I love my husband so much. He's so sweet and respectful and we treasure our marriage so much. We have a simple dream of having our own little house and having kids. He's going to make a fantastic dad someday!
The problem is my husband is illiterate. He can't read or write above maybe a first grade level, and that's if he concentrates. He has ADHD and dyslexia. We can't afford to see someone to get him meds and into reading classes. He can't even spell his own middle name. As you can imagine, he is extremely insecure about it.
When we met he had a good job in a warehouse but he quit/got fired because of safety violations. He was young and careless. He regrets it so bad now because he can't find a job anymore! He was so incredibly lucky to have found that job because it was mostly operating the machinery, it paid 17/hr, lots of overtime and benefits, and he was very good at it. That was 4 years ago. It was hard enough to land that job, now the sour economy has made it impossible. I supported us (just barely) for two years but eventually I was laid off and we were forced to move in with parents. I'm having trouble finding a job now as well.
It's so depressing that we are basically wasting our days just sleeping, eating, moping around the house and looking for jobs and filling out applications. I feel like we're just waiting to die and we'll never have even a cruddy little shack to call our own and we'll never et to start a family.
I am hoping to land a seasonal job now that stores are getting ready for the holidays, but I've already decided to start a 2 year computer programming program at the local college. I can't put it off any longer, I have to get it done so I can support us.
I just feel so depressed. And you can only imagine how my husband's male ego must feel. And he wants kids so bad, but I told him "I'm sorry but until you get a job, I refuse to let that happen. It will only make things worse" I just have no idea what to do anymore except keep on keeping on, but it still feels pretty hopeless
I just want us to be able to start living our life. Posted via Mobile Device
don't despair! I can see enough structured, clear-sighted analysis in your post to make me think you won't be down for ever.
Just briefly: try to get out of this slough of despond by turning job-hunting into...a full-time job with hours and routines to match. If you live in a town or city there may be self-help and mutual support groups for unemployed people. It could be that, as well as finding leads to jobs, becoming involved in helping others will begin to restore your battered self-respect.
I've been in a similar rock-bottom predicament and my solution was to seek work that just about nobody else would consider. I got a job. It was a lousy job but sufficient to get me back into the habit of work and that made me feel a lot better about myself. Maybe a similar strategy will work for you?
As for hubby's dyslexia, many highly-talented people have similar problems. Here in the UK our welfare services and a number of charities work to help dyslexic people; maybe that's true in the US too? I get the impression that US churches fill a lot of the roles we Brits expect the govt to fulfill. If your churches are very active in broad welfare issues such as free basic literacy classes maybe that's the place to start looking?
Two of my children had dyslexia, so I know how your husband must have felt in school. But one thing many people don't realize that it takes intelligence just to navigate through the years of school and into the job while hiding the handicap of illiteracy. So, when we were leading our children through the re-education needed to overcome dyslexia, we found that there are many reading homeschool courses for the computer geared towards children, and we used these very patiently with our children until their ability to interpret the characters set in.
My wife worked with a friend to use our material to help her husband learn to overcome his inability to read. He was likely suffering from attention deficit disorder, but definately dyslexia. The biggest challenge was just to get him to be willing to try, but his motivation was an impending test for his job. His primary goal was just to gain enough literacy to keep his job, which he did. For him, the key to seeing it as an attainable goal was when we convinced him that he did not have to make up 12 years of study, but just enough to read basic instructions.
There are loads of classes available free online from kindergarten all the way through GED and CLEP prep courses. Lots of kids homeschool or struggle with studies and need a little boost. My wife had ADHD and Dyslexia as a kid. She has a Masters in Education and teaches, now. She found a way to compensate. I'll ask her for some tips when she gets home from work. Meantime, I found this site that might help.
Depression is not always a bad thing. Its really good that you dont feel good in this situation. Depression can be the motivator. it will drive you to find a solution. if you did feel good in this situation then there'd be something to worry about.
You do sound very intelligent. but it also sounds like your taking on your H's burdens, too. I think you should set his issues aside for now and focus on what you can control- you. make a realistic plan of small goals that will help you get to your ultimate goal of a house and kids. going back to school is a great start.
There are websites and online classes that are free that can assist your husband in learning to read. Often, if you look around your area, you can find a local adult tech or vocational school, or a GED training site, that will offer free or extremely low cost classes in learning to read.
As for the ADHD...both of my sons have that. How bad are the symptoms? If they are not too severe, there are things he can do to try to help overcome that without medication or therapy. Things such as organizational skills, like making lists and notes to keep him on track and remind him of things he needs to do, utilizing a computer calendar to remind him of appointments and things to be done, meditation and deep breathing to help with concentration and focus.
Dyslexia is not something I have any experience with, so I'm afraid I have no useful advice there.
The only other thing I have to say is that I notice you say you have to take this class, so that you can support the both of you. While I understand your frustration, I also think that taking all of the load on yourself is a mistake. Encourage your husband to see help for his issues, encourage him to keep looking for work, encourage him to believe in himself. Feeling that you must support the both of you, and expressing this, not only will make him feel worse, but could eventually lead to him giving up altogether and just sitting back to let you support the both of you.
Talked to Obi Wife Kinobi and the wise one agreed with my suggestion of the free on-line material but she also reminded me that most counties (assuming you're American) have free adult basic education classes. Your local department of education should be able to help. Can't believe I forgot the most obvious resource. I think the Dept of Human Services for your state could also point you in the right direction.
I'd also like to point out there is obviously a huge need for labor in America and most of those entering illegally to fill that need lack what we would consider basic education skills. A roofing contractor or painting contractor cares less about reading and writing and more about getting to work on time and hustling. Some of these jobs pay fairly well. I just paid a guy $1000 for a couple days work at my home, removing stumps. Yes, he had a couple pieces of specialized equipment, but I have no idea if he could read or write and I really didn't care, neither did my two neighbors that also hired him. The man was obviously a good worker, showed up on time, gave great service, and cleaned up after himself. If he can postpone the baby dream a while, sock back a little money for equipment, he could go into business for himself and do quite well.
There is a program designed by Roberta Pournelle the wife of Jerry Pournelle a well known science fiction writer. Mrs and Mr. Pournelle believe that this can teach anyone to read.
She writes "Many parents have written to me describing their particular problems and asking for help. I often reply by sending a very quick dyslexia test. When their student passes that test with flying colors we know there is a very high probability of success with TLC. No guarantees, but the field testing was very impressive."
Thank you everyone so much for you replies and suggestions, I am definately going to try all of them! And you're right, I know I shouldn't try to take all the burden, it's just my oldest child syndrome kicking in. I'm so used to always being the one to step up and take control for fear that if I don't, everything will fall apart.
Time to talk to the Mister. I know he feels like he always hits dead end roads so he never gets his hopes up. He's had more tutors than you can imagine. In high school, they didn't know what else to do with him so they put him in the special education classes where they taught the same things every year. His parents refused to put him on any kind of medication for his ADD so I sometimes wonder if that would have made the difference. I've noticed he can slowly read simple sentences but quickly almost instantly forgets everything. Maybe when we begin to get back on our feet we can see a doctor for meds. I just can't imagine going through life not being able to read better than kindergartener. He's great at everything else, you would never know he had a reading disability just by talking to him. He's like Ben Affleck's character in Pearl Harbor except that he can't write and read love letters. Posted via Mobile Device
Has he ever considered woodworking? I'm setting up a business in a building that has an antique store there. There are three guys who do nothing but fix old furniture, and bring it back to glory. What an awesome thing to do!