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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is some background:
My H and I have been married 5 years together 7 years. I have two children from previous relationship and he has one. We have two children together – 3 & 2. Our relationship has deteriorated down to not even tolerable, but more let’s just get through this.
After our 3y/o H decided to move into the guest room which is on a different level and different side of the house because he didn’t want to be woken up by the baby. He pretty much never came to our room unless he was interested in sex, which was rare. By some miracle we got pregnant again. He now sleeps exclusively I the guest room. We have sex probably once every 3 months or longer.
We talk about nothing other than the kids, and HIM. If I try to talk about my feelings, thoughts, opinion, or just my daily life – what I did that , stuff at work, he doesn’t listen, will often interrupt to talk about himself, ask something totally unrelated – like ask what I made for supper, or just start interacting with the kids. I have often stopped in complete stories of what I’m talking to him about and he doesn’t even notice that I never even finished what I was talking about. I have given up talking to him about anything unless it is about the kids or important.

We never go do anything together. And we rarely go and do things with the kids together. Often he will say he will stay home with one of the babies and says it’s too hard to go do stuff with all the kids.

We did therapy for about a year – going once a week – and spent a ton of money out of pocket on it. It doesn’t seem like anything changed. The only thing that seemed to change was that I learned to just let a lot of things go and not care much. Now we no longer argue and scream at each other, but I also find myself just simply not caring enough to.

He seems to not be bothered by the way things are at all. We did bring up him moving back to the bedroom in therapy, but he is not interested. He says he sleeps so much better in the other room and doesn’t want his sleep interrupted by me or the babies. He does snore, however, only on his back and when I would be woken by it I would nudge him to roll over. This often would irate him. He seems to think he is the only person worthy of a good night’s sleep in our house. After the kids are put to bed he has nothing to do with them until he wakes in the morning. I do work full time and he refuses to ever give me a break on the night time child care, even on the weekends. Our 2 year old rarely sleeps all night.

So he sleeps on the first level of our house, this is where our family room is also that has our computer. When he is awake and home he spends the majority of the time there. He will come upstairs when he wants something out of the kitchen or play with the kids for a few minutes. Our kids rooms are upstairs and the older girls rooms are downstairs. So the little girls are usually upstairs with me and even the big girls often are.

H spends every Saturday out of the house. That is his day to do what he wants. He often hangs out with friends or picks up a side job. He complains frequently how he never gets to do anything HE wants to do. He will through a fit if I have something I have to do or the kids do and there is something going on he wants to do. Yesterday I had to drive my oldest daughter 2 hours away to meet her dad so she could spend some time with him over the break. He got upset because he wanted to hang out with his friends. So I called my mom to come watch our daughters so I could take my oldest over and he could hang out with friends. These occurrences happen frequently. I am so lucky to have my mom to help me out or I would never get a break.

We do not really have mutual friends as his friends wives are all friends with his ex and we really don’t have much in common. I go out with friends probably about 2-3 times a year. I drink extremely rarely. I love my kids and my life pretty much revolves around them and meeting their needs. I do all the shopping for the family, the majority of housework, childrearing, and meal preparation. I feel like I am growing so resentful of my H and the way he behaves and the way he treats me and talks to me.

When he is home he is rarely any help anyways. I feel so much anger when I’m trying to get supper going and I’m helping with homework with the older ones and have the younger ones at my feet begging for stuff and he is sitting downstairs relaxing sitting on the computer. Then he just comes up when supper is ready and eats and go back down. The one thing he does do every night is give the younger ones bathes and ready for bed. That is when I get time to clean up the kitchen and a quick pick up of the rest of the house.

I feel exhausted, lonely, angry and resentful. After a year of therapy I quit going. I was sick of paying all the money and taking the time for it and it seemed to not be doing anything. He would get in there and say one thing and act like things were going so well and he would work on this and that. Then we would leave and things would be the same. He really liked the T and I did to – it was actually the second one we seen, but it just felt like I was the only one willing to do what she asked.

