Return to the Marriage Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

Posted by strugglingdad (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 18, 10 at 2:17

Ok; so here it is. My wife is an awesome lady. She is a very caring mother. As far as I know, she's extremely devoted and faithful to me. She's visciously defensive of the family (myself, her, and our two children (2.5 and 1); Dont cross us - she'll be all over your case. She's considerate most of the time (as everybody else); Oh, and she's hot ;).

BUT

I am unhappy.

I've tried and tried to analyze what it is in my life that causes me to feel this way. Although I wasnt thrilled, I have been content with everything for the last 14 years of my life (I'm 31) - so yes, it's a great story "Highschool Sweethearts" but over the course of the last year or so, I have gone from 'ok' with life to hating life, to shoot-me-if-you-must, to me thinking I want 'out'.

Unlike the first post that drove me to this site (http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/marriage/msg0300391431956.html) I AM NOT cheating on her. Yes, I have heard that this or that person is interested, but these feelings arent from me wanting out to be with them. Besides I work a job that is currently demanding between 60-70 hours a week EXCLUDING the commute; I would LOVE to be (and stay) with her, except for a couple things; the first of which is that I am suffocating from her 'needyness'.

My wife isnt a wimp, but for heavens sake she cannot stand being alone (for even a few hours) at night by herself in the house. She claims to be scared. We do NOT live in 'the hood' and have a security system installed, along with firearms that I'm trying to coax her into training with (even though she knows how to use them).

I dont understand where this is coming from... her house has NEVER been burglurized in all her life - so it beats me.

That aside; I think that she cant stand the thought of me going out with my friends without her and/or the kids. Tonight is my best mans' birthday - he wanted to have a guys night out camping at a local campground. Mind you; this is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN and has been my conscious when I was younger (to ward off those who may be thinking that he's a bad influence). In any case, my wife came up with about 3 or 4 excuses for why I shouldnt go. One of which was that she was scared at night, the other was a guilt trip using the children 'Oh, you dont want to see me or the kids?' because I was going to go straight from work (Yes on a Saturday).

I also have these feelings as if I've missed out on a lot, and that I believe I'm going to miss out on a lot more that I believe I will want to do (with or without her at this point - for instance hike up the tallest peak in america, or go for a roadtrip) and if she isnt interested in the activity she'll guilt me into not doing it... I dont want that for the next 50 years of my life.

She also isnt intimate with me anymore. I realize that I'm off doing work 14 or 16 hours a day; sometimes in the home office till all hours of the night. But often times I'm working on things for her (like proofreading her homework - She's studing to become a teacher after she was laid off from her high-falooting 70k a yr job). A couple weeks ago I was up from 11p to 4a proofing her homework after (and before) going to work the entire day - for 3 days straight during the work week. She claims to be tired, or stressed, or ANY other reason; but really? For months on end? And I'm supposed to be OK with that?

She is also painfully overprotective of our children; but that's something that I cant do anything about. If it's 75 degrees outside she'll dress our son (the 2.5 yr old) in an undershirt, a regular shirt, a sweater, and a jacket with a beanie claiming it's cold. really? or when he's running around inside the house and he starts getting sweaty, I cant take his shirt and socks off to cool off because he'll get cold and catch a cold - and dont get me started with her 'ick' factor...

I understand; these are all minor nuisances and I should suck it up; but for how much longer? Am I ever really going to be able to ever go to a 'guys night out'? Am I ever going to be able to talk her into letting me take a trip to do something I may want to do but she doesnt? I have been a very independant person before this, and slowly over the years she has eroded this independance with her dependance - from her parents house, to slowly thru college, to our house after we married after college, and now it's become so dependant that when i'm not home she'll call her parents over (every day) to hang with her until I get home. Yes, it is a blessing to have help like that; but she has built her life around these crutches, and now expects them at her beck and call.

It's gotten to the point now that I would rather do more work at the office than come home; since besides the typical honey-do's (which mostly consist of things that she could do on her own) I just dont enjoy being around her anymore as she seems to be constantly asking me to 'do things' for her. This is totally besides all the deferred maintenance around the house that I havent had time to get to because I'm taking care of the kids while she's studying, or doing another one of these tasks whereby my time to perform these duties falls into the wee hours of the morning when she's asleep (and the hardware stores are closed).

