Is it so bad that I've learned to just live with our relationship the way it has been for years? I've gotten to the point where my needs are never met, but I'm always expected to do for him and everyone else.
I first came on this sight about two years ago when my husband and I were having some major issues to say the least. He was literally addicted to porn as he had become accustomed to watching prior to us even meeting and was not used to actively participating in any relationship. I never had any issues with this in any prior relationships, in fact would usually watch together, but this was very different and that became alarmingly clear a little too late. I was desperate for him to want to come to me and I couldn't understand why he would sit in the bathroom for hours while I was here, ready, willing and able. In fact, I have never turned him down even when I didn't really feel like it. Those times, I would focus on him and just give. However, that was never reciprocated. I asked him what I could do, I did everything that he requested would be an automatic turn on and after about a month, I started getting turned down. At first it really hurt me and I had never felt that way ever before. I was never threatened by the women in porn because I look like a vast majority of them. I would cry myself to sleep not knowing what to do, what I did wrong and why my husband didn't want to be with me nearly as much as he would masturbate. After a few months passed and still no change that's when I started getting used to things just being this way. It’s to the point where I do not ever initiate because I got tired of hurting myself by trying to initiate, when he would just turn me down anyway.
Now, two years later...after much turmoil, a divorce which was more like a temporary separation (3 months apart) and being back together again it's all still the same. I don't know how to change things and every time I do, somehow I wind up being hurt by it. It's not just the sexual connection in our marriage, it's the overall connection. Several years ago when we first met, it was great and we would just talk for hours. Now, I'm constantly talking to myself because he doesn't have the courtesy to pause the television or put down his phone to even listen to me, even when it's about his own children.
That was another factor, about six months after we moved in together his two children, from a short lived marriage while he was in the military, came to live with us. They were 2 and 3 at the time. I don't have any children and have never raised any either. A lot of pressure was put on me to care for them everyday without any help, no family nearby and he was at work all of the time. I was a mess, thrown into this with two toddlers and I was going nuts, literally. I kept telling him I needed some help and he wouldn't really say much except tell me how my days should go and what exactly I should do with them during the day. None of which eased the constant pressure or stress from the whole thing. At the end of that year, the kids went back to live with their mother in another state and everything went south from there.
He did nothing but blame me for them going back to live with their mother. They came to live with us because she was not properly caring for them in any way. She is bi-polar and literally left the kids to fend for themselves within her apartment everyday. She just said she couldn't take care of them anymore and I honestly figured it would only be temporary until she could get back on her feet, but apparently my husband assumed it would be permanent. They were both so far behind developmentally that I spent everyday working with them to learn to speak, teaching letter sounds, correct pronunciation, shapes, colors. Everything that she sent with them smelled of urine, it was horrible. She never washed their clothes or waited over a month to do it. They were 2 and 3, but turned 3 and 4 a few months after moving in with us. I had to potty train the youngest because she still had him in diapers, no pull ups, diapers. I know a lot of people say it takes boys longer to potty train, but once I started, he was in underwear in a few months and doing great. Then once they went back to live with their mother, back to pull ups again. They regressed in absolutely everything because she never taught them anything. She would put them in front of the television so she could go sleep. She would not make them meals; they had to help themselves to whatever she had.
So once my husband made the decision to send them back, it was all my fault because I couldn't handle taking care of them 24/7 all alone. After that we started bickering more than ever about everything and nothing at all. I felt so distant from him. Our divorce was final almost a year later. We only lived apart for three months following our divorce and worked a lot of things out. So many things went unresolved in our relationship and I had learned to live with it. I moved back into our house and we started building our relationship again. About two months after returning home, he was being temporarily transferred out of state for work for six months so we packed up to go. We were there over the summer so he wanted for the kids to come out to visit for about a month or so over summer break. I booked all of the airfare for their mother to fly them to us and fly back out to fly them back with her. Once they got here it was clear there were a lot of really bad things going on while living with their mother. I did my best to teach them and work with them everyday as I did before to get them caught up. The oldest was going into first and the youngest going into kindergarten and the youngest was really far behind. We taught the oldest to read just after she turned 4 so that helped her out quite a bit. However, the youngest was not sent to preschool and their mother did absolutely nothing to teach him. He still wasn’t speaking clearly, knew his letter sounds from when we taught him, but did not know how to apply those sounds to read. He did not know how to write alphabet or numbers as we had just started working on that when they returned to their mother and obviously she did not continue anything. They brought several very alarming things to our attention while with us the last week and I only said to my husband, we can’t send them back out there. His only response was that he needed to know I wasn’t going to fall apart again and that the kids would have to go back with her for now anyway.
