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My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I'm 25; he's 31. We have 2 children. We have had our arguments but this particular one has been ongoing for years and it is just never resolved. I don't know how to fix it.

My husband has been the provider ever since we got together and I have stayed home with our kids for the most part since they were born. My husband prefers that I stay home because he owns his own business and works long hours and it's just more convenient (plus if I had a job it would barely be enough to cover child care). I am very grateful for this. He is really good to me/our family in this aspect. He will take off work to go with me to take our son to the doctor if its snowing or raining bad or if it's far away, he doesn't want me to go by myself. He makes sure our vehicle is always safe. Things like that... That in itself just makes him a good husband. He also likes to take the kids on trips and to the beach (more-so than me, me and my oldest are home bodies) I know I'm really lucky for that because a lot of men are not this way or even not able to be. I am aware that he has given me and our family a lot to be thankful for and I respect him and appreciate him.

We ended up getting pregnant right after I graduated high school so we moved in together, got married, and things just fell into place of him being the provider and me taking care of the baby. After years of staying home, it gets lonely and depressing and I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT cut out to be a housewife. I had to try really hard to be good at my new "job" because honestly, it went against everything I was. I have always been more laid back, go with the flow, last minute type of person. I struggled with keeping the house clean enough for his standards with two rowdy boys. He would make subtle remarks when he came home, like looking at one of the kids messes and giving me a disapproving look or saying he couldn't have anyone over because the house was messy or walking to the stove and asking where his food was when there was obviously nothing there or asking me what I have been doing all day because there were no clean towels. He would make comments about me not disciplining the kids, that I let them run wild, that I never look put together anymore and "wear sweat pants all the time". I tried hard for a while to be better. I would read books on how to get your kids to mind better. I printed off tips on how to keep your house clean with small children. I would cook, clean, and wash clothes all day long 5 days a week until bed time and the house still be a mess. I started to dread him coming home because no matter how hard I tried it was never good enough for him. I felt like I wasn't good enough. I knew whatever I had accomplished wouldn't be enough or that he would say something about my t shirt that had bleach stains on it (I'm not going to wear nice clothes to scrub toilets). It was hard for me to fight the feeling of being everyone's maid 24/7 and I felt more like everyone's servant rather than even a family member so I did have some resentment and bitterness building up. I am the type when I keep being nit-picked on, I just give up and I admit I did stop trying as hard after a while.

My oldest has already picked up on what's going on and now he says things to me that he has heard his dad say like, you never make my brother mind or daddy is gonna be mad at you when he gets here. I told my husband that it hurts my feelings tremendously that my 6 yr old is talking to me this way and now looks at his mother this way, because it's what he's heard his dad say and my husband just shrugged it off and still does it sometimes. My MIL had also made a comment that her other daughter-in-law has a job, why don't I? (My sister in law doesn't have any children yet and she is the breadwinner in their marriage.) Note: His mom doesn't have a "job" either and her kids are grown. She just stays home. I felt like I was a failure at this "job" of staying home and it was really wearing me down and making me feel bad about myself.

So I thought I'm not doing great here, I will get a job where I will at least be contributing to our family financially and would be more appreciated. I have had a commission-paid job for about 10 months and I have paid off a couple of our bills but it's starting to put a strain on our family, more than it's worth. (I need his help when I need to make a business call and the kids are home, or I have to work late and need him to pick up the kids. He gets mad and I get mad and we are both stressed trying to deal with the kids and its just bad)

So my question here is where can we possibly find balance? He is over-all a good person but this has been a huge strain and caused a lot of resentment on both sides. It is easier on everyone if I stay home and take care of the kids and let him run his business. I feel like it's the least I could do for everything he does for us but it's so hard to do a good job when I feel like he's constantly putting me down and making me feel like I'm not good enough. I really could use help but I feel like I should be able to handle it on my own and I shouldn't ask him to do the dishes because he has worked all day and that's my job. I've asked him if we could hire help to come once a week or every two weeks and he said no, that would leave me with nothing to do....

He says he feels like I don't appreciate him and I don't even try anymore. I can see where he is coming from but I'm just past the point of really trying. My best was never good enough and it has changed me a little. I used to want to have things nice for him but now I'm like, it's not even worth bothering. I don't know what else I can do or how I can be better while he talks to me the way he does. It just keeps going around and around. He says he'll be nicer and I say I'll try harder but then he says one thing out of the way (most recent- my friend put a provocative photo of herself on FB and he said "oh give her a break her t**s are probably full of milk") and then we're right back where we started.

