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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After 14 years with two kids under 14, I've had enough of tolerating the situation, settling for less than I want, and putting up with the barrage of guilt trips and other BS being fed to me by my wife.

We simply don't work well together. We are polar opposites, I'm not attracted to her physically. She does nothing for me intellectually. She is a slob. She doesn't work. She is overweight, in constant bad health but does nothing to take care of herself. She constantly complains and brings more drama into our home than any single human being should be allowed. And God forbid if I say I don't want to hear the drama.

I hate describing my wife in these terms but this is what I live with. Throughout 14 years, it went from bad to worse. She blames me for her inability to have any sense of self dignity. She makes every excuse in the world for being overweight, having no energy, never picking up after herself, not finding anything productive to do with her days, I could go on. The point is, she doesn't work - yet I have to get up at 6:00 AM everyday, get myself ready for work, get the kids up, get their breakfast and lunch together (they just started doing this themselves), and getting them out the door on time. By the way, I also walk the dog and take the kids to the bus stop or drive them to school when necessary. I am also the primary cook in the family and cook most of the meals. All she basically does is the laundry and she makes it sound like this is a full time job! She implies we need a maid. We're constantly eating out, which destroys our budget, because she forgets to put anything out for dinner. Must I go on?

We are a one income family that lives check to check so we're always playing catch up. I have no college degree and we struggle financially. There is no savings, no college fund, no retirement. I travel with my job so I can't ask for custody. I'm not sure I beleive in taking kids from their mother anyway. It's not like she's abusive towards them or an addict.

All this, and I catch grief because I am not kind enough. I don't compliment her, tell her I love her, make her feel appreciated, blah blah blah. Unless I am simply a spineless jellyfish, how can I blow smoke up her butt when I feel she brings nothing to the relationship except her motherhood. <<< Not to discount the importance of her as a mother, but come one. She does NOTHING for me as a husband. This sounds selfish I know. But is it too much to ask for her to be a little more productive?

I know this is not the 60's and I am trying not to be chauvinistic but, because it's 2012 I would think she would have a little more ambition. Her actions suggest she is a spoon fed brat who does just enough. I feel like I am an enabler, not being true to myself. Not putting my foot down long ago and making her work. But, having come from a divorced home, living with a single mom who worked her butt off and not having any time with me in my childhood years, I owed it to my children to give them a mother. So I have done that.

But our arguing has affected the children. I admit that. They are older now and pick up on things much easier. They feel the tension and unhappiness in the home and that disturbs me. It prevents me from being the best dad I can be. Sometimes I avoid them simply because of the tension between their mother and me.

Life is too short to go through it being miserable. But I can't afford both child support and alimony, keep up two households, and maintain any sense of sanity. She would drive me crazy with the calls to bail her out of her "emergencies". It is always something, so why would I think that would change if we were to divorce? And the thought of leaving my children is the only thing that keeps me hanging on.

This post doesn't tell the whole story, but it paints a telling picture. I'm just tired and don't know what to do.
 

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Lick, this is nuts. You don't need to put up with this. She needs to work -- and if she will not or cannot work, then her job is to make the house run smoothly and more economically (and I say this as a lifelong, avowed feminist). I can't believe you've put up with it this long. Time to have a come to Jesus talk with her, I fear. You guys should be a team, but you are pulling all the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
lamaga - thanks for the sentiments. But she would argue that I do not pull all the weight. In fact, she argues that all I do is bring home the check and give them a roof over their head. She argues that she is "the heavy". Meaning she manages all the emotional aspects of family. She claims this is much more of a burden than simply keeping a job and putting food on the table.

I appreciate your position of feminimity and don't mean any disrespect, but her argument has no merit when she doesn't lead by example. She yells at the kids for not keeping their room clean for example, when her own clothes are lying all over the bedroom floor. Oh, but her reason for this is she is "taking care of everybody elses' needs and doesn't have time to pick up her own stuff". I don't get it.
 

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You don't get it because it's full of crap. I know women like this -- they love to use the language of feminism, but they don't walk the walk. And I would suggest that if you are this fed up and unhappy, then she indeed is NOT effectively managing the emotional aspects of the family. Sounds like she is really pissed off at you about something.

Listen, you're going to do what you're going to do, I just want you to know that from a female perspective, I think she's not doing right by you or your family. If that helps at all. I am currently between jobs, and let me tell you, my H doesn't lift a finger when he comes home, because I won't allow it. He works all day, so it's only reasonable for me to handle the house and the kids.

