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  • #106547
    Kirk
    Participant

    Hello all, looking for advice on how to approach this problem. My wife does not contribute much to our home. She works about 8 hrs a week and spends her money on herself. I have to drive her to work and pick her up and her schedule is random. She often does not tell me when she is working until that day or the day before which makes it impossible for me to plan anything. She did not drive when I met her, I couldnt deal with chauffeuring her around anymore so I insisted she get her license. This lead to several fights and bad feelings that went on until, months later, she finally got her license. I have ( had ) one truck and one small car ( standard clutch ). I’m a farmer and I need the truck for work, but she refused to learn how to drive stick shift so she couldnt drive the car. I would let her use the truck to get back and forth to work and my schedule was forever at the whim of her manager. This all came to an end when she totalled the truck in an accident. Luckily nobody was hurt. I didnt have collision ( only liability ) so it was a total loss for me. I coffed up 16k and bought another truck. In the mean time she had fines from the accident which she never paid and so her license was suspended. So I was cast back into my second job as chauffeur again. This went on until scheduling conflicts cause more fights and strain, and again I pushed her to get her license fixed. This meant I had to call the court house several times, make the appointments ( which she missed several ) and drive her down there, and ultimately, I had to pay her fines.

    So she got her license, I was off the hook for driving her but again I had no transportation on the days that she worked, which are random. I put up with this for about a year until she had yet another accident and cracked up the new truck. This time it set me back 5k. At present I am back to driving her around, her license is suspended again ( from not paying the fines ), and I am back to pushing her to get the license fixed because I cant go on like this. I’m thinking about shelling out for a beater for her to drive now. Part of me isnt sure if I should encourage her to be on the road at all. I’m afraid she might hurt herself or somebody else. I wont put her on my insurance anymore and I dont want my name appearing anywhere on the vehicle or insurance plan.

    Next issue, I work two farms, pay all the bills, cook all the meals, do about half the housework, and act as her personal driver. I come in tired after hours of sweating in the field and have to clean up and start dinner. She is typically on her tablet, watching TV or out with her mom or friends. It seems I am a traditional husband when it comes to supporting her but she does not want the responsibility of a traditional housewife. The default setting for the house is messy, punctuated by sporadic bouts of cleaning which are generally precipitated by a fight. This morning, after cooking breakfast, I couldnt stand the mess anymore and I started cleaning and got the house in shape. Now she is making a show of doing the laundry, which is the one thing she does exclusively ( and generally I live out of piles of clothes that are all over the floor ).

    I feel like I have used up every possible combination of words to get through to her and I just dont know what to do anymore. I still love her but I can sense my feelings are starting to change. I’m tired of fighting and I’m starting to think of getting out.

    PS
    About a year ago she lost her wedding ring. She made no attempt to replace it. I suggested I might replace it and she told me she would wear it on another finger, or put some other rings on along with it ( I cant remember which). This troubles me. I never replaced the ring and neither did she. Last week, after another fight I took my ring off. I dont know why this bothers me so much but I felt that I was wearing the ring ( and the responsibility of marriage ) while she was not. Symbolic? Yes. But no less pertinent.

    • This topic was modified 8 years, 1 month ago by Kirk. Reason: Added something
    #106549
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear kirk:

    Do you have children with your wife? If you don’t, why not get a divorce so you can get out of this Lose-Win relationship (Lose for you, Win for her, for now)?

    anita

    #106553
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Kirk:

    I just read your story which you posted two weeks ago, was it, or so and I did read thtay you and your wife have a son together and that you are pretty happy with your life. Therefore I want to edit my reply to you above:

    If I was you, I woluldn’t let your wife drive a car, at least nothing but a beat up but safe car, nothing that will bring another significant expense if she gets into an accident once again. I would also consider not availing a vehicle for her at all for safety purposes, if she is simply a bad driver.

    I hope she is an involved and attentive mother to your son. This is her number one responsility and I sure hope she is doing a good job at it?!

    As far as housework, maybe come up with a list of weekly chores and a day for each chore for her to do, much like if you were dealing with a teenage daughter?

    anita

    #106562
    Rose Tattoo
    Participant

    Wow, it sounds like she’s pretty immature. I do wonder how she got along this long without needing to take any responsibility for herself. She sounds almost like a teenager! Can you stop enabling her and insist that she buy her own cheap car (get a better job, etc) and contribute to the household? It sounds like you have two kids instead of one. What would you do if your son chose not to contribute? I’d hope that you’d find ways to encourage him/reward him for contributing. Maybe do the same for your wife?

