What to do with a father who acts like a child himself?

Jeanie - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have 3 children and 1 on the way. 1 of the 3 children is not his the oldest one and he is 5 and then we have twins that are 17 months. My husband has been getting on my last nerve here lately. He has been lying to me over frivolous things, like spraying clothes before he puts them in the laundry. I asked him a few weeks ago if he sprayed our daughters shirt before he put it in the laundry again since the time before he didn't do it at all so I asked him if he did it this time and he said "YES" I looked up at him and he had a smile on his face that is his sign he is lying. I asked him why he lied to me like a child? And he told me that he didn't want to get into trouble. He has also bought things behind my back like video games and flash drives for the computer. Neither of us have a full time job. I am a stay at home mom and he gets SS and SSI and does landscaping work in the Spring and Summer. The only income I have coming in is the childsupport I get for my 5 yr old. My husband does not realize that every dime we get needs to get diapers for the twins or clothes for all the children and for the new baby on the way. But my main concern is that during the winter months when we do not have the extra money coming in he is asking his parents for diapers or money and I have to ask my Ex- husband for money for gas. Just very heart breaking for me. I just want him to see that we only need to buy the necessities and not the frivolous things. I told him that if he can't get his priorities straight I want a divorce. Can I please get some input and if there is anyone else out there that might be going though the same thing? Thank you all and God Bless

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Treat him like a man and he'll act like one. You're not his mother. Stop nagging him, if he thinks he will get in trouble for every little thing then he'll lie about every little thing just to try and keep the peace. Read dr. laura's book "The proper care and feeding of husbands". I don't agree with everything she says but after reading it I realized what a naggy witch I was. Things are so much better now that I've stopped being my husbands mother and now I'm his friend.

If he really does have a problem wasting money then get some financial counseling. My husband had a bad habit of buying soda everyday, we did the math and it turns out he spent over $100 on soda every month. So now we have agreed (together) that he gets $20 every paycheck to spend on "junk" and when it's gone... it's gone. I tried getting mad, lecturing about the evils of too much soda consumption etc. but none of that worked. He's a grown man, he's going to do what he wants to do. I talked with him sweetly and lovingly about unnecessary things we could cut out of our budget and that is what we came up with. Things have been fine since.

I know how hard money can be, my husbands been jobless and we’ve struggled but your attitude about it will make or break the situation. Go over your budget together (be nice and sweet) rely a lot on his input for things “We have $40 for groceries this week, what would you like for dinner? Kiddo needs new shoes maybe if I put $5 aside for the next 3 weeks we can get him some.” Put $5 or $10 away each week for fun things too. Even if it’s only a dollar and you surprise him by renting a movie he’s been wanting to see and have a “date” at home after the kids are in bed.

Basically a man wants love and respect. Do you thank him for the little things he does? Do you have fun with him and show him that you love him? If you treat him like he’s your knight in shining armor he will treat you like a queen. If you act like the wicked step-mother all of the time your fairy tale will never come true.

By the way I have been married 8 years to the village idiot and 8 years to the knight in shining armor....it’s the same guy. We have 4 beautiful children and he is my best friend. But it was mostly me and my attitude that changed. He has changed very little except he now WANTS to be the man I want him to be, because of the way I treat him.

Constance - posted on 04/26/2011

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I do understand the Bi-Polar issueI also have Bi-Polar. The mood swings are horriable. I am sorry that you have that concern about him targeting you or the kids. I do wish the best for you and I do hope things get better. But here are some websites you can visit that give you great ideas on how to use coupons to get there maxium value. So you can losen up you funds some. I hope these help.
www.mommysavingmom.com is my favorite she is also a stay at home mom of three. She shows you how she does it step by step. Even how her husband and her paid for law school without loans and how she bought her house with cash. I think you will really like her.
I was also thinking that being your husband likes video games so much and they do get very expense fast. I did this when I bought my kids game system and it has help keep the cost down.
www.gamefly.com
Then that could give him what he wants and it keeps your budget intact. Just some suggestions I hope it helps. Good Luck.

Jodi - posted on 04/25/2011

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OK, if I know anything, I KNOW my husband hates me second guessing him and treating him like a child. In asking your husband if he did something, that he already knows he should do, you were essentially treating him like a child. You need to just let it go. If he screwed up, he will realise it eventually, he doesn't need you to parent him (and that is essentially what you are doing in this example). But honestly, he probably WON'T do things the way you do them, but wants positive recognition that he is actually doing it, not being nagged for doing it wrong.



With respect to spending the money, you both need to find some time to sit down and have a discussion about finances. Maybe he doesn't realise where all the money is going? You need to have a *budget* meeting to discuss it, and then agree with each other that any money spent that IS NOT in that budget, you need to consult one another first. That way, neither of you feel like you have to discuss every little thing, but you have also drawn a line on what you can spend. Maybe you have already done this, I don't know, but the budget is a process you should both be involved in. But this conversation could also be a good time to discuss the income as well - perhaps he could look for some extra work for those extra things he wants?



With respect to asking your ex husband for gas money......does he pay you child support? You didn't mention that, so I was just wondering.

