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Messages By: mrmom32

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March 13, 2007, 9:40 pm CDT

Desperately need your advoce

Hello, I'm new to the board. I've come here trying to find help with my problems. I am a stay-at-home-dad but my wife hates the fact that I don't work. Even though her job brings home roughly 4X the income of person in our area she still finds issues that frustrate her to the point where we are on the brink of divorce.

 

I'd like to state that I am 28 (my wife 25) and we have 2 kids....3 & 9. I think if you do the math on the 9 yr old you'll see some of our problems. My wife had our 9 yr old daughter hen she was 16 and still living at home. I was 19 and worked in a factory to support myself and pay for my daughter but this had unseen consequences. Since they (my wife & daughter) didn't live with me until she was 3 I wasn't able to be around my daughter for all the little things parents get to do when they have children. I didn't get to be around her and see her playing all the time, I didn't get to have a part in rasing her like I would've liked, I didn't get to cuddle with her while she slepted, I didn't get to comfort her when she hurt herselft,I didn't get to see her first steps,etc..  I missed out on alot of that stuff that my wife & her parents experienced and unfortunatly you can see that in me/my daughers relationship now.

 

My daughter loves me of course but we don't have near the bond that my wife and her parents do. It frustrates me that she doesn't act like she loves me as much and that in turn effects the way I treat her sometimes.  I mean you ask her to rate the importance of people in her life she'll say mom#1 and garndma & grandpa #2.

 

I say all this cause when we had my son (3 yrs old) I desperately wanted to be there for every small detail. I was going to college and decided to quit to raise him. Since then the bond that I've created with him has been unimaginable. It has meant so much to me that I am getting to do all those things that I missed with my daughter.

 

Why won't my wife understand that I needed this? To me no amount of money and climbing the corporate ladder is worth not having a good relationship with your famliy. We just don't see eye to eye on this. It also doesn't help that I'm from a small, working man's town. Everybody looks at me like I'm a lazy bum because I stay at home and raise my children. It's ingrained into everyone that the man should always work and that it's unimaginable for a male to not work and stay at home. This has also contributed to the stress on my marriage. From my mother, my in-laws, and the community everyone views me as that lazy bum type who doesn't want to work.

 

Is there any advice you guys (and even woman if they read this) can give me to help? I love my famliy more than anything in this world and I don't want what I had growing up (my parents divorced when I was 9).

 
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March 14, 2007, 9:08 am CDT

Need the insight of a woman

Here is my problem. Me and my wife have been married 7 yrs (I'm 28, she's 25).  During those 7 years we've had our ups&downs, mainly because we were so young and immature. But no matter how bad it got we always worked things out because we loved each other so much...until now. Now it looks to be over and it's just crushing me inside. My wife says that she's not happy in her life but she doesn't know if it has to do with her or our mariage. So instead on trying to figure that out she would rather divorce and see if that helps. Me on the other hand thinks that divorce should be the last resort and if she's unhappy we should find out why first and then try to work on that, not divorce and hope that our marriage was the problem.

 

I try to talk to her about her feelings but, quite frankly, she stinks at communication. When we talk about it I usually get a blank stare, a shoulder shrug, or her famous answer "I don't know" and that really frustrates me. We used to be so much in love and were best friends but it seems as though she's distancing herself more & more. When she does decide to talk she likes to mention things that she's unhappy with me about but they are small things that most marriages have, in my opinion. Here is a little list of some of the things that might cause our divorce cause she's unhappy with:

 

- She hates the fact that I don't work and I'm a stay at home dad. (to where I reply that I missed out so much on our first child that I want to make sure I have that with our youngest child. Me & my oldest child don't have a very good relationship but not because I don't try. I think it's mainly due to the fact that her & my wife lived with her parents for the first 3 years of her life. She saw me but she was always around her grandparents & mom and a bond was formed that I don't have. More on that see my post in stay-at-home-dads http://www.drphil.com/messageboard/topic/1840 )

 

- I don't have a good relationship with her dad like she wants (to where I reply that I've tried and I would continue to try but it's a 2 way street. While I make the effort he also has to make an effort. That meant stop coming over every other day, stop trying to be in control of everything we do, and act like this house & this family is it's own SEPERATE family and give it that respect. I told her it was a clear indication of how bad it was when she bought a ne car and she freaked out to what her dad was going to do. All this when she's a grown woman, married, living in her own home, and being a registered nurse).

