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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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February 4, 2009, 9:14 am CST

I Can't seem to make Headway

I need some help and I do not want to talk to anybody close to me as I don't believe that I am being told what I need to hear. Friends tend to want to soothe you rather than deal with harsh reality. I have spoken with my brother but I don't want to burder him further. I am married (19 years) with 2 children. For the past few years my relationship with my wife has been steadily eroding. She wants me to change and as much as I want to be a better partner, I am not making headway. Our fights are normally one sided. She tells me how frustrated she is with me and how I have taken her life away and I listen and say I am sorry. I have tried to do little things like write letters and put teddy bears in the kitchen. I am always willing to cook her a meal that she likes. We do not have much money to get away. I took time off of work to just be with her while the kids were in school. When i told her that I would like to talk she tells me that she does not, that I had my chance. We seem to make some headway and then she tells me that no headway will happen until I change and that she was giving me what I want, peace. I think I am a good guy. Never cheated and am pretty happy go lucky and I work hard but not late. I used to get angry when she blew up at me, now I either try to explain my behavior or just shut up and hope that it will past. I want to move on but am having a hard time trying to make up for the past 20 years. She will not accept anything from me and tells me that she will know when I have changed and that my actions will be the indicator that she can beleive in. Obviously, there is a lot more to this but I am not an abusive person, I haven't hit her. I was always ready to help around the house and with the kids, but now all of our time is spent  discussing how lousy a partner I have always been. How do I deal with trying to put this on a path to recovery? I need help. Neither of us wants a divorce, unless you ask her when she is angry.
February 10, 2009, 10:14 am CST

You are not alone!

Quote From: hope4me2

I find myself in a most difficult situation. My wife is not who I married. She is trustworthy and I do still love her however, I am not happy in our marriage and I dont know that it can be fixed. I am caught between staying with her for our son or leaving to find someone I can be truly happy with. Ill give some background.

My parents are the greatest any person could ever want, very supportive of me and they have loved me through really tough times. Yet, between the two of them there has always been struggle. My parents are barely affectionate toward each other, fight constantly and a lot of times I think they would have been better off without each other.  Deep down, its seeing them and the struggle they have had that makes me have second thoughts of my own marriage. I dont want to be like them and look back 30 years later and wish I had a different life.

This is my 2nd marriage so from the very start I laid my life out on a platter for her to see. I was completely up front about what I expect in a marriage as far as life, how to raise a child, sex, religion and everything else. My wife knew 100%, going into this, what I expected out of life with her and she had very similar desires. I often referred to her as the female me because we had so much in common and felt the same way about so many things.

Having said all that, after the birth of our son things changed drastically and I feel like a stranger in my own house.

I do the majority of the house work and child care. By default, if were together I watch our son. My wifes life has not changed since the birth of our son very much. She still goes to bed early every night and is allowed to sleep uninterrupted until I go to bed. I get up with the baby when he gets up most of the time. In the morning I watch my son so she can shower and get ready. She is ready 2 hours before she has to go to work. I am relieved to get ready for work anywhere between 30 minutes before I need to go all the way to 15 minutes after I should have left. When I get home I watch our son until she gets home, I do the dishes, I clean, I cook and just do general house work along with any to do items she has for me. While we eat I take care of the baby so she can have a hot meal. When the baby goes to bed she either also goes to bed or stays up for an hour or so more watching TV. She is always to tired, has a headache or some other problem that prevents her from spending time with me. On days we both have off I spend the majority of my time watching the baby. When we are at family functions I watch him. My wife really hasnt had to give up anything or change any routine since the birth of our son. I on the other hand have only had 1 day, since his birth 1.5 years ago, that I have not been ultimately responsible for him and that was for 5 hours. Having kids was her number one goal in life but I spend the majority of my time caring for him. Im not saying she is a bad mother at all, shes great. Its just that child care and house work are mostly on me.

Our sex life is past dead. We went from sex daily, if not more, to about 3 times a month. My wife does not want to make out with me, there is no foreplay involving me touching her at all. When we do have sex it is robotic, scripted and plays out like 99% of the other times. She doesnt like sex to last more than 10 minutes. Its always in the bedroom, on the bed. Its 100% on her schedule. Nothing can even be done to bribe it out of her. I purchased a brand new car and she still didnt sleep with me for 4 days.

She will not open up to me for conversation. Anytime I try to talk to her we go through the 100% same phases. If I try to bring anything up its silence, crying, anger. She gets mad and points out things wrong with me. In the end we never talk about what is on my mind and nothing ever changes. She never comes to me with issues at all other than when she is trying to divert something from herself. I am the typical woman in this part of our relationship. I have no problems talking about my feelings and she doesnt want to talk about any of it.

