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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me preface this by saying that I love my DH dearly. I can't imagine my life without him, and I know our sons need him....<br><br>
The problem is, after our first son was born, hubby became terribly distant. I was hurt, and I went through a severe depression because of that and the fact that I had just lost my father. I convinced myself that this time would be different. I just knew that, after last time, when I had this baby he would be more considerate/affectionate/helpful/anything...., but he has again distanced himself from me. He leaves for work at 9am, and doesn't get home until 8:30 pm or later (he works in technical support over the phone). I don't get much time with him and neither do the kids. When he gets home, however, he wants to sit and play computer games half the night, and yesterday he spent 6 HOURS playing his game. I try to gently ask him to join us outside or even just watch a movie with us, but he gets all huffy and tells me to let him finish his game. I keep telling him that I need help around the house, especially now that I have an infant AND a toddler to care for, and he keeps saying that he will help, but he never has time between the computer games, the book he's reading, the window shopping he needs to do, and vegging out in front of the tv. I couldn't take the state of the house anymore, so Saturday I went on a cleaning spree. When I wasn't busy with the kids, I was busy cleaning ALL DAY. I asked him if he would help, and I got the programmed response, "as soon as I finish my game..." Well, three hours later he picked up some trash, brought me some dishes from the computer room, and swept the living room floor while watching TV.... Grand total cleaning time: 30 minutes. He even yelled for me to get the baby who was waking up while he was playing on the computer and I was elbow deep in dirty dishes. Then, yesterday, I decided to cook us a nice homecooked meal with some fresh bread and even cooked a casserole to keep in the fridge for tonight's dinner. I asked him if he would please clean the kitchen before going to bed (it wasn't in horrible shape, but I was trying to get the baby to sleep.), and he promised he would during commercial breaks (no kidding, he said that). Well, I was having trouble sleeping last night,(I might need to add, the baby and I sleep in a different room so he won't wake everyone up in the middle of the night, just me) and he comes downstairs too. He has been laying in bed reading for a couple of hours, and the kitchen is still untouched (it's nearly 1am at this point). I asked him politely,"did you forget you said you'd clean the kitchen for me?" And he huffs, "NO!" (as if I offended him by asking such a question) So, I reply without the politeness, "Oh, so you just decided not to do it?" He gets all pissy and says he'll do it, and storms into the kitchen and starts unloading the dishwasher noisily, so i told him it didn't need to be done at 1 am, and he says, "you sure?" Then goes away to bed without even saying goodnight to me. Sometimes I don't even want him around.<br><br>
The thing that really bothers me, though, is the way he talks to Jarod. Jarod is an exceptionally sweet child, and he does not deserve to have his head snapped off for every little thing. DH has NO patience with him. He yells and screams at him over trivial things. I hate to say it, but he has said things to him that I would consider verbal abuse. For instance, he has said more than once, "I'm gonna beat your sorry ass!!!" I have talked to him about this, and he agrees that he is too hard on him, but does nothing to change it. Lately, it seems that the only attention Jarod gets form him is when he's yelling at him. He has admitted that he is too hard on Jarod, and has said that he will *try* to do better. Just like he has said he will *try* to help out around the house a little. I am tired and frustrated and lonely and I don't know what else to do. I have left him before. Jarod and I were gone for almost a week about a year ago, and he was so much more patient and considerate when we came back, but it wore off quickly. I feel like he takes us for granted. I don't want to leave again just to get him to be more patient; that is not a game I wish to play. I know we need counselling, and he needs anger management classes, but I don't know how to get him to go along with these ideas. I hoped it would be enough when Jarod told him that he didn't like him and made him cry, but it didn't change anything. I don't want my children to grow up this way. Any advice is welcome.<br><br>
BTW: he does get time to himself whenever he feels like taking it. The problem is that he won't spend quality time with his family. I'm tired of being his last priority, and it isn't fair to the children to be treated as though they aren't important to him.
 

