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Hi all, new here. I am not sure if I am looking for advice or a place to vent, maybe both.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, together 12. We have 2 boys, ages 7 and 4, and a dog. Our marriage has been struggling since our first child was born. Before kids, we had a pretty great relationship. He loved that I was independent and I loved that he was financially stable, but we were also the best of friends and madly in love. Since having kids he has become seemingly unhappy. Started with his job, so he changed jobs, and still hasn't really found one he likes. He will tolerate it for a year or so then move on. But he brings his misery from work home with him, and seems checked out. We were living out of state away from family but moved back shortly after our first child was born to be closer to family and that seems to have made it worse for him. Now he hates both the job and the whole state we live in.

About me; I work full time as well and I carry the insurance with my employer since he's been pretty unstable job wise. When I was pregnant with our oldest I was in an awful car accident and since then I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I have chronic pain, almost all the time, and fatigue a lot of the time.

Throughout the marriage my husband has never cooked, hardly cleaned, and really has been one more person I clean up after. I am constantly coming behind him closing cabinets/drawers, picking up cups and trash, or putting laundry in the hamper. He's the fun dad with the kids, but I am the keeper of all the schedules and carry the entire mental load of our family. You'd think this would have bothered me long before now, and it probably has, I just haven't faced it. Our sex life is rare, I'd say once a week. He's always saying that's too infrequent, he'd prefer 2-3 times per week, but I cannot get past my resentment of him not helping to feel affectionate towards him. I've also come to realize that my husband lacks the ability to feel any kind of empathy.

So now, with COVID-19 chaos, I have been working from home for 7 weeks, homeschooling our 1st grader, and trying to keep our preschooler occupied. I am struggling, needless to say. I am putting in 12 hours days between my work and homework. My husband had been working out of the home as essential up until 3 days ago. I would do all the cooking, all the cleaning, everything! He comes home but isn't "present." Just checked out. Well, 3 days ago he was furloughed, and I have to admit, a part of me was relieved to have help with the kids and house while I work. But it's been 3 days now, and nothing has changed. I am still doing everything!

He has this idea of gender roles, that he's supposed to be the breadwinner and "head of household" to make decisions, and I guess my role is supposed to be a 50's wife??? But we cannot afford for me to stay home, or believe me I would be a stay at home parent! I just don't know where this idea comes from that I'm supposed to be everything a stay at home mom would be, but also be the sole income provider right now!

We have talked about separation or divorce a lot lately. My parents divorced when I was young and it was really hard for me. He says he doesn't want a divorce, but of course he wants our sex life to improve. I need him to step up and take some of this load off me. I would love it we could make it work, we do make an excellent parenting team. Our kids are amazing so I know we are doing something right.

I am seeing a therapist and I am hoping we can try counseling together, but so far he's not agreed to it. With Covid going on we can't see a counselor unless by Telehealth, but we have no one to watch kids. I am going to ask him to try it though.

Any advice? Or words of encouragement? Thanks for reading!
 

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Have you explained that it isn't fair for you to have to do everything while he doesn't do anything?

About those gender roles - it seems there are more male chefs than female and it seems there are more male janitors than female. Maybe it's just entitlement on his part? He can use this furlough to learn a new skill like how to cook.
 

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He is resentful because he is no longer the main thing in your life, and falls very short this is what happens when you choose a family. Child like in his ways. But because you have gone through the divorce thing as a child. You know what to avoid.

But you should never stay together for the " sake of the children ". It's harder on them than you will know. My guess is he will drop off from his kids, after he gets a new GF. But not all is lost you can raise you children to be rounded participating adults.

Now is the time, do you really want to waste the remainder of your life on him?
 

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Try everything to make this work. Get through to him. If you can look in each other's eyes after a close evening (nice date night, fun time and also some lovemaking)....and tell him "I'm not happy.".
Let him lead. Give him space to.

Prop.up his ego. Compliment the things he does do. Our egos are fragile! Lol.
Do all that you can and then more.

And get him to talk about the dream career fit. You two have to come first. FOR the kids.


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Try everything to make this work. Get through to him. If you can look in each other's eyes after a close evening (nice date night, fun time and also some lovemaking)....and tell him "I'm not happy.".
Let him lead. Give him space to.

Prop.up his ego. Compliment the things he does do. Our egos are fragile! Lol.
Do all that you can and then more.

And get him to talk about the dream career fit. You two have to come first. FOR the kids.


Sent from my LM-V350 using Tapatalk
Ugh. He's already doing nothing she's exhausted but now she has to prop up his ego too?
OP
I hear what you are saying and I understand the resentment. It's a circle. I would definitely listen to the counselor (I may or may not take their advice. Some just aren't very good), If you don't like what you are hearing try switching.

So I have 2 ideas,
If you want to save the marriage you have to find a way to communicate with him in a way he will hear.
a. Start having sex like 3 times a week, you are now meeting his stated need. Give it a week or 2, what have you got to lose. He is probably resentful that he doesn't get much sex and then men also will notice if it is a chore checklist sex so even if you fake it for a little bit (not recommended long term) be enthusiastic. Unless he's a crappy lover sex really should be fun once it gets going. After a week or two in the morning say hey hon, can you help with lunch and dishes today. If after two weeks he hasn't started helping with suggestions then sit him down and tell him he isn't meeting your need of having an equal partner. I know it takes more work initially but when you find all the cupboards open calmy walk into whatever room he is in and say " hon, can you come all the cupboards that have been left open" and then leave and don't close those cupboards. At 4 pm calmly walk into where he is " hon, I need you to fix dinner" then walk out. Have a plan b for the kids like sandwiches but don't you dare fix dinner. When the kids ask what is for dinner say "ask dad he was going to fix dinner tonight>" OH and stop by the sex forums (here) and you will start to see how men feel about sex.

b. Some time you have to shake the tree. So option b under save the marriage is sit him down and tell him you deserve someone who is a father and husband not a lump of coal. That you love him and aren't nearly as concerned about the furlough as you are about that he just refuses to be and adult and that He is either going to step up and possible attend MC too and/or IC or you will be divorcing him as you don't need one more child to take care of. This option only works if you mean it. So don't threaten and then not follow through if after an appropriate amount of time a day or so he doesn't start something or ask what MC to go to then call a lawyer and make him sleep in another room. The kids room would be appropriate.

Options 2
The other idea...You have married a man child who is stuck in the 50's but can't produce the 50's environment. I mean if he wants to play it with gender roles then he better go out and get a excellent full time job right so you can stay home and take care of the house and kids (which is still more work than work).
I don't see him changing. He may be depressed but you can only hide behind that for so long and this has been going on for a very long time. He is used to this mode. He likely won't change ad do you really want to raise another child? Because that is all he is a man-child. I'm sure the job bothers him if he is stuck in gender identity but at some point mature people move on and WANT to care their share of the load. WANT to help their loved one.
 
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