No effort is made for us time. Plans for people to watch our son on her day off are made days/weeks in advance. Plans for us are usually made last minute as if its done that way for greater chance of failure. I would not have married the woman I am married to now. I feel like she has given up on life. She has no hobbies and wants none, she has no desire to travel, she has no desire to do anything but work, sleep and play with the baby when she isnt busy doing something else. If asked if she is happy or how life is she is always positive as if the world is filled with sunshine and rainbows.

I took the Dr.Phil relationship quiz and she scored the highest possible, I scored the 2nd to lowest that I had already had an emotional divorce. She doesnt think anything is wrong. Ive asked her to come to marriage counseling with me and she wont because she doesnt think we need it. If this is all somehow my fault I need someone to tell me because she isnt working with me at all. I think she is just scared to find out that anything she is doing could possibly be wrong.

So in summary I feel completely trapped. My wife doesnt cheat on me, she doesnt spend my money wildly, she is a good mother. Its just that I am a roommate or best friend, I feel unappreciated, undesired sexually and rejected. I am not a husband or lover. I am a great guy and any woman would be happy to have me. How can a marriage be fixed if only one person thinks its broken? The other issue is that even if Dr. Phil read this, had us on the show and told her she was wrong and needed to treat me better or sleep with me I wouldnt feel as if it counted. She would be doing it because someone told her to and not because she genuinely wanted to be with me or around me.  Even more so now I feel like I am trapped and destined to live out the life of my parents; looking back and wishing I could have my life back to try again.

I dont know that there is advice for me and I dont know that this wasnt more than spilling my heart out on to paper. Maybe someone else is dealing with this and they can know that they are not alone. I would give anything to have my wife back, to know she cared about me like she used to or just feel loved/wanted. Im sad and scared that my life has been sacrificed trying to make her happy enough to care about me again. A battle Im obviously losing.

We are facing similar challenges and feeling the same way. (See my posts gsanbo on Reigniting the Relationship Board and Infidelity Board to see complete history of discussions). I am going to post a new one here too as I appreciate to continue to hear other stories and advice. The similarities are I believe that I am trying hard to get our marriage on track again, being the good guy, and doing all the things from advice and things I have read. Based on books and article that I read, my wife's behavior is more like what a man's issues are in a marriage. I believe, no I know she is going through a mid-life crisis but she will not admit it and work with me to help each other. See my new full post above.
February 10, 2009, 12:45 pm CST

In the same boat...

As hope4me2 and howdoideal.... (warning long but need to get it all off my chest)

My marriage is in danger of an sad ending (12 years) and I am fighting but I feel like I am fighting alone. I am worried about my wife having an affair or looking for me to have one to justify hers. I believe she does not want a divorce because of the children (3) and she knows it will hurt her parents. It is one thing to be pre-occupied with being a stay-at-home mother, which I agree and always appreciated it the most important and hard job to do everyday. I am a good husband and father and provide her support and time off as much as I can given a job that has always required travel and hours. Sure I have made some blunders and mistakes and I have for years had a issue for being late. But, I have made improvements and no blunder has every been drastic or disasterous. I am always supportive of her in many ways - time off, vacations away, buying gifts, complimenting her, encouraging her to go back to work if she wants to, moving to be close to her family & getting us out of the NY rat race, I converted and join the Catholic church, etc. On the last one, it was something that I wanted to do and it was for me, but a part of the reason was she wanted to raise our children catholic (I was methodist) and did not want me to feel or be left out from being a family in our faith. Now she is not very faithful and interested in church or god except for being an example for the kids. She avoids church most of the time now and before she attended and want to attend regularly. I am the one who pushed for us to attend as a family.


