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Discussion Starter #1
My husband started working long hours 4 years ago with a lobor intensive work and with that he became lethargic, grumpy, withdrawn, emotionally unavailable, and began drinking more. I was sympathetic and let him nap and do less house work because I was capable of doing it. Since ive had my son two years ago he has been extremely high need aland recieves early intervention services, been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder etc as well as my daughter being high need as well. I now am exhausted and need more help with the housework as well as more emotional support such as conversations with me. We went to counseling and was told that he should go to bed earlier. He does now but he still forgets to help with many things and says I'm petty and all the things I complain about are bull****. He is too tired to help or play with the kids. That I need to give more because he cant function well due to his fatigue. I ask him to do simple things such as bring the trash to the garbage, unload dishwasher, save the food, vacuum the floor no more than two things a night. He forgets to do them 80 percent of the time. When I am feeling unwell I ask him to do more and he says no he has to go to bed. Or when imnsick he is too tired to help me with dinner or the kids. He does not nap anymore but he still does not talk or play with the kids or me. If he does give the kids a bath he is on his phone while in there. He is completely disconnected from us. So much so that he does not hear me reaching out and saying I'm overwhelmed and I need help. I went on strike and he retaliated so he said he would help if I started doing his things again and it took two days for him to return to usual. I had my breaking point because I had a tummy tuck because I'm doing the 180 and he did not clean or talk to me all day and then I had to get up and clean the house in my condition. I'm completely tired of having an unreliable, disconnected husband. Ive done everything he has suggested that would make things better and I'm at a loss. I truly need more help I'm so overextended with the high need children and running the housework and he is nonreponsive. It seems as if I need to accept this even though I'm truly unhappy for us to stay together. I have no family or close friends here because we move so much for his job and I don't have the time with all the doctor's appointments and housework plus I'm in school. Any suggestions? Please don't be cruel because I am so very emotional right now.
 

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So your husband works long hours at a labor intensive job, and you stay home and take care of the kids. And you want him to do more around the house?

Does the housework really need to get done? Sometimes when you're stretched thin with special needs kids and your H working extended hours to support the family, less important things like housework need to take a backseat, or can at least wait until the weekend.

Nagging your husband when he gets home after a long day at work is just going to make things worse. It'd probably be better if you two had a talk and decided what household responsibilities he should be responsible for, ie taking out the trash, and if it doesn't get done then don't do it for him. Let it pile up and he'll figure it out.

Work on healthy boundaries, solutions, and attitudes that will reduce the amount of resentment you have.
 

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It sounds like the heels are dug in here on both sides. You both resent having to do housework when you are so busy and worn out doing your own work (and I know that you already do the lion's share of housework; nonetheless, his resentment is real.)

I can tell you that your feelings will change with time on this - you will have much less interest in making housework an issue as you get older - but this won't change how you feel right now.

What I can suggest is that you force yourself to let down some of your standards for how the home is taken care of. Put some things on a different schedule (instead of doing something daily, do it 2x/week, for example). Let go of other things that simply don't need to get done.

You can't change the way your husband feels, and thus behaves, by nagging and resenting. You can only change how you behave and feel. Sometimes when we change and take care of ourselves in a positive way, our spouses see the difference and come along with us.

Believe me, I've been where you are. Looking at my feelings now so many years later, I am amazed that I made things like this such sources of bitterness for me. Yes, the burden and stress were demoralizing and overwhelming, but if I had it to do over again, I would focus on very different things to help myself.
 

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I have no family or close friends here because we move so much for his job and I don't have the time with all the doctor's appointments and housework plus I'm in school. Any suggestions?
I don't have family or friends either. My first thought was after reading all this is that you are doing too much. The fact is your husband works long hours, is tired, and I know I'll get slapped for saying this but the housework and kids is your job. He has disconnected because he feels nagged. Men can drive you crazy for this behavior. To get what you need from them you have to first let them be free. Sucks doesn't it?

Why are you in school? Anyway to put that off for a while until you get your insane life under control?
 

