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My wife and I have been married almost 11 years. We got off to a bad start because we were involved in an abusive ultra conservative church that all but forbid me from marring her.
After we were married, we got pregnant, with twins, but we lost the second daughter shortly before birth.
We ended up leaving the abusive church that same year and have attended three other churches in the remaining 10 years.
I was once a minister in two of the churches, but never completely healed from the years of abuse.
To add to this, my wife has always had a weight problem and is self conscious of this. She tries and fails with keeping off the weight, and is even on Prozac for her problems.
Her low self esteem means that she does not take care on how she dresses most of the time and she will not keep (or help much with the house) I do 95% of the laundry and cleaning, she will cook.

In short she is a hoarder, and it is a constant fight (for me) to keep the front and main house clean and presentable. I am responsible for the lawns and house and about 20% of the cooking.

What is worse is, my daughters are picking up her slovenly habits!


She wanted pets and she got dogs. they stayed in kennels to the point of abuse I would say. we have our daughters water, feed and play with them. I put them in our large back yard.

Over the years we were able to purchase two houses (one is a rental) and are sending our daughters to a small Christian school.

With the anxiety of the past, and my inability to say no we have a significant amount of debt and we have 3 judgements against us for credit card debt and soon a time-share foreclosure.

Everything looks OK on the outside, but we have several blow-up arguments about every 3 to 6 months. I am told I am thoughtless, don't meet her emotional needs and am selfish. She constantly brings up the past church we came from and when I say "You haven't forgiven me for being in that church" she states "You never changed!!"

I feel like I am doing a lot, I just miss social cues all the time. She says I don't meet her real needs, and argues about Mazlo's hierarchy of needs.


Another turn for the worst is this:
1. In 10 months all of our parents have died (They were all in or near their 80's)
2. We don't have a lot of mutual friends since we switch churches and both work nights, in fact we hardly see each other.
3. We have been fighting about sex for 3-7 years. In fact it has been 8 or so years since she has initiated it! And when we do have sex (Not since January) it's a fight to get it!

In our last argument
I was given an ultimatum:
"Get your poop together or we are pretty much finished"


I came from a family where my dad was a philanderer and my mother played the silently suffering martyr. In the end my dad was in a nursing home, and my mother was a bitter old woman. I want to stay faithful to my wife, but the constant turmoil of:

1. not knowing what I'm really doing wrong
2. her unwilling to change herself
3. the feeling that the house and home isn't getting any better
4. The offer for counseling refused several times

I don't want history to repeat itself. I don't want to be my mom or my dad.

another trouble is the fact that I was depressed to the point of seeing a psychologist. I tried two different times over the years. The last one brought out something that I readily noticed. I would complain about all these things and the burden seemed to be lifted. I felt guilty to say those things about my wife and talked more, but problems got worse.

I need my friend, confidant and lover back but the future looks bleak. Another friend, when i showed them pictures of where my wife sleeps, and a pic of the dog kennel compared the three (ME, kennel and her sofa in the basement; because we havent slept in the same bed in about 3 years) said that I was caged.

I don't know what to do. I'm not getting depressed anymore and im seriously considering divorce. My needs are no longer met on any level.

Someone please help...... Im at the end of my rope!
 

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Wow. I usually pride myself on being able to see hope in any situation. She insists that everything is your fault and refuses to deal with her issues. I really don't see a way out and would probably let her flow through on her threat to leave.

Sorry dude
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Im sorry Mr Duck. Certainly seems you are in a hopeless situation. Far too much of the life burden falls on you, and it seems she feels you arent even doing that right. She obviously has many issues that she obviously isnt willing to face head on. At some point you must do what is best for you, AND your children. Not an easy decision, but listening to your story, there isnt much that is coming easy for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So why exactly do you want to stay, knowing you can't change her?

C
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I thought to stick it out out of honor, commitment and a vow I took. Regardless of this I still want to make the best attempt one last time so my conscience is clean. I hate even having to bring up this type of stuff on a forum.
 

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What are her needs that she says you are not meeting?
 

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I think it is great that you are trying to do the right thing for your wife and family. However, I don't think that is what you are doing at all.

If you want your wife to respect you, you have to be a strong man. I am not saying cruel or harsh, but firm in your words. Your wife obviously has many problems. You need to give be giving her the ultimatum. Shape up or ship out. I know it's hard, but you are only enabling her by accepting this behavior.

And btw, I grew up in a strict Christian family. My mother always said cleanliness is next to Godliness. Maybe your wife could use that advice.
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Wow. I usually pride myself on being able to see hope in any situation. She insists that everything is your fault and refuses to deal with her issues. I really don't see a way out and would probably let her flow through on her threat to leave.

Sorry dude
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It is terrible, because I never thought, in my wildest nightmares that I would face this decision, especially since I got an ultimatum and at first thought to "Work on my self".
Im miserable about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im sorry Mr Duck. Certainly seems you are in a hopeless situation. Far too much of the life burden falls on you, and it seems she feels you arent even doing that right. She obviously has many issues that she obviously isnt willing to face head on. At some point you must do what is best for you, AND your children. Not an easy decision, but listening to your story, there isnt much that is coming easy for you.
Im not a perfect person. I keep the bills paid, the house clean and we are church going people. Im tired of walking on "egg shells" with not knowing what the next blow-out will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What are her needs that she says you are not meeting?
She states that it is security.
the statements are:
1. "You do all the little things, which is good. But you need to be there for me"
2. Your opinions are too critical of others you need to change your beliefs and not act like were still in that "cult"
3. When I need you the most, you are not there.
 

