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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would post my long story here and get some thoughts from people who have been through similar situations...<br><br>
My husband and I have been together for 15 years (married 10) and have 3 kids, ages 9, 7, and 3. We have along rocky past with lots of breaking up and getting back together BEFORE we had kids (I was 16 and he was 18 when we met). Things have been stable on that front (haven't split up) since a few months after my 1st DS was born, but have deteriorated on every other level...<br><br>
My DH has ALWAYS had a hard time holding a job, always has issues with people and quits. So, after years of uncertainty about where his part of the income would come from, I made the plan to go to nursing school so I could make enough money for our family. I met that goal, and I have now been a nurse for 4 years, and he has been a SAHD for the majority of that time. In order to pay the bills, I have to work overtime every week. I am also in school working towards my midwifery degree because nursing was more a means to an end -- not really what I want to do forever.<br><br>
Over the past few years, my DH has become more and more detached. He is like a body filling a space. He sits on the computer all day and doesn't do anything with the kids. He lets them watch TV, play video games (which I can't stand). He occasionally takes my daughter (3) outside, but as far as I can tell is mostly checked out and distracted the majority of the day. I;m talking like 6-10 hours a day on the computer. He does a bare minimum of housework -- will keep up with the dishes (at his own pace, which means they sit for days sometimes), but doesn't regularly do much cleaning so the house is always a mess. Not to mention the MANY repairs that are needed in our house ... He just sits. Or many times falls asleep on the couch.<br><br>
I am frustrated because my kids (and I) deserve better than this. He gets to be at home with the kids because of his other deficiencies (can't keep a job), and he doesn't even appreciate it, while I miss out! I was willing to make this sacrifice and let him be the stay at home parent, but not if he isn't doing a good job of it. The kids complain about how he doesn't do anything but sit on the computer.<br><br>
I actually feel that he is dangerously depressed, but I don't know how to help him. We have been to counseling many times, and the last time we went it was decided that he would go alone for while because many of the problems are his. He stopped after 3 sessions. He tried anti-depressants last year, but stopped after 2 months. Now he says he doesn't have a problem and that I just don't appreciate him and his contribution. The fact is, our dynamic is so screwed up at this point that I don't even really know what is true. He also has struggled with many other things like compulsive buying and social isolation (he doesn't talk to ANYONE).<br><br>
Anyway, I feel that we are really beating a dead horse, and that we at least need some time and space out of this situation (and for him to get himself together), but I don't have anyone to watch the kids and he doesn't have anywhere to go. My mom can help some, but it is complicated because I work night shift, so I need someone to watch them at night and during the day (while I sleep).<br><br>
Last night he left, don't know where he went, don't know if he will be back. I have 2 nights off, then back to work.<br><br>
If you are still reading, I'm amazed.... Any thoughts or advice out there?<br><br>
Cindi
 

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Wow, there are many parallels between my story and yours. My XH was also supposed to be a SAHD. It started out being temporary, worked pretty well for about 4-5 years, but went down hill. In the last few years he had very little interaction with the kids. I ended up paying for preschool / day care for 2-3 days a week to give them some stimulation. He did very little around the house, and spent HOURS on the computer doing god knows what. He became more detached from the family and from everyone else.. I also think he was / is depressed but he always denied it. He insisted nothing was wrong. He got pissed when I suggested he should either work or do volunteer work. Things deteriorated between us. He ended up reconnecting with a college girlfriend from 20 years ago and they started an affair. He told me he wanted a divorce but wanted to wait 2-3 years to give him time to set up his own business and give us time to jointly buy another property-- which of course would have been me paying for it. I put up with that for about 6 months and finally couldn't take it any more and filed for divorce.<br><br>
Fast forward to now and it's been a year since the divorce was final. We have 50-50 custody. In many ways he has stepped up as a father. So that's good.<br><br>
Deciding to divorce was the hardest thing I have ever done. One day I just knew I had to do it. My kids didn't deserve to live in a house like that. And I got to a point that I didn't think I'd be able to stay sane and deal with it, and my kids didn't deserve a mother who was so stressed out and on edge.<br><br>
I do understand some of what you're going through. I can't tell you what to do. In my case I do think I did the right thing as hard as it was.
 

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Should have added one piece of advice: start documenting everything now. Keep a journal and write down what he says and does with the kids and what you do with the kids, etc. If you've been the breadwinner for years and he's been the SAHD you may be very vulnerable if he decided to fight for custody. My XH downloaded the child support calculator and discovered if he had custody I would owe him a lot of $ every month and he wouldn't have to work. So he threatened to go for custody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I started keeping a journal yesterday starting with a summary from last year.<br><br>
I'm sure that if my husband in any way connected with someone who showed him any positive attention, he would be out the door. I wouldn't even blame him, sadly. It would be understandable with the crappy way things are around here all the time.
 

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Yes, my therapist said when someone is depressed and unhappy they often try to reconnect with a point in their lives when they were happier. So it's not surprising that he chose to get in touch with his old college girlfriend and it turned out she and her then husband were in the process of separating (at least that's the story I got).<br><br>
Are you the one that does the finances? Make sure you have all account numbers, balances, passwords, etc. In addition to documenting his involvement with the kids I would be getting all my ducks in a row financially as well.<br><br>
So did he come back after the other night then?
 

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Oh one more thing I just thought of: you might start investigating the possibilities for switching to a day shift job. My lawyer said the court doesn't like parents working nights or weekends. He said the court wants you home when you're kids are home and working when your kids are in school. Maybe that's just around here. I know things are variable in different places. I just think you'd be wise to be in a good position if there was an issue about custody. It scared the living hell out of me when X threatened to go for custody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He did come back. Spent one night at his (divorced) brother's house and came back talking about how nuts his brother's ex-wife is and how our situation really could be worse. He said he is going to really try to apply himself around here and get more done, etc. etc. It sounds good, and it would be the best alternative, but I have heard it all before, so I can't get my hopes up too high. In fact, he actually spent about 6 hours on the computer yesterday (didn't even come home until 2 in the afternoon), and we already had a fight today about his half-assed attempt to clean up the house for a relative coming to visit. (he cleaned for 15 minutes, then I found him sitting on the computer...)<br><br>
I handle all the finances. He doesn't really have a clue about any of that, and I keep all the credit cards hidden from him because he has a history of secretly spending money. I make all of the income, but we struggle to make ends meet every month (sinking deeper in debt), and I wouldn't be able to work as much (much less afford daycare) without him. I am a nurse, so I have many options for different types of hours. I make a lot more $$ working night shift, plus my job is paying for my school, so I am very hesitant to switch jobs right now (I would owe the close to 20k if I left), but I could if it came down to custody.<br><br>
Sad thing is, there really isn't a happier period in his life to reconnect to.<br><br>
Thanks for helping me work through all this. It helps just to type it out. We will see what happens...<br><br>
Cindi
 
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