First week we went she asked us what we wanted the other to work on and I said I wanted him to ask me what I had to do/get done each day. He has yet to ever ask me. The main reason I asked for this was to initiate conversation between us and for him to realize I have a lot of things that fall on my shoulders to get done and just what I all do to keep this family going. What did he want me to do? Not ask him to take out the garbage. And I haven’t asked him yet. I just do it if he doesn’t.

My H does rarely drinks, he works hard outside the home and provides very well for us, our kids love him dearly, and no I do not think he is cheating.

Do I keep trying? Or do I just say enough is enough and start a divorce process. The idea of tearing the kids a part has kept me here so far. My two older girls and my stepdaughter and the babies are all so close and love each other and we are family – there is not stepsisters or half-sisters in their eyes. Plus I have been in my SD’s life for 7 years and am close to her and been one of the main stable things in her life (her mom is an alcoholic).
 

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How were things in your early days? Did it change when you had your first child or your second?

I'm not getting a very good idea of whether your husband is the same guy he's always been or not, which could be important to your question of whether or not to try to make things work.

Also, since he's apparently into talking about himself, ask him what he gets from the relationship and see what he says. It sounds like it's a very cushy arrangement for him. Knowing what matters to him might be crucial to formulating a plan for change if you decide to stay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In the beginning he was totally different. However, once I moved in with him (a few months before the wedding) I did notice that he seemed to not be too interested in things I had to say and didn’t really want to hear about how I felt about things if they were not pleasant feelings.

I would have to say things have just evolved and gotten progressively worse over the years. Here I thought “once we get married he will chill out a bit, feel more secure and things will get better.” Then I thought “once we buy our new house things will get better” “once we have a child we will feel more united and closer and things will get better.” I keep thinking every “next stage” of our lives will be the turnaround point for us and it just seems to push us further and further apart.

What I don’t get is how he can seem to be perfectly fine with the way things are. I had mention to him a few months ago that I wasn’t very happy and thought we should consider separating. His first reaction was “why, we have a nice house and a nice family together, why would you want to lose all that?”

I feel so lonely and would rather have a life partner that I can be open with about my thoughts and feelings and have them validated, than a nice house and what looks like a nice family to those on the outside. Rather have a partner whom I can enjoy my time with and share my life with. I don’t understand why he would not want the same.

If I would ask him what he gets from the relationship, he would just chalk it up to he gets little out of it and I’m lucky he sticks around because he would have a lot more free time if I were to leave. Then he would get really sarcastic and say what a good question that is because what does he really get out of this (as to imply nothing) and then go on and on about it negatively. I would rather not go there. Trying to have productive conversations that are not superficial is impossible without a third party mediator.
 

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Ugh... What I'm seeing in your post is something I couldn't deal with.

I could be wrong about this, but I'll throw my views out there and others can tell me if I'm misguided.

It sounds like he's a person whose end goal was not to enjoy a life of sharing but instead, to "acquire a wife." Once he has reached that goal, there's no longer motivation to do more on the relationship. It's almost like the marriage existing IS all that's important, and he doesn't have a realistic idea of what a marriage is supposed to be about.

If I was in your shoes, I'd be considering how I could shake up his idea of marriage. That might mean telling him that I'd like to live separately so he can continue to have all the freedom he wants but that I do not want to divorce. I would even have a visitation plan drawn up and let him know how much he'd be paying to help raise his children (which would include a significant portion of the rent/house payment). I would expect him to react with anger for a couple of reasons: it deprives him of the status he gets from being married, and it's a financial burden. I'd leave the rest of the choices up to him: file for divorce or change his attitude.
 

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I like Kathy's idea. I would rather live alone than live like you are OP. He's got a warped sense of what marriage is about. It's not about the house, it's not about the kids, it's about the two of you and sharing your lives together as husband and wife. The kids and the material things are parts of your lives but at the core there should be you and him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I did discuss separating he did say he refused to move out of the house. That if I wanted to do that I would have to leave. That means that I would have to move me and my 4 kids out of the house. That also means I would have to find a rental because I would not be able to get another mortgage while still having my name on the one we currently own. That also means moving out of our marital home which means trying to get things moved out.

