Sick of Fighting a Losing Battle with Husband! Need Marriage Counseling Names!
June 29, 2008
Let me first say that I love this board...sometimes we need simple advice, sometimes we need to vent and other times it's more serious. I guess that I'm doing it all, venting and seeking any advice, or "I've been there", as well as names of good marriage counselors in the Spring area.
My husband and I have been married for nine years, though we have been together for 15 years. We had our third baby last August and that has really turned things upside down a bit. However, what I'm seeking advice about has been going on with us for as long as I have known my husband. Our first battle always is about money. My husband is in the financial services industry (a joke given our money problems) and is on 100% commission. Back in the late 90's, he had two good years where he made a decent income. Honestly it wasn't hard to do well at that time of prosperity in the market. He also had started buying and trading some stocks with our own money, the extent to which was unbeknownst to me. At first he was making money at it, but then he started taking loses. He would check the mail and take out the statements and other notices about our account before I got home. When I'd ask him about it, he would say it was all good or make me think we took a few loses, but nothing major. During this same time, we were also buying our first home and eventually I became pregnant and we had our first child. Because we still had money in savings and I assumed had money in the brokerage account, we decided that I would stay home and let's just say our first home was not a "typical" starter home. Of course, as is always the case, I found out that we pretty much had no more money in our brokerage account and now had no income on my end since I was staying home. This was also about the time of 9/11 and we all know that the economy took a severe hit, as did my husbands income. I immediately went into "I gotta figure out what to do" mode and so I went back and got my teaching certificate, and started back to work when my son was 2. Of course, we know what teacher's make and it's not much, but at least I know what my salary is.
My husband to me is not a realistist. Either that or he is always in denial, which I think he is a bit of both. He's all these years said, "Oh things will get better, blah, blah, blah." The same thing always came out of his mouth everytime I broached the subject of "we've got to sell this house, or we've got to cut back expenses". He's always had this "Well let's just wait and see attitude".
Well, I'm just sick of it. We don't have time for that. I can't count on him to make enough money to support his family. It's so agonizing to go look in the bank account at his paycheck amount, which isn't even enough to cover our mortgage. I just don't get it with him. Our savings is gone, we've got three kids to support, two who are in daycare, and all the other expenses of a family. He still doesn't appear to be concerned enough to get up and find a new job, or figure something out. It's always me doing the "thinking up a solution" to our problems. I'm even considering selling my wedding ring and engagement ring so that we'll have enough to live on. What's even sad about that is that I don't even care if I sell them.
Divorce has been mentioned more in the last year than ever before, but I don't want to do that to my kids. Though my husband is a good dad, he is short on patience and I believe has adhd and also has unstable moods. Nothing terrible, but I do feel like he over-reacts to so many things and can't ever taking responsibility for mistakes that he makes or has made.
Just the other day we went down to a neighbor's house and I couldn't help but feel envious of the qualities that her husband displays. He is a hard-worker for his family, works 6 days a week and he's in the car business, which you know is stressful. He manages to bring home enough for them to get by on. It wasn't just that, it was that his attitude was great. You can tell that he genuinely likes to be with his kids and enjoys his family. Whereas I feel like my husband begrudgingly does it. He also has a great attitude that "Life's too short to be mad a people." My husband like I said before seems constantly irritated. You never know what you're going to get with him.
I just sometimes think that I made the wrong choice in a husband and don't want to spend the rest of my life regretting it. I'm not "high maintenance", I barely buy myself anything and I strive to save money (buy things on sale in bulk, i.e. diapers, formula, necessities), clip coupons, take things back that my kids haven't worn, you know the drill, but I feel like he's totally countering everything that I do with not only his income, but buying beer every other day, cigarretes, take out food for lunch, etc. Just as an example, his last paycheck net was around $1900 (that's for the whole month). Since I was so busy trying to wrap up the end of the school year, I waited about two weeks before I went to transfer money. Well, there was nothing left. The only bill he pays is an insurance bill of about $450. I couldn't believe he blew through that money that fast. Of course I lost it. In his typical fashion he made excuses. I told him that I just can't struggle like this for the rest of my life and that he seems to have no drive or desire to go anywhere in his job.
