </p>
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<p>No, of course I don't want my children in a relationship where they don't feel valued. I also don't want to demonstrate that we should walk away from problems rather than try to solve them. That's what's holding me back from leaving right now. We talked a lot last night, and <strong>3) he just doesn't think "family life" is what he expected.</strong> Fine. It's not exactly what I had planned in my head either. DS is high-needs; he's always been extremely intense and...difficult. And I don't work at a salaried job or make a 'real' income. (No, he has not used that word, but my pay really is insignificant compared to what both of us thought I'd be making.) He feels like until a month ago, I was mostly a stay-at-home mom, and that isn't/wasn't okay with him. That's not what I planned, but it's how things turned out because of a variety of reasons (like DS, who was really ill for a long time and required tons of doctors' visits).</p>
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<p>DH & I have been over this, and I don't know how to make him suck it up and deal. Leaving could help ME, but the kids still would have their time with him. I can't stop that (and don't want to), and he's still a parent. It's still something he needs to learn to handle.  <br>
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1. I would try the reading in the lobby since it's temporary until he gets a car. I know people have said "it's his problem, let him solve it" but that's not how I would personally run my family - if I needed to get to work and we were down to one car I would expect my husband to work with me on it. And although it is a bit selfish, I do think when people know exactly what daily 15-30 minute would make them be able to be a nicer, more focused person -- whether that's exercise or downtime or alone time or talk to best friend time -- it's not a bad family goal. I'd also try to remember that this is TEMPORARY until you can find a second vehicle.</p>
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<p>2. I don't know if you can financially swing a housekeeper and a vehicle but if you can, DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  More on this in...</p>
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<p>3. It is really hard to realize family life is hard, especially at certain ages of child (and you have two doozies).  I do not let him off the hook in figuring it out, and you taking on everything is not helpful because it doesn't help him adjust or cope; it reinforces that it's Dreadful Awful and he just stays in that place.  However, if you can outsource stress with cleaners, DO IT.  Or if you need to declutter perhaps he could call the friends he's always helping out and get them to help sort & haul stuff. Anything that is easily addressed (unlike discipline, noisy children, in-laws, work, etc.) is worth tackling (in a way that doesn't burn everyone out).</p>
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<p>That said, after that he really has to kind of suck it up.  I think it is important to listen to his feelings. I know when I was realizing I was not cut out for the FT SAHM thing, I did a lot of whining and dealt with some burn out. I didn't need a solution -- I found that myself.  But I did need my DH to listen to me, some. And then to say "okay this is not working, what are YOU going to do/what do you need from me?  The consistent message was: Ok, there is a problem but I know you can solve it, in a way that supports our family's needs and values.</p>
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<p>4) (Out of order I know.)  The problem with this is that he's not seeing that he's the agent in that situation. If he had a hard time, I would definitely give him a hug and say "I know! These are tough ages!" BUT - it is not your job to fix it for him.  He has two little kids and they will be challenging sometimes. It's up to him to figure it out. You are NOT the referee. I personally believe the answer would be more time with them, not less time. (As long as you are not worried about physical or emotional abuse.)</p>
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<p>IMO the best two parenting books for this are "How to talk so kids will listen..." and "the secret of parenting."  The first gives techniques that can pay off really REALLY fast. The second basically says "don't kids suck sometimes? But don't worry they grow out of it." If he'd read even a couple chapters it might help.</p>
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<p>One thought I had is that if he works in a high-pressure-high-rewards environment at work, there is probably a huge disconnect between that culture and home life. It's hard to go to work all day, get immediate adult feedback and immediate adult rewards, and then come home to an irrational 3 year old and an ego-testing 5 year old. That does not mean he doesn't have to deal with it. It's just that acknowledging it might help.</p>
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<p>Not to be too Pollyannaish but it sounds to me like you guys are on the cusp of a transition in your family life where he finishes grieving for his "single" (no kids) life. My husband and I were REALLY SHOCKED that we had to do that after YEARS of infertility and infant loss. But we did. He seems a bit late to it, but he may be about to let it go.  I hope he is able to do that.</p>
 