Also, we went through a couple of years of me wanting to have sex much more than him and he started making excuses saying he was busy right then or that it wasn't a good time or that I wanted it too much, I needed to lay off. We used to have sex 3-4 times a week and it dwindled until it just stopped. He had never been like that before, so I took it really hard. I'm pretty sure he has always been faithful, I don't think it was that. I remember when we decided to have our 2nd child (he was the one who was really pushing it) it was the first time we had actually done it in a long time and he was so mean to me during that pregnancy. I don't know why. He really wasn't his self and he got nasty at times. He did have some health issues around the same time and he says that's what the decrease in libido was. I don't really think it was though. I cried and begged for 2 years for him to show me some kind of affection and then I just gave up and got used to it. I admit I was definitely bitter after that and it changed me. It changed the way I looked at him and the way I felt about him. I still loved him but I was very guarded because now I questioned how he felt about me and every time I let myself be vulnerable he would hurt me again. If he did want to do something I really didn't want to. I would do it, but I didn't get into it. I felt used. But ever since I started the new job, it's like he has become interested again all of a sudden. I don't know what's going on. Why now? It like I can never get the honest truth out of him when I ask why are you doing this or being this way

So anyways, sorry so long but hoping to get some other perspectives and advice on how to end the cycle.
 

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I'm not understanding why you can't keep the house neat and tidy and be on top of the laundry and the dishes in the dishwasher if you're home all day long. I get why he's so frustrated, and he probably feels like the whole situation is unfair to him.

In other words, my perspective is the same as his.
 

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I'm not understanding why you can't keep the house neat and tidy and be on top of the laundry and the dishes in the dishwasher if you're home all day long. I get why he's so frustrated, and he probably feels like the whole situation is unfair to him.

In other words, my perspective is the same as his.
Amen. And my buddy and his wife are the same way. She worked for a bit but it covered child care. So she has a craft business she does on the side when the kids are in school (well, 2 are, the other is in kindergarten half the day).
 

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Well Op that's two guys in a row that see things like your husband does. I'm going to wager a guess that as you get more responses they'll be split along "gender" lines.. the guys will be like "why can't she keep up with laundry and cleaning during an 8 hour day" and women will chime in and say "us guys don't know how difficult it is to keep up with the housework".

I'd like to see a breakdown of exactly why it take 8 hours each and every day to do laundry, clean, and run a dishwasher. Especially when the kids are in school for most of it.
 

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Well, I am not the one who is going with the guys. Sorry, but kids are a handful and being anal retentive about cleanliness and food prep is a sure fire way of screwing up your marriage. The words "go with the flow" are often bashed, but, I know with two rambunctious kids, things tend to be messy. We run things on the following basis: whoever gets to it first. Meals are treated like; First one through the door cooks dinner.

Even when she was home taking care of the kids, there was no way on God's green earth that I would think of saying anything. One has to understand that real life gets in the way of the "perfect house", "perfect kids" etc etc etc.

Now that the kids are grown and gone, we find that since we kept relating to one another while the kids were in the house, we function fairly well and we are into each other, instead of having the kids at the center of our world, we put ourselves in that center.
 

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Ok, things I've noticed. He is 6 years older than you, and you got pregnant right after high school, thus, you likely dated him during high school. So, let's say you were 16 when he was 22. Yeah, that's pretty messed up. Got preggo and he wanted you to be a stay at home mom. Definitely controlling. Now you two aren't having sex and he is out at work a lot? Red flags there.
 

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The oldest child is 6, so he's either in kindergarten (so in school half the day) or first grade, but the younger child would still be home all day. I think it would be easier to manage if both kids were in school, but only one child is.

OK, so here's something I'm going to put out there as food for thought: If the house is already a mess, the prospect of getting it **** and span shape may be overwhelming and seem impossible to the OP. (It's a lot easier to start with a clean house and KEEP it clean, than it is to take a messy house and make it clean.) And her hubby's constant snide comments aren't really helping much; in fact, I imagine that they lead to the feeling of overwhelm.

OP, while I understand where you're coming from, if you're the stay at home mom, it's your job to keep the home running smoothly. That's all there is to it. I think you lack the skills and the practice, and that's part of the reason why it feels overwhelming and difficult to you. I'm going to offer up a couple of suggestions.