    #106565
    Kirk
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies. We have a son together, who is the most important thing in my life. She is a good mother, thankfully, but not a good wife IMO. Divorce is possible but I really dont want to go down that road unless I’ve exhausted every other option. I want to raise my son as a family. As far as her getting a job, she cant unless she has a car ( we live in a very rural place ) or I drive her. Its a catch 22. I do want to be driving her around the rest of her life, but I also dont want her to have another accident and get hurt/hurt somebody else or get me sued.

    As far as the housework, I think she believes that it isnt her responsibility or that I should be chipping in and doing half or something. This creates a situation where I pay all the bills, work full time, and end up cooking, cleaning ( as well as my second job as personal driver ). This is not equitable.

    #106572
    Kirk
    Participant

    I also like to add that I have tried things like the chore lists and things but she ignores them. Last year, after a fight about about finances as I tried to explain that we have to budget the money, I painstakingly went through all of our expenses for a year and made a list. Then I took out 5 jars and marked each one for its purpose…gas, food, energy, insurance….etc. Then I told her that every week I’m going to put x amount into each jar to be used for that purpose and when we used the money we would jot it down on a piece of paper so we could account for all of our expenses and money. Well that lasted about a week. The ‘entertainment’ money was used so she grabbed some from the food, the food money was gone so she took it from the energy, etc. And she never wrote anything down so it was all by her memory and before you know it the whole thing became a joke and I just stopped bothering. Now I just keep all money and pay it out myself, if she needs money she asks.

    Its true that I am generally happy with my life because I’m a happy guy by nature and even though things arent always good I usually stay pretty happy. However this is an issue that isnt going away and it does seem like its building, the fights are getting worse, we dont talk for a long time afterwards and nothing ever gets resolved, we just keep on going. I’ve recently run out of words and find myself ignoring her alot.

    #106589
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Kirk:

    That’s too bad, a shame really. I write so because it is so unnecessary. If she was motivated she could make life so much better for you and for your son. What to do… couple therapy… marriage counseling somewhere, learning communication skills.. I am typing as I am thinking. But as long as she is not motivated… I don’t understand, is she happy this way, fighting and you being miserable? Has she always been like this (Did you know this before you married her)?

    anita

    #106609
    pjoy
    Participant

    Hi Kirk
    So sorry for U and your son. It sounds like to me she wants out but doesn’t have the emotional maturity to just come out and say it. Fear of the unknown does crazy things. I was in a similar situation my husband and attorney but an alcoholic. He gave up law practice decided we should move out of state and I felt it was my place to follow him and keep family together. Things as bad as they had been only got worse. I finally got the courage…I don’t even know if it was courage since I was scared to death…to leave. I had no family but took my 2 kids and moved back to the area where I grew up. I did everything I could to try to facilitate a relationship between my kids and their dad…insisting they go on holidays summers all for naught. He was interested. My kids said I did the right thing in leavin and they have no relationship with him…but he is the one that put other things before them and showed no interest. He has totally moved on with his life without them. It’s o hard especially wanting your kids to have a family unit but u sound like one in a million and someone will appreciate u more than u can imagine. U can’t do this for the both of u she has to participate in this union or it will not work. No one deserves to a life of unhappiness or frustration. But it’s very hard so I wish u the best. Sometimes u have to do what is the absolute best for U and your child and that may involve some pain..discomfort. but probably no more than what u r experiencing now. Take care

    #106623
    Kirk
    Participant

    Well things just went from bad to worse. Yesterday we said about 5 words to each other. This morning she got up and started getting dressed and ready to go somewhere. I asked where she was planning on going and she told me ‘Its monday, you know I have to go to work’…this is unbelievable and I feel like I am living in the twilight zone. She has no set schedule and works random days. Monday has no significance. I said as much and let her know that I have a full day planned and cannot take her into work and cannot watch the baby. She never told me she was working today, and this is the problem we run into everytime. I told her that if she does this to me again I am not going to cancel my plans and take her to work. She responded by saying “don’t you threaten me”!! I finally had it, and told her I’m not taking her into work today or ever again, she has no respect for me.

