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Topic : Balancing Marriage and Family

Number of Replies: 1244
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Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 05:00:43 pm
Author : dataimport
Adding a family means big changes in a marriage. Tell us how you've succeeded or struggled to manage both.

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August 29, 2008, 5:17 pm CDT

Quote

Quote From: keepingcool48

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 8 years and we are engaged to be married later this year. It seems about once a year he will vent his frustrations with me "things have to change or I'm leaving" and these frustrations of his always involve my daughter. I am a single parent with an 11 year old daughter and he has had issues with her from almost the beginning. He feels she is spoiled and I'm not a good disciplinarian. I agreed with him that I have trouble with discipline but I have improved so much over the years. He will bring up the fact that he feels like it's my daughter and myself against him. He feels "like a roommate", etc. So about a month ago we had a big discussion and talked about many many things, including having my daughter do more things independently, go to bed on time, she needs to stop arguing, etc. It was a very serious but helpful discussion and a lot of good things came out of it. Not one month later he flared up one evening because I was late by 10 mnutes putting her to bed. He feels that by doing that I am not respecting his feelings...he doesn't want her bedtime delayed even 1 minute because that is 1 minute he is missing with me. He threatened to leave. I told him that I messed up, yes I was late putting her to bed, but it wasn't intentional. He said that he didn't care - I should be thinking about it and not letting the bedtime interfere with us. He said that is the only thing he has asked of me. This is a lie and I told him that I have made changes to other things. He said that he basically didn't care about the other things, this one was the important one. I told him that my daughter and I are walking on eggshells, afraid to screw up on something and he'll walk. That made him upset too. I then asked him if he wanted his ring back - he answered "I'm thinking about it." Well, I took off the ring and have not worn it since. I know he notices that I am not wearing it but I don't feel that I should. I feel like I am on probation and being engaged isn't being on probation. If he leaves, my life will be upside down. My first husband left me without notice while I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter and the thought of going through that again makes me physically ill. I feel like I'm being bullied but again, I understand his past frustrations and I thought we were making great strides. But I feel that he is being unreasonable that if my daughter's bedtime routine is off by a few minutes that that is reason for him to leave. Any advice?
I have 2 children from a prev. marriage.  Children come first, thats it.  I didn't even read your entire message, the first sentence was enough.  Do what is right by your daughter.  you can always find another man. 
 
September 4, 2008, 9:26 am CDT

Balancing Marriage and Family

Quote From: chelle1961

I have 2 children from a prev. marriage.  Children come first, thats it.  I didn't even read your entire message, the first sentence was enough.  Do what is right by your daughter.  you can always find another man. 

I appreciate your input and have heard that before. I also have read input from relationship experts who say that the parental/sig-o relationship should come first. I feel that is true but not to the point of excluding/denying attention and love to my daughter. My daughter does get a lot of attention and time from me. I guess that I was venting my frustration with dealing with this relationship and how hard it is to balance everything so that everyone is happy. I suppose that is normal for a lot of women out there, we want everyone to be happy. I also have trust issues since my first husband walked out on me without warning - when I was pregnant with my daughter and after suffering 2 previous miscarriages. I don't think that I ever got over that and it's hard to really trust anyone since then. That's why my daughter and I were so close when my boyfriend came along. I figured it was she and I against the world.

 
September 8, 2008, 2:25 pm CDT

Balancing Marriage and Family

Quote From: chelle1961

My second marriage and his 1st. we are in our 40s.  He is a mamma's boy and admits it. his mother is a great person and we get along very well.  we live in one area and she lives 2 hours away. he travels to her house every friday for the weekend. she is about 72, still works, gets around, family, friends, etc.  She's healthy.  my husband can't let go. he calls her house home and doesn't like our area. we live 'here' because of our jobs.  before we got married he said he's still going to his mothers every weekend and i said, well I'm not - I have 2 teens (one works parttime) and its not fair to drag them around.  I do go to her house maybe once a month.  I do enjoy the 'break' we get, but feeling sad or I just feel its too odd with their behavior.  he does more with his mother than with me. They have dinners together, church, shopping, casino, etc. They have a routine.  They'll have icecream / tv like a couple of kids.  he still brings his dirty laundry to her. she washes/irons his clothes, cooks dinners, packs cooked food, etc for him to bring back.  whatever is on the weekend agenda, they do.  I would never ruin their relationship, but I think he should spend more time with his wife and less with mamma.  Its a matter of time when people start asking, where is your wife?  He belives that God comes first, then family. He is a very dedicated person, but I feel more dedicated to his mamma than me.  we've dated 6 years before marraige and married only 2 months.  I just feel he doens't understand what marriage is and carry's on like he's still single and mamma's boy. 