Well, two days before they were supposed to leave we were putting the kids to bed and were getting ready to read their bedtime stories when they started talking. We had been having an issue with the youngest wetting the bed at night since they had been with us this time and he started talking about what would happen at his mom’s when he wet the bed. Apparently both kids were made to sleep with her in her bed and because he wet the bed he was made to sleep at the foot of the bed and when he would wet the bed at night he would be sent to his own bed as punishment. My husband had heard enough and went outside to call their mother and said that the kids were not going back out there. He said nothing to me before calling; he just called her and said this is how it’s going to be. I completely understand his need and duty to protect his children, but I feel like this decision should have been discussed with me considering that I am their primary care giver as he works all of the time. He doesn’t get them ready for school in the morning and drive them 20 minutes to school to and from school everyday. He doesn’t make sure they have dinner at night, he doesn’t do homework with them everyday, but when he does he has incredible expectations of them and they wind up crying because he yells at them and sends them to the corner when they get something wrong. I thought it would have been the first thing that he would have done, discuss them staying with us before telling their mother that they were. I immediately felt overwhelmed. We had just got back together a few months prior and we were actually working on making us work and now all of the sudden his kids are back in the picture everyday and I’m their primary care giver. Please don’t get me wrong, I love the kids as if they were my own, but I realize I am their step-mother. I just don’t like that someone else made such a major decision about my life without discussing it with me first. Obviously we had a lot of trouble the first time around because I was doing everything on my own and there’s not much difference now. It’s not that I do not want the kids to be a part of our lives; it’s that I shouldn’t be the only adult that is responsible for taking care of them. That is their mother and father’s job, they made the decision to have children together. I was not part of that decision making process. Why am I giving up the things I want in life to take care of two children when neither of their parents seems to want to? My husband has flat out said that if I go get a job then our relationship is over because our “family” does not need extra money, our family needs someone to be at home taking care of the kids. Then whenever the topic of us having children comes up, it’s always well if you’re having a hard time taking care of two children what makes you think you can handle three? His own mother has even discussed with in length with him that when we do decide to have children that I will need time with my child, but the more time goes by the more it looks like I’ll never even get that opportunity.
I try discussing everyday things with him and most of the time he just sits there because he hasn’t heard a word I’ve said. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think. He insists on referring to us as husband and wife, although we have not been remarried yet, although we both wear our wedding rings. He insists on saying that we are married, yet whenever I come to him to let him know how I feel about things that are going on, when I come to him for help in desperation he pretty much says if you don’t like it then leave. He honestly makes it seem like if I left it wouldn’t be a big deal to him at all. However, when he’s upset about something and comes to me he’ll say I’m sending the kids back to their mother so I can get rid of you. Which in turn makes me believe that I’m only here as a convenience to him to care for his children. He brought them to live with us shortly after moving in together and now again shortly after moving back in together. I understand how much he loves his children, but I don’t know how to get through to him that if we’re not rock solid, the healthy environment for the kids won’t last long. He’s already begun to start arguments in front of the kids. He even speaks badly about me to them, stating I’m this way or that way so that he always looks like the good guy. He’ll even tell them to say things to me or ask me questions while we are having an argument which is completely inappropriate. I’ve told him this time and time again, but he continues to do it. I don’t give the kids a response regarding their questions, I’ll either say this is between me and Daddy, you guys need to go play or Daddy is upset about something so he is being mean right now. I don’t know what else to say, but I’m certainly not going to discuss our problems with a five and six year old. Weekends come along and he makes it seem like we always have to do things as a family, every little thing. I’ll ask him the night before what plans he has for the following day and anytime I let him know I have something else to take care of he flips ****, has the kids come ask me to go and then if I go, he just gives me **** all day long. When I don’t go, it’s not like I’m going out with friends or anything, it’s because I’m at home cleaning or grocery shopping, going to a scheduled appointment or every once in a while just because I need to catch up on some sleep. I’ve told him that it’s very important for him to spend time with just the kids but he makes it seem like I just don’t want to be a part of the family.
My parents divorced when I was seven and my father got remarried and I do remember how important it was for me and my brother to spend time with just him and not with his wife. When it was just me and my brother, we had fun with our Dad. When his wife was around, it wasn’t the same. It’s overwhelming for me because I’m expected to do everything and not allowed to go get a job which I prefer to do. All he does is go to work, come home and then does whatever he wants to do. Sometimes he’ll make breakfast for the kids when he doesn’t have to be at work real early. I’m expected to pay all of the bills, but I can’t access the bank account to ever see how much money is being spent and if we’re down to a few thousand dollars it’s all my fault because “all I do is spend money”, but I spend it on necessities for everyone. He doesn’t get anything, sometimes he’ll go to the grocery store to get some fresh vegetables and like ten bottles of wine, but that’s it.
