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Discussion Starter #1
Every day I am thinking of divorce, planning and figuring how to make it work. Reworking the numbers, thinking about logistics. I would not be here but for the child we have. My hesitation is only because of her. I do not want her world to crash, and her to suffer. My husband and I were happily together for five years before having our daughter and then getting married shortly after. Ever since having our daughter things have changed for me, mainly because I needed more from him. He is seriously unmotivated and undependable, for reasons I feel tie back to his family of origin and experiences growing up. It didn't bother me until I needed him to work together with me as a co-parent and that's when everything started coming apart. We did one year of marriage counseling, without much progress. He will admit he is very passive aggressive. He puts blame everywhere but on himself. He does not like conflict, does not want to discuss anything. I am the opposite, wanting to hash things out and figure out what to do. I still love him, and he loves me, but I don't want this for myself. I don't want it for him either really. Our daughter is now four, we've had more than four years of near constant conflict and disagreement, sarcasm, put-downs, etc. Plenty of nagging and sarcasm on my part as well. I am trying to change that, but finding it really challenging. The best in me is hard to find lately. Luckily he's gone most of the time so it's only really bad on his two days off, and even that isn't loud or physical. I sometimes wonder if I should try to remain for our daughter sake, if I'm being selfish wanting to leave. We have sex a few times a year--more than I'd like since I feel no closeness with him, it almost feels violating to have sex with him. In the past I forced myself for him and for our marriage, but I'm getting more to the point of not caring about the marriage. That is the only thing he will admit to being wrong with our relationship (the lack of sex). Otherwise he says that if I would just be happy and change my attitude then we would be fine. He tells me it is all in my head. I told him three years or so ago that he had "five years and if things were still this way then I would leave". I don't want to hang it over his head or bring up divorce unless I'm ready to do it. I wish I could have a serious conversation about where I'm at with this, but that doesn't work with us. He would withdraw and be angry and sullen, and no ground will be made except that he would feel further isolated. I am thinking about biding my time to save a little more and maybe try to wait until my daughter is in school so that I could work more to support us. It breaks my heart to think about some of the consequences of a divorce on her, and on me and also my parents (involved grandparents). But I'm just so done. I welcome any thoughts, opinions, feedback, suggestions, anything really. I don't have much of an outlet for these thoughts that are my constant companion.
 

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He is seriously unmotivated and undependable ... It didn't bother me until I needed him to work together with me as a co-parent ... He does not like conflict, does not want to discuss anything ... We have sex a few times a year--more than I'd like since I feel no closeness with him, it almost feels violating to have sex with him ... But I'm just so done. I welcome any thoughts, opinions, feedback, suggestions, anything really.
"He is seriously unmotivated and undependable" is the only problem that you report. From the standpoint that solutions come from understanding problems, this needs a lot of elaboration. Especially in light of "he does not like conflict" and "we have sex a few times a year".

Your problem may be neither you nor your husband, but the world around you. If so, there is definitely hope.

I would like to know how you feel, not what you feel. You say you feel "done". What does that mean?
 

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I am gonna go ahead and guess that when she said she was "done" she was trying to state that she was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and she can't quite figure what option is going to be the best for her family. Am I anywhere near right?? If not, do tell me!

Have you two thought about trying a trial separation and seeing if you were both happier that way? I have plenty of friends that are divorced with kids, and as long as the parents are civil and don't talk bad about the other parent the kids are great! Matter of fact, some of them even like that they get to have two Christmases!! ha ha ha. leave it to a kid to find some silver lining on ANYTHING.

I do think someone smarter than I am should give you better advice as in steps to take, but I wish you all the best honey and let me know how you are doing!
 

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I appreciate the feedback, it is helpful.

As to my meaning of "done", DawnD you said it well. I feel spent. I feel emotionally exhausted and tired of the constant fight. Nearly every conversation we have involves tension and anger. I don't feel 'in love', and I'm not sure I want to work on this anymore. I definitely don't want to live the rest of my life like this. I just wish our daughter wasn't going to be impacted. And that makes me wonder if I'm being too selfish.


