March 31, 2011,
S.W. asks from Suwanee, GA on March 30, 2011
Sick of My Husband
I need advice badly....My husband is seriously getting on my nerves, he doesn't pay attention to me, he does absolutely nothing to engage with our marriage and is constantly consumed with making money. This is not the man I married almost a decade ago and I am just really sick of it. If we didn't have kids I would have already been gone a long time ago. He is a constant complainer which irritates me the most about him because he complains about stuff he should be grateful for. I know I'm rambling, but I am unable to talk to family and my friends about this. I really don't know what to do.
I sometimes I think about what it would be like to have married someone else, but then realize that I'm stuck with my husband and now that we have kids I'm obviously not going anywhere because my parents went through a horrible divorce and I really don't want to take my kids through that.
So What Happened?™
Thank you for your feedback...Just an FYI...my husband is a software developer. Between the two of us we have 2 bachelors and 1 masters. A few years back he was laid off his job, so we moved out of state and put our house up for sale...we are still going through the short sale process right now, but should be closing soon. The house has been a huge concern for him because we purchased it as a flip...in other words the goal of the purchasing the house was to fix it up and move, but that didn't happen. 4 years later we still have the house although we are not living in it and are attempting to do a short sale that should be closing soon. I'm over the whole house situation. We should have sold it when we had the chance, but got greedy and now are having to do a short sale. We live in an apartment at the moment, but I've learned to suck it up because there are so many things to be grateful for. You live and you learn. I addition to that we have a lot of student loans that get paid but are large. I do my part and take care of the kids along with working from home. My biggest issue is that our financial situations should not trump our marriage. Life always has some sort of surprise dilemma, but I'm still his wife and shouldn't be neglected.
On a positive note, this morning he said that he was praying and listening to God last night and the Lord corrected him on a few things and he got some fresh revelation....and for that I'm hopeful. The man from this morning is the man that I married. One who doesn't get caught up with the difficult trials that we face but is able to push past the mess and encourage himself. Because for awhile every time I attempted to encourage him he didn't want to hear nor did he acknowledge the gentle and good words that I would say. So, for that portion of my concern I am hopeful that things are taking a turn. Thank you for your prayers.
In regards to me, I am getting back to me. Maybe I have lost that splash of life that I use to have, so I've taken it upon myself to get back to my regular exercise regiment...I did P90 this morning and plan to get a makeover (For Me) this saturday.
Thanks again for your feedback. You all gave great advice!
M.C. answers from Washington DC on March 30, 2011
I have a saying 'Never be mad at the Overtime!'
You don't give many details or examples. You don't say what his job is. Some people just become workaholics. To some people life is all about how much money you have.
What kind of things does he complain about? Pick the one thing that he is always nagging about, that you can do something about, and do it. My husband always complains when the laundry isn't folded and put away the same day its washed. He is especially upitty about underwear and socks. So I now make it a point to sort the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. If I have the strength I put them away right the too. I ALWAYS make a point of putting away the socks and underwear. Then when some baskets don't get fully done, he's not grumpy for a few days because he doesn't have to search for the basics.
Its normal to wonder about marrying someone else when you are unhappy. I just keep reminding myself that if I'd taken a different road, I wouldn't have MY kids. I might have kids, but I wouldn't have the 2 I got, and I think they are pretty amazing. Sometimes trying, but overall amazing mini mes.
Two other things to try:
1. Create a budget. Cut back on all of the super frills. By showing hubby that he doesn't have to work quite so hard, you'll slowly get him back.
2. Have a family free day. Go to the park, fly kites, go fishing, take a bike ride. Do things that don't require money.
4 moms found this helpful
J.K. answers from Charleston on March 31, 2011
Please get a copy of "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman and read it carefully. He has some great insight into why husbands complain and what can be done about it. Alternatively, please get some help from a professional. It is always better to try to work things out than to break up a marriage!
3 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on March 31, 2011
Is he a gambler?
Or hooked on trading? as in Stocks?
Maybe he is consumed with money, because he is in huge debt/owes a ton... or is addicted to some money "hobby."
Or, working so much, is a diversion.
B.N. answers from Fayetteville on March 31, 2011
Dear fellow mamma,
As you can see, the responses you will get to your question are vast and varied (to include a truly inaccurate, unnecessary, inappropriate, and also quite rude jab at the Catholic Church, but that's another story.)
