I think you might need to change your reactions to him. "I'm not going to be coming home late any more" doesn't get a belly laugh and sarcasm/'yeah right' it gets a, "honey I'm so happy to hear that! It will be so nice to get to the barn on Friday! How about i pick up dinner on my way back from riding?" Otherwise how are you helping to reinforce a potential improvement?
If you look at truly loving and happy couples who are in it together, none of those couples use a sarcastic, snarky tone to each other with any regularity save the exceptionally difficult moment. When MrB is in a foul mood, I don't even acknowledge the snark. When I have a bitchy moment, I usually end up apologizing within half an hour, even if that's difficult, and include an explanation 'sorry for the tude, I just feel like i haven't stopped cleaning up messes for the last 8 hours and am frustrated.'
MrB and i don't have kids, but we have currently 24 dogs in our care (it's usually between 15 and 21). I like to think that sort of responsibility, cleaning, medicating, feeding, exercising, refereeing, bathing, etc requires a similar amount of communication and maturity as raising one kid :-) We just cannot afford to be snarky at each other, even when we really want to! We really need to TALK to each other, so we don't do something tangible like double medicate a dog or intangible, for example so we can know if the other person is feeling overwhelmed. And all frustration and 'tone' has to be pushed aside.
He also learned that he needed to ask me when he needed more help, that as much as he would love for me to read minds i can't, and sometimes I can be really duncy and clueless. At the same time, if he asks me/if I step up and do his usual chores, like someone else mentioned on the first page, he has to let go of some control. If mistakes happen while the other person is trying to help, you forget about the mistake and remember the helping part.
I also need my riding and yoga time to feel balanced emotionally, and he knows this. Sometimes though he gets tired of how long I'll be gone those days. I am sure to tell him that i am glad I got to have that time, and i try to call him on my way home to ask if he needs me to pick up anything on the way home.
I admit, it wasn't easy for me to become more considerate and i still have to remind myself to be more proactive. He feels a greater sense of duty to the dogs and I'm more able/likely to go on short vacations/not have a set time when I have to get home on my days off. In that way, I'm much more like the husbands on this topic. I really do need to be reminded sometimes that he needs help- but he needs to be clear and direct without being mean/bitchy when asking. And when I do help, it means so much to get a hug or a genuinely sincere "great! Thank you!" for my effort :-)
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)
Are all men this way? No. My brother is an AWESOME husband and father - of course, I don't know all the ins and outs of their marriage, I am around enough to see the he quite capably does everything needed around the house (and with the kids) without being asked or told....and without a list! A friend of mine is also married to a man like this - totally involved parent and spouse, does things all the time without being asked, etc.
However, the one I married was not this way. He is quite frankly the most self-centered, selfish person I've ever known. Worked a second shift schedule, 3:30p to 11:30p but then came home and stayed up until 3 or 4am playing video games or watching tv. Of course, that meant he couldn't EVER get up with DS because by gosh he was just too tired. If I was able to guilt him into it, he would just plop the child in front of the TV while he went back to sleep on the couch. Of course, DS wanted actual interaction, oh the horror, and came right to me when he couldn't wake Daddy up. It just got worse from there. I am not the kind of woman who plays games: expects my guy to read my mind, or guess what I'm thinking, or know that yes really means no and vice versa. I was very up front with him, he knew exactly what I needed to survive. Heck, I was working 40+ hours a week at a regular job, most weekends at the barn to work off my board (because even though we could afford it, he bitched and moaned about the $$ spent monthly on it....even though he spent the same or more on himself and his hobbies every month). Any time I actually got to spend at the barn to ride my horse, there were constant text messages from him ... followed by the super whiny calls of "when will you be home????" "what's for dinner????"
So, finally, 8 years in...enough was enough for me. There were other issues for sure, but his lack of participation in anything around the house or our lives was the deal breaker for me. I look back now and realize that I fell out of love with him a LONG time before, and hadn't been attracted to him in years. I was very angry and resentful of him, still am if I think about it enough.
People show you who they are. Believe them. If you have sat down with him and outlined everything that is needed and expected, and you've both agreed on the course of action, and he time and time again just blows it off? He's telling you who he is. Some people can live with that. Me, no f-ing way. Dammit, we all deserve the absolute best.
OP, I was in your shoes, and I'm so sorry. I know exactly how hard it is, how frustrating, saddening, maddening, and emotionally let down you are. It shouldn't take "mommy strikes" or "daddy strikes" to get your spouse to step up and contribute. It shouldn't take threats of divorce. It shouldn't take passive-aggressiveness. It just shouldn't. Good luck to you.
Last edited by spotteddrafter; Feb. 21, 2013 at 12:44 PM.
Reason: spelling, gah!
“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson
There are conversations. I'm not all passive aggressive or anything like that. I am very upfront. He's not a mind reader, nor do I expect him to be. The sarcasm is VERY few and far between with us (mainly because he often doesn't get the sarcastic part). I've belly laughed at the breaking point, which is coming. I plan on sitting him down this weekend when I have him for a while. Try the conversation AGAIN. The calendar AGAIN.
I hate mommy strikes. Really, I do. I just cannot count on him ever.