1. Check out FLYLady.net. Trust me, you need this. It's a fail-safe system for dum dums like you and me who were never taught by our mothers on how to maintain a clean house. It's an entire system, and if you follow it, you will be able to keep your house clean and keep up with the laundry. It's not an instant solution, but if you follow it for a month or two, you will see a marked improvement.

2. You mentioned your MIL doesn't work. Would she be able to watch the kids for you one or two afternoons/mornings/days a week to give you a little bit of a break and some time to catch up on the housework/crafting business/etc? That might make things more manageable.

3. Your 6-year-old is enough to start doing chores and contributing. Is he? Let him help fold the towels or help with other chores. He's old enough that he needs to learn how to clean up after himself. Heck, my sister has been teaching that to her kids since they were two years old.

4. I hear you when you say you're lonely. Are you taking the kids to the park? Playdates? I swear, I think this is as much for the parents as it is for the kids--socialize with the other moms there. Have you told your husband it makes you lonely? Does he ever stay home with the kids so you can go out and have adult time with your friends? How often do you and your husband have time to yourselves, just the two of you? Maybe you need to start having date nights.

5. Too overwhelmed to cook? Seriously, the crockpot is your friend. You can do SO MUCH STUFF with a crockpot. Throw stuff in at lunch time, and by the time husband it home, dinner is ready. As long as there's variety and it tastes good, I don't think he'll really care.

6. The clothes thing... he's commenting because you're not taking care of yourself, and when you don't take care of yourself, you become less attractive to your partner. You say you're not going to wear nice clothes to scrub the toilets. Are you scrubbing the toilets 24/7? No, I didn't think so. I'm not saying that you have to wear heels and a rockabilly 1950's style dress, but take care of yourself. Get some cute casual clothes that show off your figure, that your husband will like, and make a habit of wearing them every day (or go shopping in your closet). Need to do a messy chore? But on the rubber gloves and an apron/smock. That's why there is such a thing as an apron.

I don't know what to do about your husband's attitude. I don't know if he will lighten up when he sees that you're making more of an effort, or maybe he's just a d!ck. I don't know. But if he keeps up with the d!ckish behavior once you're got the house consistently under control, you need to take him to task over his attitude and maybe make him go to MC, because the way he's treating you isn't OK, and it's hurting your relationship. When you say that you've given up over being nitpicked, he may be nitpicking because he's given up on YOU and he's tired of living in a pig sty. He works hard to provide for his family and so you can stay home with the kids. You need to get over yourself and do your part to contribute to the household.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I agree with the gender line part that it will probably go that way, but I wasn't looking for back up. I do appreciate the response but both kids are not in school for one thing and the house is more of his standard vs mine. It's never good enough for him.

It actually does take a lot of time to make breakfast, get ready, get kid to school on time with the other one wanting to go back to bed and trying to pull their clothes off and refusing to get in the car, get home make beds, put the cushions back in the couch toddler just pulled out, pick up rooms, round up dirty clothes, -all while tending to a toddler that's dragging stuff out while you are doing other things by the way- cook lunch, wash pots and pans, deal with crying toddler, restart the clothes you forgot in the washer last night, go pay this bill when you pick up the other kid from school. come home, they're screaming and fighting, fold clothes, wash some more, older kid has pulled every toy out, the other one is on the toilet rolling out TP, start cooking supper, one shoots the other with a nerf gun now the other one needs a bath because he took off running, while your doing that mac and cheese is boiling over, now you gotta scrape the stove for 15 min *at this point I don't care who you are, YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BREAK! then hubs comes home looks at the toilet paper and toys, tracks mud trough the floor, gives the look, and I'm saying to myself oh yeah? Ok then, now it's your turn. I can go on with the rest of the afternoon..... But yea, it does get a little time consuming.
 

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It is awfully hard to swallow the feeling of being unappreciated for the things you do do well. I'm talking about you. It appears your H is focusing on what is not being done well. Has little appreciation for you. You are handled like an employee. Your marriage is not in a good place. It has nothing to do with poor cleaning skills either.
 

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Sounds like things are looking up. Your job is time out of the house and gets you dressing better every day. Your husband is seeing you as more of an equal adult. The kids are in school or pre-school part of every day. It really only gets better from here. Your 6 year old will be ready to start Cub Scouts in a year or two and interacting with more adults will change his perspective on you. It can also help his bond with Dad. Your Story actually sounds very familiar (except the bit where he lost his Drive). sex drive is so complex. You are probably both right on that one it is part sickness and part seeing you in sweats and stained shirts.
 

