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Is this marriage worth salvaging?
My husband and I have been together for 6 years. We have 2 beautiful children (aged 4 and 1). Our relationship has not been smooth sailing. When it’s good it’s good, but the constant fighting and resentment has reached what feels like breaking point and I know we are both unhappy.
I tend to forgive easy and maybe accept behaviour that isn’t really that acceptable as I know no different. I don’t want to write a novel but I’m going to give a few examples of just some of my husbands behaviour in an argument and his actions towards myself and/or my children. I’m so sorry if this is a long winded post but any advice is greatly appreciated.
-during both of my pregnancies I suffered from hyperemesis so basically vomited multiple times a day for both entire pregnancies. I of course had nil sex drive as I was so ill. but my husband (who’s love language is physical touch) took this to heart and used to get so angry at me when I would say no to sex. As much as I would try and explain why I had to say no, he could never get past it and so every time he asked for sex I felt like I was walking on egg shells not knowing how he would react. I still have those feelings, and my diagnosed anxiety makes it worse. If I reject sex I’m so on edge cause I feel like it’s just going to cause a massive fight. I know I shouldn’t hold into resentment but it’s hard to just shake these feelings
-when my husband and I have had a particularly bad argument he reacts by “punishing me” in a way that he knows will hurt me the most. He will completely ignore me and the kids, he will shirk all parental responsibility and just lay around the house, sleep, go out and basically just watch me care for the kids on my own. He has done it on 3 to 4 occasions now since we’ve had the kids and it kills me. What hurts the most is that he’s doing it knowing how much it will hurt.
-Something we have been working on is a “discipline” routine for our 4 year olds behaviour. Now i know I’m a softy but this week my husband openly (and in front of the kids) called our son stupid and then told me that I’m the reason that my son acts the way he does (typical 4 year old behaviour, not listening etc It just made me stop and think, who is this person that I’m living with? Don’t get me wrong, he is by no means violent, or like this all of the time, but how long do I continue to put up with this ??? I’m so used to being made to feel irrational or that I’m over reacting. I’m so upset
I’m sorry to hear you are going through this. I am on this forum seeking similar advice for my own relationship. It is tough sailing when you don’t feel appreciated. My husband is also very physical and becomes detached if he does not get his fill.
I don’t find sex enjoyable at the moment as I feel it’s a necessity and I have to do it for him, rather then doing it because I enjoy it.
I just wanted to post a reply so that you know your not alone in your feelings. I hope we can both recover and find a way to be happy, either in or out of our relationships.
My heart truly goes out to you, so very much. I'm just about to clock off for the day, as my brain's easing into switching off any form of rational thought. I want to have a clear head when I reply to you. Just want to grab onto your post first, so I don't lose it.
ckris, from one mum/wife to another...You're beautiful 🙂
It's definitely a hard slog, being a mum at times, hey. Sometimes, it's even harder being a partner to someone whose behaviour you can't help but question at times.
I can relate to the walking on eggshells aspect of a marriage. Like your husband, mine is a generally good guy but at times I can't help but think 'What the...?!' when it comes to some of his behaviour. It used to stress me when I'd want to respond freely but felt it would start a fight. I'd suppress what I wanted to say, only for it to lead to resentment. It was resentment x2, regarding the issue and not feeling free to be myself and question toward resolution. I've been married for over 18 years and it's only in the past year or so that I've discovered the magic of 'wonder'. Let me use wonder in your case, so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from
- 'Knowing I'm so sick during this pregnancy, so sick every single day that it's leading me to distress and pure exhaustion, I can't help but wonder why have you not researched every avenue for something that might alleviate how I feel. You're my partner. While you look forward to the 'feelings' of intimacy, I cannot help but feel anything other than sick. I also can't help but wonder how you could be focused on you feeling how you want to feel, as opposed to imagining what it would be like to vomit multiple times a day, every day'.
- 'I can't help but wonder how you could call someone who looks up to you 'stupid'. Do you think that's how you raise a child or do you think that's how you bring them down? I also can't help but wonder why you haven't come to know him better, so that you can find natural behavioural solutions that easily work for him. I wonder why you haven't come to do this. I wonder whether it's because you're more focused on how you want to feel. I wonder whether it involves you not wanting to face challenge'
To question your husband through genuine wonder, not accusation, may raise his consciousness. Not sure. Wonder can not only satisfy our curiosity, it can help reform the person we wonder at. I have come to wonder at my husband these days, instead for fearing an argument. Most of the time he'll respond with 'I don't know' (as to why he says or does things I find questionable). From low self esteem to high, simply through wondering, I now respond with 'I don't know is not a reasonable answer. It is your job to know your self'.
