My marriage issue...can anyone help?

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Ok, I'm a SAHM of 4 girls (ages 7, 5 , 4, and 4). I have been married for 6 years to a great guy. He works hard for us and tries his best at everything he does. BUT, I feel he is ignoring his duties as a husband. I don't want to complain, but what else can I do? I am always at home with our girls (besides taking the eldest 2 to school), I cook, clean, and do all the things wives and mothers are expected to do. My issue is that I do all these things and he comes home, throws his dirty clothes in the floor, doesn't pick up after himself after eating (open jar of mayo left on counter, dirty dishes left wherever he was sitting, etc.), he gets angry if his work clothes didn't make it to the washer (as if I had nothing else to to that day). He gets mad if I move things (while cleaning) that are HIS and complains that I 'lose' his stuff when I do. I just don't feel respected. Like all that I do isn't even worth it. I can't even be in a bad mood without him getting angry about it. The biggest issue is 'intimacy'. He (along with 100% of the male population) wants sex like every day...or every other day. I know that he does, but sometimes I just don't wanna....ya know? and when I explain that I'm tired, or just don't feel up to it, he will get angry and accuse me of cheating- (Like I really have the time to cheat anyway!!!)
It is getting old....I really don't know what else to do about it. I've tried explaining how I feel ignored and unappreciated...and that in turn leaves me upset which totally turns me OFF. I have this thing about smoking in the house, I don't allow it, but he has started doing that...and it really makes me feel like he doesn't care about my views and concerns at all. I have ONLY ONE thing I ask of him when he is home from work: take out the trash. but, he doesn't. it'll just sit there and sit there until I get tired of looking at it and finally take it out myself. Am I just complaining too much or is it really not fair? I can't stand it anymore....his behavior is also rubbing off on our girls...they get an attitude when asked to do something and totally disrespect me all the time.
He also completely undermines my authority when I tell them they can't have something (like a soda) he will tell them to go ahead....as if I never said they couldn't.
Anyway, the list goes on and on. What do you guys think I should do? Should I keep putting up with this nonsense?

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Samantha - posted on 02/16/2011

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Sometimes, men go through a phase of being unappreciative. At least, that's how I see it. I used to feel the same way, and I still do from time-to-time. In regards to the intimacy...men feel the same way about lack of sex, as we do about them helping around the house. We, as women, feel that our men need to help us in one way or another, They will be "rewarded" if they do. (i.e. intimacy). If they treat us like crap as soon as they get home, we're not going to want to make love to them. However...they feel that if we don't have sex with them, which is one of many of our 'wifely' duties, then they, in return, don't need to do anything around the house. It's our way of justification. It's human nature. Give/Take. Express this to him. Tell him that by being bombarded with house work and his lack of participation, you don't think that he deserves sex from you. That's the only thing that has worked in my house. My husband knows that if I am in a good mood by the end of the evening (especially because of something he did), most likely, he's going to get lucky that night. And vice-versa. Just my thoughts. Good luck.

Delani - posted on 02/12/2011

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I have been married for 14 1/2 yrs... we have 5 children... I have tried all the suggestions listed in above comments... at one point I Hated my Husband so much that I was praying that the tumor he had in his brain would explode so that the marriage would end.(and yes I really do mean that) The only difference is I have the hi sex drive... : ) The real turning point was actually listening to Family Life radio to a program on there Randy Carlson is the guy his program is now called Intentional Living. God spoke to me through this program... (at this point I was praying on a daily basis for my husbands "brain") In a 2 week time period he was talking to people and reminding them that they can not change there spouse they can only change themselves... and that we needed to take the focus off of what our spouses are doing wrong and put the focus on us... we are not perfect we all make mistakes and when our focus is where it should be the little nit picky things that we let annoy us don't seem that important. I also had a friend who lost her husband and one day I was complaining about my husband leaving stuff around imagine my horror when she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said how she wished, that she would give anything to be able to p/u after her husband again. I would recommend a book also called the 5 Love Languages. it is meant as a couple book but I have found it has also helped me understand my self and what my language is and also I figured out what my husbands Love Language was and when I started filling his tank he started filling mine some one has to make the first step and usually that is us..about 7yrs ago I was able to look at my husband and tell him I did not pray for his "brain" any more he was very happy about this.... side point God did answer my prayer just not how I wanted it to be answered at the time... the tumor that my husband has had since he was 6yrs old had vanished....

