sole provider = how much say do i have? - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #16 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 02:42 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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If she really is depressed, that quick and harsh move) could put right into some dark territory...
I am suggesting a trial separation. Sounds to me like she needs a reality check and those tend to be harsh. Also I put a lot of qualifiers in there, not rigid statements.

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I think we need to hear quite a bit more info from OP....Like the rest of the story
Well, we can only go by what he has posted. If he wants to share more my advice would probably change to reflect that. But as it stands now I think that would be the best; let her see life without him around all the time. May snap her back to reality; if it turns out to be bad advice I will give him a full refund…


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post #17 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 03:15 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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Thanks for the reponses! She is seeing a naturopath for her hypothyroidism and trying to fix her levels, trying to fix her adrenals, etc. I let her spend whatever she needs on her meds and therapy because i want her to be happy and healthy again. Even though she's always been quick tempered and confrontational this whole situation for her has really brought out the worst. I think positively about things whereas she's always thinking of the negatives. She always has issues with our neighbors but they all wave and say hi to me. Just one example of how we approach things differently. I don't want to divorce. I want her to get better but I also don't want her to overdictate..

I'm just wondering if I put my foot down and said, I'm quitting my high paying job that is killing my soul and taking a lower paying menial job that makes me smile and to do that we will buy something more affordable so i can do that... Would that be fair?

I told her that perhaps she could volunteer or work part time at a local stable so she can be around horses which makes her happy. And in the future when we can afford it she can get her horse. I just get eye rolls or snarky comments about how it's not the same thing.
Lets get one thing straight.

You're not being nice when you "let her spend what she likes on her meds", you're being damn lazy.

(1) You need to get involved in your famillies life. I know it's hard, and you're tired, etc etc (sound familiar??) but really, her interest while along with the kids, is limited by _your_ interest in them, If you can't make the time, it makes them all valueless _in_there_eyes. the kids don't know it yet, because they just suck their energy and morale boosting off their mum!

(2) Things are really bad. If things don't work out with the naturopath, go see a GP. You don't have to give up on the natural ways or sell out to the GP (even if the GP thinks you should). What you're looking for is _any_ change.

(3) Does she sleep well at nights?
(4) What external interest groups does she have? Many women get recharged by social activities, in the same way many men prefer chilling in front of game, self-hobbies (eg fishing).
(5) What is her exercise level?
(6) She is definitely depressed (as mentioned by another poster) accept that, deal with it, and move forward to others that appropriately cause depression.

(7) Given that she's been in the same rut for most of her life, and the kids are moving on, and her own hormones will be dropping with the lack of social and personal stimulation, it's not surprising the spring is winding down. The same thing happens in laboratories in psychological testing in they put living things in monotonous unchanging surroundings, eventually their brain (or equivalent) forces itself to shutdown to handle the lack of stimulation. That has a self-reinforcing effect, because the less brain stimulation, the less it wants to stimulate muscles etc, and the more it tries to protect itself by shutting down.

(8) the negativity and picking fights with neighbours are just symptoms of (7). Depression is self-reinforcing, as it turns "negative results" into personal confirmations. Better to be right and miserable, than accept failure. Better to blame everything or anything else than to face the impossible act of fixing Everything.

(9) From 8 you can see why doing her personal goals is going to get shot down big time?? The bigger the carrot, the more refusal force must be applied. Unfortunately I'm not trained to treat depression. I would consider doing small things that are tangents, that result in small positive stimuli. "Doing things" is a job, a task to be endured, for the depressed - they can no longer see or accept that something may be pleasant and unstressful, or even successfully done. It is better in their brain to reject and not try, or to wall themselves off, than to face more struggle and disappointment because they are all out of hope "juice". So sadly it falls on their loved ones (or professionals) to help the person who has become emotionally crippled, and take them to places where things do work out, don't make people angry, don't leave them behind - and aren't too over the top or impossible. baby steps.
When my depression was at it's worst it helped to make a list each day. I would sit down, take a pen, a notepad, and write a list: it would say (1) write a list. Then I would go make a cup of tea (vascular dilator, vs coffee whie is a vasular restrictor), then I would sit down and cross off any thing I had done on my list. Sometimes that was the only thing I managed to successfully accomplish that day, but it got me through the worst times.
Eventually I got to the point I could make longer term lists, just to get the pressure and emptiness out of my head. That helped me put aside my needs, and deal with my clients - and that helped turn things around for me.

