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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I'm not here to ask for sympathy, and I'm not in any way trying to justify my actions. Nor am I even thinking casually about leaving my beloved bride. I love her and that's never changing.

To keep a long story short, as my Wife and I have grown (up) over the last 6 years, our personalities have become much more defined. She was neglected by her parents, who love her greatly, but who have horrendous communication abilities. They're Pacifistic Mennonites, and you'd be lucky to get a word out of them in an hour. Their marriage is poor, their habits and choices are downright strange, but in their own way, they dearly love their children and friends.

My upbringing was very different. Highly socialized Brits with a Master's educated father (who himself was neglectful, but in a different sense - he was more of a narcissist, and we all lived in his world), and a tirelessly hard working and extremely attentive mother. I bonded deeply with my mother, and much less with my father.

Fast forward to our late teens, and my Wife and I met as stupid kids, had a lot of fun, and jumped headlong into marriage.

Since then, I've seen her parents in her a ton, and she's seen mine in me. Like my dad, I'm highly educated and well respected. I have had to do war against my own narcissism. My Wife on the other hand has the opposite issue. She's very insecure, defensive, but most of all...very neglectful. We now have two kids (toddlers), and it makes me sad watching them basically abuse her because she's so passive and has her head in the clouds, and then the minute I'm home from work, they've snap right into gear.

My wife's lack of attentiveness (that word is carefully thought through) has really put a strain on us. It's fed my anxiety disorder. As an ex learning-disabled ADHD Kid, I have yet to bust my nightmarish relationship with chronic anxiety. I also have an inflated image of how I want our family to function - clean, polite, intelligent, successful, kind, etc. I do a lot to make that happen - 2 hours a day with the kids, lots of chores around the house, 100% of the yard work, car maintenance, and the full-time single income of the household.

My Wife on the other hand, approaches life like everything is a nuisance - chores, childminding, work, working out, cooking, anything. She wanted to be a stay at home Mum, which we worked through together. She had a very traditional upbringing. I've always encouraged her to grow her skills, whether that's in the home, or in a career (which I've helped her look into, we've put money aside, spoken with a career coach, everything).

The easiest way to summarize it is this. My wife and I are showing signs of incompatibility. Changing seems to be existentially out of the question for both of us - I cannot throw up the towel and become lazy and neglectful, and she cannot imagine being self motivated. It doesn't help her that she's much more blue than white collar, and she constantly compares herself to me and her friends who went to school. Despite being given absolutely every opportunity to win and do literally anything, she won't do it. I even enrolled our eldest in daycare to free up her time to help her find her passion.

Any advice? I don't want to be justified or ridiculed, as neither approach would help us at all. Have you been through anything similar? How can I accept her serious flaws, while still nudging her in the right direction? Love isn't an issue in this marriage, but there are some very real issues that are affecting our peace and happiness!
 

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I can relate to the part you said about you get depressed watching the toddlers basically abuse her. I've seen that before with just one and I didn't like it. Nothing done about it. But for what it's worth he grew up okay and not a bully.

You too have completely different methods of operation.. She sounds very disorganized and you sound very organized. I hate to see anyone who doesn't have any ambition because I don't see how they want to wake up in the morning if they're not looking forward towards something down the line. But I guess she's just content how she is.

You can't make someone like that have ambition so you may as well quit spinning your wheels. She is not riding on your train no matter how much you beg. I know people who are are outgoing and leaders often think other people should just follow them but that is just not always the case.

I'm puzzled what exactly you find stimulating about the relationship. I mean is there anything interesting about her? Is she intellectual? Does she keep up with things so that you have something to talk about besides housework and the kids?

Two toddlers is plenty to keep someone busy but I guess my question is what was she doing with her time before that?
 

