I Desparately Need Advice
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I Desperately Need Advice

What should I do about my marriage?

I have been married over 15 yrs., have been a stay at home wife and mother, and basically done all the "wifely duties" that I am supposed to do. My husband and I have major problems, and I don't seem to be able to foster any loving feelings toward him, and I despise and endure his touch. Now for you to
understand my situation, you understand when a woman is a stay at home mom, she doesn't have her "own money." Just her husbands.

From the beginning of our marriage, he is been so overbearing and controlling when it comes to money. It started right from the get-go. We would go to the store for some groceries (or whatever), and he would give me the money to buy them, and when I returned to the car or returned home, he would want the change back. Just like if someone's child went into a store to buy something, and when they came back, the parent would ask for the change back. That was before we had any credit cards. After we got credit cards, even though I do use them, it is not without great care. I have dealt with his "reaction" for years if I bought something he didn't think was an absolute necessity. "What did you get that for? You didn't need that did you? Etc. I guess for me to get something for myself must be the worst crime. Well, because of how he is about money, and how he reacts, I have learned to simply NOT spend money b/c he has made it clear that I am not allowed to. So for years I have told him he should GIVE me money. That way if I wanted something for myself, I would have the money to buy it. OR if we were out somewhere with the kids, and they got hungry or thirsty, I could buy them something. But, he would use the excuse "You have credit cards and a checkbook." Then, I would point out to him that I can't use them b/c of how mad he gets and the fits he throws. The only times that I have actually had money in my pocket or bought myself something that cost more than a few dollars is because his mom is so gracious to give me money for Christmas and on my birthday. For years, those are the only 2 times I actually have money in my pocket.

We were married in 1991 and bought a new house in 2003. I wanted to buy some nice things to put on the walls, so I was at a Home Interior Party. I thought to myself, I have NEVER spent even $100 on myself at one time in over 10 years of marriage, so surely it would be ok to now. So I bought over $100 of Home Interior to put on the walls. What do you think happened when he found out? You guessed it! He got so mad, and was throwing a fit, and wanted to know if I could cancel the order. I lied and said NO. In my heart when he reacted in that way, it hurt me so deeply, it was literally like a knife stabbed me. I had a very sharp chest pain, and thought "he loves money, but doesn't love me."

Now you need to understand something else to get the clear picture. I can understand when people are poor, and they need that money to pay bills, that a husband would get very angry if the wife spent it. But that is entirely not the case here. We have NEVER needed money. We have always had plenty in the bank, and we have been able to pay for things like buying a car, and pay for it in full without having to take out a loan. AND, I know this will come as a surprise to many, but we have bought our house, and when we did so we paid for it in full! So if we can afford to pay cash for cars, and a house, and STILL have money in the bank...well, then surely I can afford to buy some Home Interior for the walls. Surely I can spend some money on myself once in awhile. But he has made it clear by his actions, that money is more important than his wife.

I have told him, I would rather be in debt than to be in a miserable marriage. He has destroyed my feelings for him. The worst is that this has went on for 10, 12, 15, and more years. I have talked to him, and it has done no good. Years of years of being treated that way. Years and years of my trying to talk to him about this, and he has ignored me and ignored me. He is not a communicator. I have sat on the foot of the bed, trying to talk to him. Trying to speak in a calm voice, and not be a nag, but try to show him the problem in this situation. And all he does is ignore me. He keeps his face in the book he is reading, like I am not even there, and like he doesn't hear me saying a word. And the worst is that after I said what I have said, nothing changes. It is literally like he never heard it. Like I never said it.

So after 18 years of marriage, I decided that he ISN'T going to change. So if things are going to change, I will have to change it for myself. I started working, and now I can't stop. I have a desparate need... I mean, I am consumed with the desire to make enough money that I would never have to need or want another dollar from him. I want to be completely independent, and so on.

I once told him that we need marriage counseling. I told him that for several months. But he figured that going to marriage counselor would cost him some of his precious money, so we never went.

Now, it's no longer constant nagging and resentment spewing at him. I have withdrawn from him mentally and emotionally. I no longer tell him what I think. I speak to him as little as possible so that I can avoid the pain of being ignored. Because of the hurt, because we have no communication, I am no longer physically interested in him. I feel like if he wants sex that he wants to get out of the marriage what HE wants. While he has never cared to give me what I want.

We have children, and I do not see how our marriage is going to get better. I feel like it is only going to get worse. I feel like it is irrepairable. I do not love him, all I see is a stingy, selfish man, who can't even talk about problems when I try to bring them up. And absolutely CAN'T do anything or is not willing to change them.

I honestly think if he changed now, that it would do no good, that the problems are so long been left unresolved that I could not love him now even if he did try.

I am told to stay together for the sake of the kids. And I don't make enough money to live on my own either. But how can someone stay in a marriage where I feel soon we won't even be sleeping in the same room?
If we did get marriage counseling now, would it even help? I feel like our marriage can't be fixed, that it is too late, that the damage is irrepairable.

Last edited by lynst; 08-25-2010 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

Two words:

“GET OUT”

Make a plan and move with the kids, he changes and loves you or looses out. Don’t discuss it. Do not let him prepare for it, just go as soon as you are ready.

As for money, earn what you can, he will be required to top up support for the children. If you do not change the landscape you will be in eternal misery.

and the kids will learn to be free under your guidance..

