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Discussion Starter #1
During our recent troubles, it has become apparent that there is a MASSIVE problem with our decision making process.

Significant decisions during our relationship have pretty much always been dictated by him. I say "dictated" because although I will happily sit down and discuss both sides, the outcome is always the same - we go with what he wants.

It has come to a head atm...

In June, we had to move house as our landlord wanted his house back. We had a number of options very close to our old house, and thus near to the older children's schools (eldest in juniors, second eldest in infants, walking distance from our house, 5 mins from his old job.)

He wanted to move a little further away, enough so I'd have to drive the kids to school everyday and we were out of catchment for the kids' schools. Not a problem as they retain their place, but a problem for child number 3 who is due to start school next September.

I won't go into the finer points but it means a logistical nightmare for me for dropping kids off and picking them up. He knew that a) I wanted to stay near to where we were as I liked it and it was close to school, b) I wanted child number 3 to go to the same infants as the elder two, and c) that it would make drop off and pick up difficult - and that's without thinking about us wanting me to go back to work.

The trouble is, it is ME who has to pick up all the slack. I don't get a say in any of this, if I do, I'm just being awkward. We have to live where HE wants to live, kids go to the schools HE wants, *I* have to sort it all out and he is not even listening to what I am saying.

It's a recurring theme, I am realising. Us moving in together, us getting married, which surname we'd have, every time we've moved house he's uprooted the kids settled in school because we had to move to an area HE wanted to - he's done this twice now. Even the littlests' food choices - I have been vegetarian for years, the older two are, I wanted the younger two to be and he would not even consider it. Listens then gets all angry. Makes out like I'm crazy or selfish.

I'm now right royally p!ssed off with this happening over and over. What can I do to be heard and get him to realise my opinion is as valid as his?
 

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Don't have an answer, but curious as to what his reasons are for his side of the argument.

For example, in moving further away does it mean you can afford a bigger house? Better neighborhood?

Does he feel that younger kids should have meat in their diet based on some scientific research?

Hard to give you an answer if we don't know what his reasoning is and whether it may be more valid than yours.

However, your opinion should be given it's due consideration and not discounted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well he wanted to move to the area he grew up in. It is nicer but more expensive. He wanted to be nearer his mum but truthfully she was only a long walk away anyway where we were. Plus houses came up right at the front of school which were a similar price and a gorgeous area but he would not entertain even looking at them. It didn't matter to him even though it was much nicer than where we were and still not far from his mu


The surname was a male pride family heritage thing for him. I felt just as strongly about keeping my name but agreed gracefully to go with him because he would have been bitter for a long time.

The food preference - because he doesn't agree with veggie diets and he eats meat. Again he would hace beenbitter.

He held off moving in with me when I fell pregnant for as long as possible. He would happily have waited til after baby was born but I put my foot down and said I wanted his support.

Marriage? Now there's a story... But I had to give him an ultimatum that I was leaving before he would say yes.
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Well he wanted to move to the area he grew up in. It is nicer but more expensive. He wanted to be nearer his mum but truthfully she was only a long walk away anyway where we were. Plus houses came up right at the front of school which were a similar price and a gorgeous area but he would not entertain even looking at them. It didn't matter to him even though it was much nicer than where we were and still not far from his mu


The surname was a male pride family heritage thing for him. I felt just as strongly about keeping my name but agreed gracefully to go with him because he would have been bitter for a long time.

The food preference - because he doesn't agree with veggie diets and he eats meat. Again he would hace beenbitter.

He held off moving in with me when I fell pregnant for as long as possible. He would happily have waited til after baby was born but I put my foot down and said I wanted his support.

Marriage? Now there's a story... But I had to give him an ultimatum that I was leaving before he would say yes.
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I may get bashed for this but reading this shows me that you've forced him in to some pretty major life decisions as well.

You both sound like you're unwilling to work together and find a compromise. It's either his way or your way. Not healthy for a long term relationship.

I would seek out some counseling on this to see if you can find a way to begin this process.
 

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Sounds like you two just weren't on the same wavelength from the beginning on anything. Not sure any advice here, short of total capitulation on your part, will get you to a point where there won't be waves in your relationship.

However, maybe marriage counseling so that either (a) he is able to consider your opinions without dismissing them or (b) you learn to live with the way things are.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
TCS I welcome all viewpoints.

