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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My marriage is braking down and separation/divorce is inevitable. Both of us have done and said things that we shouldn’t have and it may be too late to fix them, but I want to get other peoples opinions to find out where some of the problems lie so I can avoid them in the future, whatever that future is. For my part, the arguments build and build and intensify and then there’s a snapping point and I say hurtful, and I’m embarrassed to say, abusive words. It feels like someone else is saying them and I have no control. Afterwards I can’t believe what I’ve said and struggle to remember exactly what I’ve said. These words only come out when an argument hits a certain point, especially when I feel my wife is being unreasonable or/and unjust. I never come home and vent anger, I’m not violent, I spend 97% of my wages on bills, the house, for the family etc., I only consume one or two glasses of wine a week, sometimes less, only get drunk at a social event, my wife would get drunk if she is with me. I rarely gamble, perhaps £50 at a casino once a year. I spend time with my wife and family whenever I can and do as much as possible to help make our lives better.

Back in March we had our first baby and it was the happiest day of our lives; it was a magical experience. I took three weeks paternity to help which my wife was grateful of. A week after the birth our house got flooded, not majorly so but enough to cause some disruption and stress with a wrecked WC and kitchen half put together. Seven months later it’s still a mess. We also decided to redecorate the house about a year, for a number of reasons, which has taken some time due to the size and me doing most of the work and is on-going but is almost complete. So we’ve both been under a lot of, stress, pressure and strains.

How the arguments start is that I may ask my wife something completely reasonable, like asking her to keep something clear as much as possible so that I could finish decorating, or to not block the pathway from the bedroom to the fuse box when I was fixing the ceiling light, and she would blindly refuse and make it as difficult as possible using our daughter as reasons not to do anything.

I then realised that most of arguments would involve our daughter. EG - my parents were round and I was asking them how my niece was at the same stage as my daughter is at, seven months. My wife stormed into the room, snatched our daughter away. I went after her and she heard that we were talking about her saying how bad a mother she is, which of course was not the case.

How it seems to me is that my wife is living in a bubble. She only seems concerned about her own world, which contains her and our daughter. So we decided that I would take care of the bills, food, debt house stuff and her maternity pay is for her and the baby. She devised a budget for twelve months for the 8K > 9K and planned to have a surplus of 2K > 3K at the end to go towards our new house, but has blown most of it in nine months. The thing is most of our daughters clothes were either bought for us or donated. Her mum bought a number of things; my parents bought the pram and cotbed. She then complains that she is worried about money. I then explain that I have concerns as well because far too much money is paying the bills, car problems and house stuff and that I wasn’t paying off debt quickly enough. She never considered that my wages were paying for stuff for her, our daughter and the family that she benefits from; all she concerned herself with is her own “bubble”. I don’t resent my daughter in the slightest, just my wife for her behaviour. To her, her money was her own but mine was for the family

I work a full-time job, sometimes pressurised and often spend eleven hours from home, which includes a stressful journey. I also sort out all the finances, food shopping, come home and do the decorating, the cooking, sort out house issues, have been dealing with the flood problems as well plus I help with our daughter at weekends and sometimes in the evening, and recently our boiler broke. My wife takes care of our daughter and the laundry and s few bits around the house.

My wife also struggles with her own family – over the years after her parents divorced and she left her family to move to another country for four years, her mum dumped all her problems on my wife. She regularly argues with her mum and sister. She has suffered from depression and when we got together told me she has mood swings. She’s fallen out with one of her best friends before and didn’t speak to her dad for six months. She is highly emotional and snaps at the slightest of things. She said to me she couldn’t live with someone who doesn’t show empathy. All that happened is that I said that I thought her friend should go to her brothers wedding even though she was suffering from depression, because I felt she would regret it later in life. I said that I could only imagine what she was going through.

In the past she has put me down in front of her family by saying “what a good boy” I had been that week, on a number of occasions. Questions where I’m going when I get up from the sofa. Claims that I should know what she is thinking when she hasn’t told me anything, because her mum and sister would instinctively know. Puts mental pressure on me when I get home in the evening and I’m not in a “chatty” mood. Doesn’t appreciate the things I do.

