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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have four children (thre oldest are hers and the youngest in ours. 16G, 14B, 10B and 9G, we only have the two oldest on the weekend and the two youngest full time). Whenever I make plans to do something as a family she doesn't want to do it. She's just really not much into our childrens lives. Some examples would be : Our younest is in Girl Scouts and my wife never is involved with any of those activities, a couple years ago our youngest wanted to be in soccer and my wife signed her up but never went to any practices or games, if I make plans for us to go to the movies, park or just about anything as a family she doesn't go for whatever reason.

It's gotten to the point where our two youngest have noticed it and question me about it. I usually just make up some excuse for it and they'll not mention it again.

I've tried talking to her about it and she'll just say she's tired or doesn't want to do whatever it is we are doing. When it comes to the boys, she'll say that she just doesn't relate to boys as well as girls and blow it off that way.

I've also tried telling her that as the kids get older they'll remember these thing and the fact that thier mother wasn't there is something that will stick out to them. I can remember being in the school band and different sports growing up and I can only recall my parents going to one event each (seperately also) my whole childhood.

Just looking for some idea's, so any answer might help.
 

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You can try appealing to her with research/ facts about what makes families happy, leads to successful outcomes for children.

for example, Harley (might be Chapman?) (in The 5 Languages of Love) writes that the strongest relationships are when parents spend 15 hours a week as a couple and another 15 hours a week doing things as a family with the kids. So, you might ask yourself -- how much time are W and I spending on family time? If it's already 10 or more hours a week -- you eat dinner together, you play games, you work interactively to get homework done, you read at bedtime -- then maybe it isn't reasonable for you to ask your wife to commit to doing more with the kids on a regular basis. so instead, you could approach her and say "look W. DD really wants you to come to see 1 of her soccer games. Why don't we look at the calendar and figure out how to make that work." Also offer to help her make time -- you can say "I want you to come to see this movie with me and the kids on Saturday, but I know you do laundry on that day. How about I get up early and do the laundry and that way you'll be able to relax and enjoy the outing with us?"

If your W and you are NOT spending time together (as a couple) or with your kids then I think you have a different conversation. You say, "W, I love you and I love our family. But I am worried that we are falling into some bad habits that are going to weaken our marriage. I want to work on these problems before they get to be so big, addressing them is hard." Then you can suggest doing something like reading The Five Languages of Love, in which the issue would come up or you could try taking one of the love tests on line (google for 5lovelanguages quiz). The quiz would presumably show your wife that quality time (spending time with you and your family) is really important to you. It might also show you what your wife values, which might not be those activities but instead might be words of love.
 

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I can remember being in the school band and different sports growing up and I can only recall my parents going to one event each (seperately also) my whole childhood.
Have you realized yet that you subconsciously sought out a duplicate of our parent? We marry people who resemble our parents, thinking we will 'resolve' the issues we had with them.
 

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It's not so much that she doesn't spend time with us, it's just always "home" time unless she needs something at Walmart or the Mall and then the kids are just taken with her to do whatever it is she wants to do. She gets home at night and will sit around, sometimes working on something work related or doing something craft related or watching TV. She just never seems to want to do anything that isn't related to something that she wants to do.

As for the question about when it started, I guess about five years ago when she finally got her degree and the youngest kids started school. Maybe they're related but I don't think so. She worked while the kids were younger and hasn't been a SAHM since her oldest was a baby.
 
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