Anyway, needless to say we need some help. He needs an impartial third party to explain the damage that he's doing. Honestly after all the money issues/deception, I don't put any weight or value into his opinions, promises, whatever. I really don't have any confidence in him any longer.
Of course I could go on and on, but this is long enough. Bottom line, if anyone has successfully navigated through this or has any counselors they could recommend, or just wants to share their situation, I'm all ears. I'm already stressed enough with having little ones, that this is really sending me over the edge. I don't want to lose what we have because my husband can't swallow his pride or get out of his rut to help support our family.
I think before Divorce is mentioned you need to try and work everything out with some counseling even if you just have to go by yourself. It would be different if you didn't have children but you do so you can't just walk away. I saw a post above and I have heard Guy Gurley is a good counselor. I have taken a parenting class with his wife and she was excellent. I hope you seek counsel so you can get all of the negative emotions out so you don't bring it home to your kids and you will also feel better.
I feel your pain- from both the wife & the child in the midst of such a relationship. Is it possible your hubby is depressed? My husband still hasn't agreed to get professional help, but he does talk to me about things now and that helps a LOT! He had the same types of issues, only he didn't have a job and I was the one supporting our family. I have no issue with supporting the family financially, but he wouldn't help with things around the house either.
As for not wanting to leave b/c of your kids- please do not use this excuse!!! I know it is scary, but if there is no hope, it's time to get out. You can support your children on your own if you need to. Women don't ever realize how strong they are until they are faced with a situation that really tests that strength. If you're not happy, your kids aren't happy and they don't learn what a good relationship should be like. My parents divorcing when I was 12 was the best thing that happenned to my family. Both of my parents were happier and my dad went on to marry a wonderful woman who made him happy (the 4 kids aged 5-14 stayed with my dad).
I have had struggles with my own marriage and what parents should be like b/c of the issues I dealt with as a kid with my own parents. Mom wasn't there & Dad just yelled when he was, which wasn't very often b/c he was working so much overtime to support us. This is something my hubby & I have really had to deal with b/c the only thing I know about marital or parental relationships are the ideals I've seen on TV.
Another thing to consider- a friend of mine made a great point when I was at the breaking point with my hubby-- you're scared to leave, but do you still want to be in this place in another 10 years, 20 years, etc..? Is this how you want to live your life?? What happens once your kids are grown? You said you had to work on your teaching cert while your hubby was out of town? WOW! How will he react when he finds out you're working behind his back?
Best wishes to you! I know things will work out for you one way or another in regards to a grander plan... As I said- I've been both the child & the wife in this situation. One marriage split and the other became stronger; both were best for everyone involved.
First of all I am very sorry that you are going through this. I too struggle with certain issues and it's a hard decision to know what to do b/c of the kids. Contact Interfaith located at West Houston Community Center www.whcc.com. They have a sliding scale which may help b/c of your finances. Also, on the Good Morning America website they recommend a site to contact about debt consolidation. Not that you are there yet, just be careful if you get to that point. There are some bad companies out there. If your husband won't agree to go, Dave Ramsey puts out some great classes on debt. I know, i am right there too. I hope you find the answers you need from other moms. Tacke care of yourself through all of this. You and your kids need you!
You have answers given to you already that are sufficient enough but I wanted to maybe run this by you. You said he may have adhd. If you seek counceling as mentioned him getting help for adhd would do wonders. He may be depressed, when you have add or adhd everything can seem overwhelming things as simply as getting on the phone to take care of business you mind is racing so fast that taking care of things is a big ordeal, you can't always hold regular conversations with people, and alot of other things. Just getting help with that would help him get organized and moving in the right direction. Divorce is not what its cracked up to be you still have the same dad for your kids and you still have to deal with what money they make. Though it sounds like if need be you can do better on your own if he doesn't step up and do something. Good luck B.
seems like some boundaries have been crossed, and you are the one holding the ends together. so, counseling would be the thing to start with, because as you said, it appears he is off in la la land about the harm being done. others have recommended church groups, which may be great, but if you do not already have that, those relationships take time too, and you need help now. a big positive that you have is that you did get your teaching certificate and are working. you could do this alone if you needed to. boy i can just taste what you are going through, not exactly the same, but so so similar to my situation. i have several great counselors to give you the info for, if you want to pm me i will happily pass along their info. it is good that you are reaching out.