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Sarah - posted on 02/13/2011

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Delani, wow, what great advice. I know I probably shouldn't complain about him....he really is a great guy...just doesn't do his part around here. I look at myself all the time and try to see the places that need improvement. I've actually 'improved' a lot of things that I used to do that I realized weren't helping my marriage. But, you are so right. If we stopped focusing on just the nit-picky things and appreciate what eachother has to offer, maybe we'd get along better. I do think to myself all the time "Now, what if I were to lose him? What would I do without him?"....and those little things that annoy me so much seem to be less annoying. I guess it's all how you look at it. If you are the type to let every little thing get on your nerves, you won't have a satisfying marriage...but if you are the type to let those things go and just love your spouse for what they can do instead of what you want them to do...then I guess you'd have a better marriage. What you posted was very eye-opening. I am going to apply this to my marriage and see what happens. Thank you so much for your advice! *oh and, Praise God for healing your husband's tumor!!!! :)

Sarah - posted on 02/11/2011

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I agree. Things aren't like this 24/7...just probably a few times a week....and sometimes things are nearly perfect for months. I guess we both tend to put too much of ourselves into our jobs and forget about eachother. I do realize he needs things and he needs me. But, at the same time, I can't be superwoman....there's just no way I can do it all. If I wanted to do all of this on my own, I wouldn't have gotten married. I am married b/c he is the man I love, the father of 3 of my children, the provider, the one who provides that security that I so desperately crave. I don't want to leave him and never want a divorce. I am just simply fed up with his behavior and don't really know how to handle this situation. I have already talked with him about these things and he does know how I feel and how to make me happy (and I know how to make him happy)....but he just chooses to ignore his duties as a respectful husband. I'm thinking that we should try counseling...or just talking with people (friends) the same age we are that are also married...(which seemed to help years ago when we had this issue rise up). I see your point about the sex thing. I will admit that I have been a little bit selfish when it comes to being intimate. I just feel like the only thing I have control over is myself....so I guess that's why I with-hold it from him. I have gotten better in recent weeks about it....I just hope that things will continue to improve in all aspects of our marriage. Thanks again for the advice. : )

Vanessa - posted on 02/10/2011

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It is hard to look all lovey dovey at someone when they act like that --- all I can suggest is ask yourself honestly why it is that you are staying.
If you are staying because you do love him, wonderful - things can be saved! In my opinion only though (and I'm in no way right ALL the time LOL) if you're staying only for the kids or so that you can be a SAHM... then that's the wrong reason. Every woman deserves a special bond with her lifemate - i'm astounded at the ladies who simply go through the motions of having sex to keep the man happy! Sex (once again only IMO) is the act of showing someone how much they are loved by sharing something intimate.
I'm a 31yr old SAHM to 3 kids (the youngest is 3.5mths old) and I respect my husband and his position as head of the household. Sure it's not easy at times (he's a wonderful provider) but I look at the big picture. He loves me and our kids - he doesn't hit me or cheat on me. He does things that really upset me too at times, but keeping it all in perspective. The right man for you will never make you cry.
Perhaps it's time to take a break --- take the kids to your parents or a family members and let him miss you ---- let yourself realise that you miss him!When he comes and asks you to come home, sit down in a neutral place like a cafe and talk. Start talking about the kids and unload what's been going on. Then go home together. If things get a bit better - go away on a short break together... pretty much, start to re-connect with each other, remember why you fell in love in the beginning.
Don't settle for less than what you deserve and if he's not willing to meet you half way, then maybe there is no other alternative than to split permanently :-(