He made sure to point out that we are married and that us “separating” for a bit to work things out was not an option in his mind because that is not what married people do. He said he would not leave, if I wanted to do that I would have to be the one to leave and that the kids would not be leaving. The only family I have close by is my mom, but she lives an hour away from me, so going and staying with family for a bit is not an option.

I just feel really lonely and stuck in a hard spot. Not sure if I should go back to counseling or go talk to a lawyer. I feel strongly I want more out of a marriage or would rather be alone. But the idea of moving the kids out of their home and uprooting their lives is a hard idea to go through on.
 

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What he does or doesn't consider an option does NOT outweigh what YOU consider to be an option. Talk to an attorney to find out if you can obtain a temporary order of support so you can get moved. If that's possible, then he'll find out quickly that the laws determine what options people have when there isn't cooperation from both parties.
 

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Well if he feels so strongly about seperating you may want to mention the sleeping in the guest bedroom bit. He seperated from you when he left your marital bed as far as I'm concerned.

He's about appearances. I'm sorry but I can't fake my way through a marriage. I don't know how people do it. Walking around pretending to be people they aren't for the sake of what someone else may say. The truth is the truth and behind closed doors is what counts the most. He's setting a poor example to his children by his behavior. Those girls are growing up thinking men should act like their father, and guess what type of man they'll end up with? Yup. One just like Daddy.

You said you went to counseling. He faked that one too. Told her one thing but did another. I would mention that to him to while he's in his hard line stance. He's not who he says he is.
 

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Wow, is he ever selfish. He needs to suck it up and be a father, first of all! Why should you have to do all this crap and he skates off scott free?? Stop asking your mom to watch the kids while he goes and plays, he needs to buck up and take his share of responsiblity. This is not a marriage. I agree that something needs to shake him up, BIG time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't know how to force someone to spend time and take care of their kids. If I did not get up during the night when they wake up then no one would. I can not just ignore my children's needs in hopes he will step up. If I go to him with one of the children during the night he gets extremely bad attidue which usually results in snide comments, anger, and bad mouthing me loudly for everyone in the house to hear. If I need to do get something done on the weekend and he wants to do something I hear constant complaint how he never gets to do anything and the children's schedules should not take priority over him and what he wants. Most of the time I just don't want the kids to have to hear his rants so I just try to avoid them. Which means I just do what needs to be done for them and if he has stuff he wants to do I findn someone else to help me.

If anyone has some suggestions on how to get him to help out without the snide angry comments that my kids would have to hear I'm all up for trying anything.

We did bring it up in therapy how I wanted to get some sleep at night - even if it was just one night on the weekends. Our therapist suggested that I just let him handle it and let him handle the kids how he wants even if that meant ignoring them. I just can't do it. Breaks my heart to think of my baby waking up upset or wet or hungry and not have anyone attend to her needs. He thinks she should just cry it out and she'll then sleep through the night. Maybe, but I can't do it. The T said that was my choice then and his choice is to ignore it. So I've been trying to look at things that way. I have my choices and he has his.
 

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Our therapist suggested that I just let him handle it and let him handle the kids how he wants even if that meant ignoring them. I just can't do it.
You would get sleep if you let go of control over everything. I think that's what the therapist was trying to get across.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t know if I would say I’m trying to control everything. Just want to take care of my children and provide for them in the best way I can.

But yes, I do find it resentful that my H does not step up more. I have been trying to let that go and accept that as his choice. It’s hard though.

However, my original question is should I keep trying at this marriage when my H seems to be perfectly fine with the way things are and I am not. He doesn’t seem interested in doing anything differently or making any changes. I know I cannot change someone else, but shouldn’t he want to open to making changes if he knows I am so unhappy. And how can someone be fine with having a marriage that seems more like a roommate situation and less of a partnership?
 

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I don’t know if I would say I’m trying to control everything. Just want to take care of my children and provide for them in the best way I can.

But yes, I do find it resentful that my H does not step up more. I have been trying to let that go and accept that as his choice. It’s hard though.