Bless you..
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, the problem is that I don't want or care about if he changes or not. Not anymore. I used to want things from him, and used to want communication and money. I have done without it so long that I have realized that it is alot less painful NOT wanting things from him. It is the same broken record that has continued to play. I talk, he ignores. Now I don't talk, so there. I have changed, so are things better off? My withdrawing from him, of course that hasn't helped. But it is HE that has pushed me away. He has thought that pushing me away is the best, because isn't it better to avoid controversy than to face it? As long as I do my wifely duties for him physically, that is all he tries to get me to do. It is time he wakes up, and becomes the man he has never been willing to be. He will have to earn my love, and seek my communication. If it is even possible for our relationship to get better, it will be a miracle. I cannot change the way I feel about him. I cannot feel close to someone whom has ignored my feelings constantly for over 18 years. Also, it is very hard to want to improve myself when I harbor no good feelings toward him at all.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

I think our marriage is irrepairable. If it isn't, it will take serious counseling and a miracle.

Last edited by lynst; 08-13-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

"ignored my feelings constantly for over 18 years"....My post still stands
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have been there, done that. My changing does not take away the problems. When someone "sweeps the dirt under the rug," the dirt doesn't go away; the pile just gets bigger. We have went so long with the problems we have that they are so big now that it truly does look hopeless. He tries to have sex with me, and all I can think about is how HE has ignored me when I have talked to him, but he doesn't want me to ignore him physically. I feel like all he wants from the relationship is to satisfy himself; while satisfying me (meeting my needs) has never even entered his mind.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

Have you considered why he might be like this about money? Could it be that he sees himself as the sole breadwinner, and is worried that he may not earn enough, that life could throw you a curveball and he may not be able to sustain your lives / afford treatment for something life threatening?

People have different views on how much is enough, what is frivolous spending and what is essential. If your communication on money is twisted before you begin then you will struggle to ever be on the same page.

Are your kids in school now? Could you do some part time work to give yourself a little mad money? Start up an internet based business? Losing that complete dependency could be transformational for both of you.

I agree with the recommendation about doing some reading up on relationships. get 'His Needs, Her Needs' , and 'the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands'. Also explore what your Love Languages are. You might feel too resentful to initiate change for your husband's sake but it is never too late to learn and change for your own sake. And you will know you did everything you could wherever it all ends up.

Last edited by Willow; 08-13-2010 at 08:57 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What is the automatic response of touching a hot skillet or getting burned? You get away from what burns you! That is what I have done in my marriage. I know it isn't good, but I feel like I am safer withdrawn from that which causes me much pain; which in this case is my husband.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

Great tips Hunt Brown!

If you change, he will have to adjust.

Of course, as you can't stand to touch him and have some really deep resentments, I would say, try the counseling first. There are just so many years behind you with this man, it would be a shame to walk away before you are sure you tried EVERYTHING to make things better.

I think perhaps your husband has irrational fears about money. It's not that he doesn't love you, but he loves you so much that he's scared to death that he won't be able to provide for you - so he hoards money to make sure he can always take care of you and the kids.

It's understandable that you are upset, as he hasn't been working with you about the finances as a team, and has been very controlling about "HIS" money. But "HIS" money is YOUR money too. He works for it yes, but that's his contribution to your family. Your contribution is taking care of the children and house. I assume you openly share the benefits of your hard work with him, and it's only fair that he do the same with you. So, yes, there is an understandable reason to feel upset and that your marriage isn't balanced at a healthy and successful level for both of you to feel fulfilled with it.

Even with this going on I am still wondering if being so upset is leading you to create unfair negative judgments about him? I mean, all those years with him - there has to have been some love in there, right? It might be deeply buried right now, but I don't believe you would've made it so many years without some deep feelings.

I would suggest that you pick several counselors and try them out until you find the one you relate to best. Go with or without your husband. This will help you gain better clarity, negotiation skills, and perhaps help gain some much needed balance between you.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

His Needs Her Needs is right here next to me on my bookshelf. It is hard to pick up a book like that if I don't want to meet his needs.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd have thought the answer to that would be to learn to work with the skillet so you can benefit from what it brings to you and what you can bring to your family from what it cooks.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynst View Post
His Needs Her Needs is right here next to me on my bookshelf. It is hard to pick up a book like that if I don't want to meet his needs.
I do understand, I have been that far estranged myself. But read it for you, read it to learn from other people's experiences.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The negative feelings I have toward him control my life. It is like even if he went to doing all the things I have wanted him to do, that these feelings are so deeply rooted that they wouldn't go away.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

You cannot change him. But you CAN change you. And from your changes it mayinstigate some change in him, it may not.

However you need to get yourself out of the mindset of the negativity being in control of your life. Not just for you but as the most important role model in the lives of your children too. You can begin to change your attitude now. Of course it will be a struggle, but this is your life, no dress rehersal, no chance to cut and do another take if you flunk this one.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: I Desparately Need Advice

It sounds as if you all ready know that you want to leave him. Are you here to get permission? If you are that unhappy and don't think it's worth the attempts to make things better, then get out.

It would be a shame to look back in a couple years and wonder if you really did everything that YOU could do in order to save your marriage. But, if you all ready feel that way, then why bother considering any alternatives?
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