You are right, I did press those issues - out of sheer frustration of not being heard. The moving in - I was six months' pregnant and caring for two older (but still young) children by myself. I was absolutely exhausted and really struggling. Yet he insisted we should wait. He had reasons but they didn't really make sense to me such as it was cheaper for us to live separately (he was at his mums at the time) yet he was at mine most of the time benefitting from my house yet not paying his way. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to be there to help me out as a long-term live-in partner.

The marriage thing... Well we'd been together for four years and he kept stalling, going back and forth, we'd make plans then they'd fall through. He knew from the get-go that I wanted marriage, we had two children yet he wouldn't firmly commit to a date, saying he wanted to but "in the future." I got fed up of being what I felt was strung along, and explained clearly that I did not want to be ten years down the line, with four kids and still unmarried then he decides he never actually wanted to get married in the first place.

Funnily enough he never had a problem with it and we got married three months after. Said he couldn't work out why he'd kept putting it off.

I think the crux of it is I feel he JUST DOESN'T listen to me. He doesn't take me seriously. I sometimes feel like we're living his life and not our life if that makes sense?
 

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TCS I welcome all viewpoints.

You are right, I did press those issues - out of sheer frustration of not being heard. The moving in - I was six months' pregnant and caring for two older (but still young) children by myself. I was absolutely exhausted and really struggling. Yet he insisted we should wait. He had reasons but they didn't really make sense to me such as it was cheaper for us to live separately (he was at his mums at the time) yet he was at mine most of the time benefitting from my house yet not paying his way. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to be there to help me out as a long-term live-in partner.

The marriage thing... Well we'd been together for four years and he kept stalling, going back and forth, we'd make plans then they'd fall through. He knew from the get-go that I wanted marriage, we had two children yet he wouldn't firmly commit to a date, saying he wanted to but "in the future." I got fed up of being what I felt was strung along, and explained clearly that I did not want to be ten years down the line, with four kids and still unmarried then he decides he never actually wanted to get married in the first place.

Funnily enough he never had a problem with it and we got married three months after. Said he couldn't work out why he'd kept putting it off.

I think the crux of it is I feel he JUST DOESN'T listen to me. He doesn't take me seriously. I sometimes feel like we're living his life and not our life if that makes sense?
Maybe I'm viewing things differently from outside, but here's what I know of men.

When they want something, they take it. When they want to do something, they don't.

If you have to press them to do it, they didn't want to do it. They will eventually give in if they don't feel they have option.

I'm not trying to be mean or say this is all your fault. Rather that I think you're both similar in ways. I just don't see a lot of negotiation and compromise in the relationship. He lives his life, when you get fed up you give an ultimatum. This isn't healthy.

I'll be honest, in our relationship, I didn't want to get married. Hubby did and it was a deal breaker for him. So, we sat down and talked it over to see what he wanted, what I wanted, etc. We defined what our marriage would be for both of us. We agreed on timing, terms, etc.

I'd suggest going in to Individual Counseling and Marriage Counseling to help you understand why you both do things in such extreme ways.

Typically prior to marriage, these things you describe are all talked about, negotiated and agreed upon. How many children, how will you raise them, where will you raise them, when will you marry, who will handle financial items, who will handle household items, etc. This way, if you come across an item that's a deal breaker, you can walk away before the commitment.
 

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Tobio,
He did not want to get married. And if you read your earlier posts - in the lead up to the wedding you kept asking if he was happy and excited. And you kept getting upset because he was not.

The beginning set the tone: he got to live with mummy and sleep with girl friend. The whole 'its cheaper' meant it is better for me.

He must love you, he married you. And he didn't have to.

I also think this location thing is a big deal. Have you asked him what he would like in exchange for compromising on the location?

You are very often angry at this guy. Really angry. Not saying you are wrong, just wondering why it is so adversarial.
 

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Is his mom fighting you behind the scenes? The location thing doesn't make sense. Why does it make HIM more happy?

Does his mom actively support the marriage? Does she babysit the kids so you can go out? Does she call just to talk to you?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tobio,
He did not want to get married. And if you read your earlier posts - in the lead up to the wedding you kept asking if he was happy and excited. And you kept getting upset because he was not.

The beginning set the tone: he got to live with mummy and sleep with girl friend. The whole 'its cheaper' meant it is better for me.