    I then went out to tend the herd. When I came back there was a note on the table “If you don’t want to be a father I can arrange that”. Can you all believe this?? Tell me I’m not losing my mind, please. The note is partly true, I don’t want to be HER father.

    I’m really just so upset right now I feel like I have a knife in my chest.

    #106626
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Kirk:

    i thought the same thing as I read her note: whose father? It took me a moment to realize she meant your son’s father.

    If you tried, Kirk, all you could to communicate effectively with her, for a long time and got no useful outcomes, only more of the same (as in your recent record in the above post), there may be no hope here. No reasonable hope, anyway.

    This situation is hurting you, there is no doubt about that. You are feeling that you are losing your mind. This is not why you chose a life of solitude, living in a rural place. You chose your life so to have peace of mind, to no longer be mistreated. And here you are experiencing the same thing you moved away from to your current home.

    Your son will suffer or may already be suffering from this dynamic. He will pick up on the dynamic no matter how hard you try to hide it from him. That knife in your chest feeling will not go unnoticed by him.

    Is it time then to take action and dissolve this marriage?

    anita

    #106666
    Sarah
    Participant

    Kirk,
    I am truly sorry you are going through this situation and I can’t imagine the stress and pain it is causing you. From what I have read, you are filling all roles and that is not how a marriage is supposed to work. You are parent, housecleaner, chauffeur, cook, and money-provider – while some people handle all those roles, they are traditionally single and not in a committed marriage. Something has to give and I truly don’t want it to be your mental, physical or emotional health but that is the way it is going.

    From an outside perspective, it seems as though your wife has checked out of your marriage completely and have no respect for you as a person, let alone as her husband and provider. Based on the information provided, it sounds like she doesn’t want to be married anymore and may just be waiting for you to be the one to say something. Her losing her wedding ring and not even wanting it replaced (or even if you replaced it – wearing it on another finger) are signs on the wall. You mentioned removing your own wedding ring which might be indications that you are feeling the same about your marriage.

    I am sorry to say but her little note would have been the last straw for me. Anita is right – no matter how you try to hide this situation from your son, children are very astute and pick up on things that adults would rather they not and growing up with this level of vitriol would be worse than being a single parent. There is also the fact that she is threatening YOU with taking him away is a poisonous situation and just generally dangerous all around. She is attempting to use your child as a weapon and that is unacceptable.

    You stated above you are a “happy guy” but that isn’t the information being presented here. You are not happy – you are surviving and trying to make the best of a bad situation. It might be time to examine your life a little closer – are you truly happy with her? It sounds as thought she provides nothing but tension and stress to your life at this point. If you truly want to save this marriage – it might still be possible but ONLY if she is still willing and it would require counseling. However, I believe that you might be better off going your own way and looking out for yourself and, more importantly, your son. It is clear that you would be more than able to support yourself and your child, especially since that is what you are doing currently with little help from you housemate (I apologize but she isn’t acting like a wife).

    Please make sure that no matter what you do – you put yourself and your child first.
    Sarah

    #106669
    Nan
    Participant

    Dear Kirk,
    I have seen this before with other people I knew thru the years. Bluntly, you are her meal-ticket and she will use the son as a bargaining chip with you. I am sure you cant ask her to leave, as she doesnt appear to have other viable options. You have farms to run and chores, and cant leave yourself either. Need some advice legally if you can find the time……..

    #106670
    HippieChick
    Participant

    I know someone who was in a very similar situation to the point that he finally separated from his wife even though they have 2 small children. He coparents the children and does well on his own. She continues to behave in much the same way…messy house, very little responsibility for anything, constantly expects him to do things for her (repair things, research things, etc). Only difference is that now, unless it’s for his kids, he can and does say no and tell her is her problem.

    Your situation is yours, not his. But unless she’s willing to change or afraid to lose you, she’s not going to change.

    #106697
    Kirk
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice guys, I have reached out to a marriage councilor. Going to try one last thing here.

    #106699
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Kirk:

    Do post again if you need to. There is the nature of the relationship between the two of you to look into: how it started, what were the expectations and assumptions on both parties, how it developed over time, the nature of the communication over time, current objectives on both sides: what does she want now? What do you want now?

    There are interpersonal communication skills to learn so each one of you communicate with the other with EAR, that is Empathy, Assertiveness and Respect. Lots of understanding to be gained and skills to be learned and maybe there will be a breakthrough, good will and work forward or not. Hope for the best to you.

    anita

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