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I think it is great that you are trying to do the right thing for your wife and family. However, I don't think that is what you are doing at all.

If you want your wife to respect you, you have to be a strong man. I am not saying cruel or harsh, but firm in your words. Your wife obviously has many problems. You need to give be giving her the ultimatum. Shape up or ship out. I know it's hard, but you are only enabling her by accepting this behavior.

And btw, I grew up in a strict Christian family. My mother always said cleanliness is next to Godliness. Maybe your wife could use that advice.
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I guess my leadership demeanor is like the sentimental basketball coach. I can be harsh, intellectual or pep talk, but all three are resented.
I never thought I was enabling her behavior before. This is a new thought. At one time I did try to stop doing as much, but this just drove me crazy!

Isn't this ironic. The guy is the clean one and the wife is the slob!! whats wrong with this stereotypical picture!!
 

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Isn't this ironic. The guy is the clean one and the wife is the slob!! whats wrong with this stereotypical picture!!
What's wrong is that stereotypes don't apply to individuals.
 

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You cleaning won't make her a clean. You spending money or letting her spend money on unnecessary items won't help you pay the bills. You sleeping apart from her won't make her feel attracted to you, or even close to you. Everything you are currently doing will not get you what you want out of your relationship. What can *YOU* change about the situation?

To be honest, I've dealt with a hoarder and they don't change because they don't want to. It impacts on a child's life immensely. I've read some forums of children of hoarders and the emotional trauma they suffer is bad enough that I'd kick my spouse out before I let them do that to my children.
 

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Hording is a form of OCD. Your wife sounds extremely depressed. It sounds the Prozac is not working for her. Perhaps you could go with her to whomever her medical provider is. She might need to see about different medications. One you might want to ask about is Wellbutrin.

If your wife is taking a generic Prozac, this could be part of the problem. A few years ago I was on Prozac (the name brand), then my insurance switched me to a generic. It was horrible. I was better off without the drug than on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My daughters are picking up some of my wife's bad habits. I have tried to confront her about this problem and it results in tears and a fight.
She states that her mother would always "pick" on her about cleaning up and it was "never good enough... do why try"
My mother-in-law was a wonderful person and I miss her.
I guess since all of our parents are dead it is easier to think about separation. Either way I know that people will be hurt if i stay, and people will be hurt if I go.
My choices are to stay and "try" to work out "my" problems (1. Which probably consist of being firm... uh maybe, and anticipating her social needs. This is what seems to be killing me, because I have held in my frustration and feelings and made myself sick in the past. 2. confront her about the hoarding and have another fight, but press through. Not sure this is wise) OR go, and take 10 years of life and a relationship and convert it into the Black and Red accounting principles of a separation of property and debts; this is also a dismal thought. Not to mention, the impact on our 10 & 7 year olds
 

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She states that it is security.
the statements are:
1. "You do all the little things, which is good. But you need to be there for me"
2. Your opinions are too critical of others you need to change your beliefs and not act like were still in that "cult"
3. When I need you the most, you are not there.
Try showing compassion without enabling.

Treat the hoarding as an addiction

Study up on accountability of those with addictions

Addictions cause those who have them to choose destructive behaviors to themselves and those around them. You have to choose to no longer partner with her in the destructive behavior and ONLY partner with her in constructive behaviors and show compassion until the transition is made and beyond.

She is speaking heart issues... you are speaking to do list... in her eyes...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have suggested couples therapy recently (~6 months). Long ago she suggested it and I said no. This is now used as ammunition and the problem is with "me" not her.

Believe it or not, I have 6 years of dealing with rowdy adult Tech school students, I am a Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, and I STILL hate confrontations! This is especially true with someone I made a vow to!!!

Im weighting the consequences of leaving. ... and since this is the internet, I will be very blunt. Im emotionally and psychologically starving for friendship and companionship that is meaningful.

I have noticed over the years, probably due to our schedules, that we do not have a lot (if any) of friends. Most of my social contacts are at the Dojo or a (very) few at church. I feel isolated, and this is usually something that I hear about with women in controlling relationships- not men!!
It's almost easy to believe that I AM the problem and not her. Like I said I don't like confrontation, but I at that point where I will not make my self sick from this. do you really think following through on a "counter ultimatum" (because she gave me one last month) will be the best option?
 

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Detach and focus on constructive behaviors for yourself. And you could possibly try this...

I had to view my husbands anger as an addiction and this is what I told him six months ago...

"Your anger is excessive and beyond my ability to handle it. I need for you to address it with a professional counselor. I am requiring this be done by the first of the year and if not, we will be separating. If you still refuse to have it addressed with a professional, you will be choosing to risk divorce with me."

If you are honest and tell her it is beyond your ability to cope and that she needs to choose better and with the help of a professional, then it won't be on you. Her choices will be what determines action from that point.

Your lifestyle is totally unsustainable.
 
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