 

- How she can't just sit down & relax or take a hot bath (to which I replied, she does sit down and relax. She actually watches more TV than I do. And if she would rather take a hot bath and relax then stop watching TV, go upstairs, and take a bath. If she said thats what she was doing I'd make sure the kids don't bother her. I even tell her that she needs a hobby to where she can just unwind).

 

- How she feels that she never gets alone time. That I'm always here. (to which I reply, that she can have alone time all she wants. She just has to say so. She goes out with her friend every now & then. I also bring it up to her how ironic that a few years ago it was me who always felt like I never got alone time. That I would work and come home and always have to be with her. Thats why I always went to my friends house when I could  but she wanted me to stay home and be more of a family. That I should want to be with her & the kids.........so I changed cause she wanted me to. But now she is doing the EXACT SAME THING! Identical in everyway. She's seeing what I felt like and when I ask her why she's not singing the tune anymore of "why don't you stay home and be with me & the kids" she give her famous answer "I don't know". Right now I'm a stay at home dad and I don't get any alone time for myself, which is probably bad, but I sacrifice that because I enjoy being with my wife & kids. My wife was my best friend so whenever we did something together I felt as though I was going out with my friends).

 

It bugs her I won't always give her a massage when she wants one (to which I reply, I have given her lots of massages but yes I do admit that I don't always feel like giving one when she wants it. I usually say later or tomorrow. That makes her mad? I also tell her it's a 2 way street and it makes me mad that when I hurt and ask for one that night or something she always says "yea I'd like one too". It's like it's always about her. So if I get this right she wants me to give her a massage whenever she wants and when I want a massage I have to give her one as well??? I told her that yes, while we do massage each other the same night it's also nice to get a massage when someones hurting and not have to give one back right away. She understands that when she's hurting (cause I don't get one back) but she can't understand that when I'm hurting?

 

- It bugs her how I don't "have God in my life" (to which I reply, that yes I do have God in my life but I just don't express it the way she does. I've never liked the church scene and never will. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in God.  Other than going to her church on Sunday I have God in my life just like she does. She prays sometimes....so do I. Only thing I don't do is go to church and I find it hard to believe that God only loves those who sit in a building and sing 1 day a week. I must have missed that comandment. I thought it was more about choices & lifestyle. But she knew all thins when we were dating).

 

- It frustrates her when I don't want sex when she does. (to which I reply that she knows how to turn me on and if she's wanting that intimacy then do something to get me in the mood. It's the exact same thing she tells me to do. If I happen to be in the mood and she's not, she'll tell me to start kissing on her neck, kiss her ears, or start caressing her and get her in the mood.....it's the same thing I say that she can do to me but she doesn't feel that she should have to. She thinks I should just be ready to go all the time and thats not how I am. I mean yea I'm a man and I think about sex alot during the day but I'm not walking around "horny" all the time. I ask her that "you know when your horny and you can't have sex for some reason......if frustrates you doesn't it?" Now imagine if I was suppossed to be horny 24/7 and just waiting on the opportunity.....I would be bouncing off walls!). 

 

 

These are just some of the things (that I can remember) that when she does decide to talk about why she's unhappy, she comes up with. Most if not all of them to me, are things that most relationships go through. These aren't things that can't be worked on or compromised. I feel like she doesn't think a marriage requires work. Thats if theres any kind of problem then, boom, divorce time. It seems she has problem of really wanting to play the victim role in our relationship. It's always my fault or I caused this. Just like the above problems she states. She'd rather look at it as I'm not doing what she wants and I'm to blame.

 

I'll admit that I was no were near the type of husband I should've been in the beginning but she also had her moments of not being a good wife. We've both had affairs early on but decided to work it out because our love for each other. I changed my ways of partying all the time, hanging out at my friends house on the weekend, not cooking, not cleaning, not taking care of the kids, and not being a good husband to her. I worked on what I needed to to make this marriage work. I wish she would do the same.

 

I'm sorry for the long post. I'm new here and I just felt like I needed someone to talk to through this problem. Any advice (male or female) I'd be glad to accept it. I really am out of options.


 
 
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March 15, 2007, 1:05 pm CDT

What about this?

Can someone at least shed some light on this? What do I do about affording a lawyer, etc.? Since I'm a stay-at-home-dad I don't save any money for myself. All the money we get goes to my wifes account and I pay bills from there. I'm scared because right now I have nothing to do anything with. Then comes the question about the house and such. Both are names are on it but what if the judge kicks me out because I don't have a job? I'll have lost everything and be left with nothing.

 

Have any of you ever been through this? If so what steps did you take?

