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Relationship Health Message Board

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I am 31, and a stay at home mother of 2 boys, they are 2 and 5. My husband and I have been married 8 years, and he is the love of my life. I would do anything for him, and even though I do not feel good, I want to be along side him. Unfortunately, he does not feel the same way anymore. He does not want me with him, and has plainly come out and said I do not want to be with you (he means do things with me, be around me). He feels he is the victim here, and I have taken advantage of him, being able to stay home, and be with the boys all the time. He has said that if I want to work on things and make it work, I need to work on cleaning the house more, spend less on groceries, and waste less. Show him how much I appreciate him and how hard he works. I worked so hard on the house the other day, it is hard with a 2 and 5 year old boys to keep up on the house constantly, and he said he is embarrased by the house, and cannot invite anybody over. I really try my best, and push my body.

Up until 6 months ago my husband just started playing an active role in the boys life, and doing activities with them. For the years that the boys were babies, I was on my own taking care of them. Most of the time, on the nights when my husband did not work, he was at the golf course bar after golfing 4-5 days a week, and then when he did work he was napping until 9 and then went to work. In the winter, he was around a little more, but still he kept himself busy. I am not a mom who could go out and do her shopping, getting her haircut, doctors appt, by herself, the boys are always with meor with a babysitter. They are all my life. So our schedule has never been easy, it has always been the opposite. A couple of months ago, he swore he would never divorce me, he does not believe in it, and he will stick it out for life, we would make it work no matter what, but the other day he said, divorce might be a possiblity, and I said, you said you would never divorce me we would work on it, he said, "you must be stupid, stupid to think that I am going to be this unhappy for the next 2 years, like I have been the last couple." I am not a wife who does not pay attention to her husband, I hit on him daily, rub his back, touch his arm, try to show his how much I love him, I tell him how handsome he is, and I give him sexual advances many times a week, even though I do not feel good, I love him, and I want him happy, I try to work hard to please him. What is wrong with me?

My husband has a very close relationship with his mother,they have gone on trips this year, 2 to see a red sox game, and 2 fishing trips, and recently I learned that whatever I said to my husband went back to his mom, and when his mom and I talked, she told him everything I said. She made a comment about gas prices, and how everybody needs to cut back, and I said that if I wanted to go see my dad (who I rarely see) once a week or once every 2 weeks, I am not going to worry about gas, she went back and told my husband, and that got into my lack of respect for him, and the money he makes. I lost my temper, I really do not have one, I take it more out on myself, and I called her a snake, that it was not fair, I should come first. All I have is my husband, and boys. I learned my husband told his mother that I called her a snake. He told me he does not hold a grudge about an argument that happened the other day, but he said horrible things, the only thing i said was about the snake. He told me he has let everything else go, but I need to apologize about calling his mother a snake, that every son is loyal to his mother, and mother loyal to son, no matter what, and I will know when my sons are married, I will do the same thing. I will not, once my boys are married, or settled in life, I have done my job, I will be there for them, and I will be a wonderful grandmother, if I make it, but I will not be in between my sons and their wives. Also, if they ever come to me and say I want to take you on a trip, just you and me, I will say you need to take your wife, it has been a year since you last had time together, you need to have time for each other. I know I am weak, why can't I be stronger now, but I am going to do the best for my boys, and raise them right. I will do it, whatever it takes. I do not want my boys treating their wives badly.