The point is.... you have many choices. Reading your question, it's obvious what your choice is.
You want to stay, and you want to make it work. So I will tell you what many women who have been in your position have done with great success. They have decided to find a way for their husbands to fall in love with them again. He married you for a reason. Find that reason, and grow in the love and care that you give him. Be grateful for him. Turn your negative thoughts about him and the negatives you might say to him... (for example, he's so consumed with work and all he cares about is money. "You work all the time.") to positive thoughts and sayings. (I'm so glad he is so good at providing for us. "Thank you for sacrificing time with us to make sure we are well taken care of.") At first he will wonder what's wrong with you, but if you keep it up, and change your attitude, you will find that he will begin to respond. Maybe only a little at first, but persevere. Somehow, some way, he -- and maybe you-- have forgotten what's important. All you need is a refresher in what love looks like. And because a marriage is give and give, sometimes the wife will have to bear the burden of the husband's failings. Other times, he will bear the burden of your own. This is one of those times where two wrongs don't make a right.
Take the time to love him, honor him, treat him with respect and kindness, and genuinely try to enjoy him and feel positive about him, even though he doesn't deserve it. You'll be amazed at the changes you will see IN HIM when he begins to notice you are a changed person. When it gets hard, imagine yourself in his position. Wouldn't you want him to pull YOU out of a rut in which you were ignoring your family and pursuing the wrong things? Or would you want him to resent you for your wrong doings and abandon you?
Blessings to you and your whole family. The decision to stay is the second biggest decision you make after the decision to get married, because NO marriage ever maintains itself. How could he not change when he sees and remembers what a lovely, wonderful, happy and in love wife he once had?? Not only that, but you are setting a good example for your children when you honor and respect him. They need to know that that is how we should treat people, even if they don't deserve it. They need to learn about forgiveness, and about "taking the first step." They need to know that their daddy is a person, too, with feelings and emotions, with hopes and dreams, and not just a jerk.
You are all in my prayers.
8 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on March 30, 2011
Well ask yourself, "Why is he consumed with money?" "Where does this pressure come from?"
Is it possible there is something going on at work you are not aware of? I am hearing more and more about people freaking out about work, because, business is not great or they have less employees, so they have to pick up the slack. It is stressful to consider "what if" when he is trying to support all of you and he is worried about his work and staying employed.
As my husband has gotten older, he says he is now not the young guy, people always used to ask him for new ideas, Now they get the younger people to come in and brainstorm. It can be very hard to realize, he is not considered "new and shiny" anymore at work.
Did this start when you all had children? When you purchased a house?
Could you get a job and take some of this pressure off of him? Could you downsize? Could you all do without certain expenses?
I have mom friends that live totally different lives than me. They purchase a new car every 4 years. Their kids go to summer camps. They take family trips a couple of times a year every year. Yet the get so angry and frustrated with their husbands, because they work so much and are to tired to do anything at home.. I have suggested maybe they need to pull back on their expenses, so their husbands are not under so much pressure.
We had not purchased a new car in 25 years. Our house is practically falling down around us, but at least it is all paid off.. Now we just have to pay the sky high property taxes. We have not gone a vacation in YEARS.. even then it is not further than 200 miles..
The good news is that when my husband comes home on the weekends. He is actually here. He takes in some extra work, I also have always done some sort of outside work for extras.
The next step is for you to start therapy and then to include your husband. You 2 need to learn to reconnect. It is worth the effort to at least try..
I was a child of divorce and it was terrible, but I was so happy when there was no more fighting and stress in the house. Your children deserve parents that love each other and work towards staying together. Or Parents who have at least really tried, but know that the family would be healthier if the parents divorced.
Never stay together for the children. That is a terrible burden for them to be a part of. They need to be part of a family that loves them, that the parents are each happy and if that means separate, than so be it.
8 moms found this helpful
P.C. answers from Washington DC on March 31, 2011
You know what, your story reminds me of another story that I was told. My grandmother used to have the same complaints with my grandfather. What she did, she prayed every night that God may touch his life and that he may be a good husband. Years passed, my grandfather soon realized what a wonderful wife he has. He changed and he is the best husband my grandmother could ever have in her lifetime. :-D Pray, it works. Don't give up. Show him kindness. No heart will ever melt with kindness and genuine affection. Look behind his flaws. Be more sensitive to his needs. I assure, it works.