As for quitting your job? Never. You should only move forward, to better opportunity; never backwards to a corner of nowhere to go.
If you apply for a better position, you can describe why you want to move forwards - if you've quit, you'll just look desparate.
If it doesn't work out, you can say to other HR interviewers that you took a chance, it was a calculated risk, but you think it's not really the best fit for you, and you think you can serve their firms needs (of X,Y,Z) better than you can at your current place. If you quit, then hire and want to jump; you look like a serial jobhopper who doesn't fit in anywhere. Or if you quit twice, even more desparate. So learn from your wife - that's what will happen to you if you don't focus on moving forward to new opportunity
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post #18 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 07:26 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

I can only relate pretty directly and sympathize. No advice.

My heart has sunk many times on seeing her thyroid tests come back within normal levels (no changes in her levothyroxine prescription needed).

I've tried every angle for the past 15 years and nothing really works. Encouragement and support for mental, social, academic, work, recreational, spiritual activities or appointments with specialists. I've even conspired with my own female friends to get her out with other women for coffee, shopping, anything.

Maybe in the end "lazy" is a core characteristic that even the most patient and loving spouse can't surmount.
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post #19 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 07:38 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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Thanks for the reponses! She is seeing a naturopath for her hypothyroidism and trying to fix her levels, trying to fix her adrenals, etc. I let her spend whatever she needs on her meds and therapy because i want her to be happy and healthy again. Even though she's always been quick tempered and confrontational this whole situation for her has really brought out the worst. I think positively about things whereas she's always thinking of the negatives. She always has issues with our neighbors but they all wave and say hi to me. Just one example of how we approach things differently. I don't want to divorce. I want her to get better but I also don't want her to overdictate..

I'm just wondering if I put my foot down and said, I'm quitting my high paying job that is killing my soul and taking a lower paying menial job that makes me smile and to do that we will buy something more affordable so i can do that... Would that be fair?

ETA: I just read "naturopath" and while I know they can do wonders, she is working with an MD, too, right?

I told her that perhaps she could volunteer or work part time at a local stable so she can be around horses which makes her happy. And in the future when we can afford it she can get her horse. I just get eye rolls or snarky comments about how it's not the same thing.
Spending that much time unhappy has got to be difficult. I know from family and friends that it takes a LONG TIME to get thyroid medication tweeked just right. And it takes a while to get anti-depressants right.

Horses are excellent therapy animals. Exercise helps fight depression and weight gain.

Get a sitter, pick up takeout and have a real honest conversation about your combined life goals. I think you should be supportive of her desire to have a horse; on the other hand, you shouldn't be chained ot a job that brings no happiness or satisfaction.

Perhaps you can agree on a timeline - she keeps with doctors to get herself sorted out, you will downsize and work a job you love and with the proceeds of the house and living smaller but happier, you can get a horse in 18 months (or whatever).

I have a friend who lives in an equestrian community - they are Charleston style 2-story homes on very small lots but there is a huge common stable and training rings. Some people own horses there and some don't. Often families "share" a horse - in that one owns the horse but lets kids ride - it helps them with the 'chore' of exercising them and brushing them down. I don't know if there's anything like that where you are.

Your "dream" job - can you do it from the country? I just think a logical give-and-take about what you both want and cooperatively come up with a plan together on how to achieve both could help tremendously. And while owning her own horse may be her final objective, I think working with horses could be really rewarding in the interim but she has to get her medications just right so she can feel like herself again.

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post #20 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 08:05 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

OP,

To answer your question, you have 50% bargaining power. You and your wife agreed she will raise the kids and you will work. With that arrangement, decisions are 50/50. You do not get more say because you are the "sole provider". You are providing income, while your wife is provider for raising the children.