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Hi Catherine,<br><br>
I'm new to MDC (I posted a greeting in Pleased to Meet You). I read your post and saw a lot of what I was going thru w/my DH about a year ago concerning not helping around the house, him getting pissy about me asking for help, etc.<br><br>
I was able to help this problem in our house get better without going to counseling. If I asked him to do something for me and he would say, "Yeah, later," I would quietly go do it myself while he further engaged himself in some mindless activity. I was just tired of getting frustrated.<br><br>
If he questioned me about it, I simply said, "If I wanted you to do it 'later' I might as well just do it myself." He usually responded, "SO I have to DROP whatever I'm doing just to help you?" To which I replied, "Yes. Because that's what I'd do for you. It's called HELPING. CARING. All parts of a complete, balanced marriage." Yes, at times, I did have to resort to tears. With big blubbery sobs. It helped. (Use sparingly.)<br><br>
So when things started getting a little better, I'd brag about him to other people so he could hear me. One trick I used was when I talked on the phone to my mom, I'd brag about a meal he'd recently cooked. I'd try to keep my voice down as if I didn't want him to hear. Meanwhile, he's in the other room watching tv, eaves-dropping on my convo with mom. I'd brag on and on about what a great guy he was to cook such a fab meal, and I'd hear the volume of the tv go down so he could hear better. Then, surprisingly, he'd offer to cook the next day!<br><br>
If my sneaky little tricks do not work for you, attend counseling alone. Many local family service agencies have a sliding scale according to income, and many therapists will let you bring your children (at least in the begining). Also, if you are any where near a college or university, psychology departments sometimes offer counseling at a drastically reduced rate, or even free (for a limited amount of sessions).<br><br>
I hope this helps. There is nothing in the world worse than feeling under-appreciated.
 

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I don't have much time to respond, but I wanted to give you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s first and tell you that I am very sorry that you have to deal with this, especially now that you have a new born to take care of.<br><br>
Second, in your first line you say that you love your DH deeply. CAn I ask what you love about him? Seriously, because what I read was a description of a negligent husband and father, verbally abusive father, and borderline verbally abusive husband who is void of feeling and emotion. He is in obvious need of counseling himself, and unless he agrees to get that , your options are limited. You can not force a person to change, but you can change your situation. IF that means leaving him out of the equation so that you and your babies can be happy and safe on all levels, then that what it means. Nobody deserves abuse.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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from what i've read from your post , it does n't sound like he is very interested in the marriage. he seems really tuned out. i wish you luck
 

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I want to say that I am so sorry you are going through this.<br><br>
I have recommended ooodles of times on this forum the book, "the Dance of anger".<br><br>
get it. you are in a bad habit with your husband. Read that book. Change some of your patterns.<br><br>
I also think you need to start thinking about a wake up callfor DH.<br>
Can you pack up kids and move back to your parents?<br><br>
I never, ever suggest that but there is something in your posting that tells me this one...and I mean your husband needs to see real time stuff...but not bitching, complaining, nagging... Just a real commitment that you are not going to take this anymore and you are not going to let your son be verbally abused. And I agree with you, my heart really panged when I read that part.<br><br>
good luck.
 

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Hi there, I read your post and feel so sorry to hear that you are in such a frustrating place... This may not help directly but perhaps you can focus on the things that make you yourself happy, instead of focusing on your relationship to him which is so disappointing. If he is not enough for you, try to find other people and things that can help you and your children enjoy your days. I think you are right, counseling could help, but it is so hard to get started on that. First I think you need to get yourself to a better-feeling place and then maybe make a chance for the 2 of you to talk. It's very hard to change anything for the better when you are not feeling well yourself. Please try to care for yourself (I realize it is not easy with 2 children also) and be sure to do simple things like tickle the children and get outdoors every day. I bet I sound like a real bat but it's all I can offer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses. I have been thinking f the question about why I love him. The moments when I love him are becoming fewer and farther between. I love him for the moments when he takes time to play with the kids. For the playful spark he gets in his eyes when he's in a good mood. For the two times in our life together when he honestly thought I might die and I saw how scared he was. For the tears in his eyes when our sons were born.<br><br>
I know he needs a wake up call. I can't go home to my parents, because there is no home to go to. My father died 3 1/2 years ago, and my mother is an invalid living with my aunt. That is part of the reason I feel so hopeless. I am 22 years old, and I have no parents to turn to. Most peope I know have family to fall back on in hard times. My family falls back on me. I'm the stable one, the non-dramatic one, the reliable one.<br><br>
I am completely at a loss. I know that we need to talk, but he closes up as soon as I try. Everytime I think I have gotten through to him, he goes back to the same old routine almost immediately. I left him before, and I stayed at my brother's house, but it is too crowded there, and going back is not an option. I would love to get out and make friends, but I never have a penny to spend on gas even, so I can't get very far. Plus, we are in a very conservative area where people look at me with disgust when I breastfeed. I'm just frustrated with it all right now.
 

