What to do when your husband changes.....

wifeeJuly 21, 2008

My husband has changed in the last year and a half since we have been married and it is driving me CRAZY!

When we met I fell in love with his personality. He was calm and easy-going. Nothing seemed to keep him in a bad mood. He did not get jealous when I had to deal with my ex husband about my child. He was even friendly to my ex. He was wonderful with my child and his two children-he seemed to have tons of patience. He loved to do family activities and be around my family and friends.

I thought to myself that he has all the qualities that I have been looking for in a guy....well besides the usual hard-working stuff.

We married a year and a half ago after having dated for 2 years. Soon after his shift at work got changed. He went from working midnights to working afternoons. We had such problems with finding a babysitter for all three kids that was reliable and affordable that we agreed it would be better for me to stay home with the kids. So I quit my job 6 months ago and have been home with the kids.

I do all the housework, all school stuff with the kids, and all the running errands. I do not complain, I enjoy being at home.

But my husband has begun staying up late because he says he can't fal asleep after work. Then he is tired in the mornings and sleeps in late which does not give us much time together with the kids. He literally leaves a mess everywhere he is at in the house. He has begun smoking, though he does not smoke in our home. He has no patience with any of the kids. He yells way too much and really nags the kids to death. Our sex life has gone down because I am in bed before he gets home because I have to get up early. I usually try to stay up late on the weekends though so we have time together.

When I began commenting on his messiness and poor attitude and lack of patience he started complaining about the stress of only one income.

I was not about to deal with that so I found a babysitting job. I watch a few kids in our home and make about what I was making after babysitting expenses, lunches out, and gas when I had a job.

Still his attitude has not improved.

Today he woke up and complained about like 5 different things the kids were doing at the time, from eating too fast to talking to much. I finally looked at him and said that maybe he should leave the discipline and correcting the children up to me since he does not seem to be able to handle it. I mean how can I be with the kids all the time and rarely need to correct them or yell and he is around them five minutes and starts in on them.

He got pissed, went outside and had a cigarette, and then came back in and was quiet for a while.

I have cried, yelled, and talked to him about how I feel. I have told him that if things keep going like this I do not see our marriage lasting. I really feel like I am a single mom of 3 kids now instead of one. He has apologized and promised to go back to the old him but it never lasts for more than a week or so. Then we argue again and he tries again and then he goes back to this. It is like a never ending rollercoaster.

He can not change jobs and has applied to get back on midnights. He has not gotton it as of yet but we are hoping he will in the fall.

Any suggestions on what to do. I love my husband and just want the him that I fell in love with back!

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Interrupting sleeping/waking habits after long being accustomed is almost always a jolt. Not getting sufficient sleep will get you twisted up within days/weeks. At this late date (1 1/2 years?) I'd wager abnormal sleep alone is the root of it unless his natural rhythms are far more tenacious than anyone I've ever known. I'd bet on messed-up sleep-cycle.......which, actually, is not too difficult to reestablish.

See Dr. Get ambien. Works well, doesn't make you dopey, and you wake up fresh. Take 'em for a week, then as-needed for another week to get a new pattern established. For those two weeks, make the sleeping-time sacred...no changes or interruptions for sleeping daddy. In short order, I'll bet your man has an entirely new personality. They may have even better stuff, now. Dr. will know. They see this all the time.

Tobacco is particularly stupid for this man -- raises blood pressure; increases adrenaline; queers sexual performance. Assuming he smokes at work, I have little doubt he can't sleep well when he comes home. Suspect it takes 1/2 the night to metabolize out of his system. Does he drink? That can mess up sleep also.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 11:27PM
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He does not drink. And I thought the smoking was stupid too especially since he had kicked the habit a few years ago. I quit smoking a few years ago as well so the smell alone really bothers me. But he is considerate of all our health and smokes outside. Just wish he would consider his own.

I will talk to him about trying sleeping meds or going to the dr. for some. I hope that helps me get my husband back and get rid of this monster that is in his place :P

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 12:16AM
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What you want must come via prescription so you will need to see Dr. Over-the-counter "sleep aids" or teas or herbal remedies are not what's needed here.