I dont know - she's a great woman, who means well - nothing malicious about her actions that I can tell; it's just the way she has been raised. I was wrong in assuming that I could change any of that with her parents around ALL the time - make her more independant; less reliant on others to get the work done.

Maybe this is just a husbands rant, but we've only been married for 5 years; we've been together for 14, and only been truly adults for about 10 of these years (come on, we all know we were still gumshoes at 21).

What am I to do? I've tried to discuss this with her - but each time it comes down to 'Why dont you want to be here with me' or 'Dont you want to spend the time with your children?' or 'Dont you want to take care of us?' YES! YES I DO! But I WOULD like a day or two every once in a while to go out MYSELF. I would like for you to take over the 'night shift' with our youngest child for ONE night. I would appreciate you doing some of the icky stuff on occasion like taking out the garbage, take care of the leftovers (package, refrigerate and put the dishes in the dishwasher), or for petes sake simply going outside to the driveway and getting the item you want from the car that you happened to forget in there.

haha - sorry for the short book, but I'm getting to the point - I kid you not - that I was going to talk to her about ending our marriage. It would NOT be fair to our kids; or to her; or to even me for that matter if we did split. But talking doesnt change things but for a week or two if that. Maybe things will get better after school is out; she'll have fewer things on her mind and more time to spend at home. Maybe she'll see why I'm so upset (oh, I also missed my other best friends birthday because she had to study; I also missed another one of my friends wedding showers due to her studying - I'm tired of these excuses she is using to keep me (EVEN US) from going out.). She has always tried to be valedictorian of the class (I say that teasingly; she just wants to get great grades - I cant fault her for that; but she needs to realize that school is no longer the only thing in her life now). I did peruse her texts and emails - but there isnt anything there suggesting any external affairs or the like - so what's up?! I need to talk to her, but maybe talking isnt what it takes - maybe I just need to go to that event or outing without her and suffer the consequences when I return? will that teach her that she CAN survive without me one evening/night? will that make things worse?

Yes, I realize there is a LOT going on in our lives and that we both are probably stressed beyond comprehension and that once my deadlines are passed (in another month or so) and her school is over (in a month or so) that maybe we can discuss these things - although I dont know what discussion would bring about since this has been evolving over the past 14 years already. I hate to say I'm through with this, but this cannot continue this way without me going berzerk.

Wow - ok, enough typing - I need to get back to proofreading her assignment.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

There seems to be a lot going on in both of your lives.

She's a mom to 2 toddlers and a college student. This doesn't give her much "me" time. It sounds as though she can't wait for you to come home evenings so she can have a break from being constantly on call for the kids. She doesn't want you to go out because that will leave her without her "babysitter" , not because of her alleged fears.

You're a hard working dad who leaves home early and comes home late...and you're tired when you get home. You love your kids, but you need some relaxing time for yourself in the evenings. In addition, you're acting as a Study Coach.

First, I don't know why you need to proof read her homework. She's a big girl and shouldn't need you to make corrections.

Second, if her parents are over there everyday, instead of just hanging out with them, why doesn't she use that time to do her homework instead of waiting until you get home? This way the time spent doing homework at night could instead be spent doing things together with the children.

Divide the chores. You load the dishwasher one night; she loads the dishwasher the next night. I don't see anything wrong with your assuming the role of taking out the garbage. I do see something wrong with her asking you to fetch things for her and expecting that you'll do it.

I think you should tell her in advance that you have plans to do something with your buddies. If indeed, she fears being alone at night with the kids, she could arrange for her parents to come in the evening to keep her company. if she makes excuses for not having her parents come over, you'll know there are other reasons for her not wanting you to go out.

Why not encourage her to have a girls' night out? It might do her good to get away from the family responsibilities for a couple of hours.

I wouldn't jump the gun on ending your marriage until you try changing your reaction to her demands. Perhaps if she sees you won't play by her rules anymore, she'll be less demanding.

Good luck.