Problem #1. My wife is depressed and has to deal with a very major medical condition so I understand somewhat your situation. Let me be brunt. That naturopathic approach is not going to cut it. Your wife needs to be treated by a medical doctor for her depression and her thyroid issues. There is no doubt in my mind that the approach your wife, and you, are taking for her health is grossly insufficient. She is not getting the help she needs. Finding the proper medication for her depression can be and will be life altering. All the symptoms your wife has, my wife had. Right now, this path has your wife being depressed forever and BOTH of you have to deal with the consequences. Like, no sex. Believe me, that situation will continue to make you miserable and more resentful. Been there, done that.

Problem #2. Your wife's dream of the horse. She has the power to make her dreams come true. If she wants a horse, she needs to get a job to pay for the horse. If not, no horse. If she needs a therapy animal, get a dog and love it. She will not take care of the horse. You will have to do that. If she fixes problem #1, then maybe she can get a job and have her dream come true. If she is just lazy, then no horse. Trust me, having a horse will NOT make her less depressed. Her depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Problem #3. Your dreams. You need to decide what path you want to take in life. Quit worrying about your wife's "eye rolling". Do you want to be unhappy in your job, your marriage and sex life (lack thereof). If that means changing jobs, then you discuss with wife how to make that happen.

Google "no more mister nice guy pdf" and read the book No More Mister Nice Guy. It is a free download. You REALLY need to read this book.
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post #21 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Tons of great advice from all kinds of angles. Thanks so much everyone!

I don't want to come on here and rip apart my Wife without her being able to defend herself. Right now she is out with our youngest playing which is great. She was smiling for the most part yesterday which is nice. But then all it takes is one mistake for her to blow up.

I'm a pretty darn positive person and have been all my life. I will say that I'm feeling the effects of midlife crisis though so I don't want to make any rash decisions.

I love playing with my kids and would love to be a SAHD. I've mentioned this to her on many occasions with much resistance.

I think my issues here are my unwillingness to be around negativity and anger. It's a vicious cycle. The more I don't want to be around her anger the angrier she gets.

If I made a huge decision to pursue my dreams which affects us monetarily I can see a future of even more anger and resentment. Are my dreams more important than hers? I would not think so however I want to make an effort to pursue them and I have encouraged her to make an effort to pursue hers as well. Hopefully she will and start her path towards happiness.

However like someone on here may have mentioned I have asked her several times recently what will make her happy right now? Horses? Or getting her health back in order? I guess I should mention that we have chickens, rabbits, cats and a dog already. We had goats for awhile too. Besides the dog she has gathered these animals much to my dismay and without consultation. She does take very good care of them though. They make her happy so I've come to accept it. What little energy she appears to have goes into the care of the kids and animals and if anything it keeps her off the couch all day in front of the TV. She has had a horse in her childhood.

hopefully I haven't gone on too much of a sidebar here as this is the financial forum. Thanks again everyone for the advice and thoughts. Again I hate the thought of divorce specifically for the idea of not having my kids all the time and for the idea that it seems like it will be a financial mess. Several times over the past year though we have come close with her threatening to walk out.

I just want my old wife back.
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post #22 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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I can only relate pretty directly and sympathize. No advice.

My heart has sunk many times on seeing her thyroid tests come back within normal levels (no changes in her levothyroxine prescription needed).

I've tried every angle for the past 15 years and nothing really works. Encouragement and support for mental, social, academic, work, recreational, spiritual activities or appointments with specialists. I've even conspired with my own female friends to get her out with other women for coffee, shopping, anything.

Maybe in the end "lazy" is a core characteristic that even the most patient and loving spouse can't surmount.
It doesn't make me happy to see this happening to others. I too have tried to introduce her to friends of mine. She does have friends though but her friends and my friends are like oil and water so to speak. I don't want to say or assume that mine are better than hers just different. I could go on and on about that but won't. ?

