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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another poster responded to me in another thread and really sparked my interest in something. I have so much reflecting to do (my back-story is in my older post), and never really thought about it in these terms, but I am wondering what you all would consider parent/child dynamics going on within a marriage? I am wondering if some of that is going on here. Outside of H not having a lot of interest in physical intimacy (def less than 10x a year), our issues are his not taking care of himself and major medical issues that impact us as a couple and family of 3 young adult kids (back story in other post).

I would be interested to hear more about this dynamic.
 

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Yes, I had a parent-child marriage for decades. My exH was totally focused on his (very successful) career but also extremely dependent on me to help him function. It was like having a little boy who never grew up and over time it was exhausting. We had many discussions about that over the years and nothing ever changed. That I put up with it for so long is totally on me. He loved his life and why not when everything was done for him and all he had to do was show up at the office in hero mode and save the day. That’s a tough way to live.
 

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There's no question that relationships occasionally fall into this dynamic. There's also no question that it becomes an intimacy and libido killer for the one who finds themselves in the parenting role.

That said, I'll never forget when my wife said she felt like a parent to me. Let me preface what I'm about to say by acknowledging that I am absolutely certain she felt she was in the parenting role.

This led me to do some analysis of her accusation. In that analysis, I ultimately determined she was utterly full of ****.

I maintained the budget and paid the bills. My income was solely supporting our household while hers were supporting her animals, hobbies, and a truck payment on a vehicle she insisted on buying but we couldn't really afford. I was the one making the major decisions. I was the one responsible to make sure that the home and vehicle maintenance was kept up. I was very active in the raising of our son. In other words, it was pure projection.

The reason she felt that way was because I deferred to her over menial decisions/tasks in the home, where to eat, being polite enough to check if she wanted something a certain way, etc.

Look...you very well may be in a relationship in which you are in a parenting role. I just urge you to do your best to look at it objectively. Make a list of things you are both individually responsible for and see if that matches with your feelings, because feelings are NOT NECESSARILY facts...but can be.

Edit: Added necessarily in last paragraph.

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Another poster responded to me in another thread and really sparked my interest in something. I have so much reflecting to do (my back-story is in my older post), and never really thought about it in these terms, but I am wondering what you all would consider parent/child dynamics going on within a marriage? I am wondering if some of that is going on here. Outside of H not having a lot of interest in physical intimacy (def less than 10x a year), our issues are his not taking care of himself and major medical issues that impact us as a couple and family of 3 young adult kids (back story in other post).

I would be interested to hear more about this dynamic.
I am new here this is why I’m actually here because I’m so lost and depressed in my marriage and it’s falling apart. I have been with my husband for 17 years he suffers from depression and anxiety and is or was an addict now on methadone. He never worked I feel like I always have had to do everything and take care of him I feel like a parent not a wife. He is always angry never wants to help me with anything and depends on me for money I feel used and unloved, he never ever appreciated me and feels this is my job as his wife and if I don’t give him money he thinks I am a terrible person and wife which makes me so angry all we do is fight. I feel he cannot do anything on his own without bothering me he does not care what I am doing he expects me to do what he needs asap has no regards for my feelings ever and thinks I’m a mean terrible person to him and that I treat HIM BAD. Am I wrong should I be taking care of him due to his problems as his wife even giving him money for what he needs am I wrong for not wanting to give him money. He has me feeling I am a bad person due to this and pretty much hates me anymore. Please any insight!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I had a parent-child marriage for decades. My exH was totally focused on his (very successful) career but also extremely dependent on me to help him function. It was like having a little boy who never grew up and over time it was exhausting. We had many discussions about that over the years and nothing ever changed. That I put up with it for so long is totally on me. He loved his life and why not when everything was done for him and all he had to do was show up at the office in hero mode and save the day. That’s a tough way to live.
Did that spill over into home life? I am responsible for setting up home repairs, managing finances/bills, scheduling appointments, cleaning, etc., planning any outings or vacations, family gatherings/holidays, etc. We share grocery shopping and laundry but that's it - and we both work FT. I feel mostly like a parent when he is spending time endlessly on video games into the wee hours resulting in not getting up on weekends until after 11. Am I off base here? Please call me on it if I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's no question that relationships occasionally fall into this dynamic. There's also no question that it becomes an intimacy and libido killer for the one who finds themselves in the parenting role.

That said, I'll never forget when my wife said she felt like a parent to me. Let me preface what I'm about to say by acknowledging that I am absolutely certain she felt she was in the parenting role.

This led me to do some analysis of her accusation. In that analysis, I ultimately determined she was utterly full of ****.

I maintained the budget and paid the bills. My income was solely supporting our household while hers were supporting her animals, hobbies, and a truck payment on a vehicle she insisted on buying but we couldn't really afford. I was the one making the major decisions. I was the one responsible to make sure that the home and vehicle maintenance was kept up. I was very active in the raising of our son. In other words, it was pure projection.

The reason she felt that way was because I deferred to her over menial decisions/tasks in the home, where to eat, being polite enough to check if she wanted something a certain way, etc.