I guess I need advice on what other women might do in this situation, or why a husband would not want to be with his wife, when I need him, I need his love and support. He has told me on many occasions that most men would have kicked me out by now, and I will never find another man to treat me as good as he does.. He has even gone as far as telling me I am not a good mother, and that he will take the boys away, and they will know someday who is the better parent (he thinks he is), he critisizes the medications the doctors have me on, and makes fun of the bag, a pretty cosmetic case, I carry them in, calling it the pharmacy I carry with me. I have eye attacks on my left eye that leave me with extreme pain, and sometimes I have to shut the eye down using eye patches. Since we have been together, over 10 years, I have always had migraines and they have gotten worse, 1 or 2 a week and now almost everyday. I am not sure he believes in my illnesses, or how much I hurt or pain I have, and he is not supportive of my medications, he has called me an addict before, which I am not. I am very responsible, and I take care of the children when I am sick, and in pain, everyday they are with me. On Saturday, or Sunday he might take the boys out for 2-3 hours on an outing, and I get a break to clean or rest, that just started happening. I am very greatful. I have tried to talk to him, I think he cares, but I never am asked how I feel, or called to check on me by anyone except my sister. My husband has told me that the reason I have no friends is because they cannot stand to be around me because all I talk about is how I am feeling, and not because that my husband does not treat me well. I have had friends in the past that have ended their relationship with me becuase they do not agree with my husband and how he treats me. They have told me that they will help me when I make the right decision and leave. I have stayed and worked on my marriage, and tried and tried. He now pushes me away, no kisses, no holding his hand, no hugs or anything, I try and he moves his face away, or lightly moves me out of the way. If we talk on the phone he never lets me talk, and hangs up on me. We have routines like when he goes to work, he used to kiss us all good bye, even the dog, and then we wave good bye out the front door, now he gives everybody else kisses, even the dog, and then when I am waving at him, he ignores me.

I thought it was financial stress, we are going through it worse than ever, and it would just take time. Now I have learned that it is more. He is bothered by my weight gain, lack of being able to clean, or organize the house spotless, and if I talk about my health.

What I need help with is this, my husband is golfing today, on another trip a couple of hours away, he went this week with his mom to a 2 day trip to a baseball game and spent the night in Boston, and now on Sunday he is going to a nascar race with some of his family. I have gone the last 2 years, and no matter what, I have always loved being with him. I was not invited to go. He told me, "did you forget you are sick?" I have fibromyalgia, temporal tendonitis, and a couple of other things, but those 2 are the ones that cause me chronic pain everyday. I would do my best to put it away for him, and try to manage it. I learned that he is going with his sister, her boyfriend, and a friend of his sisters, a female. A female who has left messages to my husband when she was drunk,(he had me listen to them) and hit on him. My husband came out, and loudly stated " She is a unhappily married woman, and I am a unhappily married man, and she wants to go, and I have an extra ticket, and her husband does not want to go." I am devastated. I feel betrayed, and hurt the way it was stated. I cannot get it off my mind, the part about them going all together, and that it was the first time my husband has ever said he was unhappy, and then he included it with her being unhappy too.

What do I do, I know I have asked for help before, and I am sorry if I have repeated things, this is the hardest thing I have ever done, or had to possibly make a decision. I know people say things when they are mad, and upset, but is this more, is he going to say to me, he was just upset and didn't mean it? I do not think he should go on Sunday, he should be with his family. I feel like I am being replaced, to the outside world it is going to look like they are a couple.

I have not worked in 5 years, I applied for disability, and on Friday I got the letter that I was denied, I am not giving up, and I am going to appeal. I am unable to work even if I wanted to.

Please I know I have written a novel, I love my husband, but when do you decide it is enough? Stress causes me to be worse, much worse. The doctor says my adrenal gland is shot, and I have grinded my condyle down to nothing on the left side, and dislocated the right side. Stress has riped my body apart. Can I fix this, should I give it everything I have and somehow find more?.Also, for anybody who is religious, baptist, what is the belief about divorce. I do not believe in it, but what about abuse? My husband believes he is the abused person in this marriage, by me taking advantage of him. I know the truth, and I know the truth of how we got in this financial position.

Please tell me what you would do? If you are male, am I a bad wife? I am the type of wife who gets her husband coffee in the morning as he is walking down the stairs, when my husband is sick, he calls me on his cell phone from upstairs, and I bring up what he needs, no matter how sick I am. Am I missing something, what more can I do? Do I support him on Sunday, and push it in the back of my mind that it is nothing, he is loyal to me no matter what. I feel I would be naive to think that, my husband would never cheat on me, but I just don't feel it is right, but maybe it is the way it was said, that they are both unhappy in their marriage.

I am a mess, and just need some advice. I will take it anyway I can get it.

Thank you for your time. I know this is a lot to read, but I am afraid I have to make a decision, one way or the other. I need help, and some advice.


First - get your identity back!!!
It is the most valuable thing you have and easy to lose when you are raising itty bitty babies and have a less than appreciative husband! Women have to be very brave to make a committment to a single man and have children, because it takes extraordinary strength to maintain a family and her own identity. You will feel better (and not feel sick and powerless) when you own your life again!