Hi B.. I am so sorry to hear how much you are struggling. I too have been there but unfortunately divorced earlier this year. I can tell you that is not always the answer for every marriage. I have two beautiful girls ages 11 and 6. I tried everything possible for my marriage to work. Problem is I was the only one doing all of this. My ex-husband sounds somewhat like your husband. The kicker for me was my ex lost his job during all the financial issues. He lost it on purpose because he got tired of working at this company. He promised me he would find another job due to his unhappiness of his current job. But he never did look and left us in a financial mess. I had so much resentment towards him. On top of that my ex was very selfish and wanted big material items even though he could not afford it himself. I have worked for years as a Realtor in the NW Houston area. So I had to support the entire family for years. I got tired of it and lost all the love and respect I had for him. I got out of the marriage. This is what was best for me. My ex was not a great father either. He was very verbally abusive to us all. For me this was the best thing I have ever done but I could support the three of us without relying on him. I also went to counseling for a while to work out my thoughts. I used Dr. Guilfoyle ###-###-####)who is located at FM 1960 and 249. I know he is not in the Spring area. He is fantastic. He nailed my ex's personality to a tee! I made the decision to leave the marriage on my own. Again I am not one who believes that is always the answer. If you still truly love your husband than you need to seek counseling and try to work your issues out. One thing I did learn is to not stay together for the sake of the children. If you are fighting constantly that is not good for the children to be involved. Trust me they know what is going on even if you try to hide it. My girls are functioning so much better now. There is peace and stability in my home. Again, I want to reiterate that this may not be the choice for you as it was for me. Counseling is always a good way to sort out your feelings. It did wonders for me. Good luck and I hope this has helped a little bit.
We went to a Sandy Carter,###-###-#### or ###-###-####cell or ____@____.com,for a time last year. I found her very good and had activities with communication. She helped me, more than him I think but he picked her out. She is licensed and does take insurances.
Not to be too forward or overstep any but for help with money managing I have an financial advisor, Jeff Spurlock with Primerica. They do investing, which as an ex teacher TRS is not exactly comforting for retirement. But he also does financial analysis and does not take over any debt but sets up a program to eliminate debt and better manage money with your income. He is very positive, non-judgemental, HONEST, and very knowledgable. His number ###-###-#### or ###-###-####cell. Again, I apologize if I am offending you in any way. I think you and I have very similar situations.
Keep strong and remember you are AWESOME!! Things will work out, one way or another, and you WILL have your feet on the ground. I'm praying for you!
Wow, B., I can relate. I have been married for 25 years, which is prob. 10 too long. I have 5 wonderful kids, 2 of whom were born during those 10 years (ages 10 and 6), so I can't say it was a total waste. My husband has his own business and is always courting "investors." He won't let me work - part of his control thing - but even if I had, things wouldn't have been much different b/c he sucks up money like a vacuum cleaner. I am getting a teaching certificate, though, and I have applied for jobs in the fall. I have to do this while he's out of town (he travels often, leaving us without much money. I can manage money, but you have to have something to work with.).
You say you don't want to lose what you have. What do you have? A house you can't afford? A husband you can't afford?
We had some serious issues - not just money - that my husband refused to address. Two years ago, I left and took the kids. He begged me to come back. I did, on three conditions, one of which was counseling. He went to counseling but broke the other two conditions. I found the counseling helpful to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid such things in the future. However, my husband refused to address the core issues. Bottom line, if your husband isn't interested in facing up to reality there's nothing you can do.
$1900 a month, plus your salary can work as long as you are working together - a modest house, keep spending down, etc. - but not when he not only doesn't help but actually hinders. You may be best served by getting divorced at this point. Then he will be forced to sell the house that's above your means and pay child support, and you won't have your salary siphoned off supporting him.
