December 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm #182529
This is my first time posting and the post will be rather long. Thanks for your patience and help.
My DH and I have been married for 10 years now. We are of different ethnic backgrounds and over at least the last half decade I have grown increasingly resentful of him as time passes. I have been telling him constantly that I am approaching my wits end, that I want… no… I need things to change, but nothing’s changed. Thus, I want the perspective of individuals from a diverse background mostly to see what I am doing to exasperate the situation or to find a solution. Bear in mind that this is from my perspective and not his…
Before we got married things were great. We had fun, the world was ours. After we got married, things started to fall apart. It was a bunch of small things that accumulated over the years. My primary concerns are his “white lies”, his inability to keep his word and the way he handled situations in the past.
For example, he tells people what they want to hear which makes him appear charismatic and amiable when you first meet him. He’ll tell me that he did something but in reality he didn’t and even when caught red handed he will stick by his story. He’ll make promises and rarely follows through – there’s always an excuse and no accountability.
Regarding the way he handled situations in the past. His best friend was laid off and needed a place to stay. We looked at each other and I told him that it’s his best friend so our home will always be open to him. I’ll support his decision. His friend ended up moving into our living room. For simplicity we’ll call him Joe. There were already 5 of us living in a 2bedroom apartment so within 6 months we purchased a home and Joe lived in the basement. Joe paid rent and all was good until the day I went downstairs to do the laundry and he pulled up my shirt and grabbed my boobs. I immediately ran upstairs to and told DH who then asked me what I wanted to do about it. I told him that we needed the rent and that Joe should stay so he did… for months. I was sneaking in and out of the house and cooped up in my room to avoid Joe. Eventually I had enough and asked DH to do something about it. DH called Joe upstairs and asked him if what I said was true. Joe denied it all, said that DH knew him better than that and he wouldn’t do something like that. DH turns to me and asks if I have anything to say. I had it so I was screaming at Joe so loud that the neighbors probably heard. When I said my piece, DH told Joe that he things he should leave, now. That was then end of it.
Looking back I feel hurt, maybe even betrayed. It was my decision to keep Joe there but why did DH react that way? Why wasn’t he angry? Why wasn’t he trying to protect me? Why?
He gets laid off about 17 months later. I told him that he has my support that he should take this time to reflect on what he wants. He kept turning jobs down saying that they weren’t paying enough but he didn’t have the credentials to get more than an entry job in his field at the time. Nonetheless, I left it to him. I continued to work and support the family. I asked him to ensure that the homework was done with the kids and that they were fed before I get home because I get home really late and would only be able to put them to bed. He did some but everything fell through the cracks. He would lie to me about getting things done when everyone caught him sitting on his computer playing video games and sleeping in until minutes before I came home. There was always an excuse. It was never his fault. This lasted for 4 months.
We end up moving to a different province to open a family business. We agreed that I would keep my job for stability and I committed to help him with bookkeeping. He was supposed to have all the paperwork in order for when we got there. It wasn’t done. so I ended up doing it all including finding us a place to live and getting all the utilities set up. As the business progressed and my family got to know him more and more, they respected him less and less until now no one wants to work with him.
I lost all respect for him and I was mean. I didn’t filter my thoughts, I had no patience, every time I looked at him I was appalled. Every time we talked I would explain how I felt, what I needed, we put together a plan that he’d agree to then nothing is done. Every. single. time.
Then my sister dies and I had to go back home to plan her funeral. There many things I couldn’t tell him on the phone and I asked that he trusted me that I needed to take care of things. I come back to him talking behind my back, texting back and forth with his female friend about how they should have gotten married and how they missed each other. I shared with him how I felt and asked him to put himself in my shoes; he scoffed at me. Then came back and apologized.
I suggested we meet with a marriage counsellor, he said yes. It never happened. Until I just booked it and told him we were going. He made commitments to the marriage counsellor and nothing improved.
He’s a great playmate for the kids, but I don’t want them taking after him. He’s great at explaining things to them and taking them out for adventures. He does wake up in the morning to make them lunch. I am confident that he is doing the best that he is capable of doing.
