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I've been married for 19 years, 4 children ages; 23, 18, 17, and 9. February 23, 2015 I will complete my BA Health Administration degree. I am currently on disability because I recently had knee surgery and am going through Physical Therapy (PT). I am employed with a rehabilitation center for brain injured adults.
My marriage has not been good for the past several years. My husband doesn't sleep in the same room as me. We have discussed our relationship but come to no agreement as to how to fix it. I feel we need love and affection. He feels we need a hobby together. My husband has a history of drinking and has been doing really well not drinking for the past several months. I have built up a lot of anger towards my husband because of the way he treated me when he has gotten drunk. The last time he drank, was approximately 5 months ago and I ended up just ignoring the loud music and avoiding an argument. Over the years, I came to realize the routine of his actions when he does drink and gets drunk. I have learned to "try" to avoid him when he is in this state of mind. When he did get drunk, the routine was always the same and the next day, he always made it seem as though I was the reason he drank in the first place. I know this is him blame shifting so he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions, but I am so tired of dealing with that. He rarely apologized and when he did it was just "sorry about last night, I went overboard". When I try to discuss his drinking and actions, he just tells me the same thing that he won't do it again. I have stayed with him for almost 19 years and have built up so much anger and resentment. When I try to tell him how all his past actions have hurt me, he gets defensive and we argue.
I don't spend time with him and I feel bad for it all the time. We basically live in the same house as roommates. I'm constantly in my bedroom watching TV or doing homework on my laptop. He is constantly on his computer in the other room. When he does come in to tell me something about the news or government issues (which I do not follow), I feel as though I have to fake being interested. I don't like faking my feelings. Sometimes, I don't even want to talk to him.
There is no romance, and I really miss the love and affection. I wish we could just cuddle together.
We also have money problems that add to our arguing.
My husband used to run his own electrical business several years ago, but with the economy he only does odd jobs for neighbors "maybe" 5 or 6 times a year. The only income we have is my disability.
He does not have a high school diploma and "I feel" he uses this as an excuse to not get a job. But then when we fight (during times when he is drunk), he will say "he's leaving me, going to find someone else, move down the hill to his moms or brothers, get a job, start over, and then he can just worry about himself". I have never understood how he could easily say those things, move to his moms or brothers and get a job when he can't get a job now and take care of his family. I feel he is very lazy and doesn't want to work. He is constantly saying when I finish my schooling, I can get a good job, make good money, and then he can start working on building a business and bringing in money so I won't have to work. He says I would only have to work for 5 years and then he can take over. We have lived in our current house for 9 years and he still has not worked full time for someone else. Right when we moved, his electrical business was suffering and continued to dwindle down to nothing. I am just so upset with him, that he doesn't care enough about his family to get up and support us and bring money in. He doesn't see an urgency for it and we are constantly suffering for money. I only bring in $1048 a month and don't understand how and he doesn't care. He says he worries about money all the time, but I see other fathers working 2 or even 3 jobs just to support their family.
These things along with no physical or verbal affection are draining me. I feel depressed, unloved, and used all the time. He doesn't include me in anything and it hurts.
He is close to our 17 year old son. Not close to our 18 year old daughter. Some what close to our 9 year old son.
Just tonight, he rented a movie online and asked our oldest son to watch it and didn't even tell me he was renting one.
We fight about a lot of things and smoking is one of them. I stopped smoking Jan 2014. He continues to smoke and goes into another room (most of the time). I am always harping on him for smoking around the kids. He just doesn't seem to care. When I used to smoke, we would both smoke outside because of the kids. Now he doesn't care where he smokes. I think he does it on purpose sometimes just to piss me off.
As I said before, I spend most of my time in our bedroom. Two reasons; because of the smoke (I get an instant headache and stuffed up nose and head), and that I like to watch different shows than everyone else does. I don't want to take up the TV in the living room if someone else wants to watch it.
About a month ago my husband said, "you know, you can watch TV in the living room". So I did. I went in the living room and watched a movie with the kids and when they went to bed, I had started another movie until my husband lit up a cigarette. I said, "really, your gonna smoke?". Even though, he knows the smoke bothers me, he said, "well the kids are in bed" and continued to smoke it. So I turned off the TV and went to the bedroom.
Even though he knows how much I can't stand being around the smoke, he deliberately lit one up just so I didn't stay in the living room, even after he had just told me earlier that day that I don't always have to stay in the bedroom. About 5 minutes later, I heard the TV turn back on. I was so pissed, but I didn't say anything about it. The next day, I watched TV again in the living room and when he was done on his computer, instead of coming over and sitting in the living room to watch TV, he went into our bedroom and watched TV. Oh my gosh! I just don't get it. These are just some of the issues I am going through.
I constantly feel left out, unappreciated, and taken advantage of because I'm the only one bringing in the money.
Through all our years of marriage, I have never thrown it in my husbands face that I bring in the money (even though I would love to say it, just once). I know that would not be right but my husband has said it to me plenty of times. He has even said, when he gets a job and brings in the money, it would be his and he can do what he wants with it, even though he already does that know.
When ever I go to the store and want to buy something other than what is on our list or what we already had discussed, I call my husband and ask him if it would be alright to spend ?? amount of money. He always says, "you know you don't have to ask me to spend money". So just last week, I went to my PT and after wanted to spend $15 dollars on myself, so this one time I did not call him. When I got home, he was not happy that I spent the money. When ever he goes to the store, he never EVER calls me to ask me about spending any extra money. He just waits till he gets home and tells me what he bought.
These are some of the things that upset me, but most of all it is the lack of affection. When we first got married, he loved being with me and wanted to constantly spend time with me. Now after, children, a house, and time passing, we seem to be strangers. I want a happy, loving, affectionate marriage, but I feel so tired of trying. I always ask him to sleep in the bed but there's always an excuse like; he stays up late and doesn't want to wake me when he comes to bed so he'll just sleep on the couch, or he can't sleep in the bed because he can't hear what's going on in the rest of the house. I feel these are just excuses so he doesn't feel like he's doing anything wrong. I'm not even sure if he is attracted to me anymore, it's been so long.
I am at loss of what to do and now I don't even know if I want to try anymore. I'm so tired of everything, I just want to run away sometimes.
In the past, only when he has been drunk, he has mentioned getting a divorce and finding someone else. I've told him DIVORCE isn't in my vocabulary. Now, today, I don't really know what I want. I know, deep down, I do love him, but it would be nice to be treated good once and awhile and made to feel important. You know, he never buys me flowers (he says they are a waste of money because they die). He doesn't remember my birthday unless I remind him or the computer reminds him. He NEVER tells me he loves me, unless I say it first. He doesn't seem to care and even want to treat me good.
I should also mention, that I have no close friends to talk too about anything. I think this is why I'm turning to online chat. This sucks. I feel all alone and lost. :(
Thank you for reading my long message and listening to me vent. If anyone has anything they want to say, I would be more than happy to take any comments or advise given. Thank you.
 