That said, if there's any hope for this marriage at all work at it. I think if you can get the money thing under control the other problems will fall into place. Crown Financial Ministries is a Christian ministry that helps people with their financial situations. Not sure of their web address - you can google them. They can assign you a counselor to help you get your money under control, but your husband has to agree to do this. Also, Family Life (familylife.com) offers a Weekend to Remember marriage retreat. They have helped many people, even on the brink of divorce. Look into it. It may seem expensive to you, but we paid over $100 an hour for counseling, so in that light it's pretty cheap! I'd recommend you go that route and the Crown route before you think about counseling. Get into a good church, and they can help, too. God bless you, and know that he loves you all. If you want to get in touch with me, my email is ____@____.com.
I can't say enough about Guy Gourley at Legacy Christian Counseling (www.legacychristiancounseling.org). I don't know if you are Christian or not but he has talked at our church on a few occasions and men and women both enjoy his no-nonsense approach. I can relate to some of your hardships. I only wish you the best of luck!!
I just want you to know that I will lift you up in my prayers. You are indeed discouraged. If you are a member of a church, check to see if they can direct you to a Christian counselor. People in church have struggles too but we can all "bear one another's burden" and church is a wonderful place to seek help.
Thanks for sharing your story. We went through a marriage struggle last year as well that was not as severe but it was hard....first, you can't your husband....I know...we all know that but nagging and pushing won't get any thing done. I agree 100% that marriage conseling is needed. I HIGHLY recommed the course by Dave Ramsey called Financial Peace University. Men need respect and women need to feel secure. He also has books out there that you can buy. It is GREAT but you both have to read it or take the class for it to be effective. It changed our marrigae and way we live! Some churches offer the cousre...just call around and ask which ones are offering it. Also, some churches offer free Christian Counseling...you might look into that as well. Also, look into the school district that you are in and they may also be able to point you in the right direction or even give you a person who is willing to do marriage counseling. If your husband won't go...I would go and start working on yourself. I learned a lot about myself when going through our mess when the whole time I thought my husband was the one with all the problems...yes, he brought it to the surface but there were things in me that needed to change as well. I hope this info. helps some. God Bless you and your family! The family is worth saving!
my husband is a wonderful marriage counselor. i have people on the street stop me all the time to say he saved their marriage. i wouldn't be surprised if someone else sends you his name, but i had to say something because you can't quit. he is the best!!!
guy gourley ###-###-####
Your family has alot of things to deal with and I am no counselor but I will suggest that you handle the money from now on. That may mean that you have your own account and give your husband an allowance at least that way you know the bills will get paid. He may be going through a depression and the drinking may get worse so AA may be in order for the whole family. (that is only if the drinking is an issue)
You may want to job search for him and send out his resume, I know this all sounds like alot of work for you but if you want to keep this guy he may need help. BUT, you have to know where to draw the line how much are you and the kids willing to take and put up with? Why did you marry him? If he were to propose to you today the way he is would you marry him? OK that being said what are you willing to do to help him be the man you would marry all over again? If you're looking for help I will suggest www.mortfertle.com Marriage Fitness I have heard nothing but good things about it. I wish you well.
Seems to me that you are already "living on your own" - not quite though, maybe you will BE BETTER on your own. It is hard! I wonder if that is a men's thing? My husband is little like your hub with the big difference that he works very hard to support the family. After 9/11 we also went through tough times. My husband had to change careers and during the transition was hardly making a third of our monthly expenses. I had to start managing our finances because he wouldn't work on a limited budget. I also spoke of divorce many times, wanted to get a job... anyway, in my humble opinion I think it is time for you to make a desicion... you either make a desicion based on your kids or based on your mental health. Remember that if you are not happy you won't be able to transmit happiness to your kids. I really hope that you find a good counselor - my husband never wanted to go counseling, things are a lot better though; it took a lot of patience, communication and FAITH IN GOD. There is a book called "Boundaries in the Marriage", it is very good and helped me a lot during those difficult times. Remain strong and ask GOD for wisdom to make the best desicion not only for you but your kids.
Brenda, I know what you are going through my husband and I have been through ups and downs with many problems but I will tell you this and I know it may be something that you might have not thought about but turn your problems to God and ask him for his help he is there for you and your husband and something will happen trust me I know what I am talking about I have done this and my life is getting better not great but I a happy with the way things are going you will too if you don't then it is time to move on but I believe people should try hard to work on their marriage so sleep on this God Bless you and your family