8 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Charlotte on March 30, 2011
Before you end up with clinical depression, I urge you to go to counseling to figure out how to make your life work, because it's not working now. I look at your "name", S. and wonder how it is that you think you are stuck with this man.
A temporary separation might make your husband realize what he would really be missing if he didn't have his family. Go to a lawyer and find out exactly what you need to do to prepare and safeguard you and your children. Stop being so wimpy and do something to fix your life. If that means a divorce, it means a divorce. There is a lot you can do SHORT of that, but it means getting out of this holding pattern. Your children deserve more than supersadmommy.
6 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on March 30, 2011
It sounds like you may have the financial resources to get counseling. Go for yourself if your husband won't do it. You've been muddling along in disappointment for so long, you'll be surprised at what clarity will feel like. And once you achieve the personal changes that can make you feel stronger and happier, there's a good chance that either your marriage will change to keep pace, or you will find a way to leave an arrangement that is incapable of change.
And your children will be better off, either way. You don't want to endlessly model an unhappy wife sticking out a dreary, lifeless marriage for her children. At worst, this will teach them martyrdom and gloom, and they will feel unfairly burdened with guilt.
There's also a process of communication which can make a huge difference in difficult relationships, called Non-Violent Communication. My husband and I have both studied the process, which helps us understand the important difference between authentic needs and feelings (we all have 'em), and the thoughts we have that pass as feelings but keep us trapped in unhealthy patterns. It's some of the best, most empowering work I've ever done in my life, and I highly recommend it.
If this interests you, google the term Non-Violent Communication for many descriptions of the process, examples, a video or two, and sources of books and classes.
Good luck to you.
6 moms found this helpful
H.M. answers from Atlanta on March 31, 2011
I am so sorry to hear of your troubles, but something I have learned over time that I thought might be worth sharing....
Men often define themselves by what they do. It is often who they are. As women, I think that we play so many roles (even when we do work) that work is only one of many roles---mom, housekeeper, peacemaker, carpool driver, etc. I don't think we define ourselves in the same way that men do.
I know that the economy has made it that much more challenging for men (and women) in the workplace as there are typically less people to do the same amount of work. And then there is the ever present threat---with so many talented people that are now unemployed---the possibility of being replaced can become a constant threat. Your husband may be working with this fear in mind.
I would try to figure out when things changed. If you can understand what might have prompted his behavior change, it may help you to assist him in overcoming this new mode of operation. Counseling can help, but generally better when both of you are invested. If he thinks it has reached the point of "needing counseling" (from your perspective), may be he will recongize the severity.
It is good that he is a strong provider as I have friends where the opposite is true. Best of luck to you.
5 moms found this helpful
K.U. answers from Detroit on March 30, 2011
Many men get caught up in making money because in a way, I suspect, it is where their identity lies and how they gauge their self-worth - "Look how hard I work, look how much money I make, look how I can provide for my family." And some people are just more apt to be complainers than other people. My husband included (he can get very whiny sometimes).
If things have been getting worse in your mind, it seems that you both are stuck in a rut, have let things slide, and are caught in a pattern that could be self-destructive if allowed to continue. My advice? Start talking to your husband. Don't attack him or accuse him of anything, just start talking with him and ask him how he feels about you, about your marriage, about how things are now compared to before. I don't know why you feel you can't talk to family or friends about this, since they may have some useful advice, or at least can help you feel better by giving you the opportunity to vent a little. If communication with your husband is that much of an issue, seek out a marriage counselor. If he won't go, go by yourself.
It may not work for everyone, but I tend to be pretty frank with my husband...as in, "Why do you have to complain about stuff all the time?"
5 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Provo on March 30, 2011
Ever think about what it would be like if your parents stayed together? All the fights, silent dinners, or maybe separate dinners, awkward Christmas', the fake persona they put on for people not in the family. Do you really want that for your kids?? Do you want them to think that, that is what marriage is? Nothing more than a dead end place that you ended up in? Miserable?
You kids deserve more than a dad who could care less about them (that is what I'm getting from your "complains about stuff he should be grateful for" sorry if it's not what you meant). You deserve to have a man that cares about you and not how much green paper he stuffs into a brick building.
5 moms found this helpful