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I'm so sorry for your situation. It appears that your husband is just another one of your kids, since you are the only one bringing in any money to the household. Speaking as a man, we should want to contribute, whether it's one or two jobs, I've done both.
I strongly feel that if you are unhappy enough to be sleeping in different rooms, especially with the kids knowing it, aren't you in essence already "separated"? I think the only difference between what you are living and divorce is, with divorce you can try and find happiness elsewhere. Since you are the only money contributor, finances shouldn't be a problem. Do your children ever question your relationship, they are definitely old enough to know things aren't right? I do agree that if you both smoked away from the children and now with you stopped, him electing to smoke where ever, is just to tick you off. People have no clue or care what they are doing to their kids with second hand smoke, it's about "them".
Since your communication is nonexistent, to try and fix things, you really only have two choices, leave or adapt. Marriage will always take two and sadly a lot of us try to hold things together solo and it doesn't work. I feel for you and just think of the next 10 years, do you want to still be this way. Time has a way of speeding up and before you know it your life has passed you by.
 

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The only one of my children that actually said something was my 18 year old. She doesn't really get along with her dad (my husband) and asked me "why I've stayed with Dad this long because he's lazy and doesn't care about any body but himself".

I do believe in my marriage vows and staying for the children because both of our parents were divorced after 10-15 years of their marriages. Both my mother and mother-in-law were married to alcoholics so this seems to be a cycle. I have stayed because I want the marriage to work. I feel like I'm fighting an endless battle, in hopes that it will get better over time.

Thanks for your post.
 

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Did something prompt him to quit drinking 5 months ago? Have you noticed a change in his personality since he stopped? He may be on edge from quitting, and/or smoking more but was wondering if he seems to have more energy and/or is more pleasant to be around? Sometimes a wake-up call is needed, but if you tell him you can't live this way anymore he may go back to drinking ... but in the end I believe nothing will change if you simply hope it gets better over time - seems he's already proven that - I think I'd be inclined to have a talk about the marriage and what you need from it and whether he has any desire to work with you to improve it?
 

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The only one of my children that actually said something was my 18 year old. She doesn't really get along with her dad (my husband) and asked me "why I've stayed with Dad this long because he's lazy and doesn't care about any body but himself".

I do believe in my marriage vows and staying for the children because both of our parents were divorced after 10-15 years of their marriages. Both my mother and mother-in-law were married to alcoholics so this seems to be a cycle. I have stayed because I want the marriage to work. I feel like I'm fighting an endless battle, in hopes that it will get better over time.

