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I've been with my husband for almost 4 years (married for less than a year). Before we got married, he was always happy and eager to help me with chores and errands. He would spend time planning fun activities we can do together. Now that we're married, he's sloppy and lazy. He throws mail, clothes, books, scrap paper, etc. all around the house. When he cooks, there's guaranteed to be stains on the counters, stovetop, and floor. He complains that we don't spend enough time together, but he no longer puts any effort into planning dates. Most of the time when we do have date nights, it's because I schedule it and I come up with the plans.

I do all the vacuuming, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, and picking up around the house. I've vacuumed, lugged out the trash, scrubbed the kitchen RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. The most he would do is lift up his feet so I can vacuum under the couch. Sometimes, he would leave the room as though the noise is disturbing him. I can ask him repeatedly in a thousand different ways to help out, but he always has an excuse (I'm tired; I want to relax; I had a stressful day; it's late). Or sometimes he will agree, but he won't follow through. When I get angry, he accuses me of not communicating my requests and needs to him. It's always my fault.

When he actually cleans the house or does a chore, he acts like he did me a HUGE favor and he expects massive gratitude in the form of compliments and sex. What do I get for cleaning up after him all the time?! Nothing but inconsideration. We both work stressful jobs (40+ hours), but I still find time to do housework because I don't like living with bugs and surrounded by garbage, dirty dishes, and dirty laundry.

The only thing he does willingly and without me asking is pick up groceries which I chalk up to the fact that he needs to eat (sometimes too much).

I feel like I married a kid, except he's trapped in an overweight, balding, 30-year old man's body. I am no longer physically attracted to him because I feel like his mother instead of his wife and lover. (He's also lazy in bed and in the romance department.)

The icing on the cake is that he abuses alcohol: he drinks excessively when he's stressed out. The last time we spoke about this, he agreed that he has a problem, yet he won't get help for it. He has zero hobbies (unless computer games and video games count) and very few friends. On most evenings after work, I'm tidying up, vacuuming, scrubbing, putting away the dishes, and all the meanwhile, he's sitting on the couch throwing back 4-8 drinks until he's passed out.

Then I see my friends' husbands who do everything from cleaning to painting to yard work, and I feel completely depressed. I know no marriage is perfect, but is it worth working on a relationship when one person is literally doing all the work?
 

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It would not be to me.
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He turned into a turnip. When two people live in the house, then two people do the chores. You are not his live-in maid. Prepare a chore list and ask him which 50% does he want to do. If he says none, then say you don't want to do any either. Since you're more or less roommates rather than partners, stop sleeping with him.
 

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The simple anser is, the most often time when a person changes is when there is pain involved, and it has to be sufficient pain.

Of course, it is not guaranteed either.

I suggest marriage couseling on your own while you detach and do your own thing. If you have talked things through, then action is the next step.

If you talk to a good therapist that knows what the heck they are talking about, change is a slow process and it is something you need to watch and see if they can maintain it for a period of time or not. At the very least, six months to a year depending on severity. Sometimes years, especially with addiction, and it is always a risky choice to stay due to relapse being common.

I too, have high standard of cleanliness and cannot stand messiness.

My gf is clean, not as much as myself, but clean enough when she is over and when I am over her place, I clean after myself and sometimes help her with her lawn, mopping or whatever. She tends to cook and do dishes when she is over.

You may have to compromise if you work things out, and you may still do a majority of the work even if that does not seem fair, and at best, he can do his own laundry, cook his own meals and clean when he is done, like a roommate who is responsible for their own end.

Again, let some things go, and detach, if he is adversely affecting your well-being. If he is causing you anger, do not be around him, and limit your stress and mostly look after yourself. He is an adult, let him look after himself.

Also, it may have been the honeymoon phase, that stage can last for several years, and well, when it ended, you get the real him and whether he faked it or not, this is most likely his base behavior.

Anyways, what you thought you had or actually had is gone, and he is this person that you interact with now.

You may have to lower your expectations from what you think a partner is. I know you would like one to share in the responsibilities, and that might not happen, and in the end, it is what you can live and live without.
 