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build up your wife in the eyes of your children
Once you see them run her down in any way cut it out

I once saw an interview of an Irish traveller , they are not well schooled people but know a lot more about the ways of the world that the so called well-ed ones

he said his children used to run down their mother a lot
he told them to f--- off and get your own woman to abuse but while your under my roof you will treat my wife with respect ,

we might not like travellers and call they all types of names but they know how to respect their women

I find children pick up on what they see around them in the same way you see your father as X and your wife see hers XY
but you are trying in yoru way to not make the same mistake as dad
and your mother is trying to do her way
if they see you disrespecting your wife they will do the same

can you show your wife what you posted about her and how you want to fix things with her to make the next 20 or 50 years teh best years of your life

you seem to love her but she does not fit in your educated world
her people might not be as well educated but it is hard to read people that stay quite

your wife is giving your children love and you have to show by example your love to her for them
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can relate to the part you said about you get depressed watching the toddlers basically abuse her. I've seen that before with just one and I didn't like it. Nothing done about it. But for what it's worth he grew up okay and not a bully. You too have completely different methods of operation.. She sounds very disorganized and you sound very organized. I hate to see anyone who doesn't have any ambition because I don't see how they want to wake up in the morning if they're not looking forward towards something down the line. But I guess she's just content how she is. You can't make someone like that have ambition so you may as well quit spinning your wheels. She is not riding on your train no matter how much you beg. I know people who are are outgoing and leaders often think other people should just follow them but that is just not always the case. I'm puzzled what exactly you find stimulating about the relationship. I mean is there anything interesting about her? Is she intellectual? Does she keep up with things so that you have something to talk about besides housework and the kids? Two toddlers is plenty to keep someone busy but I guess my question is what was she doing with her time before that?
Thanks for the comment. The reason is because I swore an oath to love her. And I have seen improvement - not a lot but in some areas it's been enough to make some difference. And, I know her upbringing messed her up a lot. And I know she loves me dearly and our kids. And I love our kids, and they are loved and we keep this well away from them. I just end up bearing the burden and having constant depressive episodes because of it. That part is on me to learn how to cope and accept what I cannot change. For all those reasons, I want to there for her. I desperately want to see her grow and find energy in life. To your point about waking up with purpose, I don't know if she views life like that. She's very meat and potatoes; life's tasks are just a part of the groaning event of aging. Its not at all how I approach life, but I can see exactly where she gets it from. She can also see it in herself, and loathes her parents for being the bad example. Yet, she won't change in any meaningful way. Her redeeming qualities are that she is nurturing in a sense, gentle spirited, and generally fairly positive. But the positivity being so misplaced can often be mind bendingly irritating. She'll put on an awkward smile in the middle of very tense moments, or she'll shut down without so much as a reaction to a concern. Almost like how some distant husbands are; honestly in our home, that narrative is completely reversed. What caused me to post this and make an account is that I'm currently in the middle of onboarding in a new job, and the stress is absolutely blowing me off my feet. I'm feeling ill and I just need her to be responsible around the home and help parent the children. She has been 60% helpful, but 40% is the same old - lack of affection, very little attentiveness to the kids or me, very slow and disinterested approach to everything, etc. But again - this is my Wife, and I love her. It's like that old saying - "I love her, but sometimes I don't like her".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
build up your wife in the eyes of your children
Once you see them run her down in any way cut it out

I once saw an interview of an Irish traveller , they are not well schooled people but know a lot more about the ways of the world that the so called well-ed ones

he said his children used to run down their mother a lot
he told them to f--- off and get your own woman to abuse but while your under my roof you will treat my wife with respect ,

we might not like travellers and call they all types of names but they know how to respect their women

I find children pick up on what they see around them in the same way you see your father as X and your wife see hers XY
but you are trying in yoru way to not make the same mistake as dad
and your mother is trying to do her way
if they see you disrespecting your wife they will do the same

can you show your wife what you posted about her and how you want to fix things with her to make the next 20 or 50 years teh best years of your life

you seem to love her but she does not fit in your educated world
her people might not be as well educated but it is hard to read people that stay quite

your wife is giving your children love and you have to show by example your love to her for them
Some great thoughts there. The kids see nothing but love between us. My dad was brutal to my Mum growing up, and I've set it in my mind that I'll never be that way. I think the kids disrespect her because she doesn't parent them. She basically hovers and waits for instructions. She'll give them toys and food and in that way she's very attentive. But if she ever asks them to do something, it's a bad scene. I've had to be ruthlessly hard on them at times for their lack of respect to her. In fact, just yesterday I sent my daughter to bed at 6pm without dinner after she went after her Mum for well over an hour.