Besides our marriage at a crossroad, the extra pressure has been her connection with her friends, who we left behind in NJ. (By the way last year I offered to find a way to move us back if that was the issue and she said she did not want to move back). One of her close friends lost her husband and our close friend at 37. I have been very supportive that my wife who is her best friend from childhood be there for her. I let her travel back to NY and on vacations with her several times last year throughout the whole year. Instead of appreciation or more importantly feeling close to me for my support and feelly good about me being alive in her life, she has been spending more time wondering is it worth it. She is so into her friend having sexual adventures and picking up men without any commitment to relationships. When I confronted her she said I was being paranoid and it was in my head. But I have seen emails and text messages that have told me otherwise even if she is stating it as jokes. I believe she feels like she is missing out on something better. Her physical attraction to other men has gone way up and more vocal than before. Hey we all like looking at other beautiful people and when girls and guys get together on their own they can get juvenile and perverted about it. I am not an idiot and cannot say I do not do the same. But my wife is actually analyzing how it would be better. I am not a hunky male model, but I am youthful looking and in very good shape for 42 years old. I am runner so I am not a big guy although attractive. Now this is not good enough for her. Sex has been down since our 10 year anniversary that was shortly after our son and 3rd child was born and I turned 40. I suddenly became too old to her. We were never very physical all the time, but she was always turned on more by the moment and letting it happen than a regular event. Over the last 2 years it became 2-3 times a year. Then she starting acting all sexually hyped and dressing sexy this year with her friends and especially with the new single friend. So I as a good husband paid attention and complimented her. Tried to be romantic and find our own time to connect. She responded negatively. When I pushed she said hurtful things as matter of fact about our marriage. We later had some sexual moments that she initiated, but then another trip way to support her friend and then her 20 yr HS Reunion changed her attitude again. She was not going to go to the reunion initially, but I as the nice guy again encourage her to go especially since all of her friends were going.


Since then, she is back to feeling like she is toogood for me and can be with someone better. She was a hit at the reunion. My wife is very attractive and in fact she looks better now in late 30's than she did in her 20's. I also compliment her on this and have stated it publicly in front of her to other people, which I had read is a good thing to do. One of her close friends told me that she looked very hot and all the guys noticed. She then got all secretive about it so I went back to reading her emails. She was told buy some guys that she was the hottest there. She tried to online flirt and connect with one guy (who is married) to continue the feeling of being with someone she wanted in HS but never dated. I know reunion make you feel young again and spend time wondering what would have been and wish you dated someone or stayed with someone from your past, but how far do you go. Everytime she got an encouraging response although usually innocent from the guy, she would send her friends a note saying maybe I need to go back to NJ to meet him. One of her married friends also got carried away with a HS guy (also married) to the point where she was emailing, FBing, and calling all the time to talk to him. I caught on when I was with my wife and the friend one night and I heard them talk about it and saw all these emails on her blackberry from the guy. I think my wife wanted the same attention and curious on could she connect with the guy she was interested in from the reunion. Besides this my wife reached on FB with the brother of her uncle (by marriage) that has always had an obvious crush on my wife and had flirted with her and been perverted about it in front of me. In the past I knew there was no chance, but now I think she re-connected to perk an interest again as she is wondering about it. It is painful to see because If I was doing this I know it would be wrong and feel wrong. I believe no matter how tough life and marriage can be including taking care of the children that our love should be unconditional. Because times are tough or the desire for change, I do not think about giving up or "wandering away". But how long to I put up with this attititude. Below are a collection of things said or responded to by my wife over the last 6 months.


Through all of this, I have wrriten her love notes, bought her flowers and gifts randomly to cheer her up, planned date nights and scheduled the babysitter myself, rub/massage her feet to pay attention to her and I even starting watching some of her shows with her to just be with her quietly at the end of a day.


- when confronted this summer on what is wrong and does she want to have an affair or had an affair:

NO, but "I am not attracted to you anymore", "I feel like I get married to young (at 26)", "we are like brother and sister now"

- When I told her that I was seeing a therapist - does she need to see one = "no I have my friends"

- "Stop talking to my friends and family you need to talk to other people"

- Since holidays were not great with us when alone, I asked did she have any resolutions or thoughts on 2009: " I do not believe in resolutions. all I care about is being with my friends in South Beach (annual trip in March)"

When asked recently about us going to Marriage Encounter weekend - "I am sure it is good and I know people that have done it, but if it involves a priest then NO"

When I also asked about going away together for Q+R instead of Marriage Encounter and doing something interesting together - "Why you need attention?" I responded no we need attention and it is for us. She responded "we see each other enough, if I have real time away i would rather be with my friends"

Same converstation she also said " I am done with the marriage thing...correction that came out wrong, I am too overwhelmed to spend time right now working on marriage. I am in mommydom all day everyday"


Relationship/sexual statements either made to me, in front of me, or I found myseld reading her emails to get some insight on how bad things are:

To me: "that older lady at Sheila's house like you...I told her she could have you. You should check her out...nice little honey from Long Island living alone in Hilton Head",


"(a friend's grandmother) ask about you and said you were so handsome, so maybe you can go to her when you want some action" - that one was on the phone in front of her friends.


