Lazy Husband and Too Much on My Shoulders

Updated on January 16, 2010
M.P. asks from Prides Crossing, MA
6 answers

I am 36 and my husband is 62 ( yes it was probably the whole father figure thing) We have one daughter. My husband is verbally and mentally abusive. Everything has to go right or he explodes and blames everything on me. He puts me down a lot. My mom's house is a total mess but if I leave one thing out of place he yells at me and tells me I'm just like my mother that there is no hope for me because it's in my genes.
He is terribly lazy as well. He retired a couple years ago, not really a planned thing, his boss got mad at him. He decided because of some health issues not to go back to work. I was running my own home business that wasn't making a lot. He insisted that I make it earn more money. I went through a bad depression (mostly because of him) and didn't make any money at all. We got in a big financial mess. He helped out a little and then left the whole thing in my lap. I'm talking about 150,000 in debt! Anyway he pushes so hard for me to earn money BUT he won't let me work. He gets made if I'm in my office for too long. He calls me for everything like if he can't find the mustard or can't find a roll of paper towel, he screams at me and wants me to find them and then tells me if I was more organized then he would be able to find stuff. He always tells me that he's at his wits end with us because nothing ever changes and I never make any progress.
I homeschool my daughter, he criticizes her spelling, reading, writing, math but just screams at her to do it right but offers no instruction to her. He will finally get mad and throw her papers down and say that he's had enough of this BS. He doesn't teach her at all just comes in and checks our progress.
So I homeschool, work from home (when I can), do all the house work (he refuses to lift a finger and says that I need to wake up and that most real men don't help out around the house and that I've been watching too much TV drama. I do all the laundry and get yelled at if he runs out of socks. Anytime I ask him to do something he might do it but gets really mad and makes it so miserable that it would have just been easier to do it myself. The only thing he will do is feed our cats but as he's doing it he yells about how me and my daughter wanted the cats but we don't take care of them at all, which is a lie. He refuses to clean the litter box, even when I was pregnant.
When I get upset and cry he flies into a rage and tells me to stop crying right now. Even if I'm crying about something that has nothing to do with him. Once one of my cousins died at a young age and we were talking about her and I started to weep. He went from Mr. Nice to a full fledged rage and demanded that I grow up and stop crying, then he stormed out and when he came back he wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night. So even though I was upset about the death I now had to turn my attention to him and make him happy instead.
He does nothing but watch TV all day and maybe fixes something if it breaks and I don't get to it first, but sometimes I have to let him fix things because when he finds out that I fixed something he tells me that he feels like he's not needed around here anymore and again I have to sooth his ego.
I am tired of carrying the whole load on my shoulders. My business does not make enough money and we are drowning in debt. He refuses to give me any of his social security check. He says that's his money to do with what he wants. My money has to support the house. He doesn't know about the debt because I'm afraid to tell him. I can't divorce him because of the debt and I don't really want to go that route right now anyway. I'm just tired and I have no one to talk to. I have only 2 girlfriends, one will tell him everything I say and the other will just tell me to leave. I just want someone to talk to and vent and be allowed to cry. I have to either leave the house or cry in the shower so I can't be heard. For once I would love to be able to cry and feel my husbands arms wrapped around me but maybe that does only happen on TV.
I am trying to run this family by myself and it's too much for me. If I was a single mom it would be different because I could do things my way and not have to spend a huge amount of time catering to and going out of my way to please an over demanding husband. Oh he just yelled at me from downstairs and told me to get off the computer and make dinner, that is so typical. He pays no positive attention to our daughter. But when we go out and see other people Ohhh he's mister nice guy and wants to show off to everyone about how great he is. He love to brag about how he doesn't have to work because he was smart enough to marry a girl who can make enough to provide for everyone. I suppose there is a compliment in there somewhere but it's all about him. Then I can't tell him about the debt because now I would have embarrassed him in front of all these people he bragged to.
It's just driving me crazy and when I try to talk to him about it he twists it around so that I should be feeling guilty for asking anything of him and when I protest he gets mad and leaves and then won't talk to me for a day or so. It's so childish.
So I guess I didn't really have a question but rather just needed to vent. So if anyone reads this far that's for reading. I have to go make dinner. He doesn't even notice that I don't eat dinner most nights because I'm too stressed but he doesn't even notice that I don't eat. He never notices anything unless it is about him.
Thanks for letting me vent

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So What Happened?