I think it's more that you didn't get that marriage to him would be like dating him.....you are second his favorites and priorities list - she's first.

 

Aisle/altar/hymn is the order of the wedding ceremony.  I'll alter him isn't the result of it.

 

 
September 13, 2008, 12:28 am CDT

happy in sweden

me and my very beutiful wife really like to watch dr Phil shows.
you are always talking to couples and familys in some kind of troubles, thats your job i understand but it would be realy nice to watch a show about happy and working family relations.

Best regards
ebba & Micke

Gothenburg
Sweden
 
September 15, 2008, 2:23 am CDT

Who's to blame?

This is so complicated I dont even know where to begin? My husband and I met 11 years ago. If only I had of  been mature enough and adult enough to realize that this was never going to work. I was in a bad relationship at the time, and he had just got divorced to his first wife. Within  a month or two we were living together. After six months he started becoming verbally abusive and starting drinking quite heavely. He has two children from his previous marriage who would come every second weekend to stay with us, it was a disaster each time. He would belittle me in front of them and just be really awful. I also have children from a previous marriage. My husband was not terribly fond of them and I did a terrible thing by sacrificing them for him. On accasions he would allow them to be a part of our set up, but most weekends when we went away it was only with his kids. I feel very ashamed and gulity about this. Anyway  his drinking and the abuse excalated. We got married in December 2000. Crazy I know. He went into rehab Sep 2001 and has been sober ever since. The abuse has continued and I just feel sad and lonely all the time. When his kids are with us I feel like a spare part. He showers them with love and I get nonthing. Am I doing somthing wrong here?  Angie

 
September 15, 2008, 3:56 am CDT

Just my luck

Quote From: blade10

I think it's more that you didn't get that marriage to him would be like dating him.....you are second his favorites and priorities list - she's first.

 

Aisle/altar/hymn is the order of the wedding ceremony.  I'll alter him isn't the result of it.

 

over the last few weeks his going to his mothers has really bothered me even though I am a pretty independent person.  Its just not normal for a grown married man to go to mammas every weekend.  so he came home and asked whats wrong. I told him. he screamed at me that he'll call his cousin lawyer for a divorce. then called his mother to tell her that he won't be coming home anymore and why. then he said for now on everything is going to be his way.  he went to bed at 7pm and whimpered.  he did apologize the next mornig and i had a chance to tell him more in depth how i felt and why, and that I don't want to ruin his relationship with his mother.   see, he'll tell me we need to be 'frugle' but still drive 2 hours to her house, plus more when he gets there, gas & tolls, etc. with the gas prices its just not right. he's not making any sacrifice.  he goes up every friday afternoon; if we have plans for a saturday night, after church he'll be back around 7:30pm; then he'll drive back to mammas saturday night or sunday morning. = more gas & tolls.  so if my family has something planned, he asked, do you want me to go? I tell him no, becasue he'll be burning all that gas money.  its insane.  His doctors, dentist, are all at mamma's town; all his bills get mailed there; auto registration; magazines; etc. he's lived in our area for 25 years becasue of his job and he's never adjusted because 'he doesn't like it down here'.  I told him I feel like I"m on the back burner, why did he even get married, and that he does more with his mamma than with me. And I told him that I was holding back because he would have said that I'm selfish.  I'm not selfish; I just think its not normal for a grown married man to behave like he does.  he should go to his mother's every other weekend.  wouldn't he think that people think its odd for him to leave his wife on the weekends? I"m sure even his priest thinks its odd.  don't get me wrong either, I've gone to his mother's countless times; every holiday dinner, etc.  he's gone from friday afternoons and not home until 7 or 9pm sunday nights.  I like your resonse about "I Alter You".  
 
