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Hi all, I'm new here and desperate for advice. I'll try and be as short as possible with my story.

I met my husband when I was 23 and he was 25, through friends on a night out. I was single, had a 3 year old child, rented my own house which I had done since 18 and was working as a medical secretary at this time. He was living at home with his parents and working in a textile factory. We fell in love pretty quick and he moved in pretty quick to my house. We had a pretty tempestous relationship at first, we were very very close, something everyone commented on and I remember being kind of blown by the fact that I could be myself with him and he accepted it but lots of arguments as we were trying to get to know each other whilst living with each other. We met in 1998 and by 2002 we had bought a house, got married and then had our daughter who is now 12. The usual ups and downs ensued but all in all we remained very much in love and very close, the silly arguments stopped.

In the last 7 years he has been made redundant 3 times, we have had serious financial problems, the house was nearly taken off us. My dad drowned in an accident 4 years ago, the following year my daughter was raped at age 16, year after that we had to go through a court case for that. All this has really changed me. I've suffered depression and panic attacks from being 18 but had a recent exacerbation of this.

I have long been frustrated with my husband's differing attitude to live from me but we have worked it out because hey that's life, we can't all be the same. But I feel I have outgrown him in a way. One of my major issues is that I am in complete control of the finances, and everything else, regarding kids, day to day living etc etc. I have tried MANY times telling him I am increasingly unhappy with this and I really need him to pick up some responsibility because I feel on my own. This was highlighted more for me in the last few years when we have had so many problems. But he kind of agrees with me, says sorry but doesn't change. I've been honest, Ive asked him will it take me to leave him before he realises? What else can I do? This isn't a simple little issue, it's consuming my life. I crave someone that can take control, so that I feel safe and looked after, cared for.

Let me tell you my husband is a very good guy, he's a wonderful father and although they've had issues him and my oldest (his stepdaughter) love each other very much and he's been there for her. He's a serious hard worker and will work all the hours god sends. I feel bad, guilty and slightly selfish about all this. I love him and he makes me laugh but I have reached the point where I feel I am not the same person. I really want to feel cared for, like someone looks out for me. He doesn't at all, he never sticks up for me in arguments with mutual friends, he belittles my beliefs in life, gets mad if I try and discuss our future finances, will leave the room and generally doesn't listen. I know from the way he was brought up he can't deal with confrontation.

Some advice would be greatly appreciated because I am at the end of my tether here!!!
 

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Well, lets start with the basics.
Have you tired marriage counseling? Individual counsel?

Sounds like you have a resilient family, but its been smacked a few times. Maybe a third party can help with the healing.

Now you are going to be hit with a lot of questions, followed by theories and people interpreting what you say.
Take a step back, answer the questions and try to weigh everything out.

There are good people here and many of them are truly experienced and want to help. I like to count myself among them.

Tell us a little more about how you feel and why you think he isn't treating you well.
 

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Life isn't going to be any better on your own. You have a half-decent guy. Don't expect others to be any better. I just don't see a reason to leave. What you CAN do is financially live your life as though he isn't there, so what he does and doesn't contribute won't affect you. My H disappointed me so very many times in terms of taking care of things around the house, so I just gave up expecting any help from him. My IC even gave me the number of a contractor to get stuff done, so I don't have to depend on him. It's taken a lot of stress off my shoulders.

That said, there are things you can do to improve your marriage. I'd start with reading His Needs Her Needs. It'll be an eye opener. Read him parts of it.
 

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Been married 25 yrs and mine does not make me feel cared for--more like neglected. Wont discuss issues until need to or I take steps to fix it and he feels threatened. But you have changed a lot in the last couple years and you will continue to do so. You have been through some serious situations, especially losing a parent and supporting your daughter. Know that you are doing the best you can and you can fret about his fear of confrontation (a cop out in a marriage) or you can work on the projects you are concerned with and make attempts to get him to help you. Try to make major moves slowly for a little bit until you get your daughter to where she is healing and have faced your feelings about your parents. You might feel more on track if you considered those big life changes.
 

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Hi Lulu,

In many ways I can relate to your issues. The difference between us is that I am not the bread winner.

I wanted to comment on a few things. I feel that when a marriage is strained already that tragic events make it worse. Like you I am now suffering panic and anxiety attacks and I only used to have that in my teens. I hear some say tragedies bring them closer but that has not been my experience. It sounds like you have had two absolutely devistating events that are life changing. And you will most likely never been the same after this. I am not saying your life won't be good but it will always leave an imprint on your spirit. I lost my sister to a self inflicted death two years ago and it has been very hard as my husband expects me to move on, he has not lost a sibling and this was my only one. It's been aweful.

With that being said as a woman middle aged I know that I am not going to find the perfect man if I leave, in fact if this marriage ends I don't think I want a man in my life ever again. I don't want to even go through getting close to a man again.

Here I am giving you advice and my marriage is on the brink of ending but maybe counseling would help? I am going to try and get mine to go. Sometimes a third person who has no dog in the fight so to speak can help both see their strengths and weaknesses? I wish you the very best of luck.
 

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He doesn't at all, he never sticks up for me in arguments with mutual friends, he belittles my beliefs in life, gets mad if I try and discuss our future finances, will leave the room and generally doesn't listen. I know from the way he was brought up he can't deal with confrontation.
I read through your post and felt, "The OP feels her DH doesn't have her back." That feeling must have come to a head during difficult times you have recently had. Combine that with the disrespectful behavior quoted above, I see why you are at your wit's end.

Here on TAM we tell people "you teach people how to treat you". Some IC will help you work through the traumatic stress. You'll need to set stronger boundaries & deliver consequences to your DH. When he belittles your beliefs he is pi$$ing on the vulnerability you are offering ... Please do not accept this. Kindest Regards-
 
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