He IS incredibly selfish and I don't know if it's his makeup or the way he was raised or whatever, but it's always "I want. I want." Not "Gee, my wife looks/acts/has said she is REALLY burnt out. Maybe I should take the baby out for a few hours".
Makes no sense because he has a great big heart and goes out of his way for everyone ELSE.
The other day when I laughed-he asked why and I told him. It seems to be a case of "how can this benefit me?" with him.
I asked his mother to watch the baby this Sat for a few hours so I can watch my niece in her regional championships. She can't; she is too busy. My husband won't because, god forbid, he missed a few hours of work. So that means I get to drag my 6 month old out to a damn horse show. Thank god for heated viewing rooms.
Just in case I'm not and my posts are appearing to LBM....
If you were ok with him before the baby then what you can do is hire out to pick up the slack now. That will preserve your relationship and your sanity. That will only leave the occasional annoyance and having to deal with the reality that he isn't going to live up to your expectations.
You're trying to bend him to the situation and it really doesn't sound like he's capable or willing to bend, at least not for any length of time. If you want to preserve your family, bend the circumstances to accommodate his unique personality. It's frustrating as all get out but one road goes down constant bickering, resentment, opposition, fighting, stress and loneliness. the other road goes down investing in a very good babysitter for a few years and no added bickering, resentment, opposition, fighting, stress and loneliness.
If there is a comparison to be made between "training" men and horses it is that men move away from pressure, IMO. If good solid conversations have not netted results then change tactics, this is your life and your marriage and your kid's life. Make it be better even though he seems to be nowhere.
LBM, I truly feel for you. I could not bring myself to read the entire thread because it brought back so many bad memories of when my children were small. I could have written the same post as spotteddrafter except I hung in there for 21 years. By and large, people DO NOT change. You need a good support network of friends. Make sure to take care of yourself and your son. Don't spend your precious time making sure life is EASY for DH. If you continue putting yourself last (and he's not going to put you first), you will become more resentful. I do not regret having my two wonderful children, but I wasted so much time in a loveless marriage. HUGS to you.
Are you sleeping at night? You sound very similar to where I was almost exactly a year ago. My recovery started with seeing my GP and her giving me some sleeping pills. After a few days of sleeping well I was able to put together a plan and started marriage counseling. A year later things are soo much better!
I had to change to stop funneling my energy into anger. I think it was a form of PPD for me. The big thing other than sleep that helped me was working out. My body just needs the endorphins.
It seemed impossible but I started with 15 minutes on an exercise bike in the basement and worked up to 4 mile runs pushing a stroller. After seeing the transformation my husband will tell me "I've got the baby, go clear your head with a run."
Are you taking vitamins and fish oil? Those really helped me too. As well as epsom salt hot baths once a week or so. Grab a good book and take a hot bath after putting your baby to bed!
Just trying to brainstorm the things that really helped me.
Been there done this. Only had one child because thats all I could handle. Dragged her everywhere with me, because of no help at all from anyone except my grandparents. DD was a very very good baby-child-teen-now adult, because she knew she had to be. DH was too much of a spoiled overgrown brat. Oh well got through it somehow. I am so very blessed to have such a great DD, so in the end, worth it big time.
And why didnt someone tell me to yell in the dryer? I always walked out onto the front porch and let it rip. No wonder the neighbors think I am crazy.
I just cannot count on him ever.
He IS incredibly selfish and I don't know if it's his makeup or the way he was raised or whatever, but it's always "I want. I want."
yup, thats your answer. Shoes don't stretch and men don't change. Sending you good wishes for getting things sorted out. I suggest therapy even more after the last page of posts. Its going to be hard to reach a good outcome on your own. I have seen this play out in my friends who have been married for 10yrs. People get stuck in patterns and don't like to change-- why would he change? he has it good.
I am sleeping (well, we're starting to eliminate the 3 am feeding, so sorta).
I'm not anxious or depressed and not an angry, short person. Just this week has fried me-what started it was when he asked if I would help him out...this week, and he would help me out next week.
he wanted to work late 3x this week, on top of the standing thursday nights he works till 10pm and Saturdays.
I said "Huh? How are you going to help me out? What do you mean?"
He said "if I can work late 3x this week, you can go to the barn next week".
My head did an exorcist move. I didn't answer him. He said "Think about it, get back to me"
In my busy-ness of Mommyhood, I forgot to talk to him. Course, he asked me Sunday evening.
What'd he do?
Worked late every night this week. Told me last night, on the phone (from work, late) "Well, I told you I had to work late this week." I reminded him of his "offer". He said "You never answered me so I assumed it was fine."
In other words (remember, I know this guy's motives and moves), he didn't mention it, knowing I hadn't brought it up, so that he could do whatever and say "Well, I did tell you, it's your fault for not speaking up." Which is what happened.
I did book 2 lessons next week that I have not yet mentioned to him. After work. Mon and Wed. I am REALLY looking forward to them. REALLY.
Thanks for acknowledging, I just really wanted to offer the suggestion to outsource some childcare so that you have a more predictable schedule and can take care of yourself and kiddo and let hubby float around at will!