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Sounds like things are looking up. Your job is time out of the house and gets you dressing better every day. Your husband is seeing you as more of an equal adult. The kids are in school or pre-school part of every day. It really only gets better from here. Your 6 year old will be ready to start Cub Scouts in a year or two and interacting with more adults will change his perspective on you. It can also help his bond with Dad. Your Story actually sounds very familiar (except the bit where he lost his Drive). sex drive is so complex. You are probably both right on that one it is part sickness and part seeing you in sweats and stained shirts.
I believe the sex drive and lack there of is attributed to the H thinking he is doing enough. Working, paying bills, roof over head, heat on, food in the frig and being a dad. Wait, what? You want sex??? Do you realize I do enough around here. I'm a great provider. I'm a awesome dad. I do enough This sex thing is another chore for me.

I been there and done that. Great all around provider. Great dad. As far as a husband...FAIL. OP H needs to be of all things first....a husband. W always come first. The rest falls into place.

Read here OP. Our stories are similar. However, I'm the H and much like your H minus a few things:

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/10195401-post7.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The age difference is irrelevant. The house is not disastrous, but granted it's not as clean as he'd like. Our house is kind of small so we do have more clothes toys and stuff than we really have room for. I'm just looking for help with a solution and clean the house isn't it. Even when it was cleaner than it is now days, it wasn't up to his standard. Fly lady was one of the things I was referring to when I was trying harder. Thanks for the dress nice, gloves and apron tip. Didn't really think about that. For the guys that say they agree and I'm just lazy and not doing my part....what about the other way around? If he works all the time then shouldn't we be rich? I see his side of the story and I accept my part but I feel like I get no mercy on my end.
 

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What I would do:

It's obvious if you go to school part time and get a decent paying job, your husband is going to see you differently, realize you can do without him, and you're not going to get bored.

You are aware that you suck as a housewife. Why? Because you don't like being a housewife. That's not going to change. Just get a decent job and hire a maid and a sitter, or wait until they are all in school and don't have any more.

Your husband may be an ass and is out cheating on you. (no sex drive) But, the increased drive once you got a job points to not cheating. Don't EVER think that your husband is not cheating. Trust, but verify. He should be the same with you.

I really believe that if you will CHANGE, as in get a job (whether he likes it or not) and start doing what makes you happy, then most likely he will change also and you'll both be happy.

Your husband doesn't sound like a bad guy. He likely thinks he's doing HIS part, and doesn't realize why you aren't happy. Don't hold it against him. Men are idiots when it comes to taking care of a woman's heart and her happiness. He likely doesn't know the extent of your upsettedness.

Question: Do you still love him? Do you still desire him sexually? Do you think he is a good person?

If so, then stop thinking about how unhappy you are and start MOVING FORWARD in doing what makes YOU HAPPY. I think that's getting educated or trained to get a good job.

If you don't love him. Let him know this also. Still pursue a good job.
If you do love him, you soon won't if you don't make changes. Don't make him responsible for your happiness. He can't make you happy. YOU have to make you happy.
Realize if you ever throw the switch and fall out of love with your husband because of resentment, the love will likely never come back. Please, don't let that happen.

I truly wish you luck. And let me say--- you aren't a bad person for not wanting the life of a housewife. You have got to explain that to him. I think he'll understand. Really.
 

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I highly recommend you read His Needs Her Needs, His Needs Her Needs for Parents, and Love Busters. I can't remember which of the 3 it was in, but one of them had a situation very similar to yours with the husband berating the wife so much over the housework not being up to his standards that she finally gave up doing it entirely. Read them, check out the author's web site, and do whatever you can to get your husband to read them as well.
 

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Since no one commented on this, I will. He complains about how you dress around the house. Go out and buy some nicer casual clothes.
Question? Have you let yourself go? Most men will not talk about this to their wife, sister, lady friend, mother. They know better. But it still begs my question. Have you put on a lot of weight, do you not fix your hair up every morning. I know this is a pain. I know it takes a lot of time. I also know this- men love fit, healthy women who do a good job on their grooming. And, of course, they want their men to do the same, be the same. Women give men more slack in this respect. They will look past a little beer belly. A man? Not as much. This is a general statement but your situation may fit the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What I would do:

It's obvious if you go to school part time and get a decent paying job, your husband is going to see you differently, realize you can do without him, and you're not going to get bored.

You are aware that you suck as a housewife. Why? Because you don't like being a housewife. That's not going to change. Just get a decent job and hire a maid and a sitter, or wait until they are all in school and don't have any more.