"Sleeping pills" are nothing like they were twenty years ago. Do, indeed, talk with Dr. about it. If abnormal sleep is the culprit, I'm thinking you may be surprised how quickly this can change. If you can't get appt. for two weeks, find another Dr. where you can get in right away. Should be quite routine for any of them.

Actually, if he's begun smoking again, I'll bet this problem gets solved before he's able to quit that. Some people can start/stop easily. If he's one of those, do encourage him to quit. Notwithstanding other smoking issues, it does mess up sleep patterns. Dr. will talk about that, too, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 12:48AM
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I am going through some problems as well...figured I would give you some points that I have learned from experience..and from several trips to marriage counselors.

First, the first years is a big adjustment phase. I am sure he is going through the rough task of rebalancing his life. When he was single, he had only to worry about himself. He now has a family to worry about and that can be scary. The changing of shifts is just another stress he is dealing with. Guys are not very good at sharing this stress. We are taught to deal with it and not be a burden on the family. It sounds like your husband is fighting a loosing battle but really is trying to make an effort. Remind him that you are now a team and can face things together.

Good luck on him getting his old shift back. Making career decisions is rough. I have made a few bad ones myself. I wish there was a way to tell the future but have not cracked the nut on that one yet. Always try to make the best of the situation, no matter what.

Be careful not to nag him. He needs to feel like he is doing good...you might work out a code between you and him when dealing with the kids. If he starts getting upset with the kids, it is likely he is dealing with some frustrations and needs to unload some steam. They are just in his line of fire. Work out something that lets him know he is doing it and gets him out of the situation. Let him know that if you tell him that the flowers need watering, he should step outside and water the flowers until he regains his frame of mind...time to gather his thoughts before dealing with the children without making him look like he is being corrected.

Make him feel important and needed. It sounds crazy but a guys ego needs stroken once in a while.

As far and the sex live. Remember it is both physical and mental. You will just have be be more creative with a restricted schedule. Let him know you are still attracted to him...but in unique ways. I am not sure where he works...but shooting him an email letting him know you were thinking about him (extra points for graphically describing how you were thinking of him)... panties in the lunchbox...you get the picture. Pick up one of the cheap dry erase boards and leave messages for each other on the refrigerator. Don't put any pressure on him to return the favors...he should think of that on his own. If after a while he doesn't, you can drop a hint that you saw a nice _______________ (necklace, ear rings, flowers) and were thinking of getting them...but figured you would wait and see what he thought of them. He should get the hint...if he doesn't...just be less sutle.

Don't forget yourself. It sounds like he is overwhelmed...but it also sounds like it is now getting you overwhelmed as well. Remind him that you two are a team and need to pull together. Working against each other is a losing combination.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 2:57PM
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One thing I forgot was the "I" message. I was once taught the best way to communicate feelings is using the "I" message. I feel _________(insert a feeling) when you ________(insert his action) becuase _____________(explain why that action makes you feel that emotion). A "You" message can set off the defenses easier.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Crying, yelling and threatening are almost never productive. Have you just straight-out asked him what's wrong? Did he give you a hint? If not, does he have a close friend or family member who can talk with him?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:03PM
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If your (plural your) sex life is infrequent, that alone is enough to make some guys testy, impatient and jerky. In fact, that's about the only time my Hubby gets nasty is when it's been more than a few days since we've had 'quality time' together. Took me a while to figure out that the best 'cure' for the icky behavior was the one thing I felt like least just because of the icky behavior - know what I mean?

Between upping the frequency and improving Hubby's sleep cycle, that could really help...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Some very good advice given.

Some points to consider:

1. I did a little research just now and discovered there IS an actual sleep disorder called "Shift Work Sleep Disorder". I've provided a link to a website explaining this disorder and HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading it.

2. Men need to feel financially secure. If they aren't then it definitely affects them negatively...leading to depression.