In front of me: "I go to the car wash to check out all the hot 20 year old bodies - wow man candy",


When a friend said that a co-worker had an affair with a tennis pro, she said "what country club so I check out what I am missing"



Our 12 th year anniversary I traveled to be with my mom for an operation, but made plans to fly home on our anniversary. She did not seem to care if I made it home or not, so I honestly snoop on email to see if I missed something. This is what she said to her friends in response to happy anniversary emails:

"He came home and did have a nice jewel necklace for me, but best of all he had to travel the next day to Richmond. That is the best gift to give me. Is that wrong?"


sex comment emails:

single friend writes that she tried to contact her 1 night stand from our city on FB because he was so good that night. wife reply: "Maybe I should go to his (gym) to see what he is up to !!!"


Planning trip with girls to wine country and single friend orders from their host "Tall, Dark, Handsome, Single, and straight". wife reply to all her friends: " I will take what she is having"


Recent email planning this year South Beach trip, her single friend mentions that through conversations with the other girls that she is trying to contact the Bartender at the hotel they always stay at to hook up and get some free drinks for the girls. it was named "recession sex". Wife response: "BTW - I need some recession sex too!!!"


Email to another friend (married) from college about helping her single friend meet guys she states:

"I have been thinking sometimes about dating again with some much confidence and knowledge, but there are too many wacko's out there"


So I ask, how wrong is all of this? other advice has said get counseling. So I tried subtly by first by setting example that i am getting my own and not pushing it on her. Then for 2009 when i let all the other friends support moments pass, I ask for Marriage Encounter or weekend alone for us and she seems uninterested. I am know being too easy on her? I believe it is time for full counseling. I believe with all  my instincts and how much I know her very well, that she does not want to go because she does not want to be told that this is not normal and right for a marriage. She has always hated being told what to do with everything in life.

February 13, 2009, 10:27 am CST

In the Same Boat

I appreicate someone taking the time to read my post and reply. I feel for you. I know there are some similarities in our situations but my wife is hurt from things that I did that I did not consider would be hurtful to her. I have been faithful and have worked hard to better our lot in life through school and career changes. I spend my days working and my nights studying for the first ten years of our marriage. It has paid off with my job, but, I never took the time to recognize her efforts by taking her away or out often enough. Most of the time that we did go out I was ready to go home by midnight. She was just starting to get going. My reflections are that she had a lot of pent up energy and was looking to start life after all those years of sacrificing. My new job consumes about 11 hours a day and although I have changed my tune on going out ( I recognize that she was enjoying herself and pushed myself to stay until the end of the night when we went dancing). There are a lot of other incidents in our marriage that she pulls out when I try to address her issues. I can't change history. I can only influence the future. Now, although she says she loves me, she feels that I used her throughout our marriage. I bring her flowers and she says they are from her not me. I am not allowed to recognize holidays because she says they all bring her pain. I writer her notes to let her know that I am thinking about  her and am sorry I did not pay enough attention earlier in our marriage and she tears them up. I tried to plan a trip away and she says if I ask she will always say no. I tried to just buy tickets to a concert and present them to here when she is in a good mood and she gets angry with me for not considering her and asking first. She has lost a lot of weight due to depression and I try to cook differrent things (her favorites) so she has something to eat when I am at work and although she eats some of it she is still losing weight and blames me and my inaction on why she is where she is. I know that I have hurt her and I used to argue that she shouldn't feel the way she does. Now I just listen and don't say too much. What can I say except sorry. I want things to get better but when I think things are getting better, she tells me everything is the same she has just suppressed her pain and anger so I can have peace. When we are in a good place, by my barometer, I will ask if she would like to talk about our issues but she pushes me to the side. I am constantly analysing what I said wrong last to push her to her latest bout of anger and shouting. She keeps telling me that this is all my fault and that because I am doing nothing, nothing will change. I just don't know what to do!!!!
February 13, 2009, 11:33 am CST


I read your post and could not help to see some things in there that got me thinking that there is something to learn here. My thoughts are that there is a bit of me in both of you. I get silent and don't want to talk about it because I feel I am powerless to change the past. I force myself to deal with her but in the back of my head I want to tell her to just let go of the past and let's get on with the future. There are bigger problems now than what I did 20 years ago. I understand where she is coming from and why she is hurt but I have picked up my socks and do a whole lot more around the house as well as not avoiding our issues. She now tells me that I do these chores to avoid our situation and the problems of the past. I tell her that I do them because they have to be done. On the other hand, despite feeling that some of her positions are unjustified (I think Dr Phil would have a hey day with our arguements) I usually back away to just stop the arguement. She does not believe in breaks or going to a counsellor. I have tried for years but she says that I know what the problems are, why spend money for me to lie to a therapist. She has a point but I do not feel that I am lying. Quite often I spend  a lot of time arguing a point that I have instead of listening to hers. She tells me that she loves me but she also says that I am not man enought to leave. I don't want to leave, I just want to have a life with my wife and kids where we do not fight as much as we do. The past is haunting me and I do not know what to do about it. I have spoken with family and friends but that ended up as a betrayal as I was telling my side of the story. Hers is different and as much as I try to empathize, I do not fully beleive in her postion. As much as I try to point out that we are different people and that my views and my memories are postive, hers are not. She watched the Dr Phil episode on fighting fair and told me that we have to do this differently. I agree, went to the website and have used his guidelines. This is not working... I need to know how I can deal with this in a better manner. What can I do to make this better?