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

It sounds like there's a lot of resentment built up on both your parts, and with the schedules you're maintaining, it's no wonder. This is not an unusual situation and I can tell you what's going to happen. Sooner or later you're going to take that night out with the guys, you'll have a great time which will lead to more nights out, she'll resent being left out of your fun, you'll resent her for the tinge of guilt you'll feel at enjoying time away from her, other women will start looking better and smelling sweeter to you than they ever have before, you'll eventually fall into bed with one or two of them, you'll feel like a new man...king of the universe, she'll notice the change in you and figure out what's going on, you'll get divorced, she'll raise your kids to think that their dad's a heel, she'll become stronger and more self-confident when she starts teaching and realizes she can take care of herself pretty well, you'll date a series of women who may seem exciting at first but will later prove to be as imperfect as everyone else, you'll start missing your wife, but she'll be with someone else by then, and you'll wind up with a big mess of custody battles and stepkid conflicts and you'll wish you'd realized what a good thing you had when you had it. That is, of course, unless you make some big changes now to change your attitude from one of feeling deprived to one of feeling blessed to have a wife who's devoted to her family and is trying to make a better life for you all. Take a day and have some fun with her, not your buddies. Make yourselves some happy memories, because that's bonding. Think of how you can enrich your wife's life and she'll respond by wanting to enrich yours.


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

I understand proofreading for quick 15 minutes, but if she needs regular proofreading or from 11 to 4??? she has some academic difficulties and probably should not be a teacher, also studying never takes that long. I had 3.97 GPA in graduate school but i also work the entire day and raised a child by myself and still had a life. Studying does not take4 that long unless she is a bit slow, excuse me. she is either lazy, or not smart or is lying to you.

why are her parents there every day? that's not normal.

I think you should be helping around the house but she is way too demanding. yes you should be able to occasionally go out with friends, so should she.

this sounds all too weird, but...there are people like that...I have a sister-in=law who is incapable of doing anything on her own, not to do bills, not to clean, not to stay home, not do stuff for the kids, she waits for my brother to get home from work, it is all awful. yours at least is going to school.

i wonder why you even married her?


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

She sounds immature and lonely.

Slow down, both of you and play with your children. They will leave in a flash, and you will wonder where the time went. Enjoy each moment with them every day.

Cut down your work hours, is it really necessary to work such long hours ? I am exhausted just reading your post !


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

Yes, you have every right to go out with your friends to have some fun with them and enjoy the things that you personally like doing...without her. So does she. She does have girl friends doesn't she, other interests besides the kids? Let her know ahead of time the next time you and your friends have an outing. Then stick to your guns. Don't let her guilting you into staying home work. She'll survive.
She sounds very needy and clingy. Has she ever gone to a therapist for some help for becomming more independent?

You work an awful lot of hours. Any chance of reducing the work load? Then maybe you can work on some of the house projects during normal hours. You need to reconnect with your wife and family and spend more time with them. Go out and do things as a family, picnics, parks and playgrounds,etc. You also need to do things with just the two of you. Dinner and a movie, date night sort of things.
I would also make a start by stop doing things for her. Start small. If she needs something from the car, then she can get it herself. Stop spending hours proofing her homework. It's hers to do, not yours to fix and do over for her. Sounds like the people around her are aiding her in her "neediness". I do wish you and your wife well. If this has been going on as long as you say it won't be fixed over night. But you need to start sometime. NancyLouise


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

I agree with the others about the homework. It's not yours to proofread. I would sometimes read a particular piece or ask my mom or husband or whomever to read something when I was in a tight spot for their opinion, but I completed my degree while working full time, young child, married, still had a life, graduated suma cum laude. And no, I'm not brilliant. I just worked hard, used my time wisely.

Going out:
My DH and I had a talk about this the other day. When I was young, 21-ish, I would hate for my BF to go out without me. I'd go to a social event and expect him to be on my arm all night. Ouch! I was telling my DH that it took years of anguish before I was mature enough, confident enough, to be ok with my BF having a life without me stuck to his side.

Now my DH and I both encourage the other one to go out with friends, to have outside interests. If he's going out with friends I offer to pick them up or be DD, and he offers the same.

You need to communicate with her. I know from experience that the harder she clings, the less the other person will want to be close. Encourage her to go out with girlfriends is a good idea.