However, my original question is should I keep trying at this marriage when my H seems to be perfectly fine with the way things are and I am not. He doesn’t seem interested in doing anything differently or making any changes. I know I cannot change someone else, but shouldn’t he want to open to making changes if he knows I am so unhappy. And how can someone be fine with having a marriage that seems more like a roommate situation and less of a partnership?
You ask some valid questions, but only your husband can answer them. He has decided to live the way he wants whether you agree with it or not. So now, the ball is literally in your court.

Stay and continue to do everything, in spite of his lack of attention to your marriage and family, or pack some bags. He's made it clear he's not doing any moving or changing, so you have what you have in front of you. Your turn.
 

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I don’t know if I would say I’m trying to control everything. Just want to take care of my children and provide for them in the best way I can.

But yes, I do find it resentful that my H does not step up more. I have been trying to let that go and accept that as his choice. It’s hard though.

However, my original question is should I keep trying at this marriage when my H seems to be perfectly fine with the way things are and I am not. He doesn’t seem interested in doing anything differently or making any changes. I know I cannot change someone else, but shouldn’t he want to open to making changes if he knows I am so unhappy. And how can someone be fine with having a marriage that seems more like a roommate situation and less of a partnership?
YES, she "should" be open to making changes, but he isnt. This isnt a marriage, he is completely checked out of his role as husband and as father. Granted, you can only make changes to yourself, but I think as you improve yourself, you are only going to become even more angry, lonely and resentful toward him. You worry about your kids, think about how they feel seeing you taken advantage of and ignored. And honestly, they probably dont care much to be around their dad, because he doesnt give a damn... kids are in tune to things like that. I feel like if you file for divorce, he isnt going to fight you for custody, because then that would require effort toward the children on his part. He may WANT the house, but that doesnt mean that he will be granted the house by the court. Your kids deserve a happy mom.
 

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Are you his wife or his employee? I mean, honestly, that's exactly what this dynamic is between you and him. At least when I get treated like a dog at work I get to bring home a paycheck and go home to some peace. But how are you being "compensated"? Where is YOUR peace? I know that moving out may seem like a very scary thought and a huge undertaking but I am sure that you have a network of friends and family who will be able to help you. You need to start planning your escape. You are already doing it on your own now so the only real impact on you will be the geography.

And children are very resiliant. I know that it will be very hard to separate your common kids from the others but think about how hard it is for them living in that household? They need a safe place to come home to. I know you are doing your best to hold it all together and make your home as happy as possible but it's more important to the kids that their parent, their primary caretake, is happy too.

To answer your question, based on all you have written, you need to quit this job!

I had to sarcastically giggle at a comment you made in another post where you said your husband said, "that is not what married people do". Ummm, ok. And his actions are those of a married person? No, I don't think so!!
 

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He's happy with the status quo.

Stop trying to get him to admit that you have an unhealthy marriage.

I did that for YEARS with my exHusband. My marriage was unhealthy & he didn't want to talk about & got sick of me whining about it, blah, blah, blah.

He finally said "I'm just not as unhappy as you are."

Your husband sounds a lot like my ex. It is all about him. I was a "tick in the box" (wife) for him & once that box got ticked, he didn't have to bother looking for a wife anymore & just do what he wanted. He also was a good father like your husband is - it is important to these self-centered men to be good "Fathers & Husbands" to the outside world. My husband also said he would never leave his home & if I wanted to leave, then I would have to so I did.

That is why he doesn't listen and/or care about what he sees as your relationship "complaints."

If you didn't have children, I would suggest leaving because counseling didn't work & I don't really see him changing. He is very narcissistic.

I agree to consult with a lawyer. If you divorce, you may get to stay in the marital home with your children.
 

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If anyone has some suggestions on how to get him to help out without the snide angry comments that my kids would have to hear I'm all up for trying anything.
It's not up to you to manage your children's relationship with their father. If he makes snide, angry comments, let him. Do not protect him or your children from each other as long as he isn't abusing THEM.

You said you worry that he would neglect your baby, and that one *is* a valid concern. What I would do (which isn't necessarily the "right" or even a "good" choice, but it is what it is...) is tell him which night he will have to be responsible, make plans to stay at mom's house once a week on that night, and make it clear that if she's neglected I will report him to child protective services and start building a formal case against him as a parent.
 
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