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It sounds as though you are both very tired. It happens a lot to couples with small children. I remember what it was like when we had three young children. I agree with the others who say try to make life easier on both of you. Your current difficulties will not last forever, though they may not go away quickly.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have let go and in therapy he said he wouldn't mind a dirtier home. So as you know ladies its hard to change the way you want your house to look so I did let go. Then he said the house looked like ****. I go to appointments for my child daily so there is not a lot of time for housework on my part as well. I'm just asking for very little to be done and usually the same things and I never nag which is why he usually forgets. And for those of you who think im being petty I don't give a krap because going to therapy because I'm so overwhelmed and a partnership is compromise. I'm saying, "hey I cant do it all.by myself anymore ...can you help out a little more. Wait till the weekend thing.....no he doesn't want to spend his only day off cleaning. And did you see.the part he is emotionally drawn and distant and does not play with the children? Not even on the weekends. So he is entitled to have 24 hour child care for his children, a maid, a cook, Gardner, etc and I constantly work as well yet hes the one that gets to sit and watch Tv....hmmmm where is my break...if we were not together he would still work but he would definitely have to do it himself . That is a messed up outlook you men think you are entitled to....I did everything before no complaints...now I cant not because I'm lazy. Wouldn't it be nice for my partner to respond to my needs in any way? There are no dates unless I take himnon a date, no anniversary presents or cards....in every way I lower my standards we have been married nine years....I just need a little.more help!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I also.want to make it clear I don't nag. I ask because he is willing her help only if I ask because he says he cant think of what to do. I drop it at that. Instead of nagging I use a journal. I lost it last night being that I let the house get destroyed by them all day because I'm bed ridden due to my rummy tuck. I'm on the 180 I have lost 30 pounds I'm goings to gym while kids are at school/early intervention, going to school to be happier makenmy life better. It was nine and I had to get up and clean while he watched me do it in my condition. And if I would not have told him i was upset that he would not do that for me in my condition. He would have never known that behavior is wrong. it shows his lack of love for me and I'm feeling so done. Yes it does not matter if the trash gets taken out, or whatever it is. What matters is the consistent unresponsiveness to things I ask of him, even the disciplining of our children. Everything is left to me! Over time it becomes more of the principal then the stupid housework.
 

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MrsManhattan:

Take my comments with a grain of salt, (your mileage may vary; tax, title and license extra). And these suggestions are not a cure to the bigger underlying problem but they may help get you some relief and get the family situation moving in the right direction.

We adjusted our budget and spending (fairly dramatically) and now pay for bi-weekly maid and gardening services. Our viewpoint was, the approximately $10 and hour that we are paying represents an hour of time we could be spending together as a family not worrying about chores and etc.

I take both children on weekend camping trips with the YMCA once a month, this gives my wife some “me-time”/“down time” (e.g., her Christmas and Birthday presents are usually gift certificates for massages) and allows for quality and unique father/child bonding and memories that will last throughout our lives. I’m no child psychologist but, a weekend of romping in the woods with just dads and other kids – is a gold standard in “early intervention” and its good for the dads too – even if I have the damn company BlackBerry.

Hey, seriously don’t let anyone kid you, these times (with young, young ones) are some of the toughest but they are also the foundation for your marriage and your children lives (the first seven years) keep working, keep trying new approaches; embrace what works and discard what doesn’t.

We’re pulling for you – it ain’t easy.
 

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MM - I really do understand what you are going through. It's very similar to my life a number of years ago. My H was just as unhelpful, just as resentful, just as clueless, and just as maddening. I felt like you had to peel me off the walls at the end of any day.

So, what do you do?

What I did was start making decisions just for my own health and sanity. And then I said to myself that I would survive if our marriage didn't. I hired some help & blocked out his complaints about it. When he made comments, I wouldn't go into automatic female 'explain everything' mode - I would just say, "Right. I decided to do that," or "That's how it is." I still loved him, but wouldn't live like that forever, so I started to plan for an alternate future as a single mom.

I was upfront with this with my H. I thought carefully about what I needed from both of us to be able to change things so that my life became livable & gave him a list of my thoughts. As the kids got older, and I worked just on getting through my own day for me and them, my H started to respond better. I really believe that much of this is just the natural aging process, as well as the effect of the stages that you go through as your children grow up.

Things eventually got so much better that I can barely remember living like that, but it went on at the time for a very long time. My H is a much different person now. So am I.

The key for me is understanding that you are an individual with your own future. Right now, you choose to live it with your H; it is not a prison sentence. You aren't trapped by anyone or anything. The only thing holding you is your children & you can't drop the ball with them.