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

You've got two very young children and lots of history together --
What you have is so very important that you REALLY need to try to save it.

But 'saving it' does NOT mean "suck it up"!
You've already done plenty of that and it's not working...
Right now, you're exhausted and feeling resentful; and hard as it is for you to believe, your wife is probably *also* exhausted and resentful.
Caring for two little ones at home all day is truly exhausting, and the lack of sexual intimacy in a marriage with young children is legendary. It's become a running gag on TV precisely because it is so true...

Get yourselves into counseling!
It sounds to me like your wife may have some anxiety issues; and you and her parents have been enabling her for years. Weaning her from all of her crutches will take time, and possibly even medication -- but it can be done, and you all will be better off for it. It's not hard to see how her fears will be passed along to her children if they're allowed to continue.

Of course you should be able to have the occasional night off. (As should she, and the two of you together.)

And as others have already pointed out, what's with the homework duty? YOU are not the one who's going to be a teacher, and if her own work is not up to snuff, how is your fixing it helping her? Or the kids she will go on to teach? If she were trying to get into medical school, TOP grades would be necessary, but to teach? Sometimes 'good' is plenty good enough.

Make some changes Struggling, and do it NOW. (Before you're so darned tired that nothing could work.)

Stop just sucking it up and start talking to her.
Organize your thoughts, and make a list (yes, a paper list) of the most important two or three points you need to make. Find ways to explain your points that are short, simple and kind; and don't let her get away with twisting your words into things you don't mean. Ask her to repeat back to you what you said (and meant) so you know that she understands you, and be sure to emphasize that it's because you want your marriage to last that you're saying these things.


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

OK, lemme get this straight....

You work 60/70 hours a week plus commute time...check. You often bring work home, too.....check. You proofread you wife's school stuff for five hours in the middle of the night...check. You help in the kitchen, take out the garbage, handle the kids night-calls and fetch DW's things from wherever...check, check, check, ad nauseum. And no sex.

If you're not crazy, you will be. And it sounds like your wife is teetering a bit already in her own way.

Both of you have to get control of your time. The pace you've described is absurd, intolerable, unsustainable. Superman married to Wonder-woman -- both on uppers.

If you say you've got natural break-points coming up soon when her school is finished and your deadline is past, I can see waiting for that respite. However, I cannot see waiting beyond that early opportunity to grab this circumstance by its throat and subdue it. Your wife will never do it. Leadership-time for hubby. But from what you've described, changes certainly need to come....and PDQ.

I'm concerned about your wife's weirdness as you've described it. These are pretty peculiar behaviors. And they sound new as well as strange. Got a bad feeling about that.


 o
RE: Conflicted and Need to hear that I'm Crazy

sorry, but your not crazy.
she needs alone time with you. Like dates, that are scheduled, like if you were just starting out as young lovers. magic, excitement, spontanuity.
You need that to, so as to seperate yourself from your duties of work, to help make your love life less of a duty and more of a reward to rekindle the passion of intamacy, since your obviously good at passiontly working.
You both have realistic needs. She asks you to "proofread", as her way of recieving attention and approval, an oppoutunity to build her self-esteem. Theres nothing wrong with that.We are all children underneath our hardened adult exteriors. Romantic dates may take that place and fullfill that need to be an intimate adult.Its not a matter of stopping the trip, but rather changing directions. Divert energys and prioritize needs. Be clear about your top #1 problem. Allow her to do the same. Work around that. Ask her out on a real date. Organize the date yourself- make the time- this can be a challenge...dont let it.Just tell her what kind of shoes to wear, if she should bring coat and you do the rest. Keep your uber-romantic plot to yourself and be nifty. She will fall in love all over again.And so will you, when your heart re-opens to the season of love, growth and creation.It is spring afterll- Act like the flowers and open up to the sun and rain,maybe plan a private picnic in the forest where you can be all alone. Oh! and remember, NO EXPECTATIONS! If it dosnt go as planned, you may feel hopeless and discouraged and disappointed. This will blow out the fire. Just be free and try to relax and encourage her to do the same. Thats what it sounds like you need. Thats all.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Marriage Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here