He had training for work out of town this week, he left me with $200 for the entire week for anything that we needed. He knows I usually spend $200 a week on groceries alone, but that didn’t matter, I had to make it work because he just wants it that way. It’s not like we don’t have the money, he just wants to micromanage everything I do. Well I went grocery shopping first and spent $130, not getting several things that I usually do for everyone. He doesn’t want me packing lunches for the kids because he wants them to have a hot meal for lunch, so I had to put $20 ($10 each) on their lunch accounts at school. I also needed gas in my car for the week to drive them to and from school, $40. Then on Tuesday morning I realized that we also needed dog food and that costs $60. The grain free food he insists we feed our $3,000 dog. Well Wednesday night the power went out in our entire neighborhood and the kids started freaking out. We were getting ready to sit down to dinner when everything went black and they started screaming. I immediately lit candles, got a flashlight, called the power company to find out what was going on and when it would be back on. An hour later after I was referred to the company that actually delivers our electricity, I tried calling him to find out what I should do. They couldn’t give me even an estimated time for when the electricity would be back on and the kids were freaked out to even go back inside the house. The kids started asking if we could go to a hotel, mind you we had not eaten dinner yet, and all I could say was no guys we can’t do that. Meanwhile I’m still trying to get a hold of my husband who is not answering his phone. I’m sending text messages saying please call, I don’t know what to do, but nothing. I had just spoken to him not even two hours prior and he was eating and drinking at an Olive Garden near his hotel. An hour later he calls back and I said where are you? He flat out said, if you want to talk about the problem with the power I will do that, but I am not going to answer your question. I immediately was thrown back, like whoa what’s happening? Why wouldn’t he just answer the question and say he’s sorry I was doing this or that so is everyone ok, what can I do. That was the response I thought I would get, but instead he flat out refused to say where he was or where he had been or why he wouldn’t answer his phone. Of course if your husband says this to you, you want to know even more so than before, where were you and more importantly, why won’t you tell me? So I answered, said where are you, he gave his response and I asked again and he hung up on me. Then he preceded to text message me for over an hour, but would not call and would not answer my phone calls. This is not like him and I honestly still don’t know what to think. After going back and forth and of course not helping me figure anything out with the power situation, he told me that he wouldn’t answer my question because of my accusatory tone. He said that I had already suspected him of wrong doing before he even called back and I of course said no, I didn’t I just thought you were busy, that you ran into some of the guys while you were eating or you went back to your hotel and fell asleep, but I started questioning that when you wouldn’t answer me at all. I became suspicious when you refused to tell me and then hung up on me when I asked again. I became suspicious when you tell me over an hour later that you were actually sleeping, but you did not sound like you were sleeping at all when I spoke with you for those couple of minutes. I became suspicious when you tell me that you were sleeping, but hung up on me and wouldn’t speak to me over the phone until well over an hour later and at that point you were yelling at me like I did something wrong. It doesn’t make any sense. I ask him where he is a lot and he doesn’t do this. Why did he act like that this time? I know that he knows he cannot lie to me and again, raised suspicion why he would not speak to me over the phone. He for some reason does not see texting as lying. Then he insists that if he were with someone how could he be texting with me for over an hour, etc. That’s a pretty simple answer to me, that’s why he was texting. He’ll be home in a few hours and we haven’t really talked since that night. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel, but I don’t feel happy that he’s coming home. I don’t feel like he was being 100% honest with me at all. I know if I bring it up again, he will again turn it around on me as he always does. Whenever I have a problem with something he has done, he without a doubt will turn it around on me every time. When he has a problem, I need to not only listen to what he has to say but agree with him and apologize before the conversation is over. He refuses to go to counseling with me, but at this point I believe that’s the only thing that will work. He will only accept advice if it’s from a non-bias third party. For the past several years he has claimed that his mother is the non-bias third party, but won’t see a counselor because they don’t know either of us. Talk about a walking contradiction. I don’t know what to do about anything and I obviously can’t talk to him about anything because he’ll turn it around and will cause an argument instead of an actual discussion to get anything resolved.
In my relationship previous to this, we were engaged and were best friends. We told each other everything and had no secrets. Our communication was outstanding. Any issues we ever had, we would talk them out until both of us felt things were resolved. Sometimes I wonder if I was just lucky at the time to be with a guy who communicated so great with me that now my expectations are set higher. Then I wonder if because I’ve been in a relationship where communication was what we relied on, that I’m able to easily recognize one that seriously lacks what is necessary to keep us going. I guess it could be neither or it could be both.
I felt it was necessary to give the back story so that everything is stated and leaves nothing to question. I love my husband, but I do not want to continue to live this way. I want for our lives to get better and for us to be happy together. He has made some changes that have helped like hugging me when I’m crying instead of walking away and not caring. He doesn’t always try though. He always insists that if I change certain things then he will be a certain way. I always thought relationships were 50/50, give and take. He’s expecting for me to give 100%, and only give 50% himself after I’ve given. I’ve tried explaining that we should both work on making things better at the same time, but he won’t even budge. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
I know this is quite lengthy, but if anyone has taken the time to read through all of this, thank you. If you have any healthy, positive advice to offer I would greatly appreciate it. I know many of you have been through some of these situations and may be able to offer some help and I will be grateful for that. Please do not comment if you only have negativity to offer. Thank you all for your help.