 
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March 16, 2007, 8:42 am CDT

thanks

Thanks everyone. I am trying to keep the communication open and have expressed interest in working out our problems but she is very hesitant. She says she's just had enough and is tired of being unhappy. It really bothered me though when I asked her, does she know for sure what makes her so unhappy and she said no. In my eyes I would want to know the cause of the problem before I tried to fix it. I feel she's just misplacing that unhappiness onto me because of some things that irritate her (but every relationship has them). She's even open to the possibility of her being dpressed or the unhappiness is with her and that makes a divorce even more upsetting.

 

I know she's always had a problem with me staying at home. Part of it was that she wished she could do it and part of it was that she wanted me to work. She said she respected me more when I was contributing financially. I can see her point on that but I can also see, that while she brought home so much money, that I could actually find something I liked to do after my son went to preschool (which is this year...he already goes for 1 hour, 1X a week). If my working situation was the main problem it would have been solved really soon so it kills me that she's doing this now. I use the analogy that "it's like running 3/4 of the race and you can see the finish line ahead but you want to quit now". Why go through all that hard work to stop when the end it so close.

 

And just to be clear, we aren't struggling financially. I could see her point alot better if we lived paycheck to paycheck and couldn't afford things but we don't . She works 3 days a week (off Wednesday-Sunday) and makes the equivalent of 4-5 times what individual people in my area make. Thats why I don't see why she can't try to work on things until my son goes to preschool and I start working and see if that makes her any happier.

 

I'm just really confused right now. I emailed Dr. Phil to get on the show and I'm praying that I can (so if anyone from the show is readin gplease put us on the air). As for the lawyer I'm still looking. I'm unsure how to go about it because she has all the money in her account (she's blocked my access) and I don't have anything. I''m resorting to selling everything that is mine just to get some money for the initial cost of a lawyer. Thats really upsetting as well.

 

Most people know that, while there are exceptions, woman get the better end of the deal in divorces. It's usually the husband paying alimony, child support, leaving the house, and if so paying  for the wife to live there until she can afford it herself. I'm just scared that the judge will look at it as I'm lazy & not working and award the house,kids, and everything else to her because I can't afford it. Then if I do get a part-time job now it's just another divorce and she'll get the house & kids like most divorces go. Thats why I'm afraid to be kicked out of my house. This family has meant everything to me and I would live in a cardboard box and be happy as long as I had them.

 
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March 16, 2007, 9:13 am CDT

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Quote From: mmarie

Is she really happy with you being a stay-at-home dad?  Nothing wrong with that; my brother did the same thing, but he and hiis wife agreed to it.  Also, you are having problems that many people go through in marriage.  Maybe you both should try to give to the other person and not make demands for them to do something; when both people are giving to each other, then there is harmony.  Why doesn't her dad care for you so much?  Does he influence her?  I think if you two truly care for each other and your family, you need to sit down and really get to the bottom of the problems; not just shrug them off; that only delays communication and builds a brick wall.  Try reading some of the books, like Dr. Phils Relationship Rescue and Self Matters; they are excellent in bringing back selfworth and evaluation and healing any relationship.  Good luck 

The problem here is I feel like I have and will continue to give in to her but I'd like the same in return. Her idea of working on things has been to allow me time to work on things. I don't get that. I've changed alot of things bout me that she didn't like and while yea I'm a better man for it I feel that she shouldn't always expect me to change for her and her not be willing to change anything for me.

 

As for the dad question, it pretty much goes back to when we first started dating. She was 14 and I was 16. Her dad hated that age difference (not that big of a deal but I guess it is while in school). That resulted in us not being able to do many things together so we did alot of sneaking around. Well alot of sneaking around got her pregnant when she was 16 and that made him even more angry. But when she graduated we got married and he started to come around (what else could he do) but thats when his personality started clashing with mine. He's very much a control freak and he's tried to implement that onto my family. He has no respect for me as a husband and doesn't think of this house as it's own seperate family.  Me an dmy wife got into fights all the time because of this. That when you move out, get married, and have your own family it should be "it's own" and not just me comign into her famliy (so to speak).

 

I  mean this man would stop by almost everyday, unannounced, and stay for 3.4,5, however many hours.And if that wasn't bad enough he always treated our home like it was a playhouse in his backyard for us to be married in. He would come over and if he saw something he didn't like or wanted to do, her would do it without ever saying a word. I don't remember how many times I've come out of the shower or something and he would be sitting in my kitchen (wife not home) because he just lets himself in. I asked my wife to have a talk with him cause things needed to change. There have been a few times when we were in intimate situations and he would call (of course we didn't answer), then he would knock on the door cause he called while outside our house (no answer), then proceed to come in and see if anyone was home. Add all that onto his always calling the house and such and I just got fed up. I told her, again, that something had to be done. He needed to respect our boundries and this family as a seperate family from his own. She was mad that I didn't want him over anymore (which was an exageration) and thats has contibuted to our current situation.