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I am so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds as if he is depressed, overwhelmed and is hiding behind all of the computer time, TV time, etc.<br><br>
What would happen if when he says "During commercials" or "after my game" you would treat him as if he was a child and shut off the piece of technology followed by a "I need help now. " or do a warning of "in __ minutes" or "when this show is done".<br><br>
Maybe ask him if he is overwhelmed, depressed and try to get through to the root of the cause. MAybe it's a guy's version of PPD?<br><br>
Have you talked to him calmly about how his actions make you feel? Or about how it is affecting your children.<br><br>
Maybe talking to his family/friends would help to get some insight on how he has dealt with things in the past. On the same lines, talk to him (or write a letter) telling him what you used to love about him and that it hurts you to see him this way.<br><br>
If all else fails, ask him to move out (why should you have to? Your children need a home).<br><br>
These are just ideas that came to my head and probably need working on, but he definitely has a problem. If he won't open up, please get counseling yourself. You should not stay in a relationship that brings on abuse to you or your children.<br><br>
Whatever you choose, I wish you the best. Please let us know how things are.
 

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I think you are going to be the one to move...I just feel it.. I could be wrong..but it sens up a red flag<br><br>
do you know about this:<br><br><a href="http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/1291/context/archive" target="_blank">http://www.womensenews.org/article.c...ontext/archive</a>
 

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I second or third the advice about counceling. If you can't drag him go yourself. He needs to confront and change his behavior. (My Dh and I are working on this very thing right now.) If you were to ask him what is most important to him he would almost certainly say you, his kids, etc... and he needs to see that all the lipservice in the world doesn't change that his actions, day in and day out, tell you and worst of all your kids, that they are totally unimportant.<br><br>
I was able to drive this point home with my Dh when he was recalled to active military status early this year. At some point I got between him and teh computer and made him look me in teh eyes. I asked him, "If the phone rings and you have to go camp out in the desert for six months, what are you going to regret, not getting that next 10,000 points in this game you are playing or not reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" to your daughter like she just asked you to?"
 

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Well, I guess I see it differently.<br><br>
Let me preface by saying that I am about as anti-divorce as anyone can be. I know the legacy it leaves. I hate everything about divorce.<br><br>
But if anyone, anyone! was telling my child that they would "beat his sorry ass", that person would be out so quickly that they wouldn't know what him them. Or I would leave if they wouldn't go. Nobody would threaten my child with such a thing.<br><br>
Counseling is great (I did it with my DH and it saved our marriage) but I wouldn't be cohabitating with him until you were both in counseling together and seeing some results.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I love my DH dearly. I can't imagine my life without him, and I know our sons need him....</td>
</tr></table></div>
I am so sorry that you feel that way about a person who has so little regard for you or your children. I hope that you will find a way out of this.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Counseling is great (I did it with my DH and it saved our marriage) but I wouldn't be cohabitating with him until you were both in counseling together and seeing some results.</td>
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Lovebeads, I'm an echo on your note. That is the same thing I was feeling too.<br><br>
If anyone did a check on my threads I'm all for trying to make it work, getting counseling, reading, shifting being proactive...<br><br>
but there is a hurdle here, Cat that's why I think you need to send up a red flag and think about a move out... I wish I knew someone you could move in with. I'm so sorry you have no family. My family is alive but I can't rely on them for anything..I know how hard it is to be alone. But it has brought out my creativity..<br><br>
which leads me to this web community...<br><br><a href="http://atlanta.craigslist.org/roo/17161398.html" target="_blank">http://atlanta.craigslist.org/roo/17161398.html</a><br><br><br><br>
hugs
 