Oh he gets tasks. When he IS home, he helps out a lot. As far as laundry, I have 2 washers so I don't MIND washing the clothes (he took over once. Had bought me a lovely cashmere sweater and put it in the dryer. On high.)
It's the "I'll be late."
"I'm going to a car show Sunday, do you care?"
To which my response is always "Does it matter? You'll go anyway".
As far as babysitters/family...right now I work 3 days a week, and family takes the baby twice, DH has him on Fridays (but works Saturdays instead, often until 9 PM, which is why I started going to my mother's to play cards).
Last night I got the "I'm sorry, I won't be working late anymore"
I belly laughed and said "You said that last week, the week before and two weeks before THAT."
I don't mind once in a while. But I have the baby solo on Sat, Mon and Tues. The deal was I get to go to the barn those days when he gets home.
hasnt happened once.
No offense, OP, but your communication style is sucking here.
The right answer to "Do you mind if I go to the car show?" is:
The other answer is, sadly, passive-aggressive and setting you up to occupy the role of suffering while he watches. That *is* what you told him: He'd ignore you, you'd know it, and he'd know that you know it.
The other one, "taking his inventory" about the times he hasn't kept promises shouldn't be accompanied with a rhetorical belly-laugh. Are you pissed or are you enjoying a good joke (which is on you?).
Again, I don't mean to shame you on a public forum. But do think about tightening up what you say and do so that DH doesn't have so much room to do what he wants and leave you merely not liking it. That will serve you better and then, so that you don't finally explode, it will serve him better.
There is a local sitter we have, but she's really hard to get. She gets snapped up quickly (she works at a daycare too and watches the kids on the side).
I honestly have no idea about finding another sitter. Where does one look? I know NO ONE near me with kids that I can ask. And I would be very leery anyways, with a stranger. I'd have to install covert cameras through out my house.
For those of you that have someone come in and clean...what exactly do they do? I mean...I would feel the need to clean BEFORE they cleaned, you know what I mean?
Can you pick and choose what you want them to do...like come in and do the floors, pick up toys, change bed clothes, etc...but not do certain things...or do they just do it all?
My husband is REALLY weird about having people in our house he doesnt know...but Im thinking if I could hire someone once a month or so to come during the day when he wasnt there it might not be a big deal...
Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
Green Alligator "Captain"
I will say I think sleep deprivation gets me a lot with my patience with DH and my view on life in general. The last two nights DS1 has only woke up three times, normally he wakes up 7-8x. He has an appointment with an allergist on Monday, and then we are going to the Ear Nose and Throat specialist if it doesn't keep getting better or we find something out at the allergist. So I can relate to those wake ups, although I am very envious of only once... DS2 also wakes up once to eat so usually I am pretty exhausted!
Best of luck, have fun at your lessons. I am supposed to be able to ride this weekend AND go to the Horse Expo, feels like a poolside Pina Colada at this point! Cannot wait!
Isn't there some sort of online recommendation site? I don't know if it's credible...www.care.com I think. You might try there and scope references big time.
If I were looking now-in a new town, where I know nobody, I might ask at the school or church/youth group for a good responsible kid recommendation and then pay them well and have them watch at your house while you're there to monitor. As you lengthen the leash, do pop-in visits, ect. Sometimes it's nice just to have someone else entertaining the kid while you're still there, the neighbor kids were a help to me b/c they liked to play with my kids when they were little. I was still home and provided a snack or two but I was able to do my own thing. I would watch older cousins and bring them with me to the grocery store with my kids and it was easier, not as good as being alone, but easier. If you drag them around with you for a while you'll have a better idea of who they are and how they are with kids and YOUR kid and it's not quite that creepy feeling of ok here's my kid and home, see ya in three hours!
In line at the grocery store, if you see someone with a kid the same age maybe ask them for a reference?
Maybe ask the good babysitter if she has a friend that she could recommend, or another daycare employee?
I'd tell anyone in my home that there were cameras, even if there weren't! Say something like "don't be confused if you hear a random beep, that's just the home security cameras rolling..." LOL I'm paranoid about stuff like that too.
Well, you don't understand if you don't have kids (and horses/cats/dogs are NOT like a baby).
I don't have kids, so I'll bow out now.
I hope things work out for you and that you find enough people more qualified to help you.
I'd appreciate it, however, if you'd explain the grounds for your claim that "we are hard wired" to do as you are doing when mothers. I am well-trained in evolutionary biology and I disagree with your statement. At least, then, leave me out of your "we." Thanks.
Some friends have had luck with sittercity. I got mine from the local divinity school, if you are lucky enough to have one of those. Theology grad students make terrific babysitters -- they are broke, kind and often have many siblings so much experience.
Facebook groups for moms in the area is where I find a sitter. . . That way they come with recommendations. I have a special needs child so I'm extremely picky, for the sake of the sitter, who comes. I pay a premium because of that, but if they don't know how to deal with an autistic meltdown, it will be scary for all involved so I pay $15 an hour at a minimum.
But I've always had luck going to a mom board on FB and finding some recommendations. We're military and move all the time, so it's not like I can keep a sitter for long.