My daughter is 9. She always says that she feels like Daddy is squishing her. She loves him and always tries to show him stuff and gives him attention but he doesn't return it and she is left feeling hurt.
I can't leave him right now because of the finances. I do love him and when he's nice it's great but he's overall not nice. I'd be happy if he just didn't say anything but he doesn't.
My family knows what goes on but they don't know what to do and they are the hands off type anyway. Basically they just say"sorry" My mom has told me I can stay with her but that is a whole other issue and it's not the healthiest place to live either. Any leaving is out of the question right now. I just need some sanity. In his eyes everything I do is either to irritate him of should be to please him.

THANK YOU for all your replies. To answer a few questions... I don't tell him about the debt because I am afraid he will hit me or throw things at me. The last time he found out about a bill I paid late he pulled my head back by my hair and spit in my face and called me a lot of names that I can't mention here. I said that he has never been physically violent with me but he's come very close a few times. He has pinned me up against a wall a couple of times and screamed at me. He threatened to hit me and he loves to throw stuff when he's mad. I have several damaged pieces of furniture and broken dishes. Later he claims he didn't do the damage that I must have done it. He used to drive semi trucks and he once tried to run me and my car over because he found out I was late for work one day by 5 min. He said that my irresponsibility was a reflection of him and he would not tolerate it. That happened years ago when I worked outside the home.
I can't leave him because if I do he will find out about the finances and his sisters are very mean and are on his side. They have tried to get rid of me before. Once when I told them what he was doing one sister sent a letter to him saying that I was evil and a liar and that he should get a lawyer and divorce me. She went on to tell him that he should offer to take my daughter somewhere for some father-daughter time and then not come home and file a restraining order on ME! She told him if he really wanted to hurt me that he should take my daughter away from me. I know if he finds out about the debt during a divorce then he will just use that against me. I can't even stand to think about my daughter growing up with just him and his family. They are all mean. They didn't seem like it but over the years they have shown their true colors.
He doesn't have a lot to do with his family and makes it difficult for me to see mine. Whenever I call my mom he shows up and asks if it's my mom on the phone and then in a loud voice will say," Jesus C. what kind of baby are you that you need to call mommy all the time". I only call her once a week. He yells at me every time I'm on the phone with girlfriends or will chose that time to keep asking me questions while I'm talking. If I hold up a finger to tell him to wait a minute he flies into a rage and walks out or throws things around. Basically he doesn't want me on the phone with anyone.
I do carry everything on my back, the finances, schooling my daughter, taking care of my daughter, laundry, house cleaning, insurances car registrations, Christmas gifts for all of his family. And on and on. I am not kidding when I say he does nothing. The most he will do if fix something like a leaky water faucet. He gets up somewhere between 10:am-1:00 pm and watches tv until midnight when he goes to bed. He complains about all his aches and pains all the time but if I get sick he pays no attention to me. Once I was so sick it was all I could do to get up to pick my head up. I asked him if he could make dinner for himself and my daughter. He had a fit, he called me lazy and uncaring about my family and selfish because all I wanted to do was sleep on the couch. He screamed at my daughter to get her coat on and they went to a fast food place. Later I asked him if he could please put some soup on for me. He got up, got a pan and a can of soup and placed then on my stomach, He then said,"enjoy" and asked me if I was going to be back to normal the next day or was I going to play this game again.
As far as homeschooling my daughter, it's him who refuses to send her to public school. He demands that I educate her and wants to see huge progress every day. When I tell him he's being unrealistic he goes on a rant about all the stupid people in my family and he refuses to have his child turn out like them.
When I speak to him about the way he treats me he either tells me I'm crazy or he proudly proclaims that he is training me to live the right way and to be a good woman. He says he was glad to get me before I got too ruined. I have been with him since I was 19.
I've thought of just running away with my daughter but I know he would find me.
Everyone is right about getting the debt under control. If I could clear that up then I would be a little more free to leave. It kills me when I have trouble finding money for milk and bread and I know he has thousands hidden somewhere that he won't give me. He bought a new truck a few years ago and he paid 3,000 and left me with the rest of it. I still have another year to pay on that.
I guess I need help formulating a long range plan of escape.

More Answers



answers from Boston on

Hi M.:

I am sorry you are having such miserable time. It sounds like a very abusive relationship which is destroying your self-esteem. My advice would be to leave and than get some counseling for yourself and your daughter. This must be very difficult for your daughter also; how old is she. Please take care of yourself and your daughter. Is your family supportive?

Please take care of yourself.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sweetheart, it's good for you to have somewhere to vent.
Keep thinking about what's best for your daughter, I assume you have really thought through whether she would be better spending time out of the house at school.