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<p>someone who blames others for their behavior (like saying it's your fault he yelled) is not going to change, because he thinks he's right.  why would he change? </p>
 

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<p><br>
Since a huge part of the problem right now is him not having his own transportation, maybe he should focus on finding a car that's <strong>already</strong> the right price and making do with it.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<p>Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16101817"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></p>
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<p>I'm hoping after Christmas, he can spend more time looking for a car. He knows what he wants; it's just a matter of finding it at the right price. </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>2xy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16102130"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
Since a huge part of the problem right now is him not having his own transportation, maybe he should focus on finding a car that's <strong>already</strong> the right price and making do with it. </p>
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Your post made me think... sounds like the car can help alleviate one symptom of the problem, but it may not be the problem per se.</p>
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<p>Honestly, I may have missed or glossed over something, but while I don't find the husband's behavior acceptable, I don't think it's necessarily a lost cause. I read it like he's grumpy. Really grumpy. He is having trouble processing stress and he's taking it out on everyone. Not ok. But also potentially workable - but of course, only he can decide to change. The question is - will he?</p>
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<p>The OP might be able to help the situation by firming drawing boundaries and helping her DH reorient, but that sounds exhausting to do more than temporarily.</p>
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<p>OP, is your DH cognizant of this problem on any level? Sure, in the moment he is not likely to see it (or admit it at least) but later, when he's calmed down and feels better, does he see that he is acting out of line? Even if he doesn't admit it really well, can you see that he might feel a little bad - just any sign at all? If so, I think it's worthwhile to work with this.</p>
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<p>I HATE pharmaceuticals (HATE) but on a temporary basis, some anti-anxiety medications might help him take the edge off and give him a boost to start working on things proactively. (The drawback is that some, like Zoloft, are kind of "addictive" in the sense that you "need" them to stay on track, and after a while you are likely to have to increase the dose).</p>
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<p>Then there's the ultimatum. I love you but this is just not ok. I will not subject our children to this. Work on this and I will support you, but otherwise, I will have to look at the alternatives. Sometimes the ultimatum works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it backfires.</p>
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<p>What ideas seem to make the most sense to you?</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284087/i-really-want-to-make-this-work#post_16102165"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Your post made me think... sounds like the car can help alleviate one symptom of the problem, but it may not be the problem per se.<br><p> </p>
<p>Honestly, I may have missed or glossed over something, but while I don't find the husband's behavior acceptable, I don't think it's necessarily a lost cause. I read it like he's grumpy. Really grumpy. He is having trouble processing stress and he's taking it out on everyone. Not ok. But also potentially workable - but of course, only he can decide to change. The question is - will he?</p>
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<p>The OP might be able to help the situation by firming drawing boundaries and helping her DH reorient, but that sounds exhausting to do more than temporarily.</p>
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<p>OP, is your DH cognizant of this problem on any level? Sure, in the moment he is not likely to see it (or admit it at least) but later, when he's calmed down and feels better, does he see that he is acting out of line? Even if he doesn't admit it really well, can you see that he might feel a little bad - just any sign at all? If so, I think it's worthwhile to work with this.</p>
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<p>I HATE pharmaceuticals (HATE) but on a temporary basis, some anti-anxiety medications might help him take the edge off and give him a boost to start working on things proactively. (The drawback is that some, like Zoloft, are kind of "addictive" in the sense that you "need" them to stay on track, and after a while you are likely to have to increase the dose).</p>
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<p>Then there's the ultimatum. I love you but this is just not ok. I will not subject our children to this. Work on this and I will support you, but otherwise, I will have to look at the alternatives. Sometimes the ultimatum works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it backfires.</p>