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2011

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Thanks for the feedback ladies. Vanessa, I do love my husband. I do want to spend the rest of my life with him, but things are very difficult right now, How can you honestly look at someone who has mistreated you and feel all lovey dovey toward them? I know I can't. You're right Trish! Marriage is WORK...and never ending in that work for that matter! Every marriage has its ups and downs, moments you want to leave and moments you want to stay. Anyone who says this isn't true is lying. I think most men have forgotten their duties as husbands...mainly because they weren't raised to respect women or they are just plain lazy. Yes, there are a LOT of things my husband could really improve on...and YES I do find myself resentful...but that resentment doesn't last forever. I just get that way when I don't get the help I need around here. I mean, try taking care of a 4 bdrm house, 4 kids, and a husband....AND try to take care of yourself at the same time.....it's very hard work and it leaves me exhausted. So, when he gets home, the last thing on my mind is sex....and lately I am just doing it to get it over with so he won't be bugging me for it every time I turn around. I'm sure you can relate. Gloria, I laughed when I read your comment...b/c I've tried leaving his stuff where he puts it...and leaving his dirty dishes where he puts them....but instead of him getting tired of looking at it and maybe picking up after himself, he blames it on me and says I'm being lazy. Plus, I'm OCD when it comes to cleaning...I have to have everything picked up or else I have huge anxiety issues....and I hate dealing with messes. I did honestly go thru a 'lazy' period there for a while....mainly b/c I got in a "don't give a damn anymore" mood. I felt like if nobody else cared what my house looked like, then I didn't either. That didn't last long tho, we had company over one day and they mentioned that I had let my home go to crap....so I got to work again. LOL.
Anyway, I'm really glad I found this site...it really empowers me as a woman...to know that there are others out there with the same issues, that I'm not alone in this fight for respect. Thank you ladies, and feel free to comment on this anytime you want...I'm always looking for new ideas and new advice. *HUGS*

Gloria - posted on 02/10/2011

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If i didn't know any better i would have thought you were talking about my husband! Hes the same way its very irritating i know! Taking out the trash is his only duty too but never gets done... what i started doing is 1. leave the damn trash sit there! 2. stop washing his crap unless its in the laundry room 3. stop picking up his dirty plates! the next day just put the new plate on top of his old one! your house will look bad and youll get mad but even tho guys are not as clean freaks as we are they cant stand coming home after a long day of work to a recked house! hell get tired of having to see the mess and when he asks whats wrong tell him u feel unappreciated and need help! anyway hope you have better luck with the average man!!

Trish - posted on 02/10/2011

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Sounds like my husband. We're been together for 9 years. I can totally understand where you're coming from. I've taught my one to pick up after himself. How you wonder? I never touched his stuff...Where he dropped it...I left it...never touched it at all. It'll get annoying but you gotta sit on your hands...because he'll realise he's making a mess of the nice house you cleaned. For the intimacy I usually lie back and let him have his way. It sorta works out for me too....But you need to tell him he better stop accusing you...how would he like it if you accused him and tell him why don't he push a baby out of his privates. I laughed when I saw you tell him to take out the trash and he doesn't I SOOO do the same. My husband only job I get on him about is taking out the rubbish. So sometimes I take it out....and make him feel guilty about it. Or when I make a move to take it out...he'll pounce on it. But if I don't we got trash bags piled for how many weeks!!!

So hang in there...Some days are good and bearable and some days you just wanna punch his face...But at the end of the day...when you look at your children you know you are doing okay...and it lessens the hurt feelings. That's what I do. I look at my baby and don't feel that hurt like before. And I always try and keep in mind that it could be worse. I have a good man that works hard and doesn't beat me or cheat on me. I get hurt that he doesn't listen to me and that even though I tell him to stop smoking...and he knows how much it hurts me...he still does it...I love him....because without him my baby wouldn't be here.

I have one question does your husband ever rub in the fact that he works and pays the bills so you could stay at home??? My husband does that ALL the time. I'm getting sick of it. But hey marriage is work...who ever said it was all lovey dovey is wrong. It's down right hard work that keeps a marriage going. So keep hanging in there. I feel relieved that I'm not the only one out there who is going through this. All the best and thank you for your post.

Vanessa - posted on 02/10/2011

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Sounds to me hun like you're looking for an out. Justifying what you've already decided is the answer. In that whole post I was desperate to read the word LOVE, but you didn't mention it at all. Love is integral to making any marriage work - otherwise you're just going through the motions until resentment overflows and resentment turns to hate.
Marriage should be for life ---- isn't that everyone's ultimate goal? Just remember, the person you marry should be the person you want to be holding your hand when you're in a nursing home and all the kids have moved on with families of their own. A married couple should ultimately want to live together and likewise die together.... he doesn't sound like your soulmate, you know it and he knows it --- but only you know if it's saveable.

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