It grieves me to see the dysfunction...but I cannot control all of it. We are a unit, a team. I'm only one member in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
build up your wife in the eyes of your children
Once you see them run her down in any way cut it out

I once saw an interview of an Irish traveller , they are not well schooled people but know a lot more about the ways of the world that the so called well-ed ones

he said his children used to run down their mother a lot
he told them to f--- off and get your own woman to abuse but while your under my roof you will treat my wife with respect ,

we might not like travellers and call they all types of names but they know how to respect their women

I find children pick up on what they see around them in the same way you see your father as X and your wife see hers XY
but you are trying in yoru way to not make the same mistake as dad
and your mother is trying to do her way
if they see you disrespecting your wife they will do the same

can you show your wife what you posted about her and how you want to fix things with her to make the next 20 or 50 years teh best years of your life

you seem to love her but she does not fit in your educated world
her people might not be as well educated but it is hard to read people that stay quite

your wife is giving your children love and you have to show by example your love to her for them
And to be honest Paddy, I don't have the heart to show her this post. I'm coming here for a bit of help and being fairly unfiltered. I'm a lot more gentle and tactful in addressing this with her. I don't want to break her, I want to build her. She's been broken before by bullies in her youth and her neglectful family, and it hasn't helped her.
 

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Thanks for the comment. The reason is because I swore an oath to love her. And I have seen improvement - not a lot but in some areas it's been enough to make some difference. And, I know her upbringing messed her up a lot. And I know she loves me dearly and our kids. And I love our kids, and they are loved and we keep this well away from them. I just end up bearing the burden and having constant depressive episodes because of it. That part is on me to learn how to cope and accept what I cannot change. For all those reasons, I want to there for her. I desperately want to see her grow and find energy in life. To your point about waking up with purpose, I don't know if she views life like that. She's very meat and potatoes; life's tasks are just a part of the groaning event of aging. Its not at all how I approach life, but I can see exactly where she gets it from. She can also see it in herself, and loathes her parents for being the bad example. Yet, she won't change in any meaningful way. Her redeeming qualities are that she is nurturing in a sense, gentle spirited, and generally fairly positive. But the positivity being so misplaced can often be mind bendingly irritating. She'll put on an awkward smile in the middle of very tense moments, or she'll shut down without so much as a reaction to a concern. Almost like how some distant husbands are; honestly in our home, that narrative is completely reversed. What caused me to post this and make an account is that I'm currently in the middle of onboarding in a new job, and the stress is absolutely blowing me off my feet. I'm feeling ill and I just need her to be responsible around the home and help parent the children. She has been 60% helpful, but 40% is the same old - lack of affection, very little attentiveness to the kids or me, very slow and disinterested approach to everything, etc. But again - this is my Wife, and I love her. It's like that old saying - "I love her, but sometimes I don't like her".
sorry Bear I think you need to show your wife more respect ,
read your post " I swore an oath to love her." your not showing love in your post and you post is saying you don't feel her love , you you look down on her and her family
she married you and moved away to make a new life .
children are like sponges and pick up on what example you show them

but you are well bale to say you love them , and not that it is your duty to love them
you talk about the 60% well concentrate on that 60as if it is all that matters
for the work relater problems instead of expecting your wife to be your wheelchair to carrier you go get help for your stress to a pro

they might even give you meds

but it is coming over very strong that you see your wife as a lesser and not as a different but equal a balance for your kids where they have qualities from you and equal qualities from her , what she brings to the table is just as important and many would think more so
 

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First of all, I'm not here to ask for sympathy, and I'm not in any way trying to justify my actions. Nor am I even thinking casually about leaving my beloved bride. I love her and that's never changing.

To keep a long story short, as my Wife and I have grown (up) over the last 6 years, our personalities have become much more defined. She was neglected by her parents, who love her greatly, but who have horrendous communication abilities. They're Pacifistic Mennonites, and you'd be lucky to get a word out of them in an hour. Their marriage is poor, their habits and choices are downright strange, but in their own way, they dearly love their children and friends.