He must love you, he married you. And he didn't have to.

I also think this location thing is a big deal. Have you asked him what he would like in exchange for compromising on the location?

You are very often angry at this guy. Really angry. Not saying you are wrong, just wondering why it is so adversarial.
I haven't asked him what he would like in exchange for compromising on where we live. You mean like anything at all? Tbh I am not sure I could offer him anything he'd accept.

The location btw is 5 minutes walking distance from his mum's - the house he used to live in right before moving in with me. From where I lived when we met, we have moved twice - from right across the other side of the city, to our old house, to where we are now. Each time is incrementally closer to his mum's, where he grew up and the schools he attended. The school we are now in catchment for where he wants child number 3 to go, is the infants he attended as a child. Then subsequently it would follow to the juniors he attended, then the secondary school he also attended. You, I am sure, can see what is happening there...

Is his mom fighting you behind the scenes? The location thing doesn't make sense. Why does it make HIM more happy?

Does his mom actively support the marriage? Does she babysit the kids so you can go out? Does she call just to talk to you?
His mum is lovely. Very strong woman, brought him and his brother up as a single parent. Initially she was sceptical of me, not knowing me she told him I was simply after a father figure for my oldest children.

However, past that, she has been really good to me and the kids. She babysits every week and helps out where she can. The *only* thing I would say is that at times there has almost been a wrenching of him between her and me. Example: a while ago he was ill and his mum and stepdad took him to hospital whilst I stayed at home with the kids. The nurse at the reception, filling in forms, asked who his next of kin was (this was before we got married.) He told me he said me but his mum gave him a "look" that made it clear she had expected him to say her.

The other thing is that rarely are we invited round to hers as a family. Often he will take the younger two after tea, or we might pop round at the weekend when the older two are at their dads but it is rare that we all get to go together.

He says it is because her house is small and all six of us is just too much for her. I think that is a smattering of the truth but not all of it and I think he is partially saying that to make it look like it is her doing but that in truth it is partially his wishes too.

If I were to hazard a guess... I would say that subconsciously all of this decision-making on his part is the "price" I am paying for having my two children already. A nice unhealthy dose of passive-aggressive resentment rearing its head. He knows he can't control the composition of the family unit in that respect so he exerts control in the other places that he can.

Eg he knew how much I liked the location I originally lived at. He hated it... so it had to go. He knew how much I wanted to keep my name... He has literally shown me appreciation for giving that up ONCE. And that was only because I told him he'd never shown any appreciation for it. He knows I think the infant school the eldest attend (ed) is excellent and where I wanted child 3 to go. But his opinion is superior so mine doesn't even register.
 

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TCS I welcome all viewpoints.

You are right, I did press those issues - out of sheer frustration of not being heard. The moving in - I was six months' pregnant and caring for two older (but still young) children by myself. I was absolutely exhausted and really struggling. Yet he insisted we should wait. He had reasons but they didn't really make sense to me such as it was cheaper for us to live separately (he was at his mums at the time) yet he was at mine most of the time benefitting from my house yet not paying his way. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to be there to help me out as a long-term live-in partner.

The marriage thing... Well we'd been together for four years and he kept stalling, going back and forth, we'd make plans then they'd fall through. He knew from the get-go that I wanted marriage, we had two children yet he wouldn't firmly commit to a date, saying he wanted to but "in the future." I got fed up of being what I felt was strung along, and explained clearly that I did not want to be ten years down the line, with four kids and still unmarried then he decides he never actually wanted to get married in the first place.=
You made the biggest mistakes a woman can possibly make with a man, short of cheating on him.

NEVER badger, force, or otherwise berate a man into moving in with you, and even worse, marrying you. His apprehension is there for a reason. No matter how logical it seems to a woman, a man is different. It's all too common for women to feel like it's OK to drag a man kicking and screaming into cohabitation and marriage, and it all too often ends up being detrimental to their lives down the line.

Your then boyfriend, now husband, didn't want to move in with you, didn't want to be a live in parent, and didn't want to be a husband. At least not on your timetable. All the "putting your foot down" and ultimatums have provided the perfect atmosphere for the turmoil you're experiencing now.

Maybe you need to sit down with your husband and ask him to be brutally honest about how he really feels about his life, your marriage, the whole nine yards.