I named the main problems as the unmotivated and undependable ways of my husband, because many things seem to lead back to that. It is really hard to rely on him for even the small things. His follow through is really bad. I know that people can't always follow through on everything they say, but I'm lucky if he does half of what he says he will--which are often things that have a direct impact on myself or our daughter. Is it too much to ask for a husband who does what he says he will? Am I unreasonable? He has so much talent and ability but it is not used. It's hard to trust him when he doesn't do what he tells me. It is also rare that he would ever take responsibility for not doing something, there is always a reason and justification as to why it wasn't his fault. I honestly feel like it would be easier to be alone than to be with someone who is unreliable. Normally things don't get done unless I ride him about something for days, sometimes weeks, on end. I don't want to be that person and I don't think I should have to be. What kills me is that I knew about his motivation problems from day one and still went into this. What was I thinking???!!

Other problems -- constant conflict and criticism, horrible communication, loss of intimacy, lack of validation of feelings....oh yeah, and he thinks I just like to be unhappy:scratchhead:

A trial separation may be a good idea, except that I'm not sure of the logistics. We own a house together and I think the only way we could live separately would be if we sold it or rented it out and both lived elsewhere. My income would be barely enough to make it on my own. I am working very part-time right now as our daughter isn't in daycare. I anticipate that my hours will be increased eventually but I just started and can't make that request until I prove my worth!

AlexNY: What do you mean when you say it may be the world around us that is the problem? I could only wish.

Thanks again
 

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I completey understand the feeling of just being so tired of everything that you just start to not even care at all. I have been there and it is a horrible, horrible feeling.

I don't think it is unrealistic that he should follow through on his promises, but I do know that my husband has a huge problem with that also. I ask him twice. Once at the beginning of the day and once at the end of the day. The next morning I just do it myself. Does it solve the problem? No. God no. Did it give me time to think to myself why my H would rather do nothing and let me carry the burden of our entire family? Absolutely. Then we reached a point where I never asked him to do anything at all. What was the point? I knew he wasn't going to do it, so I was just skipping a step. Then I got accused of being a control freak. And I got the same line "You just like being miserable" from him. Months and months later when we went to counseling the therapist hit the nail on the head. Me -- I am the go-to girl that gets everything done and always has a plan. H -- is the laid back someone else will always take care of it guy. He had to help us find that balance. And it was hard, I'm not gonna lie.

As to your particular situation, I can't tell you that anything for certain will work, but I think outside opinions always help and maybe seeing a counselor to talk about BOTH of your feelings may really help!!

Best of luck to you honey!
 

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When did you try counseling? I think it is worth another shot, at least to bring it up with him and ask him if he'd prefer that or divorce. You need to level with him about how you feel--otherwise, he'll get the blow all at once, when you tell him you ARE done.

I was married to someone like your dh and went through all the same things. I just didn't want a partner who was childlike and irresponsible. The sex was infrequent and finally became non-existent. I waited too long and could not even try to work it out. I feel a little bad about that, but I am certain that nothing would have helped--I knew I was marrying him with the hope of being deeply in love, not because I was already there with him. So that compounded our issues. I tried really hard to be a good communicator and partner in a lot of ways, was nearly always calm and let my needs and feelings be known, and nothing mattered. I changed me a lot, but it didn't change him. We never had a lot of fighting--I just wouldn't go that direction b/c it would have made me miserable and wouldn't have helped (we did fight some for a while and when it didn't help, I changed). The passive aggressive stuff is just not something I can accept and even though I asked him to get counseling, he wouldn't. So, we are divorced. But you might be able to find a way through this. Best of luck.
 