 

I didn't see anything wrong with what I asked and just as of yesterday she said she could see my point......but nothing has changed. We are both kinda stubborn about things and I almost think that she's being stuborn about some of these things just to hurt me and get her way.

 

Yesterday she went and seen a lawyer to have papers drawn up but she has him waiting on until she's ready to file them. I didn't see the point in that cause if you came to the decision to get a lawyer and have papers drawn up there should be no more thinking about things. She should think about things before going that far. Part of me feels that she's just doing it to make her point of how serious she is but then another part of me can feel that she doesn't seem to care like she used to (but that might just be a block she's putting up). As you can see it's a very difficult situation.

 

 

SO SOMEBODY PLEASE GET ME ON THE DR. PHIL SHOW!!!

 
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March 16, 2007, 9:48 am CDT

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Quote From: marsplasti

Its not that cut and dry and easy like you are thinking? I am in the process of divorce and I did not get the house for myself;  nor can I stay in the house alone. There is no alimony for me and each case is different.  I did not get  the better deal in my divorce. If I were you I would seek out counseling for  yourself and then ask her if you two can go to marital counseling. I hate when marriages end. Is there something you are not telling  us here?

There are two sides of a story also. If you not working bothers your wife so much can you get a part time job when she is at home if she has four days off? What happens on the days that she has off? Who does the cleaning, shopping, cooking and all that good stuff.

As Dr.Phil says it time for you and your wife to renegotiate your marriage.

I know it's not that cut & dry but statistically I'm at a disadvantage. There's not much I'm not telling you but of course there's always 2 sides to every story. Thats why I wrote her complaints down like I did. So everyone can get a feel of my situation. Like I said before, I planned on getting a job here soon because I see no need to me to be home while both my kids go to school. I thought if that was her main problem with me then she could see the "light at the end of the tunel". I've had problems keeping jobs in the past (although I was laid off the last one and they uit paying for my college tuition) and I'm beginning to think depression is a factor. I've suffered from depression since I was abused as a child but I feel I haven't let it affect my marriage (though I am open to the possibility that my judgement is clouded in that regard). I just don't see why she's ending a marriage without finding out the problem. She is open to the possibility that maybe it's her that she's unhappy with but she still won't change her mind and figure that part out first.

 

As for the cookign and cleaning I do most of it however there are things she does that she won't let me do. I don't do laundry because she's anal about the way clothes are folded. It drives her crazy so she does that. And since I can't fold them I wait to do laundry until she gets home so they dont' sit there and get wrinkled. She does sometimes cook because she is a far better cook than me. But never when she works...only on the days off. when she works I usually had dinner ready for her whe she got out of the shower. As far as cleaning I did that work. We both do the shopping together cause we feel like we actually get out of the house. 

 
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March 16, 2007, 10:30 am CDT

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In regards to the boyfriend comment I dont' think she has one. I've checked the phone/cell phone records and emails and never seen anything but then again I do feel that for some reason her feelings are stopping for me. I even questioned an emotional affair at work or something. She denied any type of affair and said thats not whats its about.

 

 

 
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March 16, 2007, 10:43 am CDT

Divorce

Quote From: mmarie

Don't know what state you live in, but my brother was a stay-at-home dad and he received full custody of his child.  They did not wish to uproot the wonderful environment and care his child was receving; just as if a woman stayed at home and took care of the child and the man was the bread-winner.  In days past, yes, women usually get the children because the husband was bringing in the income and the wife was taking care of the child.  If there is hope to save this marriage, go for it.  Your wife may need counseling to get out what is really the root of the problem, as she doesn't seem to really know.  if that doesn't work - then protect yourself by getting legal advise as soon as possible.  Hope Dr. Phil contacts you, as that would be ideal if he could get the both of you together and see what is really going on.  Let us know how you make out.  Take care and think POSITIVELY - it has alot to do with the outcome of events in our life.  Look at what you wish to be and experience it happening that way - get out to the universe what you truly feel, inside, is to happen and you may be surpriesed of the outcome.  Good Luck - mmarie

I live in Ohio. Though I dont' know all the Ohio laws regarding these issues I worry that I will be discriminated against because Ilive is a small town where the man is supposed to work and if you don't your a bumb. I can see that sterotype spilling over into the court room. I am all for anything that will save my marriage and I have mentioned going to a marriage counsilor in recent days but she thinks it is best that I go for myself before we worry about going for  our marriage and I guess if thats what it takes then I will start that process. She has been going to a counsilor for a little while now to work out issues that she has. It confuses me though that she wouldn't have a better understanding of whats making her unhappy since she does go to counsiling. I asked her if they ever talked about it and she said yes but apparently she doesn't know anymore now.