I apologise for the long passage, this is actually just a summary.

Any thoughts of the above? I know I’ve done and said hurtful things – I put my hand up and am seeking some medical advise.

Are the things my wife has done unreasonable or should have I been a better husband?

8,815 Posts
Ugh, first of all I'd never stand for a wife putting me down.

You need to take control instead of taking it and then later after it builds up explode.

It sounds like she's no prize and you are way to passive.

44 Posts
Mr Pickles, you sound like a good and hard working guy. Your wife needs and individual counselor and I would really recommend reading up on Red Pill Blue Pill. Google it.

And house projects that go on and on are a heavy weight. Can you hire some of it out and get it out of the way?

Red pill!

0 Posts
Mr. Pickles

Try to pause and take a deep breath... You are carrying a lot of loads as I read your post.
Issues were bottled up,
Emotional issues, financial issues even psychological issues but I think the bottom line is you're lacking communication.
Your such a hardworking and responsible husband ,I can tell by your story.
While you have said wife has been suffering depression because of what she has been through life. And I assumed you have been aware of this.
Reach out to her, having this kind of illness is very hard without the support of a loved one's.. Perhaps seek a professional advice for this matter.
Speak to her, about everything. I mean everything.. Your plans for the family, the problems you were facing right now,the debts,your feelings.. Everything... No holding..tell her how much you love her and the family if you wanted to save it.
You can't do all things at the same time..first thing first..effective communication..

Good luck!

1,427 Posts
house renovations ALWAYS cost way more than you expect, they just add up fast. Doing renovation, in your case unavoidable, is a disaster with young wife in the house.

As for her situation: she got "baby brain". Nothing whatsoever you can do about it: consider it a mental health condition.
Regarding her comprehending your financial support, in the words of wisdom of the ages; "good luck with that". Her biological mental state says resources fall from the grace of god and the only important thing is her, and if you are both lucky, her and the baby. It is a chemical process in the brain. I bet they forgot to mention that little wee non-PC gem during the pre-natal classes....

Generally I'd say you get to get some timeout counselling but I know you aren't in a situation to afford it.

I wish I had better answers for you. The long term prognosis is she will leave you as soon as children are grown, if not before; as her life is now "the children" and everything will be put to you in the form of "the children"...until they're old enough and she's mid-40's and then it will the children are grown I want my life back now and why is there a man living in MY house. Have heard this so often.
This is even more likely if she never personally adopts "ownership" of house project maintenance (shows she's still focused -inside- her bubble, not a in partnership about the whole deal).