Hope this helped in some way. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She is not a feminist by any stretch. Just spoiled. She is really pissed off at me. I know why. But her problem is she hoards anger. She's been pissed at me for 14 years. But I can no longer own that. I've done everything in my power to correct mistakes I've made, but the problem here is I don't do it "the right way". You see, even apologies have conditions with her. It's too much. And I'm not the only person she's had these kind of issues with.

I don't know. My problem is I'm pissed at myself and resent her for it.
 

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Just going from the picture you're painting here (which admittedly isn't the full picture, but it's all we have to go on), it sounds like she has multiple problems going on.

First off, I'd lay odds that she's a long-term depressive. Have either of you spoken to a doctor about this? Is she/has she ever been on any medication?

My dad was unemployed for two years, and underemployed for many more. During this time, he claimed that he was being "Mr. Mom," because he sometimes did the laundry. What he really did was become unkempt, lounge around the pool, and develop an EA/PA with a recently divorced member of our church.

Sooo ... this leads me to ask: what's her computer and cell phone use like? Because I have a niggling feeling that she's holding something back from you. She's claiming you're not meeting her needs. Might someone else be?
 

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I'm in total agreeance with Lamaga here.
I am also a strong willed woman and I would say without a doubt when I become a stay at home mom (I'm in my 30's, just waiting for the stay home part) I would have that house in ship shape, b/c that would be my job.

I'm sorry you have to go through all this. It does sound unfair. And I have been on the other side and felt the things your wife is claiming, but I see no correlation to being overweight, sloppy, and lazy that goes with those feelings. I wonder if there is a way to tell her she needs to 'earn' her appreciation compliments? I know that sounds terrible, but - I believe, you can't just expect to be appreciated for no reason.

Have you guys sought help before?
I read a book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. BEST BOOK EVER. Simple, fast, and works for both sides. Sounds like you guys are speaking different love languages to each other.

She is a 'words of affirmation' person, and you sound like 'acts of service'. Neither of you are meeting each other's needs right now but that can be fixed.

Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wonder if there is a way to tell her she needs to 'earn' her appreciation compliments?
Well......I tried expressing this to her early on in our marriage but apparently I didn't use the right words or the right tone. You see, I'm not the most nurturing person in the world. I just say how I feel. That didn't go over very well. In fact it had a reversing affect.


Sabrina - yes she has. But I'm 100% sure there has been no affair to this point.
 

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Okay. Just wanted to float the idea out there. Too many times the "give-all, do-all" spouse gets blindsided by the wandering of their partner.

Now the question is, what was she like when you first met? When you first got married? Did she work? I'm curious if she's been like this for the entirety of your marriage, or if the lax attitude developed over time. Did any traumatic event happen to her, like death of a parent or sibling?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sabrina - to your questions, it's very complicated.

She had a traumatic experience as a child. It was never really resolved the right way. She has never felt like anyone validates her feelings as a result. She becomes very bitter at people very easily. I guess I inherited a whole scope of problems I wasn't aware of or responsible for, but introduced one I took responsibility for.

She was working when we met. We dated a short time. She bacame pregnant. I asked her to marry me out of guilt. She moved in with me. I decided to let her quit work during the pregnacy. We agreed she would be a home mom at first. She wasn't making enough to offset the cost of day care anyway. The rest is history so they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As my original post gives a very high level background of the issues I have with my marriage, I thought it may do me some good to use this as a venting post, a blog so to speak. So from now on I am going to post things that occur daily for the purpose of getting feedback from you all. I know I'm not perfect, but my feelings are important...to me. I want to use this post therapeutically to see if it's just me that's the ******* or if there really is some merit to my feelings.

Your honest, candid, no BS feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am a control freak, admittedly so. I was raised that way. I am an only child who grew up with a single mom. So if I wanted anything done, I had to do it myself. That has followed me throughout my life.

Fast forward. Married, two kids, a dog, single income family, a middle child wife who was brought up with a silver plated spoon stuck in her teeth. She has always been catered to. So much so she has problems with co-dependency. She rubs that off on the kids, our pets, anyone she can. She has this tendency and desire to lead but she doesn't know how. She can never finish anything she starts, but then neither can I because I have to drop what I'm doing in order to help someone else.

My biggest issue is trust. So is hers. Mine is I don't trust her with finances, my feelings, or anything of major consequence. As a result our finances are a muck. She never tries to take over paying the bills because then she would be forced to realize how much nickel and dime spending takes place and how much is spent on eating out.

I never share my feelings with her because when I have she has always turned them against me while in an argument. I have been conditioned to bottle up because again, her feelings have to be validated (see original post).