I don’t think I want a divorce because I do still care for him like I do a family member. I am not attracted to him and just looking at him annoys me. Things that he does that if someone else were to do it wouldn’t annoy me as much.
I also made a vow to him on our marriage day and I am trying to keep it. I’ve slipped multiple times by mistreating him with my anger and resentment. I think it’s better to separate. I’ll continue to support him and if he agrees we share the cost of running the household. But I’m going through a rollercoaster of guilt, resentment, fatigue and more.
What are your thoughts?December 17, 2017 at 6:19 am #182561AnonymousGuest
What you described is not an Ethnic issue but a Dishonesty issue: he is not an honest man: he lies, doesn’t keep his promises, flirts with another woman. I am not surprised you are no longer attracted to him and that you are angry at him, these are the natural consequences of his lying, not keeping his promises and so forth.
What does a woman in your situation do with that anger(Can’t not feel angry in this situation, as far as I can see)?
anitaDecember 17, 2017 at 6:37 am #182565InkyParticipant
I would keep him as a stay-at-home dad and revisit separation when the kids are in college/adults. We know he’s not good with paperwork, whether from the school papers to files, so if he does return to work, it should be at a job where he just has to show up and not deal with paper/processing files at all. If he doesn’t, like I said, stay-at-home dad.
As for the flirting/texting, that is just the frustrations/fantasies of the stay-at-home parent. This other girl won’t go there. Going to be terribly un-PC here, but no woman will have an affair with a (sorry) stay-at-home-dad (sorry not sorry, stay-at-home dad who I wouldn’t have an affair with back in ’04 LOL!). Let him have his fantasy, OR take away his cell phone (she who makes the money makes the rules), OR let her have him! It would do you a favor maybe!
InkyDecember 17, 2017 at 6:39 am #182567AnonymousGuest
You asked for the reader’s thoughts. I have more thoughts:
It is difficult and distressing to be physically intimate with a man you are appalled by, angry at, so I wouldn’t.
Reads like his dishonesty does not bother him, he is not conflicted or distressed by it, so he is not motivated to change. Without distress, no motivation, so a change is very unlikely.
Anger cannot and will not be ignored. It has to express itself somehow as yours already has. The children are likely to pick on it, as well as on your guilt for expressing your anger.
It is not always better for parents to stay together for the sake of the children, not when they fight, not when anger is felt in the household, tensions, guilt, distress.
anitaDecember 17, 2017 at 8:48 am #182579
Thanks so much for replying.
I don’t argue with DH anymore… maybe once a month at most. We essentially shadows living under the same roof with a platonic relationship.
We are happy around the kids, but other than that we have nothing to talk about.
He was a stay at home parent when he was laid off – it was very stressful for me because things just werent getting done at home and I didnt have time after doing OT and getting hours. If it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
He is very kind and has some sense of responsibility. Very good to the kids. I am very conflicted.December 17, 2017 at 8:57 am #182581AnonymousGuest
Conflicted about whether to continue to live as is or separate, is that the conflict, specifically?
If it is, you can list the pros and cons for staying as-is and the pros and cons for separating, is you’d like, and I will give you my input, my perspective.
Or, are you still hoping for a change in the relationship?
anitaDecember 17, 2017 at 9:17 am #182583
I’m conflicted about whether to separate or not.
– I won’t feel tied down
– he will know where we stand in the relationship
– I can leave if I needed to
– he’ll be hurt, really hurt
– it might make the situation worse due to bitter feelings
– he might ignore the terms we agree to causing more turmoil
That’s all I can think of for now. I don’t know if a change is going to fix anything. I’m unhappy but I don’t let that affect the children and I don’t take it out on him. We just go about our day doing what we need to. I feel guilty for wanting to separate. I won’t abandon him, I’ll still support him as best as I can but I don’t want to be tied to him as a lover any more. We aren’t lovers. We’re just two family members trying to live life as best as we know how.December 17, 2017 at 9:25 am #182593AnonymousGuest
I will read and reply to your recent post (and anything you might want to add to it) in an hour or two.
anitaDecember 17, 2017 at 11:28 am #182611AnonymousGuest
You were willing to see a marriage counselor with him, it is a good idea for you to see a counselor individually so to resolve your conflict.