My upbringing was very different. Highly socialized Brits with a Master's educated father (who himself was neglectful, but in a different sense - he was more of a narcissist, and we all lived in his world), and a tirelessly hard working and extremely attentive mother. I bonded deeply with my mother, and much less with my father.

Fast forward to our late teens, and my Wife and I met as stupid kids, had a lot of fun, and jumped headlong into marriage.

Since then, I've seen her parents in her a ton, and she's seen mine in me. Like my dad, I'm highly educated and well respected. I have had to do war against my own narcissism. My Wife on the other hand has the opposite issue. She's very insecure, defensive, but most of all...very neglectful. We now have two kids (toddlers), and it makes me sad watching them basically abuse her because she's so passive and has her head in the clouds, and then the minute I'm home from work, they've snap right into gear.

My wife's lack of attentiveness (that word is carefully thought through) has really put a strain on us. It's fed my anxiety disorder. As an ex learning-disabled ADHD Kid, I have yet to bust my nightmarish relationship with chronic anxiety. I also have an inflated image of how I want our family to function - clean, polite, intelligent, successful, kind, etc. I do a lot to make that happen - 2 hours a day with the kids, lots of chores around the house, 100% of the yard work, car maintenance, and the full-time single income of the household.

My Wife on the other hand, approaches life like everything is a nuisance - chores, childminding, work, working out, cooking, anything. She wanted to be a stay at home Mum, which we worked through together. She had a very traditional upbringing. I've always encouraged her to grow her skills, whether that's in the home, or in a career (which I've helped her look into, we've put money aside, spoken with a career coach, everything).

The easiest way to summarize it is this. My wife and I are showing signs of incompatibility. Changing seems to be existentially out of the question for both of us - I cannot throw up the towel and become lazy and neglectful, and she cannot imagine being self motivated. It doesn't help her that she's much more blue than white collar, and she constantly compares herself to me and her friends who went to school. Despite being given absolutely every opportunity to win and do literally anything, she won't do it. I even enrolled our eldest in daycare to free up her time to help her find her passion.

Any advice? I don't want to be justified or ridiculed, as neither approach would help us at all. Have you been through anything similar? How can I accept her serious flaws, while still nudging her in the right direction? Love isn't an issue in this marriage, but there are some very real issues that are affecting our peace and happiness!
You have a kid. Make it work. This is on you just as much.

You're trying to make her be like you. She isn't so cut it out and, honestly, grow up.
 

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you have to find a different way to deal with you daughter than sending her to bed without anything to eat , GO TO HER NOW and explain to her now this min no matter what time it is where you are , explain to her why it is not good but do it in a way with love , show her the importance on why she was wrong

putting her to her room can work against her mother and make her move the problem to her thinking it is because her silly mother that she is been sent to her room cutting her off is not helping but making the matter worse
 

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intelligence and types of intelligence

You talk about intelligence but what t type of intelligence are you talking about
there are many different types of intelligence
I know I am intelligent but not educated in the way that you are , I know some of the posters here are much better able find the right words to put the message across than I

but there are things I can do that seems to come natural to me but I LOOK UP TO MY WIFE BECAUSE SHE is a super mother and has given her life for our children

don't forget if you want to know more about intelligence all you need to do is look up the different types on goggle ,
 
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You married her knowing what you were getting.
Now you want to change her since you aren’t leaving her.

leave her alone - all the criticism to make her bend to your way isn’t nice. I’m sure she realizes you are trying to change her - she obviously gets the clues that you think your intelligence is superior to hers.

let HER find what makes her happy. Maybe she will turn that into work someday.

you said you don’t need the money - so why are you pushing her to do more - to change?

your job changed and you expect her to pick up more slack at home - well some wives would. But yours obviously doesn’t want to - so you’ll just adjust.

if needed hire a gardener. A mechanic for the cars etc.
 

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First of all, I'm not here to ask for sympathy, and I'm not in any way trying to justify my actions. Nor am I even thinking casually about leaving my beloved bride. I love her and that's never changing.