Look...you very well may be in a relationship in which you are in a parenting role. I just urge you to do your best to look at it objectively. Make a list of things you are both individually responsible for and see if that matches with your feelings, because feelings are NOT NECESSARILY facts...but can be.

Edit: Added necessarily in last paragraph.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
Totally agree! Feelings may not necessarily be FACTS. What an important distinction. I listed the to-do's in my reply right above this one (sorry, I don't know how to do the quote feature yet). Please take a look. I would truly like some honest feedback. I will be the first one to say if I am off track. I want to be fair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am new here this is why I’m actually here because I’m so lost and depressed in my marriage and it’s falling apart. I have been with my husband for 17 years he suffers from depression and anxiety and is or was an addict now on methadone. He never worked I feel like I always have had to do everything and take care of him I feel like a parent not a wife. He is always angry never wants to help me with anything and depends on me for money I feel used and unloved, he never ever appreciated me and feels this is my job as his wife and if I don’t give him money he thinks I am a terrible person and wife which makes me so angry all we do is fight. I feel he cannot do anything on his own without bothering me he does not care what I am doing he expects me to do what he needs asap has no regards for my feelings ever and thinks I’m a mean terrible person to him and that I treat HIM BAD. Am I wrong should I be taking care of him due to his problems as his wife even giving him money for what he needs am I wrong for not wanting to give him money. He has me feeling I am a bad person due to this and pretty much hates me anymore. Please any insight!!!!!
Wow, I feel for you. I can see how you might feel that way. It's hard when there is so much anger, too. Has he had any kind of counseling? And maybe both of you together? He for sure needs to get help with any addictions. That must be terribly hard.
 

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Wow, I feel for you. I can see how you might feel that way. It's hard when there is so much anger, too. Has he had any kind of counseling? And maybe both of you together? He for sure needs to get help with any addictions. That must be terribly hard.
He has a very bad outlook on speaking with a Physc he needs to be on Physc meds or he will never be right and he just don’t want to deal with talking to a physiatrist he is on the methadone program which is fine works for him but he take Xanax which are bad for him make him worse he has a counselor at his program but don’t see it ever helping he needs a physc doctor and refuses to go I think we need counseling but I just don’t see things ever changing I’m 44 I don’t wanna go thru this again with someone else I lost my prime lol don’t look as good anymore I don’t wanna be alone but I already feel alone anyway how do you feel so alone when you have a husband am I wrong as a wife for not just being quiet and just continue to take care of all the bills forever due to his issues am I wrong and heartless he make me feel not worthy of help
 

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Did that spill over into home life? I am responsible for setting up home repairs, managing finances/bills, scheduling appointments, cleaning, etc., planning any outings or vacations, family gatherings/holidays, etc. We share grocery shopping and laundry but that's it - and we both work FT. I feel mostly like a parent when he is spending time endlessly on video games into the wee hours resulting in not getting up on weekends until after 11. Am I off base here? Please call me on it if I am.
It totally did. He focused on his career and by default I took care of the rest of life while also managing a career. Talking to him about any of it didn’t help. I should have left sooner but … “reasons”. Had I not been so young when I got married I might have noticed with caution the dynamic in his parents’ marriage because we ended up repeating it 100%. Live and learn.
 

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Did that spill over into home life? I am responsible for setting up home repairs, managing finances/bills, scheduling appointments, cleaning, etc., planning any outings or vacations, family gatherings/holidays, etc. We share grocery shopping and laundry but that's it - and we both work FT. I feel mostly like a parent when he is spending time endlessly on video games into the wee hours resulting in not getting up on weekends until after 11. Am I off base here? Please call me on it if I am.
I don't think you are off base.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
 

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@farsidejunky ....being nosy here yet how did you 'resolve' the difference in perception?
By now, you could probably guess my answer...

I told her that since trying to do nice things for her led to poor behavior, I was going to do less of it. So I simply did things the way that made me happy.

The first time she tried to bring up that she didn't like the results of some menial task, I told her that I was sorry she felt that way, and that she was welcome to do it herself if she did not like the results.

She eventually began to feel a bit shut out, and started to feel insecure over it. She then, in a needy but polite manner, asked if I would "let her back in" (proverbially). This was about 6 months into me putting my foot down over our lousy, sexless, devoid of respect marriage, so my response to her was that if she wanted more from me, she could start by doing more for me.

That last conversation probably earned more respect with her than many of the things I had to do to get her to understand my newly found boundaries.

This may feel like a thread jack, but I think the "doing less" approach may be a good idea for the OP.

OP, what do you do for your husband that is something he likes? Do you cook towards his preferences? Do you pick up his socks/laundry, or wash his clothes? Do you wear things to please him?

Think about the things you do for him, and stop all of them...every last one. Don't say anything to him about it, just slam the proverbial brakes.

If he never asks about the things you are no longer doing, you can probably safely call it a day, and prepare for divorce.

If he says something to you, then he at least noticed, and it is an opportunity for you. Tell him you are embracing his attitude of doing nothing to feed the marriage. He will likely try to engage you in conversation about it, but all this will be is a negotiation. Translation: please go back to the way it was.
You will have to hold firm. A good statement to remember is, "That no longer works for me."