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I feel emotionally exhausted and tired of the constant fight. Nearly every conversation we have involves tension and anger. I don't feel 'in love', and I'm not sure I want to work on this anymore. I definitely don't want to live the rest of my life like this.
You're in the possition where you sit, want something and if it doesn't happen you demand it (from how your posts sound). While this is a natural thing for most of us...it almost never works on our spouses. There's a saying that if you want to draw flies, you do it with honey...not with vinegar. As in sweetness and calmness, not yelling and resentment. Due to how hard it is for people to controll their emotions and anger, it sounds almost counterintuitive for them to be nice and thoughtful when they are pissed at their spouse.

I named the main problems as the unmotivated and undependable ways of my husband, because many things seem to lead back to that......there is always a reason and justification as to why it wasn't his fault.
I can bet that when he does half of the things you tell him, you yell at him for what he didn't do and don't ever say thanks and make him feel appreciated for what he does. Did you ever tell him he has talent and ability without making it sound like even though he has it he's wasting it?

I honestly feel like it would be easier to be alone than to be with someone who is unreliable. Normally things don't get done unless I ride him about something for days, sometimes weeks, on end. I don't want to be that person and I don't think I should have to be. What kills me is that I knew about his motivation problems from day one and still went into this. What was I thinking???!!
Well, it is. But he doesn't have to be unreliable. I just think there's too much pressure on him. Instead of turning him into what you want him to be...why not try adapting the situation to what he can do? You know, like start by thinking that you are alone, in the marriage, then see what he can help out with...and go from there...

Other problems -- constant conflict and criticism, horrible communication, loss of intimacy, lack of validation of feelings....oh yeah, and he thinks I just like to be unhappy:scratchhead:
Alll tied to the same stuff...which is, you're not supportive of eachother. He fails in being responsible, you can't be attracted to him because you prolly find him imature. He doesn't get sex..he's angry...they are all results of the very same problem.

A trial separation may be a good idea, except that I'm not sure of the logistics. We own a house together and I think the only way we could live separately would be if we sold it or rented it out and both lived elsewhere.
If you're going to go for separation you might as well divorce. You right now have a big problem in your marriage. Not working on it in the same house means it will never get fixed. Just my 2 cents.
AlexNY: What do you mean when you say it may be the world around us that is the problem? I could only wish.
Stress from work maybe. You mentioned your husband is home just two days a week. Does he work hard? If so, when he's home, does he ever get a smile on your face, a nice word, some food maybe?

D'ya know what the funny thing about marriage is? Situations like 'I don't feel appreciated hence i don't feel like doing anything around' from the husband...and 'if he doesn't do anything around i can't appreciate him' from the wife. Since none of them starts because they are expecting the other to, after this situation goes on for months...you'll just fight like crazy yet continue to do nothing to get yourself out.
 

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Normally things don't get done unless I ride him about something for days, sometimes weeks, on end.
That is destructive. I'm not taking his side, but you can only change yourself, not him.

Counseling would be your best option. My purely amateur advice is to STOP riding his butt or criticizing him for a few days and see what happens.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you. I do know that I can only control myself, and I actively try to change my reactions--honestly I am not always very successful. I spend a lot of time in self-assessment and try to do the hard work on myself. If I gave the impression that all the blame went to my husband, that was not my intent. I take responsibility for adding to the conflict, and I know I am an angry, frustrated person most of the time (part of why I think of divorce--it is not healthy or enjoyable for either of us in this situation and I need to know there can be some kind of end to the pain and hurt). I am pissed that I got myself into this situation to begin with, and mad at him that I have had to do most of the heavy lifting for the last four years. I care about him, but maybe we are just not suited to be spouses.

I don't ride him about much of anything these days because it causes conflict and because I don't want to be that person (riding = asking him daily until it gets done).

His procrastination problems have affected him at work too, losing clients because of lack of follow-through.

We stopped going to counseling because our insurance doesn't cover marital therapy and after a year we couldn't afford to keep going regularly. We will probably try again as soon as we can find a way to pay for it--as it is the only way we can communicate.

thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post, I appreciate the feedback.
 

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Briefly: This sounds very much like what my own wife might say.