I volunteer with the Red Cross, and I have a sheet from United Way on Boston area resources. Here are some additional resources of places you might get advice or just be able to vent:

Family Service of Greater Boston: ###-###-####
First Call for Help: 1-800-231-4377
Jane Doe Inc: ###-###-####
Parents Anonymous 1-800-882-1250
United Way Women's Center; ###-###-####
Parental Stress Line 1-800-632-8188

Parent Line : ###-###-#### (recorded messages on topics)
stress: 1352

Good luck.



answers from Boston on

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but WHY do you stay with this man? I would leave in a second.



answers from Minneapolis on

I feel sad to read your story. Sorry your husband is treating you so badly. I guess just the fact that anything that he does can hurt someone gives him some sort of pleasure. If not why would anyone try to hurt others by pointing out mistakes when they themselves are not doing anything to help with the situation? He is not an outsider. All the responsibilities/problems you are dealing with are his too.You are family.Why is he just blaming you and why are you trying to deal with everything by yourself?

If he can't put in some effort to teach the kid, he should be the last one to criticize. I agree with the others who have responded here , it's better to stop homeschooling your daughter for now. I can't imagine what your daughter must be going through living in such a suffocating environment all day everyday. She will make new friends and have a good time when she is at school.You may have your reasons for dealing with all this but why make your daughter suffer ?

Maybe three of you are just spending way too much time together. Do you have have family or friends you are close to and regularly hang out with ? Have you thought about getting a full time job outside? You need to have a life too. You all need a distraction in your life - maybe work , friends or any hobbies .Once you and your daughter are busy with school/work, your husband may realize he needs to do something to keep himself busy.

Also you haven't mentioned why you have not told him about the huge debt. I agree you should tell him. If you are worried he may scold you or look down upon you , do you think it will be anything worse than what it already is? You are still not being treated well.If he was really nice to you , it would make sense to hide telling him something that would make him mad. But if he is already treating you like he is , what are you worried abt? Unless you are worried abt him - on how HE would deal with it when he finds out things are not all rosy on the financial side. If not please tell him. He is your husband and I think you are equals regardless of the age difference.In case you still feel he is like a fatherly figure and you have to do things to please him so that he has a good impression about you and feels proud of you(you said he praises you in front of others) , please STOP doing that.

Husband and wife are equals. Sometimes men do the earning part and women take care of the family. When women work too , they try to share the reponsibilities. But in your case you are doing everything on your own. You are not even depending on him for emotional support. He is not even aware of issues you are dealing with. Maybe there are lot of other things you are not able to discuss in this forum on why you are dealing with things the way you are. But please don't over-stress yourself as you clearly are not winning. Try to talk to him about the current financial situation and stress that you and your daughter are going through because of him.

Hope things get better for you and your family.



answers from Boston on

Hi....I have nothing profound to say because I have never walked in your shoes and can't pretend to know the horror that you experience everyday. What I can say is that I am moved by your honesty and strength to acknowledge this situation and be able to describe what is happening at home. You are being put down everyday by someone who is insecure, incredibly weak and a poor excuse for a husband/father.
You probably feel like you are alone but you are not. There are so many women and organizations who specialize in helping people like you in these situations. One of the other moms on here listed some resources with numbers above and I hope you can call them. The debt that is strangling you can be worked out somehow in time but there is no amount of money that makes this torture you endure ok.
You are making great progress by telling your story to this message board and it is the first cry for help to other people who care. Keeping reaching out...don't suffer in silence.
Lastly, I want to say that your daughter sees this horror show but she also will see her mother stand up to a bad person, show her inner strength and prove that there is nothing stronger than her mothers love for her.
You are truly in my thoughts and I am praying for you and your daughter.



answers from Los Angeles on

Pick yourself back up. Get your self together everyone is allowed the persuit of happiness. Are you happy? If not find what makes you happy. Life is too short to be so miserable. Get a divorce , file for bankruptcy. Start over. Find a lover. Enjoy life again!!
(it sounds like he is not happy either.) be strong and set some goals for yourself. You've run an on-line business - you have that experience. Your doing it all by yourself now anyway it well be easier once hes gone. Just concentrate on yourself and your daughter, she is most important , do you want her to see you being some kind of slave ? Do you want her to think she should do the same thing when she grows up? Do you want her to see you unhappy? You need to do something for yourself for her sake. She needs to see that you repect yourself , she needs to see you happy in life. That friend that tells you to leave him, would she be willing to help you?

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