I wish you much luck and happiness!
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post #23 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 09:50 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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I just want my old wife back.
@5280 we are not going to let you off so easily. DO NOT leave this forum. Keep posting or come back later - not too much later - with another thread. You have a really good resource here. You and your family need the help and advice. A post once and leave approach is NOT recommended.

I see nothing here divorce worthy. You painted a picture of a good family and good marriage that is struggling but salvageable.

I want to push you further on this depression issue. It could be the common factor in most of your problems.

Why did your wife go the naturopathic route instead of the traditional M.D.?
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post #24 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 10:48 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

You tell her that you will consider buying a horse when she has proven that she and she alone can provide the care it needs. You can't take on any more responsibility. Of course, she'll plan on having the children take care of the horse - that's a no-go.
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post #25 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 11:25 AM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

having lived with a hypothyroid afflicted wife for 20+ years I can tell you all you describe is VERY common. just because her levels are normal does not mean it is being treated properly, find an endo that will treat the symptoms and not so much the levels. Synthroid sucks for some folks, with my wife it actually makes her symptoms worse. but after her thyroidectomy her endo has upped it and is slowly taking her off Armour. This frustrates both of us, but she has been unable to find another endo just yet since there are none within 150 miles of us.

Hang in there, love her, and work WITH her. ultimatums will only make things worse.

as far as selling the house and taking a lower job in a less expensive area, that is something only you two can figure out. You can find homes and horses cheap if you are willing to move to the country. Our horse was free, and he costs maybe 150.00 a month to feed and stable.

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post #26 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 01:28 PM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

Here's what you have to explain to your wife, holistic is great, but so is "Western" medicine." You need to find a doctor who is trained in both. Sorry, both sides feel they need to be against each other instead of working together.
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post #27 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 02:11 PM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

The Western meds are very pure and many are based on naturally occurring chemicals. Your wife needs to be open minded to consider that herbs are still drugs, but are much harder to dose and regulate and come with impurities that can lead to side effects.

Does your wife want to live the rest of her life unhappy? Have you had a talk with her about getting proper health care?

BTW, if you move, made sure you are close access to the right doctors needed to support her condition.

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post #28 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 02:39 PM
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

None, you have no bargaining power at all. You lost it all when you decided to become the sole provider. Now you will no longer have any control over your life at all, you will have to continue doing that job you hate for a long long time becuase you won't be able to afford to do anything else. Your life will suck, you'll hate your job and hate what you come home to. Everyone is depending on you and there's noone to fill your needs. Your needs no count nor matter. You're nothing but a damn paycheck. Welcome to the world of "soleproviderdom". It really sucks and there's no going back

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #29 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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None, you have no bargaining power at all. You lost it all when you decided to become the sole provider. Now you will no longer have any control over your life at all, you will have to continue doing that job you hate for a long long time becuase you won't be able to afford to do anything else. Your life will suck, you'll hate your job and hate what you come home to. Everyone is depending on you and there's noone to fill your needs. Your needs no count nor matter. You're nothing but a damn paycheck. Welcome to the world of "soleproviderdom". It really sucks and there's no going back
That's definitely how I'm feeling at the moment!! But I'm gonna try my hardest to break out of this.
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post #30 of 96 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: sole provider = how much say do i have?

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OP, I am no longer in that field, but I spent 4 years in pharmaceutical manufacturing with many drugs. I took great pride in knowing that in a small way I helped people who are suffering from illness and pain.

The Western meds are very pure and many are based on naturally occurring chemicals. Your wife needs to be open minded to consider that herbs are still drugs, but are much harder to dose and regulate and come with impurities that can lead to side effects.

Does your wife want to live the rest of her life unhappy? Have you had a talk with her about getting proper health care?

BTW, if you move, made sure you are close access to the right doctors needed to support her condition.
Ironically enough I'm in pharmacy and so was she. She got fed up with it and left. I'm still here. I definitely see the pros of western medicine even though I hate the industry that surrounds it. I want out. And it's gonna mean a big cut in pay to start from the bottom in some other field. I'm just hoping this isn't the midlife crisis in me talking.
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