To keep a long story short, as my Wife and I have grown (up) over the last 6 years, our personalities have become much more defined. She was neglected by her parents, who love her greatly, but who have horrendous communication abilities. They're Pacifistic Mennonites, and you'd be lucky to get a word out of them in an hour. Their marriage is poor, their habits and choices are downright strange, but in their own way, they dearly love their children and friends.

My upbringing was very different. Highly socialized Brits with a Master's educated father (who himself was neglectful, but in a different sense - he was more of a narcissist, and we all lived in his world), and a tirelessly hard working and extremely attentive mother. I bonded deeply with my mother, and much less with my father.

Fast forward to our late teens, and my Wife and I met as stupid kids, had a lot of fun, and jumped headlong into marriage.

Since then, I've seen her parents in her a ton, and she's seen mine in me. Like my dad, I'm highly educated and well respected. I have had to do war against my own narcissism. My Wife on the other hand has the opposite issue. She's very insecure, defensive, but most of all...very neglectful. We now have two kids (toddlers), and it makes me sad watching them basically abuse her because she's so passive and has her head in the clouds, and then the minute I'm home from work, they've snap right into gear.

My wife's lack of attentiveness (that word is carefully thought through) has really put a strain on us. It's fed my anxiety disorder. As an ex learning-disabled ADHD Kid, I have yet to bust my nightmarish relationship with chronic anxiety. I also have an inflated image of how I want our family to function - clean, polite, intelligent, successful, kind, etc. I do a lot to make that happen - 2 hours a day with the kids, lots of chores around the house, 100% of the yard work, car maintenance, and the full-time single income of the household.

My Wife on the other hand, approaches life like everything is a nuisance - chores, childminding, work, working out, cooking, anything. She wanted to be a stay at home Mum, which we worked through together. She had a very traditional upbringing. I've always encouraged her to grow her skills, whether that's in the home, or in a career (which I've helped her look into, we've put money aside, spoken with a career coach, everything).

The easiest way to summarize it is this. My wife and I are showing signs of incompatibility. Changing seems to be existentially out of the question for both of us - I cannot throw up the towel and become lazy and neglectful, and she cannot imagine being self motivated. It doesn't help her that she's much more blue than white collar, and she constantly compares herself to me and her friends who went to school. Despite being given absolutely every opportunity to win and do literally anything, she won't do it. I even enrolled our eldest in daycare to free up her time to help her find her passion.

Any advice? I don't want to be justified or ridiculed, as neither approach would help us at all. Have you been through anything similar? How can I accept her serious flaws, while still nudging her in the right direction? Love isn't an issue in this marriage, but there are some very real issues that are affecting our peace and happiness!
This is a tough situation but I can definitely empathize.

You’ve grown in different directions, but you’re committed to staying together. So the only answer is for both of you to compromise and grow back toward each other. Understand who she is and take steps to join her.

And she also needs to comprise in your direction but that can’t come from you so don’t try to change her. You’ll only end up frustrated and she won’t trust your motives. Trying to change her will only make things worse so don’t even think about it. Just love her for who she is full stop. Instead, invest in a rock-solid marriage counselor and let them do their thing.

As far as your kids, I would not be passive about their interactions with mom. In other words take an active role in demanding respect for their mother. Make sure you are outspoken in your praise, love, and respect for your wife. Your kids will see that and they will mimic you.

Best of luck to you OP.
 

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You're a good example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
Education doesn't really correlate with intelligence. Especially not in countries in which you pay for university (degrees).

Knowledge doesn't equal intelligence. You can have a lo nof knwoledge and still be plain stupid.
Unless your knowledge from graduating university was your own work, it isn't a sign of you being more intelligent then a person that didn't graduate from university including your wife.

But you're right about your degree means you got ambition. Your wife doesn't, obviously.

Amd that is the issue.
Your problem is that both of you are rather stuck in narcissitic developement around each other and the children. You are also about to raise some serious narcissitic people. It is text book example of narcissitic parenting. One super soft, the other hard.

If you're narcissist, she is too. You just get along with people whos brain or personality is equally developed as yours. Narcissism is the result of lack of postive emotional guidance and chances to develope and grows throughout childhood.
Exactly what your wife is doing to your children now.