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Hi Wandering .. Are you still going out regularly with your own friends? Just because he is a stump, you don't have to be. I know that sometimes my husband subconsciously stops helping me out because he is dying for a night alone with his crappy TV and games. It will be good for you mentally to go out, but it should also be a pseudo-experiment. Maybe the personal time will reset him. Maybe he will see that you are having fun and want to join. Maybe he will stay the same but you will be more satisfied. Maybe he will stay the same and you still need something else in a husband. Regardless, you should have a better feel on the situation. Personally, I don't mind doing the majority of the cleaning stuff. But you need a partner whose expectations match yours.
 

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The simple anser is, the most often time when a person changes is when there is pain involved, and it has to be sufficient pain.

Of course, it is not guaranteed either.

I suggest marriage couseling on your own while you detach and do your own thing. If you have talked things through, then action is the next step.

If you talk to a good therapist that knows what the heck they are talking about, change is a slow process and it is something you need to watch and see if they can maintain it for a period of time or not. At the very least, six months to a year depending on severity. Sometimes years, especially with addiction, and it is always a risky choice to stay due to relapse being common.

I too, have high standard of cleanliness and cannot stand messiness.

My gf is clean, not as much as myself, but clean enough when she is over and when I am over her place, I clean after myself and sometimes help her with her lawn, mopping or whatever. She tends to cook and do dishes when she is over.

You may have to compromise if you work things out, and you may still do a majority of the work even if that does not seem fair, and at best, he can do his own laundry, cook his own meals and clean when he is done, like a roommate who is responsible for their own end.

Again, let some things go, and detach, if he is adversely affecting your well-being. If he is causing you anger, do not be around him, and limit your stress and mostly look after yourself. He is an adult, let him look after himself.

Also, it may have been the honeymoon phase, that stage can last for several years, and well, when it ended, you get the real him and whether he faked it or not, this is most likely his base behavior.

Anyways, what you thought you had or actually had is gone, and he is this person that you interact with now.

You may have to lower your expectations from what you think a partner is. I know you would like one to share in the responsibilities, and that might not happen, and in the end, it is what you can live and live without.
Thank you. Yours has been the most realistic perspective. I've been wondering if perhaps I had settled and it sounds like I will have to settle some more by lowering my expectations if I want to stay in this marriage.
 

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It sounds like the laziness is just one of his terrible behaviors, and far from the most significant one.

To wit: He's an alcoholic.

I assume you have no kids, so this is easy:
1. Don't get pregnant!
2. Get rid of him.
I really want at least one kid, but I cannot even fathom bringing a child into such a dysfunctional environment. Plus, it will mean that I'm picking up and cleaning for a family of three while holding down a full time job. I can already foresee having to do all the work and parenting on my own. He's already proven to me that this is not an equal partnership.
 

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You have been married less than a year.

In that time, he became overweight and balding?

He sounds like a lazy guy and not a very good partner. But I am guessing he was much of this before you married him. Were you hoping he would lose weight and grow hair after marriage?

As someone else said .... easy decision. Leave.
 

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You have been married less than a year.

In that time, he became overweight and balding?

He sounds like a lazy guy and not a very good partner. But I am guessing he was much of this before you married him. Were you hoping he would lose weight and grow hair after marriage?

As someone else said .... easy decision. Leave.
No, he was not over-eating before we got married. He actually stayed a healthy weight by running about three times a week and weightlifting at the gym. He's completely given up those activities in the course of a few months, citing a lack of motivation.

Leaving a marriage is not as easy as some people on here are suggesting. There are financial, logistical, and emotional implications. It's not something to be taken lightly.
 

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I really want at least one kid, but I cannot even fathom bringing a child into such a dysfunctional environment. Plus, it will mean that I'm picking up and cleaning for a family of three while holding down a full time job. I can already foresee having to do all the work and parenting on my own. He's already proven to me that this is not an equal partnership.

Perhaps you should talk to a therapist and ask yourself why you are willing to live with this current situation. Why do you want to stay married? If it is love, love is not enough, as love can fade if it is not reinforced by action.

At the very least,, if you do stay, at minimum, he should quit drinking and at least clean up after himself and wash his own dishes and do his own laundry.

The longer you play his servant, the more he will expect it.

Personally, I like receiving gratitude and I like showing gratitude. It helps keep the love strong.