I have been married for 18 years - and plan on being married for 18 more. I have a husband who I love dearly. It has NOT been peaches and roses, its been tough work!!! He can be mind-spinning frustrating! He is beyond stubborn and probably his worst flaw is that IF he could have gotten away with stupid behaviour he probably would - but I have made it clear that if he pulled anything really stupid, as dearly as I love him, I have my self respect and would choose to go out the door rather than be his doormat. I have made sure to always maintain & be aware of all my options so, if he ever did something stupid, I could be gone in a flash.

Men are often, by nature, NOT very sensitive. My husband is clearly not sensitive. He has no internal radar and can't see when I had a rough day, or am tired, sad, irritated. For 18 years, I have had to spell it out to him. We both have chores & roles, I reward him and make him feel like a king every time he does little things like taking out the trash, getting some extra groceries, vacuum the livingroom, open a door for me!! But I also spell it out to him that he'd better treat me the same!!! (Without reminders, he forgets, he just wasn't built that way!) Every day I draw the lines in clear, calm, loving language, made it clear what I needed that morning, that evening or the "big picture" in a relationship. Here's the best one. I demanded and insisted every day that no matter what kind of fight we were with each other, he'd better give me a big wet kiss when he leaves each morning. First year, I'd get the kiss on the good days, but he ignored me during fights. Next year, mornings of fights he'd pause and turn his cheek...I'd kiss it and say that wasn't good enough, give me lips - finally I'd get a weak one. Finally! 5 years into it he looked at me funny as I ran out the door and asked sadly "where is his kiss"!!! That was a lot of hard work and stubborness on my part, but it worked! With that strength, he knows that he has an equal partner.

You have become isolated, which is very easy to happen when you do your best to be a stay-at-home mom, and you have babies not yet in grade school - so you're still in the midst of 24-hour care to raise your children.

You may feel exhausted, and your health is not so great right now, but you need to find a network of people to talk to - that are NOT your mother in law (GOD NOT HER!), or your husband.

Kids are EXHAUSTING - but you are still young, and despite aches and pains, this is your time to take the youthful energy you still have and take action in some way to change what is happening.

You have two choices, with three outcomes:
1) Do nothing.
Things will continue as they are, you will continue to feel like he's running over you & your mental and physical health will suffer because of overwork and neglect (both from your husband AND YOURSELF - neglecting your own needs!!!) You will finally explode and leave him and not on terms that work for you.

2) Do something different & take action.
This requires you to muster extra strength - before you were his wife, you were a single woman, had other choices and possible futures. Remember that woman, and just because you got married to him didn't mean you gave up your right to have choices!!! And, right now while you have toddlers, your kids need their mother & you have some serious legal power to keep your children. If push comes to shove & you draw some real lines (and he loves his family), he'll figure it out and do the right thing. Remember honey, men don't own women - we ALLOW them to borrow us - if they break the contract we can always tear up the lease.

You are on the internet right now, seeking out help. There are plenty of conversations going on out there with women in a similar plight as you. Seek out what others are doing about it. You are NOT ALONE. Start making plans to find other mothers, support groups, play dates, whatever to have healthy discussions with other adults. As your kids get older, you need to take classes, figure out a job for yourself, continue to grow. You need to get yourself back!!!

Take action:
Make an appointment with your husband and speak with him with conviction, as two adults, and FIRMLY communicate that you are unhappy over the present roles the two of you have taken on in this marriage.

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If he listens while you talk, you listen when he talks, and you can have a real conversation, then great, then this is the first step to change. (not the last!!! its never over!!!) If he is an absolute jerk, you have to stick to your guns, be firm and strong, in an adult way do not back down. If you need extra help to bring him around, try to get to your family, your church (if you don't belong to one, they still are kind people with open doors and will help if you need help!) a counselor (there are free appointments if your budget is tight!) IF he refuses to cooperate & go, YOU go.

3) If you haven't told us that he has threatened you before, and that confronting him will cause physical harm to you, then you need to find the strength and energy & take steps to get out of it. KEEP THIS SECRET. It is a tough road, but staying would be the toughest road. Keep looking at the websites, search out information and get yourself mentally ready and logistically ready to leave. Get copies of your financial records, keep them somewhere. PS if it is that serious and he's beyond controlling & spying - empty your computer's "cookies n cache" so that he doesn't see links you're searching!!!

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