Your wife isn't offering your children any boundaries. This is a form of narcisstic abuse too and her children may start hating her out of frsutration as they grow older.

She is 'playing' victim in front of your kids. Lets them dominate her and be alpha, because she doesn't want to take responsibility for their emotional developement. All she cares is her-self not having to get put pf her comfort zone.
That doesn't make a food parent.

You said she'd been bullied and that her parents neglected her. That is some serious issue and she needs to work on this. She can't transfer her trauma onto her children, by letting them being her bullies to reassure herself she is worthless.

She has to learn that bullies bully because they're emotionally unstable and weak. They can be loud and they can be silent. Your wife became a silent bully to your children.

She handles all responsibility over to the children and they can't and shouldn't deal with responsibility and as a result they act out. It isn't fun, it is a cry for help. She is disturbing their emotional developement being passive and they are going to hate her as they grow older.

Children acting the way you describe are highly stressed out and what they do is a form of aggression and not just childsplay.

It is pure stress to children, if there is no-one guiding them and helping them learn how to regulate their behaviour and navigate through the world.
Recepie for later to be highly disturbed adults.
 

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Unless she is wearing a diaper, you can't change her....

I know this scenario all too well..It will never get better and the older you get, the less tolerant you will be of it....There generally is no bad guy/good guy here....only a mismatch of types that won't ever be on the same page...

If you didn't have kids, then the answer would be pretty straightforward... GTFO and don't look back. That's not an option now, so you need to decide the best path...You have to put your kids in a high priority, I know a lot of people split up with little kids and all and it's a mess. Some sacrifice themselves for their kids and just do whatever they need to do to get by long enough until the kids are grown...That's also a viable option..What that life looks like is up to you...

I can say a lot more here, but I won't...Your life will likely be filled with a lot of compromise and disappointment...This has nothing to do with your intelligence vs her...That's ludicrous...You could have married a brain surgeon and had the same outcome...Stop with that nonsense thinking...

A lot of the thinking out there is that men don't deserve any happiness, once they become fathers and its all about being the provider and the only people that matter are the wives and kids...I grew up in a generation where many of the guys worked their asses off so that the women and kids can have vacations, shore houses, nice cars, etc.. Most of these guys aren't even getting laid anymore...They fall into this abyss of duty with no consideration for them....Go to work, pay the bills, wash/rinse'/repeat...They'll say all kinds of nice things about them after they die....great...but what does that mean while you are on the Earth?
 

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Thanks for the comment. The reason is because I swore an oath to love her. And I have seen improvement - not a lot but in some areas it's been enough to make some difference. And, I know her upbringing messed her up a lot. And I know she loves me dearly and our kids. And I love our kids, and they are loved and we keep this well away from them. I just end up bearing the burden and having constant depressive episodes because of it. That part is on me to learn how to cope and accept what I cannot change. For all those reasons, I want to there for her. I desperately want to see her grow and find energy in life. To your point about waking up with purpose, I don't know if she views life like that. She's very meat and potatoes; life's tasks are just a part of the groaning event of aging. Its not at all how I approach life, but I can see exactly where she gets it from. She can also see it in herself, and loathes her parents for being the bad example. Yet, she won't change in any meaningful way. Her redeeming qualities are that she is nurturing in a sense, gentle spirited, and generally fairly positive. But the positivity being so misplaced can often be mind bendingly irritating. She'll put on an awkward smile in the middle of very tense moments, or she'll shut down without so much as a reaction to a concern. Almost like how some distant husbands are; honestly in our home, that narrative is completely reversed. What caused me to post this and make an account is that I'm currently in the middle of onboarding in a new job, and the stress is absolutely blowing me off my feet. I'm feeling ill and I just need her to be responsible around the home and help parent the children. She has been 60% helpful, but 40% is the same old - lack of affection, very little attentiveness to the kids or me, very slow and disinterested approach to everything, etc. But again - this is my Wife, and I love her. It's like that old saying - "I love her, but sometimes I don't like her".
It's very concerning to me that she is disinterested in the children. And yet you say she loves them. But if she's not paying attention to them how can you tell? Give me a specific thing you would like to see her do with the children on a daily basis. I mean she must be taking care of their basic needs. You say she loves them. Does she hold them other than when nursing? Does she think they're cute and comment about new things they learn to do?