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<p>What ideas seem to make the most sense to you?</p>
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Yes, I think you've hit on much of the problem. He's really freakin' grumpy all the time. </p>
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<p>He is aware of it, but he also excuses a lot. When we talked about turning up the radio, he said, "well it wasn't the best thing, but I didn't know what else to do." So, yeah, it's not right, but you do it anyway because you can't think of a better solution!?! It's almost like he's halfway there.</p>
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<p>I've suggested anti-depressants, but I don't know that he'd go for it. TBH, he hits every single marker for adult ADD, but he gets really irritated when I say that. He's in many ways shut down about kids/house because he feels like it's hopeless.</p>
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<p>Jenn, some of the problem at work is that it's high-stress & responsibility, but other people are paid to listen to you. There's inter-departmental cooperation, but he leads his team of developers. When he assigns you something, you do it. Kids don't work that way, and that's what he can't understand - why our 5YO is defiant just because he can be. There's nothing "requiring" him to listen if he doesn't want to and is okay with the consequences (mostly going to his room to cool off). So there probably are some parenting things we need to figure out, and I think that would help a lot.</p>
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<p>The other thing is that my ILs are REALLY into shaming. DH isn't and sees the absurdity of the things they focus on, but he doesn't have any other tools to handle the kids. They were yelled/lectured at constantly as kids, and he goes off on these long tangents with the kids. They, of course, eventually stop paying attention, and then that upsets him more.</p>
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<p>I don't know my hold-up on the housekeeper - I think it's some deep-seated feeling that we should be able to do it all. My mom was a single parent, and she worked & went to school & kept the house clean. Why can't 2 adults figure this out???</p>
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<p>@2XY, we've talked about just getting any car, but he really wants a specific model Jeep. I'm fine with that. In fact, he *could* spend much more than he is, and I've tried to get him to agree to it. He's just not comfortable with doing that because we generally try to be frugal. </p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="width:22px;height:15px;"></span> this is tough. It sounds like you need to have  a serious talk about what's not working for your family, and maybe if he is open to it come up with a way to communicate when things go awry. Have some kind of sign that you can give to him to let him know that he's overreacting and he can put himself in time out - go clear his head and take deep breaths? If he has a sense of humor - make it a funny word or reference. Also, agree on a distress signal - "I need your help NOW" and see if that would work. This may not work if the issues run deeper, but it was great for improving  teamwork in my marriage.</p>
<p>And - if you can afford it, I would definitely get a housekeeper (we just recently started doing it and it's totally worth it) - it would remove some of the stress of keeping the house clean and would let you focus on your family.<br>
Hope you can find a way to be partners again.</p>
 

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I've only skimmed the other replies, but I agree that he seems really grumpy. Honestly, he sounds overwhelmed and stressed, like his actions are really just reactions to what's going on around him (especially if he leans toward ADHD anyway). And when you live life as a constant reaction to external forces, you end up feeling... well, overwhelmed and stressed. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
It's so funny, but DH and I have the same dynamic right now, right down to the hour-long morning routine and evening grumpies. The difference is that I know this is a temporary thing, so I can muscle through with a good attitude. Since your DH seems to have been in this slump for a while, it's time to take action.<br><br>
Sorting out the car thing, etc. isn't going to change things. He needs to manage stress better, tweak his perspective, and adjust his priorities. My guess is that with a healthier attitude, he won't get so bent out of shape over silly little things (like NPR, etc.) and will naturally become more engaged. Although, that's assuming he's like my DH, which he may not be AT ALL.<br><br>
I'd recommend sitting down with him and acknowledging that he's not happy, and that you want to help him get there again. Yes, life is hectic, and there are things we can't change; but there are some things we CAN change to make it better for all of us. If he has reasonable suggestions, try them, even if you feel like you're already bending over backwards for him. The goal is to get out of the current crisis so that he has a healthier mindset, and then he should be more open to receiving your input on changes he can make. If he has no suggestions, then I think a visit to the doc is in order to adjust his meds and investigate if there is depressions/other health problems at play here.<br><br>
{{{hugs}}} Hang in there...
 
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