February 27, 2009, 5:10 pm CST

Balancing Marriage and Family

Quote From: wyldstalyn

 First off my name is Bobby  and my ex-girlfriend  Amy have a daughter  Hannah together from our past relationship. I get custodial visitations set up at my moms via supervised visits to make sure that my Girlfriend  whos name is Cindi at the time who recently just a few months ago became my wife now was not allowed around my daughter since she had a past that my exgirfriend repeatedly keeps throwing up in my wifes face she was charged with child neglect charges 5 yrs agoand lost her kids a very touchy subject at hand However  we now have Nathaniel our 4 month old baby boy  of our own and I go every other weekend to my moms 2 weeks for summer break and the holidays are divided between us the problem is that my wife Cindi  is 25 im 36 and she can't deal with the situation of  me going to  my moms to see my daughter ever other weekend and this is constantly  putting our relationship into jepordy the ex refuses to let her near my daughter because she hasChild Neglect charges on her however she used to babysit my daughter before the neglect charges came into play now it tears my family apart. I am constatly fighting with my wife and with my ex and even with my mom cause my mother and my wife can't seem to get along as well. I also pay $300 a month for childsupport I can't work ive filed for disabilty they just told me that it may take 2 more yrs for the case to get done with the appeal I can't hold a job and my wife threates me with divorce all the time cause she can't handle the stress it causes with our marriage my question is what can I do about my ex she constatly does nothing but non stop harrass me about child support  The child support keeps dragging me into court for reviews for being so far behind on my child support and threates me with jail time but since ive filed my SSI case I haven't paid much of the child support because I can't  seem to be able to keep a job  to pay the money I owe because im  so depressed all the time I can't sleep  my wife keeps me upset and fighting all night I don't want to lose my wife but she constatly tells me either my  exgf and  my Daughter goes or her and my son goes how do I choose between my wife and my son and between my daughter can someone please help me im so confused

thanks Bobby
i know what boat your in my ex husband got full custom of both my our kids but every since i got marriage the second time he think my husband need to support then he call him like there his kids then when he get  home it all war in my home i got to see them ever other weekend when i get them it seem like i pay hell for bring them to my house my husband start from the time i bring them to the house until i take home to there real dad it has put so much stressed on our marriage i thought about divorce lately i don't where to go any more  i  so tire anymore  i though just runners a way but i done that in my last marriage i not going this time sorry to hear a bout your life keep your head up it get better because i draw ssi my self  i have 2 nervous break down in 2 years time so just pray ever day  talk to you later
March 5, 2009, 6:39 am CST

Let God lead you

All you need to do is to pray about and et God direct you

or contact some Pastor  foradvice.

March 23, 2009, 9:40 am CDT

my motherinlaw

April 2, 2009, 12:04 pm CDT

need some input

Okay Ive recently gotten married. I have a child from a previous marriage. Which my husband now knew from the start. My husband can't stand the fact that I get along with my ex. Which I do for my child. I have in my childs room pictures of his dad and myself with our child. I have them there for my child. My husband tells me that I'm unfair and inconsiderate. I need some opinions on this matter. I feel there is nothing wrong with what I'm doing.
April 3, 2009, 3:53 pm CDT

Mother in-law

Quote From: keutermark

I lived with my mother in-law for ten yrs.We moved in to take over the house pmts and all.but we(2children 2dogs and husband) ended up sharing a 20-25 garage 1 bath and 1 room NO KITCHEN, it was the worst ten yrs of my life. My husband was a mamas boy and would never say anything to her.She even took showers in our room and did'nt pay any rent (2200.00 monthly) I finally left. My husband and I got back together, but on certain conditions, we kicked her out and moved. We ended up forclosing on the home.2200.00 was to much for a 1 bedroom and no kitchen.She now hates me but I have somewhat of a life back.
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