September 22, 2008, 12:26 pm CDT

Stuck in the Middle

I've posted previous blogs about my husband sending a text message that said "I love u" to his ex-girlfriend (who is also the mother of his one-year-old son). I've also caught him flirting with other women on MySpace, and his ex has told me that when he and I broke up last year before we were married, she and him had slept together...which my husband adamently denies. I've been having a LOT of trust issues with him lately, especially concerning his ex. I no longer feel comfortable with him being around his ex when I'm not around. But the problem is that he and his ex share a baby together. Things keep coming up like her wanting him to take off a few hours of work to go with her to the health clinic while the baby gets his shots. I don't feel comfortable with situations like this but I don't feel right saying no because that makes me feel like I'm interfering with the relationship between my husband and his son. I know he needs to be there in situations like that, but I just can't deal with him being with his ex without me after everything he's done. Also, he hasn't really been there for his son in the past and I've encouraged him to step up and be a more responsible father. He's starting to do better and has made a committment to try and be a better father, so refusing to let him be there in situations where his ex will be involved seems like I'm blocking his committment to his son. I've left my husband recently because of the trust issues and his selfishness, but I love him dearly so we're back together and trying to work things out. But I honestly don't know how to handle the situation of his ex and his child. I don't want to stand in the way of his relationship with his son, but at the same time I don't feel like I can trust him with his ex and it's a painful situation to be in. Should I step out of the way and leave my marriage? It feels like there's no answer to the problems we've been having. If I let him be with his ex when I'm not around for the sake of his son, I will never be happy because I'll live my life in painful curiousity of what's taking place. And if I stop these situations from taking place, I will feel like I'm standing in the way of him and his son...which just feels wrong. Anyone have the answer?
 
September 22, 2008, 8:50 pm CDT

Balancing Marriage and Family

Quote From: eternal_love

I've posted previous blogs about my husband sending a text message that said "I love u" to his ex-girlfriend (who is also the mother of his one-year-old son). I've also caught him flirting with other women on MySpace, and his ex has told me that when he and I broke up last year before we were married, she and him had slept together...which my husband adamently denies. I've been having a LOT of trust issues with him lately, especially concerning his ex. I no longer feel comfortable with him being around his ex when I'm not around. But the problem is that he and his ex share a baby together. Things keep coming up like her wanting him to take off a few hours of work to go with her to the health clinic while the baby gets his shots. I don't feel comfortable with situations like this but I don't feel right saying no because that makes me feel like I'm interfering with the relationship between my husband and his son. I know he needs to be there in situations like that, but I just can't deal with him being with his ex without me after everything he's done. Also, he hasn't really been there for his son in the past and I've encouraged him to step up and be a more responsible father. He's starting to do better and has made a committment to try and be a better father, so refusing to let him be there in situations where his ex will be involved seems like I'm blocking his committment to his son. I've left my husband recently because of the trust issues and his selfishness, but I love him dearly so we're back together and trying to work things out. But I honestly don't know how to handle the situation of his ex and his child. I don't want to stand in the way of his relationship with his son, but at the same time I don't feel like I can trust him with his ex and it's a painful situation to be in. Should I step out of the way and leave my marriage? It feels like there's no answer to the problems we've been having. If I let him be with his ex when I'm not around for the sake of his son, I will never be happy because I'll live my life in painful curiousity of what's taking place. And if I stop these situations from taking place, I will feel like I'm standing in the way of him and his son...which just feels wrong. Anyone have the answer?
....What's wrong with you stepping in the way...I think you need too!!..But also from someone that has kinda been in your shoes in around about way...Are your close to you step son?....That is you answer....Love him...And just maybe.....the rest will fall into place...It's hard to love someone,and trust them at the same time...Pray......The ex..she is very aware of the pain your feeling...some how..some way.....make peace/friends...with her...Work hard for that!.....And I will stop at that...I do feel for you...Im sorry for what this is doing to you.....'.Hold your head up.'...and just love...be kind....look for that brighter day....could be tomorrow.
 