Regarding your guilt: it is only right for him to suffer (or enjoy) the consequences of his own actions. Lying to you, not acting for the benefit of you and the marriage has its consequences. Not a good idea to protect anyone from the natural and understandable consequences of their actions. Your guilt seems unjustified to me and is something to resolve with a quality counselor/psychotherapist.
Children are way more perceptive than most adults give them credit for. They are likely to perceive tensions in the household regardless of your best efforts. You can ignore and push anger down best you can, but anger will not ignore you and will come up somehow, again and again… and the children will notice.
Reads to me that you are afraid of what he may do because of his bitter feelings and not cooperate with the terms of separation: if he hasn’t been violent so far with you, he is not likely to become violent. If he needs you financially, he is not likely to not cooperate with a separation or a divorce. Who knows, he may be afraid of you not being as accommodating to him as you were so far, he has lots to lose if he doesn’t cooperate.
Remember action and consequences: let him know of the consequences of possible lack of cooperation on his part.
Will soon be away from the computer for about sixteen hours. If you post again I will reply when I am back.
anitaJanuary 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm #188173MarkParticipant
You said you don’t want a divorce because you care for him like a family member. That may be true but he is someone you don’t want as a husband which is different from being a family member. Your pet dog is a family member. Your Uncle Bob is a family member. You still care for family members without being married to him or living with him.
My view to your statement of making a vow to your husband is that a marriage vow is a commitment not a prison sentence. Nothing is forever for life changes, people change. It’s a contract that can be renegotiated in my opinion because of what changes. I think that the Buddhist view is that everything is temporary, i.e. “impermanence” and attachment is the cause of suffering.
You listed Cons on why you don’t want to divorce him. One is that he’ll be really hurt. First and foremost you are not responsible for his feelings. Second you are worried what might be, i.e. that there will be bitter feelings. You mean him having bitter feelings, not you? Again that is his responsibility on how he views that and how he handles it. He has played a big part in the reason why you want a divorce. Your third reason on why he might ignore the terms of the divorce is another “what if” scenario. That reason is why you have a divorce lawyer.
I work on living my life from love rather than fear. Your Cons are from fear. Your Pros are out of love for yourself.
MarkJanuary 25, 2018 at 7:28 pm #189077
Thank you for this.
My cons are from fear. I worry about my children and their well-being; I’ve read and witnessed the potentially negative impacts the separation may have on our children – they weren’t given a choice. Fear that I had not yet given my all towards the repair of the relationship. A lot of “what ifs” to consider. This decision isn’t one I make likely due to the many lives it impacts.
That being said, I’m confident now that I have given it my all. I did love him unconditionally or should I say conditionally? What I mean is, I didn’t expect him to provide me anything physically, financially, or materialistically – whatever he was capable of giving me I gladly embraced. The only thing I desperately needed was his trust, respect and support. Perhaps my love is conditional; how does one change that…?
I wrote a separation agreement, 50/50 everything: time, money, kids, and debt. I think that’s fair to him, to myself, to our relationship. I watched his reaction as I told him, his eyes betrayed his facade – he was hurt, I felt hurt and sad that I hurt him. He didn’t want to sign the agreement nor does he want to now, but that’s not within my control any more.
I still love him and I will still be there for him – no matter what; I just don’t see him as my life partner.
Will I ever find a life partner? Silly question.January 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm #189091MarkParticipant
I know from my divorce that my children came out better. They even told me that did not see me and their mother as compatible. I have set an example of taking care of myself, being happier and being able to walk away that was not healthy for me. I hope I showed them that it is not good to stay in a relationship that does not make sense so they can learn and apply that for their relationships.
I believe there are different kinds of love. We can love humanity unconditionally. I believe we should love people conditionally else we let ourselves be victims or allow to be stepped on without assigning responsibility to the other. I also believe I can love someone from afar where I don’t have to be in relationship with them.
I wish you a gentle exit and a future of healthy and mutual loving partner relationship Em.