Re: My marriage is braking down
house renovations ALWAYS cost way more than you expect, they just add up fast. Doing renovation, in your case unavoidable, is a disaster with young wife in the house.
As for her situation: she got "baby brain". Nothing whatsoever you can do about it: consider it a mental health condition.
Regarding her comprehending your financial support, in the words of wisdom of the ages; "good luck with that". Her biological mental state says resources fall from the grace of god and the only important thing is her, and if you are both lucky, her and the baby. It is a chemical process in the brain. I bet they forgot to mention that little wee non-PC gem during the pre-natal classes....
Generally I'd say you get to get some timeout counselling but I know you aren't in a situation to afford it.
I wish I had better answers for you. The long term prognosis is she will leave you as soon as children are grown, if not before; as her life is now "the children" and everything will be put to you in the form of "the children"...until they're old enough and she's mid-40's and then it will the children are grown I want my life back now and why is there a man living in MY house. Have heard this so often.
This is even more likely if she never personally adopts "ownership" of house project maintenance (shows she's still focused -inside- her bubble, not a in partnership about the whole deal).
Things I would suggest.
1) Keep an eye on expenses, it's money you can't re-earn at this stage. Don't be panicked when it runs out like water, as long as you don't descend into debt/owing you'll be guaranteed a sunrise tomorrow.
2) Try to keep consumer items/toys/magazines/clothing (especially bought second hand & gifts) to a minimum - not a cost thing, but a storage thing. Focus on handcrafts, painting, singing to youtube. This is not a money thing but a house clutter thing.
3) ENSURE you get half of the inside of the house. DO NOT turn the inside decorating ... aka "presence", over to your partner. Otherwise you will find yourself excluded from your own home as she decorates her bubble - this means no my zone/your den stuff. Don't store boxes of stuff inside the house, or piles of clothes or work on the floor. There are psychological aspects to this. Where possible put stuff in shutting cupboards and drawers, including any workplace stuff. You have a small child so this should be too much of an issue. Don't get stressed on it, as it's about decluttering the mind and mental spaces.
4) Project Management says do the important stuff first. That is wrong in this case: Unless you're going to die from it; do whatever can be "touch it once" completed first (aka "snowballing"). It will stress to make a formal list of _agreed_ targets, but worth the effort.
5) Realise you can push and endure a project for 6 weeks ok, and 3 months with some loss of efficiency, but then there will be a collapse in discipline. Plan scheduled out-time _especially_ if you're near completion of a target, the break time is more important - as long as you won't actually die, there will be tomorrow.
6) Find yourself a good value time out. I'm currently do Freemasonry. It's physically safe, many of the Brothers are skilled and clever business people, and they understand prudence so are tolerant of family and other commitments, and they strive for harmony with the Lodges which is nice for a timeout. Also it's an all male thing, which is great when you want timeout from woman related issues.
7)Consider your cooking. As cook you are above reproach and comment. If others don't like your menu, they know where the stove is. Do NOT eat take out, keep up fiber levels in food, and make sure your water intake is good (it be aided by fiber). Also check you're getting full range of B vitamins, many cheaper vit-B suppliments and shop food is low in niacin. niacin is a mood enhancer and helps combat exhaustion. magnesium and calcium help with managing stress, but calcium is a stimulant so only take early in the day. careful of iron and gluten as they can cause constipation and stomach issues, and with the stress you're under that's something you want to avoid.
8) make sure you get 10 minutes low tension aerobic exercise every day. and at least 30 minutes throughout the day. I would also recommend some basic stretching exercises. doing #8 will help your body cope with the intense stress factors you're subjecting it too. Your body isn't designed to be running for extended periods in your constant lifestyle and you will suffer compounding fatigue just from your inability to remove stress-related biological byproducts from tense and cramped muscles. Do a daily mindfulness about breathing for a similar reason.
9) If you must drink pop-drinks, in the evening swap it out for a low-alcohol beer. this will help your body relax and the lower caffeine level will help.
10) Pick your battles. As long as everyone lives, and the debt is not increasing, then that is _Success_. This time will pass, so do enjoy your child personally, not through your wife. You say you do grocery shopping? then take your child as a child experience trip (not as a "give mum a rest, I'm holding the kid" break). To adults groceries etc are often a chore, but to children it is a great time full of people and colors and food is something they can relate too when you talk to them. Do NOT get in the habit of buying treats.
11) I would say work with your wife to get a list of things she is going to achieve but I doubt that it will work, and the result will be resentment from her, or a "I did it FOR you because I had to" favour, not as a joint family ownership thing.
Hopefully others can contribute.
re:renovations: do Mum's bedroom first (and declutter).
next hallways and toilet.
next weedcloth/newspaper on major garden - rip out as many shrubs etc as you can without getting divorced. The less garden, the more mowable, the better; plant later when kids are older and can participate. sure shrubs etc are nice, but honestly 2 years time, no-one will give a sh.t if you've ripped them out.
next laundry (if easy), kitchen - lighting, air, cupboard design/layout, splashbacks, cupboard space, benchtop, appliances. Often it's just not worth bothering with a kitchen unless you're going "the whole hog". So perhaps a dishwasher or modern stove, rip out a cupboard, splash a temporary (3-5 yr) paint job over cupboards. If you don't overspend now, then it's a good excuse to redo it at the end when you have everything else off your plate.
kids bedrooms. Again, don't over design. Simply ripping up carpet, replacing curtains, and quick run a light colored paint over two walls will do you for 5 years ... at which point the kids will be old enough to give input into more redecoration, and again when they're late tweens.
finally the dining/lounge area - often attacked first - best done second to last - seriously with the rest of the house actually getting finished you'll find it easier to hang pictures, curtains etc, and ignore the rest of this space. This -is- a stress zone, so a bit of unfinished project isn't the end of the world. but bedrooms and kitchens are withdrawl and relaxation, and work zones so they are actually priorities to FINISH.... also if you do the dining/public area, it's an excuse to stay there and ignore the other areas while you're in the tv etc. If the public area isn't done, you can't hide it. But you do need to have enough public storage space - women folk like to have their stuff in tidy places, compartmentalized ( where many men are ok with mess if it's quick at hand) so having tidy storage space with give your wife space to relax her mind, which she is going to need to overcome the "baby brain".
don't overdesign for your family - these are -now- projects, not 50-100 year legacies <- that's men's baby brain mental illness.
then start re-doing the kitchen.
doing up homes and housework are _consumer_ activities, not productive ones. so don't overcommit yourself. Think consumable, think stuff which is going to be redundant or outdated (and forgotten) in 3 years.
what you _won't_ get back is time to spend with your kid(s) at this age. The rest of the world can wait/survive without you.
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Last edited by spotthedeaddog; 12-09-2015 at 01:58 AM.