Your husband may be an ass and is out cheating on you. (no sex drive) But, the increased drive once you got a job points to not cheating. Don't EVER think that your husband is not cheating. Trust, but verify. He should be the same with you.

I really believe that if you will CHANGE, as in get a job (whether he likes it or not) and start doing what makes you happy, then most likely he will change also and you'll both be happy.

Your husband doesn't sound like a bad guy. He likely thinks he's doing HIS part, and doesn't realize why you aren't happy. Don't hold it against him. Men are idiots when it comes to taking care of a woman's heart and her happiness. He likely doesn't know the extent of your upsettedness.

Question: Do you still love him? Do you still desire him sexually? Do you think he is a good person?

If so, then stop thinking about how unhappy you are and start MOVING FORWARD in doing what makes YOU HAPPY. I think that's getting educated or trained to get a good job.

If you don't love him. Let him know this also. Still pursue a good job.
If you do love him, you soon won't if you don't make changes. Don't make him responsible for your happiness. He can't make you happy. YOU have to make you happy.
Realize if you ever throw the switch and fall out of love with your husband because of resentment, the love will likely never come back. Please, don't let that happen.

I truly wish you luck. And let me say--- you aren't a bad person for not wanting the life of a housewife. You have got to explain that to him. I think he'll understand. Really.
Thanks so much....very helpful. I didn't even consider a lot of these things
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I highly recommend you read His Needs Her Needs, His Needs Her Needs for Parents, and Love Busters. I can't remember which of the 3 it was in, but one of them had a situation very similar to yours with the husband berating the wife so much over the housework not being up to his standards that she finally gave up doing it entirely. Read them, check out the author's web site, and do whatever you can to get your husband to read them as well.
I will check those out. Thank you!!!
 

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Skipping to the end - a clean house is a waste of time imo. It's much more important to have kids that are nurtured and creative. My oldest are 18 but the house is still a mess and everyone's happy, creative, smart and their friends love to come over because the place is loud and fun


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Skipping to the end - a clean house is a waste of time imo. It's much more important to have kids that are nurtured and creative. My oldest are 18 but the house is still a mess and everyone's happy, creative, smart and their friends love to come over because the place is loud and fun
If the children grow up in a mess that will be their reality and there's a really good chance they will live their lives that way, which will lead to disorganization, waste, and unhappy relationship partners.
 

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Hello @btny8567! I came to this forum with several of the same complaints and see some similarities in my story to yours. I've been married 8 years, have one kids and I have a an age difference with my husband. As a SAHM I felt underappreciated and bored to tears which was only exacerbated by his nitpicking. As we fought, we went through sexual incompatibilities and many many fights.

Life is different. I'm happier now than before, but I had to play quite a bit of hard-ball to get to where I am not only appreciated and respected but cherished. I don't have solutions per se, just steps that made my life better.

Here are the respectful things I did:

1) Get a job. I don't think it's a thing that is said a whole lot, but there is a type of man, either personality or upbringing that despite their words do not see being a SAHM as a respectable or honorable thing. It get expressed in many ways, one of the ways is "being the boss." As soon as I got a real boss, my husband returned to being a husband.

2) Take as much pride in your house as you can I personally wrote on a whiteboard everything that I felt need to be done in a day and checked if off as I went. I invited my husband to add to the board what he needed to be done during the day and got to them to the best of my ability.

3) Find a way to be happy. So you aren't the best housekeeper, who cares? Does that make you a person who deserves to be miserable? No! You have a great deal of control of your emotional state, you have the power in yourself to let go of resentment and make the most of what you have. When my husband is in a funk and complaining, I tend to tell him "Who gives a crap? My kid is healthy, the sun is shining and I heard the best joke today!" Not many people can stay mad at a happy person and it takes you to break the cycle.

4)Kids are designed to test the crap out of you. They are designed to find your weaknesses and poke at them until you break. No joke. :grin2: This is actually a developmental achievement, believe it or not. The biggest thing to remember is that kids need authority and you have to exert it. Your kid is trying to make you mad to learn his own emotional behaviors. You need to exemplify how to handle yourself.



daddy is gonna be mad at you when he gets here
"That is okay if Daddy is mad. Everyone gets mad sometimes but the most important thing is how we deal with our anger. What do you do when you get mad?"

etc and so on.

At 6, everything is a lesson and kids are watching.

I did some not so respectful things as well. I don't think you are there. Let me know if you are!
 
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