I think the crux of it is I feel he JUST DOESN'T listen to me. He doesn't take me seriously. I sometimes feel like we're living his life and not our life if that makes sense?
That makes perfect sense. Your husband wasn't ready to give up "his life". He buckled into your ultimatums, but moving in together, getting married, being parents, didn't kill his desire to live "his life". He wasn't ready to share a life, to create something born out of your desires married with his desires. So he's essentially living his pre-ultimatum life...with a wife and kids tacked on to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
jacquen

I get what you are saying about not forcing him. But I never saw it like that. In my mind, I had been clear from the outset about what I wanted. Although he said it was indeed what he wanted, like I told him, I had been told so many different reasons and excuses that I didn't know what was true and what wasn't after a while.

I guess the truth was I just didn't trust in him that what he was saying was true. Eventually it seemed to me the only way he would actually take the plunge was if he was given a stark choice - sink or swim. I firmly believe that had I not done that, we would still be unmarried and with no firm date set. I told him I wasn't going to wait and wait forever.

In hindsight, he is clear what his reasoning was for keeping putting it off - which I might add was NEVER the sole reason he gave, nor one he particularly highlighted. He also says he likes being married and I think I mentioned earlier, doesn't really know why he put it off so long.

Like MEM said, I am feeling like I am perpetually angry at him. There, in my head, is a long list of peeves. I am a thinker and I do consider if my feelings are reasonable and I feel they are in these cases. But he has a way of cutting me down and it leaves me really resentful.

For example, he recently started a new job. In his last job, he had early starts so we never saw him in the morning - he literally got up 10 minutes before he started work, threw on his clothes, and then went to work. In his new job he starts later so can leave later. I remember saying how it would be lovely to be able to see him in the mornings and he can help out with the younger two - he was always sad at feeling he didn't get to see them much in the week so it was a bit of a perk of his new hours.

He's been there 5 weeks now and he's gotten up early to help... maybe a little in the first week. I've asked him a handful of times... Lots of yeses, then nothing... I said again to him this morning and he said, why, what do I need him for in the mornings. I said I have four kids to get ready and it would be nice to have a hand, and he said, so what do you need ME to do then - basically saying he doesn't need to get up any earlier, it's fine for him to stay in bed and ignore me asking him for help... Then after work he regularly drops by the supermarket, or has popped in to see his mum so he's a bit later back but doesn't let me know so I end up doing dinner by myself... Yesterday after dinner I said I was going to take a shower and he threw a fit that I was going to go off for fifteen minutes and leave him with all the kids! Okay for him apparently but not me:rolleyes:
 

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It sounds to me like your husband is a "go along to get along" kind of guy. Rather keep the peace than make waves and so just agrees to whatever is going on. At the same time, I think there's some magical thinking going on with your part. It often sounds like you have this outline in your head where it's "when x, then y". So WHEN you get pregnant, THEN he becomes Mr. Active Involved Dad. WHEN you move in together, THEN he becomes Mr. Perfect Partner.

Let me ask you this: early on when you're talking about your visions of the future, what you want from life, relationships, etc., how did the conversation go?

Was it:
Tobio: I definitely want to get married and have more kids.
Mr. T: Me too!

or was it:
Tobio: What are you looking for in the future?
Mr. T: I definitely want to get married and have a big family!

My impression is that the relationship has tilted more towards him saying "me too" to a lot of things and very little initiative towards fulfilling those ideas. Would you say that's true?
 

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jacquen

I get what you are saying about not forcing him. But I never saw it like that. In my mind, I had been clear from the outset about what I wanted. Although he said it was indeed what he wanted, like I told him, I had been told so many different reasons and excuses that I didn't know what was true and what wasn't after a while.

I guess the truth was I just didn't trust in him that what he was saying was true. Eventually it seemed to me the only way he would actually take the plunge was if he was given a stark choice - sink or swim. I firmly believe that had I not done that, we would still be unmarried and with no firm date set. I told him I wasn't going to wait and wait forever.

I'm going to be brutally honest with you. Your feelings, in this matter, were irrelevant. It was already known that you wanted to get married, and he still was dragging his feet.

It doesn't even matter what he said before, or what he said after. People lie to their lovers, and themselves, all the time.

The only behavior that mattered was his actions. And his actions were screaming to you that he wasn't ready to cohabitate, co-parent, and be a husband.