Here is an example:

Wife: "The fence needs fixed"
Me: "Ok, it is a big project but I will get it done"

Day off, I wake up, shower, have my breakfast, inform her that I am going to gather materials to fix the fence. I get back with the materials and start working. It is a four hour project. She comes out of the house for something else that is on the porch and gives me a dirty look and a nasty tone when I ask her whats wrong.
I go back into the house. Total time elapsed from starting to gather materials to when I go back into the house to see what is wrong: 2 hours. Now back in the house:

Me: Whats wrong, why are you mad? I am fixing the fence on my day off like I said was going to.

Wife: You wake up at 10:00am (supposedly this is unreasonably late for a guy to wake up on his day off) take your time taking a nice hot shower, and eating a big breakfast and drinking your coffee, then decide to take 4 hours to fix the fence and leave me in here with the kids all day and don't say anything about what you are doing or whats going on....... omfg come on.

So guess what the fence doesn't get fixed and then the middle of the next week its like,

Wife: "Oh really, so you follow through on what your say you will do, like fixing the fence in the yard? You were supposed to do that on your day off and it never got done, did it? That was what, four days ago you said you'd do thhat and it still isn't done? I am really just so tired of having to keep on you about things, I am just sick and tired and don''t ccare any more".....

ya we had about that same conversation a few weeks ago. I wanted to open my mouth, bite her head off and spit it at that stupid hallf-fixed fence. Instead we worked it out and are getting along good (other than the little snippy things wwe do here and there).

The fence still isn't fixed though. I am afraid to fix it. I am afraid to not fix it. Not afraid like she is going to hurt me, but that somehow if I do something different than exactly what I am doing right now, I will upset the apparently incredibly delciate and precarious hormonal balance in her body that seems to keep her from
1. Having a stroke
2. Being possesed by an ancient evil entity
3. Being the tired and worn out persecuted wife
4. Something horrible and unnatural that no sane person could possibly predict let alone comprehend.

Sara, I am not saying this is you, but there is always more than 1 side to a story and it wouldn't shock me if his was something similar to what I am saying here. Please don't take offense at that. Can't think of anything more productive to say.

good luck!
 

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I could not live with a man like that why does he want to argue is it about sex usually?
Maybe he feels you are not giving him enough in the bedroom and thats why their is tension between you two I think you both need counseling personallly their is tension between you two.
Seek a Marital counselor and see what your husband says in the counselign sessions first I bet he has resentment towards you for not having sex with him who knows I know I would if I was him.
 

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As for the fence example - I'd tell her to fix it herself if it's so important.
lol...suddenly the fence doesn't matter at all to her. I don't know. My wife is a barely controlled, utterly beautiful chaos that I love and hate in nearly equal proportions and intensity. We fight, we have sex, we snuggle, we have deep conversations and share our dreams for ourselves, our family and the world, I help her with her college classes, we hurt each others feelings, we make up....very passionate, very intense.
 

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Sara,
With regard to the "my husband is unmotivated/irresponsible and can never get anything done" sentiment, u sound EXACTLY like my wife.

Speaking from experience I can almost guarantee u what ur H is thinking is "why the hell does she get so damn angry about this"?

And really when u think about it, ur getting mad and frustrated at ur husband for THE WAY THAT HE IS. At least thats how he sees it, so of course hes gonna start resenting u, then u get even more mad start resenting him, then the communication is screwed up, u guys stop having sex, and everything is a mess. And he probably blames u for starting it by being so negative and judgmental in the first place.

If ur husband is a lazy bastrd that doesnt take responsibility for anything, then he obv has a lot to work on. But u married a lazy bastrd who doesnt take responsibility for anything, that was ur decision, why are u acting whiny about it now?

It sounds like u have some gross immaturity issues yourself. If ur driven crazy by the fact that ur husband isnt exactly who u want him to be, then theres likely something pretty wrong with u and ur worldview. Your H isnt perfect, and even if it was possible for him to be, would it be your own personal definition of perfection that he would be made to adhereing to?

You both need to grow up. He needs to get off his ass, and u need to quit whining and stop focusing on the negative.
 
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