Can definitely be hard to be intimate with someone who doesn't feel like a partner.
Finding the happiest and best version of our self is, for sure, a challenge at times. It can require us to make some seriously tough decisions, ones that can sometimes be fearful. It is through fear that we rise to courage. Through this process we can find the best in our self. Fearlessness rarely comes easily, it must be practiced. I know, easier said than done.
As you raise yourself ckris, you will find the best in your self but, be warned, in the process you will also sense the worst in others. The more conscious we become, the more we do question the questionable behaviours of others as well as our self.
From my experience, I imagine your husband will either rise through the greater consciousness you bring about or he will choose to 'vibe low'. Don't let him bring you down as you're raising yourself and your kids. Through this process, you may become even more aware of a lot of what you've been tolerating. Although it is tempting to be angered over what you've tolerated, it pays to shift focus to how incredibly tolerant you have been. Your tolerance tells you how amazing you are, how patient you are.
'How could you call someone so amazing 'stupid'? What is wrong with you?' is a beautiful way to reassure your child that your husband possesses the fault of not recognising brilliance. I do believe your kids are blessed to have someone so loving and conscious in their life. They are blessed to have you as their mum.
Hi Ckris and Therising
thanks for sharing your responses and I felt that the question about wonder interesting. I am in a situation where I can say I have solely taken parental role although my husband has been here. He hardly takes any responsibility to look after her for the past 5 years. Is around just to play with her and we both have different parenting values and beliefs.
I have noticed his detachment often wondering why he is so. After years now I feel he has not been able to assume his paternal role. Issues from childhood from a broken family,
I feel I’m doing whatever is needed for the proper running of the household, he is often not participating. As a husband and father I see him as rather detached and into himself - very Much self centred and selfish as well in that sense. My job , my workout, my health. In the midst of all this I had been trying to lose extra kegs put during pregnancy with gestational diabetes where I had high x 4 daily Insulin shots. Losing weight seems to be an impossible task as I’m always busy with long hours in my job or running around to get housework done.
I wonder if this is called a marriage where we don’t feel supported and not appreciated for all what we do. If so, why we so adamant to stay? Chris and myself seem to face similar dilemma where to here and how to cope if we need to ?
Hi Nneesh and ckris
Before I go any further, a shout out to the legendary dads who are the primary carers in their kids' lives.
Ahh, the primary carer role. A toughy. Definitely impacts a marriage. Over the years, as my kids have raised me to find the best in myself, my husband has taken the more traditional approach and lost out in a big way for having done this to the degree that he has. While we both happily agreed from the beginning to go the traditional route (I stay at home to look after the kids and he raises the family through the financial aspect) this led me to times where resentment would come about. Basically, it felt like I had a financial partner in this business of raising a family but that was about it.
It's only in recent times that I've come to look at things from a unique perspective. The life I've shared with my 15yo son and 18yo old daughter has been a life of wake up calls. They have woken me up to find the most patient version of myself, the most loving version of myself, the most creative, the problem solver, the counselor, the 'behavioural therapist', the creative cook/dietician, the nurse (with bandages and bandaids), the chauffeur, the administrator (with all those school forms), the outside the square thinker...the list is too long to fit into a 2500 character post. Through all the challenges I have been through with my kids, they have woken me up to find I am amazing.
Their father? Having only accepted the challenges that suited him, he is still somewhat asleep. So, I have woken up to find my husband is semi conscious and I am more conscious than I have ever been in my life, thanks to my kids. For many years, I warned him that his kids would eventually come to recognise the lack of relationship he has with them. This time is now.
I've found the process of 'disappointment' to be liberating. While I had spent years appointing my husband many roles I wished he could fill, I have gradually come to dis-appoint him from a lot of these roles. There is one role I will never dis-appoint him from and that is 'He who should be answerable to what is questionable'. There is no letting someone off the hook when it comes to a responsible answer.
We have a reasonable relationship these days, with only a couple of roles and this suits me perfectly. Easier, with my kids older, to accept the role of 'She who raises her kids in extraordinary ways largely on her own'. I'm incredibly proud of this role I appoint myself.