Or are they just a bother to her?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is a tough situation but I can definitely empathize.

You’ve grown in different directions, but you’re committed to staying together. So the only answer is for both of you to compromise and grow back toward each other. Understand who she is and take steps to join her.

And she also needs to comprise in your direction but that can’t come from you so don’t try to change her. You’ll only end up frustrated and she won’t trust your motives. Trying to change her will only make things worse so don’t even think about it. Just love her for who she is full stop. Instead, invest in a rock-solid marriage counselor and let them do their thing.

As far as your kids, I would not be passive about their interactions with mom. In other words take an active role in demanding respect for their mother. Make sure you are outspoken in your praise, love, and respect for your wife. Your kids will see that and they will mimic you.

Best of luck to you OP.
Thanks, this is really helpful and constructive. I think some of the other commenters are essentially saying the same thing but in a less empathetic way...

I think the root of it is that I'm trying to change her. I know that laziness and neglect hurt her growing up. I know that she will in turn hurt my kids with her laziness and neglect. I know that she's daily hurting me. I'm exhausted, and feel like I have no support. But I suppose my job isn't to be constantly on her to change. I want to encourage her.

To add another element - I struggle with negative reinforcement. Growing up, my dad was constantly, relentlessly banging on my head to be better. While I know (truly) I'm nowhere in the same stratosphere of abuse as he was, my style is still -> identify issue -> state problem -> ask for change. I'm not as good at highlighting the positives, which deserve praise.

Any other wisdom?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's very concerning to me that she is disinterested in the children. And yet you say she loves them. But if she's not paying attention to them how can you tell? Give me a specific thing you would like to see her do with the children on a daily basis. I mean she must be taking care of their basic needs. You say she loves them. Does she hold them other than when nursing? Does she think they're cute and comment about new things they learn to do?

Or are they just a bother to her?
To be clear:

She:
-feeds them, dresses them, buys them toys, puts on their show on TV, and keeps them from getting hurt.
-her communication with them is mostly around not getting hurt, what they want to eat, etc.

She doesn't:
-"parent them"
-meaning discipline is spotty, very little teaching, very little interactivity.

In other words, she caretakes. She doesn't build much of a relationship. There's very little depth, but she does provide for their basic needs very well.

Again, this is what she had growing up. To this day she barely knows her parents. They barely know themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unless she is wearing a diaper, you can't change her....

I know this scenario all too well..It will never get better and the older you get, the less tolerant you will be of it....There generally is no bad guy/good guy here....only a mismatch of types that won't ever be on the same page...

If you didn't have kids, then the answer would be pretty straightforward... GTFO and don't look back. That's not an option now, so you need to decide the best path...You have to put your kids in a high priority, I know a lot of people split up with little kids and all and it's a mess. Some sacrifice themselves for their kids and just do whatever they need to do to get by long enough until the kids are grown...That's also a viable option..What that life looks like is up to you...

I can say a lot more here, but I won't...Your life will likely be filled with a lot of compromise and disappointment...This has nothing to do with your intelligence vs her...That's ludicrous...You could have married a brain surgeon and had the same outcome...Stop with that nonsense thinking...

A lot of the thinking out there is that men don't deserve any happiness, once they become fathers and its all about being the provider and the only people that matter are the wives and kids...I grew up in a generation where many of the guys worked their asses off so that the women and kids can have vacations, shore houses, nice cars, etc.. Most of these guys aren't even getting laid anymore...They fall into this abyss of duty with no consideration for them....Go to work, pay the bills, wash/rinse'/repeat...They'll say all kinds of nice things about them after they die....great...but what does that mean while you are on the Earth?
That hits home...that's my life. I'm trying to be everything. And because my kids are learning to be lazy and have deeper needs neglected, I'm trying to also step in with energy I don't have to be both parents.

Question for you then. How do you reconcile that with what the other commenters are saying about not trying to change her, and instead loving her unconditionally?
 
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