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So my husband and I have been married for 11 years. Just about the whole marriage I have felt like I have never been respected just as a person. I feel like my husband just looks at me as his wife but he doesnt see who I really am. My space, time, things and opinions have never been respected. It kind of feels like our relationship is just a game. His personality is one that is very playful, carefree and fun. When it comes to serious things he has a hard time with it. I never noticed these things when we were dating but now that I'm much older I feel like there are things that I want that he just isnt willing to give me. I busted my butt the first 5 years for us when he wasnt able to pull his weight. Paid most of the bills, took care of the kids, worked, cooked, cleaned and went to school. Now he is making really good money and I'm on disability because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. He only pays the rent and gives me money here and there while I pay everything else with my disability check. I'm struggling so bad and he refuses to see it. I cry, I talk to him and he says he will change but he doesnt really. It's been 11 years and we dont even put our finances together, we havent built anything, we have nothing really. I want to make this work but I know it takes 2. What should I do? I'm so tired....
 

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From my point of view, when you are married, you share everything including money. A marriage should be a completely partnership. Of course both people have to want to make that work, and it sounds like he doesn't.

I don't know what to suggest that will turn him into being a good person.

I'm sorry you are in this spot - wish I had a useful solution.
 

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He is the only one that matters, selfish indeed he is, kinda a self appointed center of the universe.
 

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I hope you are controlling your disease successfully with Humira, etc......My X has it but she is doing well. I wish you the best.
 

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That is so unfair, what is he spending all the money on that he makes if he isn’t paying much? I also feel when you’re married all money should be together and if it’s not then things need to be fair.

I also hope you’re being treated.. I have psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and UC and even with humira-methotrexate and plaquinel it can be rough. Does he understand what you go through on a daily basis???


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I want to make this work but I know it takes 2. What should I do? I'm so tired....
This might seem counter intuitive, but what you do is to focus on yourself and what you need and how to make your life better.

I'll explain.

As you have found out, you cannot change your husband. The only person who you can change is yourself. Now as you change, he is going to have to change in response to the changes you make in yourself. You have no control over how he changes, but in a lot of cases, the change is for the better.

How do you change yourself? Well first off, stop looking to get the things you do noticed. At this point he's not going to notice or acknowledge it so just stop wanting/expecting that.

Focus on things that make you stronger physically and emotionally. I don't know the extent of your disability. But I'll try to touch on somethings that would help.

Can you work out? Joining a gym? I think it's Planet fitness costs about $10 a month. If you have trouble with working out, can you get into a rehab program for your disability? There are Rheumatoid arthritis programs that are often covered by insurance. Have you ever gone through one? Check with your insurance to see if hey cover it. If you are on Medicare with your disability they will cover about three months of rehab, sometimes more.

What is your social life like? Do you have friends and family that you do things with? If so how often do you go out with them?

Now as far as your marriage goes, there are some good books that would help you. I suggest you read them in the order listed below. Each of them builds on the previous ones.

Divorce Busting: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again by Michele Weiner-Davis

The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage by Weiner Michele Davis


Love Busters: Protecting Your Marriage From Habits That Destroy Romantic Love by Harley, Willard F, Jr.

His Needs, Her Needs Participant's Guide: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Jr. Harley

You and your husband seem to not have a good idea of what marriage is supposed to be like. For example him keeping his income separate and pushing most of the financial obligation onto you is just wrong. In marriage all income is joint income and should be handled as such.

These books will teach you how to change yourself and restructure your marriage into a loving, passionate relationship.

The last two books are meant for both of you. But I suggest you read them first and do the work they say to do. Then ask him to read them with you and the two of you do the work together. The hope the that by the time you read the first 2 books and modify your life per their suggestions, your husband's attitude will have changed in response to the changes that you made... and he'll be willing to work together with you.

Have the two of you ever discussed the topic of divorce? Does he realize that with your 11 years of marriage and disability, he could be stuck paying you alimony for a very long time? Does your would probably get a larger share of your and his assets because of your disability and inability to earn a living? I'm not suggesting that you march in and give him an earful about this. Instead I suggest that you read up on divorce laws in your state. If I knew which state you live in I could provide you some good links. The reason that you should know the divorce laws is that it informs you that you are an equal partner to him in this marriage. He does not seem to realize that, but you need to start acting the reality of it.

Also, do you have children? You did not mention any.

I'll check back and hope that you respond here.
 

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Have you ever heard the saying (and the song) "It's cheaper to keep her?"

I want to first point out that you've probably also heard the say "You teach people how to treat you." And that's what you did. You taught your husband that he matters and you don't matter because you spent all those years taking care of him and not requiring any respect, appreciation, or acknowledgment from him. You have always put him first. You thought that once he was in a better position financially that he would step up to the plate. But that was just your imagination, and now you're disappointed that he doesn't do things that you never expected or required of him before. You didn't value or respect yourself so you didn't garner value or respect from him.

You should start respecting yourself and teaching him to respect you and treat you differently. He is squirreling money away (or throwing money away), and you need to start doing the same. Stop paying the bills and he will start paying them. Tell him you can't afford them on your limited income.

Did you know you can sue your husband for child support? You don't have to be separated or divorcing. You can sue him while married and living together. Check with an attorney to find out if your state somehow prohibits that but it's allowed in most states. I don't know if spousal support works the same way, but ask a divorce attorney.

I'm suggesting this because suggesting that you leave him or divorce him aren't going to mean anything to you. Most people don't want to leave and divorce and many are too afraid for various reasons. Since you are on disability, I can imagine you're too afraid to have to live on your own so you wouldn't consider leaving just because we on this board suggest it. You could think of that on your own and would do it if you weren't opposed to it.

So, take my advice and stop contributing to force him to expend more of his income on household obligations. If he wants the lights and heat and TV to remain on, then he will pay for them. If you refusing to pay doesn't prompt him to pay, then take him to court so that you can receive proper financial support for your family.

But really, I think he's either saving money and planning to leave, or he spends his money on something/someone you don't know about but should know about.

Once he realizes how much he will have to pay in child support and alimony, he will likely decide "It's cheaper to keep her."

But honestly, if you are too afraid to stand up for yourself or do anything to challenge him, then there's nothing to be done about your complaints.
 
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