Thanks for your post.
Hopefully your children aren't too distraught with your relationship. Staying for the children, although is a good intention, more times than not hurts them worse. They end up thinking that is a marriage they have to look forward to and develop wrong beliefs. I'm glad your 18 year old agrees that your husband isn't acting much like one.
I'm not saying to divorce, but if he isn't willing to put forth any communication efforts at all, you shouldn't have to sacrifice your happiness. Kids tend to be happier with two divorced happy parents than two distant miserable ones.
 

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Now, today, I don't really know what I want. I know, deep down, I do love him, but it would be nice to be treated good once and awhile and made to feel important.

I'm just curious, why do you love him? What is it about your life with him that you love? What about being with him brings you joy and peace?

You are working on yourself and working hard to provide for your family by getting your degree. What has he done to help your family live a better life?

You are in school and bettering yourself. You need to add a new word to your vocabulary. DIVORCE

You have told him that divorce is not on the table, so he knows he can treat you any way he likes. You need to put divorce in your vocabulary and on the table. In fact, I'd file for divorce and see if you can't shake him up and show him that you won't be treated like this anymore.

Not sure how anyone can live on $1000 a month, especially with having a smoker in the family. Take away his cigarette money and tell him he needs to pay for those out of money he earns.
 

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You really do not have a marriage. You have a setup where you support a grown man who is acting like a child. His smoking in the house is putting your and your children’s health at risk. This nonsense of him smoking once the children are in bed makes no sense. The smoke still gets into their rooms. It lingers in the air and gets on everything.

If you bring in only about $1000 a month right now, how can your husband afford to drink, smoke and rent movies?

You are not doing your children any favors by staying with their father. You are teaching them that this is what marriage is like. Your daughter will expect nothing more than what you have right now. Your sons will be like him and treat any woman they get involved with the way he treats you.

It would be better for your children if you divorced your husband and told them why… because you will not allow yourself to be mistreated. That the consequence for anyone who mistreats their spouse is that the marriage will end in divorce. Show your children that you are a strong woman and that you will not put up with being mistreated.

You need to add “divorce” to your vocabulary.
 

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Did something prompt him to quit drinking 5 months ago? Have you noticed a change in his personality since he stopped?.......
He said he's quitting (which he's said before, but never lasts) because he says the beer seems to be making him sick and having a bad reaction where he doesn't remember what he does. There really hasn't been any change in him since he's stopped. I think he still has a few at the neighbors house, just not telling me, and just not getting drunk.

He does not have more energy, in fact, he's been sleeping a lot more and he is not pleasant to be around.

I need to get the courage to talk to him about our marriage. I just know there's gonna be a fight.

Thanks for your reply.
 

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Hopefully your children aren't too distraught with your relationship. Staying for the children, although is a good intention, more times than not hurts them worse. They end up thinking that is a marriage they have to look forward to and develop wrong beliefs. I'm glad your 18 year old agrees that your husband isn't acting much like one.
I'm not saying to divorce, but if he isn't willing to put forth any communication efforts at all, you shouldn't have to sacrifice your happiness. Kids tend to be happier with two divorced happy parents than two distant miserable ones.

I definitely need to talk to him about all this and it isn't fair for the kids. I just need to find the guts to do it sooner than later.
Everyone's posts are very helpful in building my confidence. Thanks everyone!
 

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I'm just curious, why do you love him? What is it about your life with him that you love? What about being with him brings you joy and peace?

You are working on yourself and working hard to provide for your family by getting your degree. What has he done to help your family live a better life?

You are in school and bettering yourself. You need to add a new word to your vocabulary. DIVORCE

Not sure how anyone can live on $1000 a month, especially with having a smoker in the family. Take away his cigarette money and tell him he needs to pay for those out of money he earns.
I was just thinking about this today! I really don't know why I love him anymore, and that saddens me. I feel like I'm in a comfort zone with him still in my life. As I think about this, it's only because he takes care of the repairs at the house. This is so sad, that I love the "maintenance man". Meaning, I guess the only reason I still love him is because he fixes stuff around the house, and he's not even fixing them the right way, he jimmies things together. I'm so frustrated, this is not the way I wanted my marriage to be. I just want him to romance me and give me attention. I feel like I'm on the back burner and feel left out, like I'm only good for bringing in the measly $1000. By the way, it is very hard living on $1000 a month and I'm so tired of doing it. I wish I could just put my foot down and start saying NO, but it's hard and I feel scared. This is so hard, why can't life be simple? I know, nothings ever simple.

Thanks for your post and thanks for reading my llllooooooonngg first post!
 

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You really do not have a marriage....This nonsense of him smoking once the children are in bed makes no sense....If you bring in only about $1000 a month right now, how can your husband afford to drink, smoke and rent movies?...