Gaming can be a large problem for men. He needs to understand that continuing to prioritize that over you means he loses you. But you are better off showing him what he is losing through actions. Words have gotten you nowhere to this point.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
 

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By now, you could probably guess my answer...
While I feel that I have a glimmer of insight into your journey, I did not connect the dots between the misperception you mentioned in this thread and your change in actions. Thanks for both sharing and tying it back to the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By now, you could probably guess my answer...

I told her that since trying to do nice things for her led to poor behavior, I was going to do less of it. So I simply did things the way that made me happy.

The first time she tried to bring up that she didn't like the results of some menial task, I told her that I was sorry she felt that way, and that she was welcome to do it herself if she did not like the results.

She eventually began to feel a bit shut out, and started to feel insecure over it. She then, in a needy but polite manner, asked if I would "let her back in" (proverbially). This was about 6 months into me putting my foot down over our lousy, sexless, devoid of respect marriage, so my response to her was that if she wanted more from me, she could start by doing more for me.

That last conversation probably earned more respect with her than many of the things I had to do to get her to understand my newly found boundaries.

This may feel like a thread jack, but I think the "doing less" approach may be a good idea for the OP.

OP, what do you do for your husband that is something he likes? Do you cook towards his preferences? Do you pick up his socks/laundry, or wash his clothes? Do you wear things to please him?

Think about the things you do for him, and stop all of them...every last one. Don't say anything to him about it, just slam the proverbial brakes.

If he never asks about the things you are no longer doing, you can probably safely call it a day, and prepare for divorce.

If he says something to you, then he at least noticed, and it is an opportunity for you. Tell him you are embracing his attitude of doing nothing to feed the marriage. He will likely try to engage you in conversation about it, but all this will be is a negotiation. Translation: please go back to the way it was.
You will have to hold firm. A good statement to remember is, "That no longer works for me."

Gaming can be a large problem for men. He needs to understand that continuing to prioritize that over you means he loses you. But you are better off showing him what he is losing through actions. Words have gotten you nowhere to this point.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
This is interesting. I need to think about what that "something" might be. Makes sense and might be telling. Yes, a 50+ man consumed by gaming. I don't get it. It's his time to unwind, he says. I agree, words have gotten nowhere.
 

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This is interesting. I need to think about what that "something" might be. Makes sense and might be telling. Yes, a 50+ man consumed by gaming. I don't get it. It's his time to unwind, he says. I agree, words have gotten nowhere.
Let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I am also a gamer, and damn near 50.

It isn't the fact that he plays video games at that age. Many men do. It's the fact that he is neglecting you in order to be able to play said games for such an extensive amount of time...daily.

Also, if you are struggling to figure out what tasks you actually do for him, there's a fairly simple way to figure it out.

First, make a list of all the things that you think you actually do for him. Then, pretend for a moment that he passed away yesterday. The things that you would continue to do after his passing are things that are necessary for keeping up the household. The things that would stop due to his passing are the things you do exclusively for him. Those are the things that you stop doing.



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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I am also a gamer, and damn near 50.

It isn't the fact that he plays video games at that age. Many men do. It's the fact that he is neglecting you in order to be able to play said games for such an extensive amount of time...daily.

Also, if you are struggling to figure out what tasks you actually do for him, there's a fairly simple way to figure it out.

First, make a list of all the things that you think you actually do for him. Then, pretend for a moment that he passed away yesterday. The things that you would continue to do after his passing are things that are necessary for keeping up the household. The things that would stop due to his passing are the things you do exclusively for him. Those are the things that you stop doing.



Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
Yes, my thoughts being that he is grown and old enough to know where to draw lines, not that he is a gamer in and of itself. I would think younger people might not be as aware of when they are crossing lines into spending what would be excessive time on gaming and also wouldn't have the same life responsibilities as a grown man in his 50's (I would think), so I think it is different for someone older and they should be more in-tune with what is excessive and how it impacts their relationships. Is it unreasonable that he is doing this in his free time - which we all deserve- from 10 p.m - 4 a.m. and then his next day starting well into the late morning? If he meets his customer service quota with work and isn't letting anything else fall through the cracks, maybe I'm out of line and should let him do it, grateful isn't something really "bad" that he could otherwise be doing? I seriously have questioned whether I am out of line on the gaming part of it and how it affects his sleep, health, etc. (the more he is in a chair gaming, the less time he could be doing some kind of movement to help with his weight, better sleep, and more).

Great idea on the list and how to determine what those things are.
 

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I am wondering what you all would consider parent/child dynamics going on within a marriage?
It's not the most common dynamic that I see in difficult marriages, but it does happen. (And quite often with addicts, which could include out-of-control gaming). It's mainly about power.

The "childish" partner is taking a stance of "no matter what I do, my partner will always criticise, so I might as well give up on that, and just do whatever I feel like".
The "parental" partner is taking a stance of "I have to take responsibility for everything around here, but at least that makes me feel worthwhile".
 
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