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What if you asked him to leave and you stayed? You could file for a legal separation--and he would have to pay support for you and your children (legally, he would) to remain in your home. I honestly don't know much about this...but you could search online about what it would take to file for a legal separation, how much it would cost to see a lawyer. I have a friend who is a lawyer (she is very good) and specializes in women's divorce issues. I know that many women think they they have to leave---especially if they are SAHM's...but that is just not true. Do some checking into this quietly if you can, even for just peace of mind to have in your back pocket.<br><br>
I am not saying get a divorce. But a LEGAL separation where he is responsible for paying his responsiblity and finding a place for himself to live may go a long way to waking him up if that is what is needed. If that drastic step does not work, then it may be time to consider divorce.<br><br>
I am so sorry you are going through this.<br>
Hugs,<br>
Lisa
 

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It sounds like he's trying to escape from his life. The video addiction sounds awful! Is he usually depressive? Your description of his behavior makes him sound like he feels displaced by the children, like he feels like your child and not their dad.<br><br>
I agree with all the counseling advice, but maybe you need some time with him alone to find out where he's at. I know you don't have much support though, for childcare. It would be great if you could have dinner together, just the two of you, so you could find out what's on his mind. Maybe there's a way for you to have someone come over and hang out with your children while you have a nice adult dinner and conversation in the next room? It doesn't sound like you are ready to consider leaving him over video games and unloading the dishwasher at 1AM, or even over acting like his son is his younger sibling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the support here. I know that he and I need some time alone to talk. I know that I can leave if it comes to that, and it very well may. I feel like I owe our family one more shot before I walk out. If I leave again, I won't be coming back. I don't think he gets that. I asked him last night, if something were to happen to me and the kids, what would he regret, the game he didn't finish or the time he didn't spend with us? I think that got through to him a little. I'm going to look into our insurance today to see what kind of councelling it covers and try to get us a weekend appointment if that is possible. The statement to my son about "beating his sorry ass" was enough for me. My blood ran cold when I heard him yell that. I grew up in an emotionally abusive household, and I know how painful words like that can be. I also know that he can get help, but he has to want to get better. He is a recovering alcoholic, and he has been sober for 16 years, but I think the alcoholism was just a symptom of a deeper problem that he hasn't addressed. I also recognize that I need help to break this pattern of codependency. Treating him like a child and ordering him to do things makes it worse for everyone. He has no respect for me or anyone else, and that is the real problem. It is all about him, no matter what. He will spend time with our son as long as he doesn't interfere with what he wants to do. That just doesn't work. A father should put his family first, and I know that there are men out there that do just that. Sadly enough, one of the things that keeps me from leaving is the thought of unsupervised overnight visits between him and the kids. I don't like leaving them with him if I can avoid it. Another big hurdle is going to be finding a decent paying job and childcare I can afford. I have no degree and no diploma. I left HS after 2 years to go to college, and took a semester off to take care of my Dad before I was supposed to earn an associates degree, but then i got pregnant, and you know how the story goes... Sorry if I'm rambling, I'm really just putting my thoughts down inbetween taking care of the kids. Keeping the house is not an option, as it is allready being foreclosed upon. I didn't realize how far behind he was on the payments til he started getting certified letters from lawyers. My name was not on the loan. I knew we couldn't afford this house form the begginning, but he insisted we could and took over the finances. He really isn't good with money.<br><br>
Trabot~ Thank you for the links, that definitely gives me an option. I really don't care if I stay in the Atlanta area or not, why should I?<br><br>
I don't know about low blood sugar, but I know that he was diagnosed depressive at one time and took Prozac for it. He said it didn't help. I really think he has an anxiety disorder more than depression. I know he has social anxiety pretty severely, but I think it may be general anxiety disorder. Either way, he needs councelling. He needs to learn to be happy with what he has rather than stressing over the things he doesn't have. He wants a life we can not afford yet, and it is causing him a lot of stress. I would rather live below our means and save for a rainy day. I feel my best when I know that there is extra money in the bank in case we need it. But I grew up poor, and he did not. I can be happy with very little, which is why i know I can make it without him if I have to. I also know that kids are very resilient, and they generally don't notice the things they don't have so long as they feel loved.<br><br>
Well, it has taken me 3 hours to write this, and I have written it in bits and pieces, so I hopeit makes sense. I think it's time to hit "submit".
 