My second biggest issue is her appearance. She had two children of mine. I got that. But our youngest is 10 years old and she has only gained more weight through the years. She constantly complains of tiredness, but her diet consists of soft drinks, candy, or carbs that come in a bag. She closet eats or lies about what she has eaten. NOT TRUE TO HERSELF. What a huge turn off this is to me. This is the single biggest reason there is no affection in our marriage. She has treated her body like a dumpster for so long, it's disgusting to me. I've never been with a woman who takes no pride in her appearance. I call bull**** on "love me for who I am" or "we have no money so I can take care of myself", or "I give everything to the kids and I get nothing".

What is attractive to me is someone who takes enough pride in herself to demand it. Sacrifices can be made. I make them for the sake of the kids, but I also have some sense of discipline not to put garbage in my body day in and day out.

To be blunt, it's okay if you're a little overweight but don't barrage me with emotional BS, live like a pig, have no desire or ambition, be an obsessive drama queen, and then demand my love all on top of that. If you're going to lack in one area, please make it up in another.

I feel so overwhelmed that I believe I am in lock down mode. I feel I have to do most of everything so my instinct is to take control, but yet I'm teaching no one how to do anything on their own and that has long term ramifications as well. I get frustrated and become impatient with the W because as referenced above, she has never demonstrated the ability to take charge.

There. I have vented.
 

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I agree with what you have said about treating your body like a dumpster. You are allowed to feel this way too, and if anyone calls you selfish for feeling such, they are probably in denial or defensive and in a similar situation as your wife.

It's ok if someone's goals are different from yours - but as far as taking care of one's self goes I do agree - A little slippage happens from time to time - but using "sacrifice for the kids" and "money" as a crutch is nothing but BS excuses. There are ways she can lose the weight without spending more than she currently is, but she needs to stop lying to herself (and others) about her desire and efforts to do so.

Have you guys sought counseling? Obviously she knows your marriage is not in a good place, correct? What are her thoughts? I'm sure she would like to be happier, too.
 

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Is she depressed? Sick? You mentioned a traumatic event in childhood, has she sought healing, or is it an excuse?

I don't know, it doesn't sound like you ever really loved her.

In your situation I think I would stop being married to her until she starts making steps to change. So I'd move out of the bedroom, communicate about the children only and be polite, but not engaged. Make your reinvestment in the marriage conditional on her getting her act together.
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Discussion Starter #15
Is she depressed? Sick? You mentioned a traumatic event in childhood, has she sought healing, or is it an excuse?

I don't know, it doesn't sound like you ever really loved her.

In your situation I think I would stop being married to her until she starts making steps to change. So I'd move out of the bedroom, communicate about the children only and be polite, but not engaged. Make your reinvestment in the marriage conditional on her getting her act together.
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In a nutshell, yes, no, and yes. To the last paragraph, we're already there. I haven't slept in our bed in over a year. The kids have picked up on that. She is in denial so deep it's like she is in an abyss.

I realize all I have done for so long is serve as an enabler. Because of the way I am by nature, I have allowed her to become even more of who she really was before I met her. Our chemistry is not good together but I'm afraid of getting shafted by a judge. And I will. The way the laws are written, there is no room for common sense.

I'm screwed and my realizing that pisses me off even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree with what you have said about treating your body like a dumpster. You are allowed to feel this way too, and if anyone calls you selfish for feeling such, they are probably in denial or defensive and in a similar situation as your wife.

It's ok if someone's goals are different from yours - but as far as taking care of one's self goes I do agree - A little slippage happens from time to time - but using "sacrifice for the kids" and "money" as a crutch is nothing but BS excuses. There are ways she can lose the weight without spending more than she currently is, but she needs to stop lying to herself (and others) about her desire and efforts to do so.

Have you guys sought counseling? Obviously she knows your marriage is not in a good place, correct? What are her thoughts? I'm sure she would like to be happier, too.
I understand slippages. I understand a lot. But who are we kidding? She isn't motivated nor does she have any consequences for being lazy. She has no one to hold her accountable for anything. Nothing I have tried works. So I just disengaged. Yet, I have no outlets and I become very frustrated sexually, emotionally, physically, you name it.

We went to counseling a couple of times years ago but I thought they were a joke. Nothing more than listening to my wife ramble on about her feelings. Hell I can do that at home for free with the same result.

She knows the marriage is on thin ice. She even screams for a divorce. Why wouldn't she? She would get the benefit of alimony, child support, and have the freedom to find her next victim, or as she puts it, someone who would love her for her kindness and allow her to be who she really is.
 
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