June 29, 2008,
B.D. asks from Houston, TX on June 17, 2008
Sick of Fighting a Losing Battle with Husband! Need Marriage Counseling Names!
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.
A.R. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
Marriage Friendly Counseling : TX | Norma "Kay" Lord
Email this profile
Norma "Kay" Lord
Counseling Associates of South Texas (CAST), Inc
25910 Oakridge Drive
Woodlands, TX 77380
Phone Number: ###-###-####
Graduate Degree: MSA
University: University of Houston
License: Marriage and Family Therapist
State Licensed In: TX
License: Clinical Social Worker
State Licensed In: TX
American Associate for Marriage and Family Therapy
Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
National Association of Social Workers
S.K. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
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
K.K. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
This is serious and sounds like a job for Dr. Phil.
P.B. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
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.
V.J. answers from Houston on June 29, 2008
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.
K.G. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
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 ###-###-####
J.H. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
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!
V.S. answers from Houston on June 17, 2008
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.
C.M. answers from Houston on June 18, 2008
The Woodlands United Methodist Church has a counseling center.
For more information, check out the Grace Point Marriage and Family Center website:
Grace Point Marriage and Family Center
2200 Lake Woodlands Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
Another person is Robin Fairchild. She is a counselor. Her number is ###-###-####. She is located off Woodlands Parkway near I-45.
Hope this helps.