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Wow, I really didn't get it right when I read your OP, you are really at the end of your rope. Also like you totally understand your dh and his situation. I am so sorry that you are in this situation. He has to take at least the initiative to drag himself to therapy, and it sounds like he wants to pretend none of this is happening--the foreclosure, his responsibilities, all of it.<br><br>
I can't believe he's sitting up in his room playing video games and not talking with you while your house is in threat of foreclosure. He needs to talk with you about that! Instead he's complaining that you want him to clean the kitchen and yelling at his son like some kind of playground bully? It's like a big 12 year old, without the endearing parts.<br><br>
If you do have to leave him, I think you can make it. At the very least you won't be responsible for the debts he has incurred. If you have two years of college, you don't need to let prospective employers know you didn't complete high school. Just put the two semesters of college on your resume. If they need a proof you finished high school, that's another story--but you can take the GED exam if you have to. You can get unstuck.
 

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Cat,<br>
you sound wise and on top of everything from a great place.<br><br>
just to give you a little insight from which I have learned..you know I'm an old broad... I didn't meet my husband until I was 38 and had ds at 43 so I was single for a long time...I had a long debris field from a disaterous childhood...nothing like an absent father and a brittle hard mother to leave a mark.....anyway, thousands of hours of therapy, self help groups, books...etc...<br><br>
anyway, one of the things I learned is this.... the description of your husbands meets the definition of narcissist. He wants his emotions to be in charge...i.e. "I don't feel like helping", "I don't feel like clenaing the dishes now." "I don't feel...blah, blah, blah.."<br><br>
but at the same time he wants to be in charge..He picks the too big house, he mismanages the money...etc.<br><br>
This is the part that rubs. Get this book called, "Getting To I Do." (awful title) it really helps break down this whole dynamic and will give you more insight.<br><br>
As for being his mother and telling him what to do etc... that's why I suggest "Dance of Anger" that addresses it totally.<br><br>
both books will be a complement to any counseling.<br><br>
btw..you are right, you don't have to live in atlanta. take a look at that craig's list link and pick in any town....<br><br>
good luck.
 

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Hi! I just spent the last few minutes reading the above posts and I wanted to let you know that I do know how you feel, a bit. AND I wanted to ask if there is a possibility of a computer-game addiction? Its all part of that depression cycle where he is trying to get out of his life by recreatin one through a game. I have heard that a friend of a friend ended up divorced because of this.<br><br>
Anyway, if you end up NEEDING to leave I wanted you to know that you have a friend in Knoxville TN, which isn't TOO far away!<br><br>
Sorry this is poorly written, but I have been nursing on and off and dd just finally went to sleep.<br><br>
PS- the longer you allow him to treat you this way the harder it will be on him<br>
GL!
 

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I am so sorry you are going through all this. I can tell from your posts though that you are strong and will do what is best for your kids. It is especially hard to make changes with a newborn and a toddler. I don't have much helpful advice, just wanted to give my support as another young mother with a toddler and a newborn on the way. My husband and I have had issues over his drinking and I have left a couple times. I stay now because he is working on improving and does really love us. If he wasn't working on changing or wanting to improve, or seeing the fact that he has a problem, I wouldn't be here though. It sounds like your husband is acknowledging there is a problem or willing to work on it. I am one that thinks that divorce can definitely be the better option is certain cases, and if a marriage is turning poisonous, I would say it is time to leave. My mom and dad have both improved their lives and become better people apart than they were together. All I can say is have faith in yourself and your strength and look for and reach out to other good people who can offer support in your time of need.
 
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