You are, though, free to make other choices. I would suggest choosing to not do so much around the house & not letting your H's reaction to that affect you. After all, in the final analysis, you are a free agent - if you are a responsible wife and mother, that is your choice. It is the honorable choice, imo, but the point is that you are in charge of yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
At visceral that sounds sarcastic but there are many things he is good at which is why I love him. He does have a fatigue problem that dampens out his personality(good qualities and all) bit he is funny, good in bed, loyal, genuinely a good guy and I can truly see the love he has for me just the way he looks at me. I don't want to leave him i just want what is fair imo and to see an effort from him. I guess im just not dropping this one because I'm.stubborn and feel rejected/neglected because I'm vulnerable which is why I need the extra help and I feel like he must feel I don't matter enough to make the extra effort. I know I would be happier if I just let it go but there would still be the resentment of why couldn't he budge and participate /pitch in when times were tougher. When the kids are older things will get better I know but I'm afraid of all that resentment that will be there still. I also feel if I hire help he will think gosh is she so lazy now she is spending my hard earned money on help? I may have to do it anyway because its too much at this time. Thanks for replies
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't have family or friends either. My first thought was after reading all this is that you are doing too much. The fact is your husband works long hours, is tired, and I know I'll get slapped for saying this but the housework and kids is your job. He has disconnected because he feels nagged. Men can drive you crazy for this behavior. To get what you need from them you have to first let them be free. Sucks doesn't it?

Why are you in school? Anyway to put that off for a while until you get your insane life under control?
I think the kids and theirs and my mess is my job, I also cook every single day for everyone I do everything and imnso very sleepy. I agreed to be a sahm but I didn't think that would ever entail me being a martyr and always taking one for the team.:lol:
 

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. . . . I also feel if I hire help he will think gosh is she so lazy now she is spending my hard earned money on help? I may have to do it anyway because its too much at this time. Thanks for replies
He may understand more that you think. If you’ve both been fortunate enough and made the sacrifice and commitment to do the SAHM route (which is what we did) I am sure he understands you do not sit on your kiester all day eating bon-bons. We’ve done both routes and frankly SAHM is more work – but I don’t want to open that argument.

If you can swing it financially, I’d give it a try. And seriously in 20-30 years what will have been more important at this time. The new truck, BMW, or motorcycle or the quality/sanity that the extra help afforded you and your family.
 

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If you can swing it financially, I’d give it a try. And seriously in 20-30 years what will have been more important at this time. The new truck, BMW, or motorcycle or the quality/sanity that the extra help afforded you and your family.[/QUOTE]

I think its definitely worth a try. I spoke to him this morning and asked if he would agree to something like that every two weeks and he agreed. I'm hoping that this will be the final solution:smthumbup: and will try my best to get over these expectations I have placed in my marriage. I'm sure it wont be easy to keep my mouth shut. Ill just have to learn patience, and long suffering until the kids are older.
 

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mrsmanhatten, you say a counselor told him to go to bed early. Did he ever go to a MD to examine why he's so tired? How about his T levels, have they ever been tested? The behaviors you described in your first post could be attributed to low T.

he became lethargic, grumpy, withdrawn, emotionally unavailable
 

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mrsmanhatten, you say a counselor told him to go to bed early. Did he ever go to a MD to examine why he's so tired? How about his T levels, have they ever been tested? The behaviors you described in your first post could be attributed to low T.
I have asked him to visit a doctor and he goes back and forth on his answer. I schedule him appointments but then something always seem to happen to where he cant make it. Maybe I should send him to an urgent care clinic on his day off. I'm sure he would back out of it then too because he is one of those good ol tough guyed that doesn't want to take medicine for the rest of his life even if it helps us....straight out of the camels mouth!
 

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. . . . I'm hoping that this will be the final solution:smthumbup: and will try my best to get over these expectations I have placed in my marriage. . . .
It won’t be, problems are like a skeet shoot. They’re always moving and soon as you hit one there’s another one coming. But you feather your nest where you can and go forward.

For us, it has become important enough that when the old wagon gave up its ghost we actually shopped vehicles with only two objectives: (1) third row of seats and (2) payments low enough we could keep the cleaning women.

And seriously, if he is of the disposition, get him and the kids out in the woods on a regular basis. There is a lot to be said for what nature can do for men and beasts (er’ kids). In-fact, MsSpin is such a strong believer, she’ll even get our gear and everything packed for us ahead of time.
 

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I know tough guys aren't afraid of a simple blood test. It's Just the needle that hurts mommy. :)

On a serious note though. Low T could cause all of what you described and plenty of emotional issues too. I know it can be hard to convince some males, but that hormone is essential to our good health. The long term lack of it can cause all sorts of problems.

Here's some reads.

Low Testosterone Symptoms

Low Testosterone (Low T) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - MedicineNet
 

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While the kids are important taking care of yourselves and your relationship is at least as important. One day those kids will be gone and what will you have. build on your relationship while you can. We did and it was hard but when the kids moved out we began having fun again.
 
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