Show your children that you are a strong woman and that you will not put up with being mistreated.

You need to add “divorce” to your vocabulary.
Thank you for your reply. I am certainly encouraged to start handling this the way I should have done a long time ago. It's all just so hard and I feel so drained and tired of dealing with anything anymore.

There isn't really any money left over for his drink, smoke, or movies, but he manages (some how) to pull it off. When he does do small jobs (once in awhile), he spends it right away. I also think he could pay more money towards the electric bill, but he manages to just pay the minimum and then become behind and has to set up a payment plan. So many issues, that I deal with, I only stay because I haven't gotten up enough nerve to do anything about it.

I know I need to show my kids that I'm a strong women and that I won't be mistreated anymore, but it's so hard. I'm tired of arguing and I'm ssoooo dreading this next one. I also need to rebuild my backbone!

Thanks again for your reply.
 

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OP, I am absolutely NOT trying to defend your husband's actions here, but it sounds to me like he is living through a train wreck himself. It's not your fault, and you shouldn't try to pick up any of the tab for it, but it does sound like he simply feels like he is a loser, and that his happiness is all in the past.

I would suggest that - before throwing it all out the door, you and he need to get some rigorous counseling. If your budget is too tight, there may be clergy that can help out.

I have learned that when a person is unhappy and feels depressed, they behave much the same way your husband is behaving.

Like I said - I am absolutely NOT trying to defend him, but trying to bring up that maybe there is hope - IF he will get counseling and act on it.

He needs to stop the wallowing, kick himself right in the @ss and get back to living life. When he' a better person to HIMSELF, he will be a better person to YOU.

I reaally do feel for you (and for your marriage), and the other posters are spot on - you DO need to add "divorce" to your vocabulary. You may not want to do it just yet, but it absolutely does need to be an option.

Good luck in all of this. I truly hope that you two can work things out.

If not, hit the silk and don't look back. It may be that is the real answer, but you will feel better about YOU if you give it the chance.

Sorry for rambling...
 

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Often when people say "but I really love him/her" what it means is that they don't love themselves, they have very low self esteem.

If someone is treating you badly, not adding anything of substance to your life, not being intimate, kind, loving, caring to you then what on Earth is there to love?

Learn to love yourself more. Understand that you deserve to live this one life that you have in peace and happiness.

Sadly you are setting your kids up for a massive failure, lives that are just like yours, do not let that happen.
 

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Wow he us going to move on and find someone else.?? Good riddance, he does not sound like much of a catch! Throw him back and find some happiness
 

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Sadly you are setting your kids up for a massive failure, lives that are just like yours, do not let that happen.
Peaton, you have already repeated the mistakes of your mother, marrying an alcoholic. So you KNOW it happens. Just think of all the years that your now 18 year old daughter has lived in misery because of YOUR decision to stay "for them". You've done them no favors by staying with your husband.

He is a selfish, immature jerk. No decent man would purposely let his family suffer financially the way he is. You'll never get him to go to counseling with you because that would be like admitting something is wrong with him...also it would require effort, and he is about avoiding effort. He contributes nothing to your life but misery and difficulty. I have been there...many things you mentioned I dealt with before. You dont love him, you are just used to your situation, so this is about a comfort zone, not love.

Do yourself and your kids a favor and divorce this man.
 

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I was just thinking about this today! I really don't know why I love him anymore, and that saddens me. I feel like I'm in a comfort zone with him still in my life. As I think about this, it's only because he takes care of the repairs at the house. This is so sad, that I love the "maintenance man". Meaning, I guess the only reason I still love him is because he fixes stuff around the house, and he's not even fixing them the right way, he jimmies things together. I'm so frustrated, this is not the way I wanted my marriage to be. I just want him to romance me and give me attention. I feel like I'm on the back burner and feel left out, like I'm only good for bringing in the measly $1000. By the way, it is very hard living on $1000 a month and I'm so tired of doing it. I wish I could just put my foot down and start saying NO, but it's hard and I feel scared. This is so hard, why can't life be simple? I know, nothings ever simple.

Thanks for your post and thanks for reading my llllooooooonngg first post!
Marriages that have endured the length of time as your own are not easy to understand or get out of emotionally. Sometimes we feel ready to leave and other times we feel ready to try. We wonder if there was something we could have done or said that would make things better. Tons of questions, highs and lows, wondering what is the best to do for our self as well as our children.

What would life look like for you and your children if you were to go your separate ways? Is this something you feel you could do?
 

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It sounds like you are in a nagging, withdraw, drinking, loop Do read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. You want him to appreciate your concern and constructive suggestions, and he wants you to recognize at least his prior success and worth and regards your comments as nagging and wants to withdraw. Do what you can to make it work but if its not, then you want to take the plunge to split.
 
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