3. Sorry, but men could get pissy with you, but still want nooky after. Women...a man pisses us off, he's banned from touching us for the night. Keeping him sexually happy will help lessen his tension most definitely. Hate to say it, but the #1 thing most guys complain about not getting from their wives is oral. They'd even take bad oral over no oral. Seriously! Also, they're typically even more happy if they don't have to do any *work* themselves. I know, it sounds shallow and selfish, but it is what it is. Just remember, men are VERY visual, simple creatures so remember that when you're thinking of ways to show him you're still attracted. Little notes here and there are nice, but if you want to stir him crazy...do naughty things. lol Maybe webcam him at work with an unexpected quick "flash" or send a naughty text message to his cell phone with or w/o a private naughty pic. Remember: Guys are VERY visual and simple creatures.

4. Women are intuitive, men aren't. We read between the lines and can identify someone's wants & needs MUCH better than men can. Again, remember...simple creatures. Hinting around to something you want doesn't work often. Guys would rather their lady just tell them than having to figure it out and possibly get it wrong. I'm not saying they're STUPID. I'm just saying they like things simple and not complicated.

5. Be super careful with arguing around the children. This is NOT good. Children are VERY perceptive. How they play with others and how they communicate with you and your husband is reflective of your relationship. Its important they see the 2 of you as a team, respecting each other, not correcting or critizing the other. Its important the 2 of you work out your differences in disciplining privately and decide how the 2 of you will handle child conflicts. Additionally, its CRUCIAL that if either parent's method of discipline begins changing into an unhealthy/possibly emotional abusive manner that the person steps away from the situation...aka an adult time-out. JohnnyLee is correct in suggesting you determine a code word/phrase so if one of you gets a bit out of hand, you've BOTH agreed that the person excuse themselves from the situation. This is much healthier for everyone involved.

I wish you all the best with your situation.


Here is a link that might be useful: Shift Work Sleep Disorder

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 3:49AM
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"Women are intuitive, men aren't."

Wouldn't it be wonderful if their supposedly unique "intuitions" were as infallible as so many of them insist that they are....alas!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:53AM
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He should be checked out for depression.

Its tough for you wondering what is going on, and him, I would imagine.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 7:31PM
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You've received some very good advice.

However, do not send him an email with any sexy suggestions or pictures. It could get him fired.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:07AM
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Lynne has a VERY good point. Don't send the naughty stuff to a business email and DO be careful when sending to a phone (biz or personal).

If you DO send a naughty pic to his phone, make SURE to have a warning in the Subject line. The last thing you want is him opening up the pic/video at a biz meeting and POOF!...his partners/colleagues know waaaay too much about you personally! LOLOL

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:34PM
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I wanted to thank you all for your advice. I tried talking to my husband the day after I posted this about what was going on. He attempted to brush me off and tried to argue and say he needed his sleep instead of discussing everthing. I warned him that it would be a mistake not to discuss this because it was ruining our marriage. He still refused to discuss it.
So the next day, while he was at work, I left. I packed some of my stuff and some of the kids things and we went to visit a friend of mine out of state. We drove the few hours to get there and I made it a vacation for the kids so they would not know what was going on. My friend was happy to have us and the kids all loved it.

My dh called me when he got home from work and we were all gone. I told him I was staying gone until he decided he could be the man I fell in love with again. Funny how we stayed on the phone discussing our problems for 2 hours, but he refused to talk in person for 2 minutes! I told him that in a week me and the kids would be back in town and that we could either work on things or go our seperate ways.

So a week later I came home and since then he has really been acting like the guy I fell in love with. It has been 2 weeks now of him being kind and calm with all of us. We have been getting up together in the morning and spending time together for hours until he goes to work. We have all been a lot happier.

I think the problem was partially him not being on a sleep schedule and oversleeping in the morning so he could not fall asleep at night. And I also think that he did not realize how much it was impacting us until I showed him how serious I was.

He has been apologetic and says that he is going to get back to being himself instead of the jerk he turned in to. Even the kids told him how much nicer he is being...I think hearing that from them really hit home too.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Well that's good news, sounds like he has accepted he had a problem and is working on making things better for his family.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 4:05AM
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