Btw, you are the one who shows what you can and can live without. And it may be hard to accept, but you married an adolescent person when it comes to level of maturity. You have to look past his actual physical age and see him as he really is.

Do not pretend to be attracted to him either, it will give him a false perception of himself and what you think about him. If he is a sloppy, letting himself go alcoholic, then pretending will not help you or him.

If you do leave, it is better to leave before you run out of love because all those years of imprinted emotional memories will affect how you feel. Even if he ever changes, you may have reached the point of no return where you simply cannot ever trust him nor have any good, positive feelings about him.

Your main priority should be yourself and your well-being.

My view on relationships is that it should add to ones life and not detract. And, it sounds like it would detract from your overall well-being and happiness.

If it comes down to two people being dysfunctional, would it not be better to leave and at least remain healthy yourself?

Also, another trap is that you may end up feeling responsible for him. You are not. You are not responsible for his well-being, for his happiness. Don't allow him to use you as a crutch, that will only enable his behavior.

Sometimes it takes tough love, and that perhaps will require walking. As long as you stay with him, you are letting him know that it is okay with you for him to be an alcoholic, lazy, and a slob.
 

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Perhaps you should talk to a therapist and ask yourself why you are willing to live with this current situation. Why do you want to stay married? If it is love, love is not enough, as love can fade if it is not reinforced by action.

At the very least,, if you do stay, at minimum, he should quit drinking and at least clean up after himself and wash his own dishes and do his own laundry.

The longer you play his servant, the more he will expect it.

Personally, I like receiving gratitude and I like showing gratitude. It helps keep the love strong.

Btw, you are the one who shows what you can and can live without. And it may be hard to accept, but you married an adolescent person when it comes to level of maturity. You have to look past his actual physical age and see him as he really is.

Do not pretend to be attracted to him either, it will give him a false perception of himself and what you think about him. If he is a sloppy, letting himself go alcoholic, then pretending will not help you or him.

If you do leave, it is better to leave before you run out of love because all those years of imprinted emotional memories will affect how you feel. Even if he ever changes, you may have reached the point of no return where you simply cannot ever trust him nor have any good, positive feelings about him.

Your main priority should be yourself and your well-being.

My view on relationships is that it should add to ones life and not detract. And, it sounds like it would detract from your overall well-being and happiness.

If it comes down to two people being dysfunctional, would it not be better to leave and at least remain healthy yourself?

Also, another trap is that you may end up feeling responsible for him. You are not. You are not responsible for his well-being, for his happiness. Don't allow him to use you as a crutch, that will only enable his behavior.

Sometimes it takes tough love, and that perhaps will require walking. As long as you stay with him, you are letting him know that it is okay with you for him to be an alcoholic, lazy, and a slob.
I was actually on the phone with a potential therapist today because I'm looking forward to getting a professional's perspective and opinion on this. My husband and I have actually gone to couples therapy and premarital counseling before we got married. It seems everything went in one ear and out the other for him.

Staying in this marriage, at the current state, is definitely not healthy. I've been questioning myself a lot, wondering how I had missed red flags, if I had ignored them...

You hit the nail on the head when you said he's using me as an emotional crutch. One of the issues we worked on in counseling was how he always accused me of not spending enough to time with him, how my work, hobbies, and friends seemed to take precedence over him. I heard this complaint even if we had just spent two weeks together on a vacation, or an entire weekend together. It was never enough for him; he was (and continues to) relying heavily on me for fulfillment and contentment.

I've told him many times to seek therapy for depression, not just alcohol abuse. But he denies that he needs professional help.
 

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No kids and you have to work this hard at home?? Hell no....

I would dump the child like man and find a real MAN. Forget all that. If it's this much work now, imagine what a couple of kids thrown into the picture would do. or another few years.. you will slowly resent him more and more...
 

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I was actually on the phone with a potential therapist today because I'm looking forward to getting a professional's perspective and opinion on this. My husband and I have actually gone to couples therapy and premarital counseling before we got married. It seems everything went in one ear and out the other for him.

Staying in this marriage, at the current state, is definitely not healthy. I've been questioning myself a lot, wondering how I had missed red flags, if I had ignored them...