September 25, 2008, 1:35 pm CDT

Which way to turn?

I married my wife in Sept. 2006.  When we were first married she lived an hour and a half from me in the town we both grew up in.  When we first started dating I explained to her the importance of my career and the need to stay where I am living because I have a child from a previous marriage and am very active in her life.  She understood this and agreed to move to where I am.  After being married, we discussed her moving and she wanted to stay in her home town until the school year was out, in order to avoid uprooting her 2 children in the middle of the year.  I agreed that might make the transition easier for them.

After the school year was complete she moved to where I live, we established a home and things were going fine, so I thought.  She only stayed for three weeks and told me one day she was moving back home because she was homesick and did not like it here.  She left me August 19, 2006, alone, in a house I couldn't afford alone and with nothing.  I had gotten rid of all of my furnishings because she liked hers best.  No problem, I just wanted her and her children to feel comfortable and welcomed.  Plus, it would be familiar surroundings for the children, by the way, who were 14 and 6 at the time.

 

After leaving me, she immediately insisted on filing for divorce, which we did.  However, she would not move on.  I attempted numerous times to pick up the pieces but she would contact me and I would agree to try and work things out, knowing in the back of my mind she said she didn't want to live here with me.

She divorced me in November 2007.  I again attempted to move on and again she kept pursuing me.  I eventually find out that she was having an affair with her ex husband the enitre time.  She claimed that she was reaching out for something she couldn't have and that she was now over that.  She insisted we try again, but I avoided it as much as I could.

 

Well, after many months of begging, crying and many promises on her part that she would do whatever she had to in order to make it work, including moving to where I live.  I was very hesitant, but eventually gave in because I do truly love her.  She assured me, promised me and even swore on her life that if we were ever together again, she would never let me go.  I again told her, I could not move an hour and a half from my daughter and give up my career.  She didn't care, she just wanted us to be together, even if it meant walking out and leaving everything she had, she just wanted to be with me.

 

Well, 2 months ago, she moved back here.  We are together now, her children are in school here and things seemed to be falling into place.  That was until this past week.  Her son, who is now 15, called his father and asked to go live with him.  My wife told him that was not an option because she didn't want to split her children up.  My wife is now considering leaving me again to move back to her home town in order to please her 15 year old son.  He liked his old school and his old friends.

 

I am not sure what to do.  Her children love me, we do things together, have fun and get along fine.  I actually spend more quality time with them than their biological father.  My biggest confusion comes from the fact that she is going to let a teenager make a decision for her that will affect the rest of her life, an mine!  She doesn't want to leave, but she says she won't lose her son either.  We seriously need advice on how to handle this situation.  What should I tell her or what should she do?

Please help us!

Todd

 
September 25, 2008, 9:10 pm CDT

Concerned about our marriage melting down

I am in fear for the survival of our 3 1/2 yr marriage (2nd time for both of us)  - We both work FT, have 2 teenagers 13/16, my husband is in his junior yr of working on his degree, i plan to return tp school in Jan to persue my advanced nursing degree.  Here's the problem:  His dtr, my step-dtr, makes living together extrememly difficult by various means, but because her mother passed away just a few years ago,  my spouse doesn't feel he should "get on to her" because "she's already been punished by losing her mother" - This makes it difficult for my son to understand when he is disciplined.  She has been verbal to other family memebrs about her dislike of me, accidently sent me an email intended for her g'mother  stating that I should not have signed up for dance classes because I am fat, ROUTINELY dumps whatevr meal I make in the trash w/o trying it or says I'm not hungry (this has been gong on for over 3 yrs now), won't allow me to wash her clother, they get done at her grandmothers,,,,,,,,,the list goes on and on - The whole routime has gotten old adn just recently, I walked into the room where they were having a conversation adn they immediatly quit talking - when I asked why they said it was a private conversation and I didn't need to be included in it.  I resetn being trated this way in my own house, and resent even more that he doesn't woek harder on our marriage.  What to do ???????
 
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