 

I would like to point out that her going to a counsilor now and in the past has been for a problem that we experienced in the past. Back when we were young and stupid we had a threesome with another woman. Soon after my wife began to hate me for that. It wasn't anyone's idea to have one, it just happened but she still has anger for me because she still pictures me with another woman.....and I can understand that. She also went out and had an affair soon after and I have a hard time dealing with that sometimes. It's better when things are going great between us but there's always those times where it just comes into mind for no reason. Thats why she went to a counsilor in the first place but she stopped after a while because things were so good between us. That was a few years ago and now she's back at the counsilor's for that and her unhappiness. I can understand her still having anger because of the threesome deal cause it angers me too but I thought it was something we got past.

 

Not sure if that has something to do with all this but she's never mentioned that as the reason she's unhappy now. She did bring it up lastnight that she still thinks about that stuff though.

 
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March 16, 2007, 11:30 am CDT

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Quote From: marsplasti

Your life is a soap opera!!! threesomes; boyfriends whatever. Okay; What i would suggest is maybe a marriage retreat. They are not cheap but there is also a great doctor who is Harville Hendrix. He wrote a couple of marriage books. They are good. He also does something called imago therapy where the two couples have to imagine how they were when they were in love and happy. It really works but only if you two want to try it. See if your wife wants to try the marriage retreats. Has she said its over and over and there is nothing left to save of the marriage? If that is the case you have to let her be and hope that she will come back on her own. You know that saying. If you love her set her free!!!

oh yea...a soap opera it is. I thought we were past that though. Most of the soap opera stuff came when we were young and immature. Thats when I also went out to bars all night and hung out a friends houses all the time. She wanted me to change back then and she had every right to. It was hard to change but I see now that it wasn't right what I was doing and I love being a family man now.

 

Are there any certain marriage retreats you suggest? After knowing her so long I think I know what she's feeling. She still loves me but she's put up a wall because she's been unhappy (for whatever reason). She would love to work it out but is afraid that it'll be just a repeat of the last time we tried to work things out. When she feels unhappy about things it's always easier to project everything onto me and see the tings that I do to make her unhappy instead of seeing the whole picture. I think she might do it but it'll take convincing. If I knew she would be happy divorced then I would do that but I think she can be happy married again. We just hav to work on it starting by her unhappiness issues. I mean when we are having our good times our love just illuminates. We are always trying to please the other and making that effort. Thats the part that we have to try to get back. We need to work on issues that we have in a contructive manner and not set ourselves up for failure. I just need to get her to take that step and try.

 
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March 16, 2007, 12:42 pm CDT

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Quote From: marsplasti

Okay; You have got some hope going and that is good. I personally dont know of any marriage retreats but you will need a whole weekend without your kids. I mentioned Harville Hendrix. He is excellent and holds workshops and retreats on marriage and he has been on Oprah and Dr.Phil. Google him and then get some of his books. He is smart when it comes to this stuff.

Also; Google marriage retreats and counselors in your area and see what you can find. I will look it up for you from here and then post if I can. You live in Ohio so that is a big place and should have something.

This is minor but maybe today you can buy some flowers and make a nice dinner and just be

somewhat romantic towards her even if she doesnt respond. Atleast you are trying.

Let us know!!!

Thanks. Like I said, I feel as though there is hope but I just need something to make her open up. If we could sit down and have her honestly tell me things like "I don't really want a divorce but I'm not happy with this and that" then we could know where our starting point is and take steps to correct these things. Or it could all be wishful thinking on my part and I'm trying to get back what used to be. I've been trying to kiss her and show her that I still love her but she doesn't kiss back (but then again she doesn't push me away either). We've also had sex recently and the next morning she wanted me to lay with her (we're in sperate bedrooms) and we fell alseep like that for an hour. So things like that make me think there is hope and she's being stuborn about what she really wants cause she's so mad.

 

Any ideas how to get her to open up and start being honest like we need to be if we want to figure anything out?

 

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