You hit the nail on the head when you said he's using me as an emotional crutch. One of the issues we worked on in counseling was how he always accused me of not spending enough to time with him, how my work, hobbies, and friends seemed to take precedence over him. I heard this complaint even if we had just spent two weeks together on a vacation, or an entire weekend together. It was never enough for him; he was (and continues to) relying heavily on me for fulfillment and contentment.

I've told him many times to seek therapy for depression, not just alcohol abuse. But he denies that he needs professional help.

Think about depression like a black hole. No matter how much energy you put into that person, you will not get anything in return. A lot of dysfunction makes a person selfish and focused on themselves. They do not have enough to give in a relationship.

I suggest you live a happy life as best as you can, be with friends and family more often, surround yourself with positive people. That in turn, over time, may help you leave.

He may work on himself or not, but at least you will have less responsibility and reduce your stress.

If you have not noticed, your life revolves around him more than it should. That is why I suggest you take care of yourself.
 

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Alcoholism should be a deal breaker. Here's why.

It gets worse unless they get into AA and stop completely.
It's debilitating over time.
As he gets older if it does get worse he'll star p!ssing the bed, throwing up on you, etc.

The more I think about this you need to get out now while you can.

Give it one shot if you want to but if he doesn't toe the line file and move on quickly.

You owe him nothing and yourself everything. Better star some heavy thinking if you haven't!!!!
 

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... It's always my fault.

The icing on the cake is that he abuses alcohol: he drinks excessively when he's stressed out. The last time we spoke about this, he agreed that he has a problem, yet he won't get help for it. He has zero hobbies (unless computer games and video games count) and very few friends. On most evenings after work, I'm tidying up, vacuuming, scrubbing, putting away the dishes, and all the meanwhile, he's sitting on the couch throwing back 4-8 drinks until he's passed out.
His drinking will be your fault too. Believe me, everything short of original sin will be YOUR fault. This isn't the type of role model you want a child to see.

And what he did is quite similar to what my ex husband did to me: bait and switch. Before we were married, my husband ran marathons, worked out five days a week, and ate healthy. After we got married? His drinking got progressively worse. What I thought was just a guy who liked to party a little too much sometimes before the wedding turned into a depressed, angry, lazy drunk after we said "I do."

No, your husband's drinking shouldn't be the "icing on the cake." It should be THE CAKE. Alcoholics are very charming when they want something. He wanted you. Now he's got you and he's going to show you who he really is. Believe him.

And, as I recently told another poster who was considering getting her alcoholic into counseling: Getting an alcoholic to make any progress in counseling is like going fishing in a sand box. Impossible.

Please, please, please do not bring an innocent child into this. You're husband isn't lazy just for the sake of being lazy. Drinking is becoming more important to him. It eases his stress. It knocks him out.

I thought alcoholics were down-and-out bums who drank cheap wine from a paper bag. Not so. My husband was a meritoriously decorated Army officer with a graduate degree in engineering.

Get counseling for yourself. Try Al-Anon. The only request made of newbies is they try six different meetings. His drinking has nothing to do with you, no matter what he says. He owns that.

Again, counseling and Al-Anon. It's worth a shot.
 

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Some more background on my husband for those who have been following this thread (and also for those who like to psychoanalyze):

1) He comes from an ultra conservative and religious household. His parents pulled him out of public school after the 3rd grade because they didn't want him exposed to the sins of the mainstream. (I'm not exergerating. His parents were religious fanatics who went to televangelist churches.) I think being homeschooled has impeded his social development.
2) Whenever we're at his mom's house, she goes out of her way to compliment every little thing he does, from washing the dishes to walking the dog. Most of the time, I have to hold back from rolling my eyes and saying out loud, "For God's sake, he just did his own laundry as all grown men should. He didn't perform a heroic deed! Calm yourself." This is exactly why he expects me to dote and faun all over him if he so much as out his dirty dish in the washer.
3) Both he and his sister are very good at avoidance behavior. If an issue comes up that causes any unpleasantness, they don't address it at all.
4) Very early on in our relationship, he told me he had an alcoholic aunt who drank herself to death. His dad later confirmed it was his sister. Alcoholism runs in his family.
 
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