Originally Posted by maureen73
I don't have anyone else to talk to so I am hoping that at least in "cyber world" someone else has either been through this or at least can offer some encouragement.
I am so glad you posted here! I wish I could invite you over for a cup o'joe, but since I can't I'll do my best to offer some support and definite empathy for your situation...it sounds so familiar...I kept nodding my head reading the entire thing!
This was exactly like my DH a couple months ago. I was terrified that I would have to end our marriage. Granted, we do have a different situation, but the same reaction from hubby for the same reason (chaos). Bear with me for a minute, let me explain. About 8 months ago my oldest two teens, both of whom have MASSIVE mental health issues (they are adopted, long story), went entirely off the deep end. One was arrested for theft, ran away, got pregnant, and decided to be homeless (it's exciting!
). The other set our house on fire, threatened to kill the police, and, we learned, had been torturing animals. During this time (a span of two weeks) we gave birth to our fourth child. Life. Was. Absolutely. Insane.
So, my oldest teen had vanished, my next oldest was in a treatment facility, and we were juggling a newborn and our 7yo daughter who, understandably enough, was having major adjustment issues with everything. Gradually DH turned into this raving monster. He was SO angry ALL the time. SO negative. SO critical. SO...just....SO.....UGH!!!!!!!
I tried to talk to him. It didn't work. I tried therapy. It didn't work. I tried damn near everything imaginable. Until finally I took a step back and looked at it from his perspective. Here is what I came up with.
1. He is, by nature, a very structured person. No, he's not on the spectrum or anything like that, but he's always liked things 'just so'. He values order and predictability, and he cherishes his family's happiness...which he also believes comes from the order and predictability of life in general. I, on the other hand, am a freer spirit that doesn't quite 'get it' in terms of needing constant structure. Talk about yin and yang! He has, for the most part, been pretty darn ok with my hither and yon whims and what not over the years. But, the chaos of everything hitting all at once was an awful lot for him to handle, and he just went back to the basic 'man grunt' phase that they can get into sometimes. Your story about the leaf in the truck....omg we've had almost that exact scenario.
Regardless, I can't control or change this about him. What I *can* do is realize that when life is chaotic and out of control, he will react by being more controlling, out of sheer frustration. Yeah, I'm a psych major so I get it, but implementing it isn't always the easiest lolol! This doesn't justify the bursts of exploding or anything, but it does help me put this into perspective. Finally I backed off from pressuring him to lighten up, I verbalized my understanding to him that when life chaotic it seems to me he needs a little more space to help process the situation and get himself at a point that he knows how he wants to respond. And then I tweaked some things on my end (the only thing we CAN control, after all), and literally within a few weeks things started to get better.
Now, applying this to your situation. You have your hands full, and the youngest years are always the hardest on a marriage! To have THREE littlest ones is amazing, and you guys really do have your work cut out for you. At the same time, it sounds like you really have your heart in the right place and that you both want this family to succeed...which it can (and probably will!) I believe from what you've said that he loves you all very much, and that he is just lost as to what to do with this desire for order/routine/structure in the midst of THREE under 5's.
Here's my suggestions:
1. Try to come up with a clear routine, especially when he is home. I've printed out the week's schedule and posted it (it changes each week). Personally, I HATE schedules (I can do routines, but I can't stand feeling like I HAVE to do something at a certain time lol). BUT...he really appreciates them. So, in the interest of cooperating, and recognizing his need for structure, it's what I do. Between you and me, I don't pay it much mind when he's not home, but when he is he likes to know what to expect. We know that we have dinner (he has kid duty/daddy time while I get it together, occasionally we switch that up), he and 7yo clean up dinner while I wrangle baby clean up. We take turns bathing the older or younger one after that, and he heads off to study for a bit (he works FT and is in school FT) while I get the girls jammied up for bed. We pile up together for family story time and then it's BFBs (Bedtime For Bonzo Babies). When we are really on track we get a tiny bit of us time once they are asleep.
We also have a weekend routine that REALLY has made a HUGE difference, specifically because I've insisted that he get a big chunk of Saturday for himself. That alone has probably made the biggest difference in lowering his nit picking crapola that we were dealing with. Here tis:
Friday eve: He gets home from work and takes the kids so I can get out by myself a bit (alone...ahhhh....silence....LOL). He usually grabs a cheap pizza so no one has to cook.
Saturday AM he makes pancakes for us all. Afterwards we all clean up and then he does his own thing for pretty much the day until dinner time. I take the kids to Sams Club and let them nosh on samples then we head to the park/zoo/museum/whatever...it kills a few hours and takes care of lunch, all in one! LOLOL! Anyways, kids are with me while DH gets some quality down time, and then DH makes dinner (it's not always what I'd want, but hey...I didn't have to cook!). After dinner we get kids in bed and watch a grown up movie together. Sunday morning we sometimes go to church and sometimes sleep in. Sunday afternoon he usually takes the 7yo out for some 'them time', sometimes takes all the kids so I can clean uninterrupted, and every other weekend I have my sister watch the kids so we can have some grown up us time.
I hope that helps some, I know this got long but I just want you to know that I totally understand what you are going through and it sounds like our DH's are very similar. My DH isn't a bad guy, he adores our family, but sometimes he can be a jerk when life is chaotic. It stinks, because that's not how I'd like him to handle it, but it's the way he is and I can either help him deal with it more productively or not...
Good luck hon, PM me if you want to talk more.