The proof is in all of this:

In hindsight, he is clear what his reasoning was for keeping putting it off - which I might add was NEVER the sole reason he gave, nor one he particularly highlighted. He also says he likes being married and I think I mentioned earlier, doesn't really know why he put it off so long.

Like MEM said, I am feeling like I am perpetually angry at him. There, in my head, is a long list of peeves. I am a thinker and I do consider if my feelings are reasonable and I feel they are in these cases. But he has a way of cutting me down and it leaves me really resentful.

For example, he recently started a new job. In his last job, he had early starts so we never saw him in the morning - he literally got up 10 minutes before he started work, threw on his clothes, and then went to work. In his new job he starts later so can leave later. I remember saying how it would be lovely to be able to see him in the mornings and he can help out with the younger two - he was always sad at feeling he didn't get to see them much in the week so it was a bit of a perk of his new hours.

He's been there 5 weeks now and he's gotten up early to help... maybe a little in the first week. I've asked him a handful of times... Lots of yeses, then nothing... I said again to him this morning and he said, why, what do I need him for in the mornings. I said I have four kids to get ready and it would be nice to have a hand, and he said, so what do you need ME to do then - basically saying he doesn't need to get up any earlier, it's fine for him to stay in bed and ignore me asking him for help... Then after work he regularly drops by the supermarket, or has popped in to see his mum so he's a bit later back but doesn't let me know so I end up doing dinner by myself... Yesterday after dinner I said I was going to take a shower and he threw a fit that I was going to go off for fifteen minutes and leave him with all the kids! Okay for him apparently but not me:rolleyes:
Read what you're actually writing in this thread.

He doesn't want to spend a lot of time taking care of the kids. Even 15 minutes alone with them is too much.

He keeps moving progressively closer back to his mum, and his old life.

He's living HIS life, with you guys tacked on.

You pressured him into marriage, and this is often unfortunately the result when a man doesn't have the guts, or the know how, to speak up for what he actually wants; you end up with a single man who just happens to be wearing a wedding band.
 

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T,
This isn't working.

Time to switch gears.

Go meet with his mom. Tell her how glad you are to be close to her. Tell her that you are glad she is healthy because the kids will be mostly self sufficient by the time she might need more help.

Here is the hard part. You need to get her to understand that YOU want to understand what you might do differently to avoid some of the friction you two are having.

He is her son, so you need to defuse the 'he is the problem' reaction proactively.

If it was me:
I know I have made some of this harder. If I had to do it all over I would have waited for him and not had two kids with someone not suited to family life.

And I would have realized that it was a mistake to ask him to take on a blended family while also pushing so hard to keep my name.

T- you don't really get this bit. This guy really questioned whether he wanted to take on someone else's kids.

You are way higher maintenance than you realize:
- you wanted him to marry you and instead of getting him to want to, you threatened to end it otherwise
- you wanted to keep your name and he refused to marry if you did

You are angry that he forced you to concede and he is angry you forced him to concede.

He doesn't 'thank you,'. For giving up your name.

You didn't thank him for marrying at a pace he didn't want. In fact you were angry he didn't act happy to do it on your time table.

Angry as you are, I bet you are NOT being a loving wife. And you then get more mad about the lack of morning help.

He is shutting down as you get more aggressive.

Being strong willed is ok up to a point.

If you really wanted a different guy, you should have married a different guy.

He is already withdrawing from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am not being a loving wife.

I am a mass of criticism. A ball of seething resentment. I stopped giving as much a while ago.

I just don't know what to do to reset.
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I talk nicely - my default mode - he ignores me.

I repeat again - I am zoned out.

I am on high alert all the time because it is the only way I know he is actually listening. No I know he doesn't like it - but he listens then.
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T,
You knew this guy well. He hasn't changed. You keep getting more and more angry at him for not changing. Either accept the man you married and make the best of it, or burn your own house down with your fury.


I am not being a loving wife.

I am a mass of criticism. A ball of seething resentment. I stopped giving as much a while ago.

I just don't know what to do to reset.
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You: I am angry that .....
How about: Why don't you want to .....




I talk nicely - my default mode - he ignores me.

I repeat again - I am zoned out.

I am on high alert all the time because it is the only way I know he is actually listening. No I know he doesn't like it - but he listens then.
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