Things I would suggest.
1) Keep an eye on expenses, it's money you can't re-earn at this stage. Don't be panicked when it runs out like water, as long as you don't descend into debt/owing you'll be guaranteed a sunrise tomorrow.
2) Try to keep consumer items/toys/magazines/clothing (especially bought second hand & gifts) to a minimum - not a cost thing, but a storage thing. Focus on handcrafts, painting, singing to youtube. This is not a money thing but a house clutter thing.
3) ENSURE you get half of the inside of the house. DO NOT turn the inside decorating ... aka "presence", over to your partner. Otherwise you will find yourself excluded from your own home as she decorates her bubble - this means no my zone/your den stuff. Don't store boxes of stuff inside the house, or piles of clothes or work on the floor. There are psychological aspects to this. Where possible put stuff in shutting cupboards and drawers, including any workplace stuff. You have a small child so this should be too much of an issue. Don't get stressed on it, as it's about decluttering the mind and mental spaces.
4) Project Management says do the important stuff first. That is wrong in this case: Unless you're going to die from it; do whatever can be "touch it once" completed first (aka "snowballing"). It will stress to make a formal list of _agreed_ targets, but worth the effort.
5) Realise you can push and endure a project for 6 weeks ok, and 3 months with some loss of efficiency, but then there will be a collapse in discipline. Plan scheduled out-time _especially_ if you're near completion of a target, the break time is more important - as long as you won't actually die, there will be tomorrow.
6) Find yourself a good value time out. I'm currently do Freemasonry. It's physically safe, many of the Brothers are skilled and clever business people, and they understand prudence so are tolerant of family and other commitments, and they strive for harmony with the Lodges which is nice for a timeout. Also it's an all male thing, which is great when you want timeout from woman related issues.
7)Consider your cooking. As cook you are above reproach and comment. If others don't like your menu, they know where the stove is. Do NOT eat take out, keep up fiber levels in food, and make sure your water intake is good (it be aided by fiber). Also check you're getting full range of B vitamins, many cheaper vit-B suppliments and shop food is low in niacin. niacin is a mood enhancer and helps combat exhaustion. magnesium and calcium help with managing stress, but calcium is a stimulant so only take early in the day. careful of iron and gluten as they can cause constipation and stomach issues, and with the stress you're under that's something you want to avoid.
8) make sure you get 10 minutes low tension aerobic exercise every day. and at least 30 minutes throughout the day. I would also recommend some basic stretching exercises. doing #8 will help your body cope with the intense stress factors you're subjecting it too. Your body isn't designed to be running for extended periods in your constant lifestyle and you will suffer compounding fatigue just from your inability to remove stress-related biological byproducts from tense and cramped muscles. Do a daily mindfulness about breathing for a similar reason.
9) If you must drink pop-drinks, in the evening swap it out for a low-alcohol beer. this will help your body relax and the lower caffeine level will help.
10) Pick your battles. As long as everyone lives, and the debt is not increasing, then that is _Success_. This time will pass, so do enjoy your child personally, not through your wife. You say you do grocery shopping? then take your child as a child experience trip (not as a "give mum a rest, I'm holding the kid" break). To adults groceries etc are often a chore, but to children it is a great time full of people and colors and food is something they can relate too when you talk to them. Do NOT get in the habit of buying treats.
11) I would say work with your wife to get a list of things she is going to achieve but I doubt that it will work, and the result will be resentment from her, or a "I did it FOR you because I had to" favour, not as a joint family ownership thing.

Hopefully others can contribute.

re:renovations: do Mum's bedroom first (and declutter).
next hallways and toilet.
next weedcloth/newspaper on major garden - rip out as many shrubs etc as you can without getting divorced. The less garden, the more mowable, the better; plant later when kids are older and can participate. sure shrubs etc are nice, but honestly 2 years time, no-one will give a sh.t if you've ripped them out.
next laundry (if easy), kitchen - lighting, air, cupboard design/layout, splashbacks, cupboard space, benchtop, appliances. Often it's just not worth bothering with a kitchen unless you're going "the whole hog". So perhaps a dishwasher or modern stove, rip out a cupboard, splash a temporary (3-5 yr) paint job over cupboards. If you don't overspend now, then it's a good excuse to redo it at the end when you have everything else off your plate.
kids bedrooms. Again, don't over design. Simply ripping up carpet, replacing curtains, and quick run a light colored paint over two walls will do you for 5 years ... at which point the kids will be old enough to give input into more redecoration, and again when they're late tweens.
finally the dining/lounge area - often attacked first - best done second to last - seriously with the rest of the house actually getting finished you'll find it easier to hang pictures, curtains etc, and ignore the rest of this space. This -is- a stress zone, so a bit of unfinished project isn't the end of the world. but bedrooms and kitchens are withdrawl and relaxation, and work zones so they are actually priorities to FINISH.... also if you do the dining/public area, it's an excuse to stay there and ignore the other areas while you're in the tv etc. If the public area isn't done, you can't hide it. But you do need to have enough public storage space - women folk like to have their stuff in tidy places, compartmentalized ( where many men are ok with mess if it's quick at hand) so having tidy storage space with give your wife space to relax her mind, which she is going to need to overcome the "baby brain".
don't overdesign for your family - these are -now- projects, not 50-100 year legacies <- that's men's baby brain mental illness.
then start re-doing the kitchen.

doing up homes and housework are _consumer_ activities, not productive ones. so don't overcommit yourself. Think consumable, think stuff which is going to be redundant or outdated (and forgotten) in 3 years.

what you _won't_ get back is time to spend with your kid(s) at this age. The rest of the world can wait/survive without you.
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