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Jeanie - posted on 04/27/2011

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Yes, he does take his meds regularly. And also goes to therapy. He sleeps like a rock because no one else gets sleep from his earthquake snoring. When he goes to therapy all he really talks about is my oldest son and how to control/fix him. My son acts out with my husband because they act like brothers and fight over everything, argue back and forth I get onto Dylan my son about it that he needs to respect his step father but it has to go both ways to Jason needs to respect Dylan and not pick on him for the little things. As soon as he walks in the door from his real dads he starts nit picking at him for things he noticed that didn't get done before he went to his dads. As I said before he is 5 and that is how old my husband acts sometimes.
Everyone says for me to stop treating him as a child but he makes me treat him that way. He asks me to tell him not to do this and not to do that and when to do this like his mother. That is one of our many problems that him and I both have discussed. Why he makes me treat him like a child. I tell him all the time I need a husband and a father for my children instead of another child.
I have tried so hard to deal with his bi-polar condition and to understand what might set him off and try to avoid it.
Our relationship has gone so fast when we had only been together for 4 months I was pregnant with the twins before they were born his stepmother made him move in with me because that is where he was living at the time with his dad and stepmother. And just last year we wanted to dedicate our children at church and the minister told us he would not do it unless we were married. Now we have another baby on the way and things have not gotten any better.
As for giving him an allowance he has his own bank account all of his money goes in there. We have separate accounts. We have talked through the bills and have chosen to split them and they are always paid just the things we need for the house like cleaning supplies, diapers, laundry soap things like that we are scraping for and I need for him to realize that we need those things too.
When I mentioned divorce he said over a $10 video game? I said not just over a $10 video game a lot more than that. And began to tell him everything over again like I do every discussion we have ever had. And before you say that I keep bringing up past mistakes its not past mistakes it the same ones we have discussed before that he keeps doing. This is not the first time he has bought something behind my back. Or jumped at the kids because he is in the middle of a video game and doesn't want to be bothered.
Just need my life back in order!

Jane - posted on 04/26/2011

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You said he is bipolar - is he on meds? If he is, does he take them as he should? Does he get enough sleep? All of these things are vital for bipolar folks to be able to function normally. My son is bipolar and I dread what is future wife may go through. I only hope she is very strong and able to figure out how to help him be the man he can be. Without that I suspect my son will end up homeless some day.



One possibility is for him to only use cash. Sequester the check book and the cards and simply give him his "allowance" for the month. When he runs out, he runs out. This worked for my husband, who wasn't bipolar but who had never learned to control his impulses to do things for others. He was in the military for many years and basically would cash his check, put the money in his pocket, and spend it until there was no more.



I have had several friends who have been married to bipolar men, most of whom refused to admit they were bipolar or refused to take their meds. Divorce ended up being the solution for all of them because they just couldn't raise their children in a house where one person was liable to explode or would stay up for days at a time without sleep, not letting anyone else sleep either. Sometimes I want to run away from home myself, because when my son doesn't sleep, nobody sleeps.

Valerie - posted on 04/26/2011

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how did he respond to that comment about divorce? money and spending are huge issues in relationsips and one of the top reasons for break ps...perhaps you want to seek some help professionally...ask him what the spending is about and then listen...i personally think it is more of a man thing...he is trying to maintain some control...he is young and immature...men need attention...findhis needs/her needs and study what they need and give it to him to help fill his needs...admiration, sex, companionship for activities, to name a few of his needs...if you can come to some agreement on a plan for spending it will be helpful

Jeanie - posted on 04/26/2011

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First of all thank you everyone for your advice and input on the situation.
Yes we have sit down and discussed the budget and we have split the bills. But with the income we have coming in unfortunately we maybe have $100 to $150 extra a month. Not including the money that comes in when he does the landscaping during spring and summer. We live in low income housing but total in bills we have is about $1000 a month. With 3 kids now and 1 on the way we need to save all we can.
I wasn't treating him as a child. He does laundry the same way I normally do and I just asked him calmly if he sprayed it as if it was conversation and he just plain lied. We have been having discussions about him buying things behind my back for a while now he just keeps doing it like we have to discuss where MY money goes but not his. Someone asked if I get childsupport? Yes I mentioned it before must of missed it but it's ok. I get 187.24 every 2 weeks. And I pay over 450 a month in bills and that is all the income I get.
I did not mention before but my husband is also bipolar. That is why I do not have a job. When I was pregnant with the twins had to quit my jobs for safety reasons. But each time my husband has had an "episode" it has gotten worse each time. He has had 3 in 3 years. The 1st was over a board game 2nd was over spaghetti sauce not enough and the 3rd he shattered a huge picture by throwing a cup at it with all 3 kids home. The other 2 times my oldest was with his dad and I was pregnant with the twins. I am just scared that the next time it will be directed at the kids or worse.
All I want is for him to put his family before his addiction.
Thank you everyone for your advise. God Bless

Constance - posted on 04/25/2011

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I have the same problem with my husband. After about 13 years he finally stopped lying because he always got caught. We also have four kids and I have to handle the budget because he runs through money like it grows on trees. But now he is living in another state andhas been staying with family so he has no bills. I have been sending him 150 dollars every two weeks. When he left I kept the checkbook and debt cards and all thecredit cards. Hewas going through that money rather quickly the first two weeks it lasted him about ten days and I sent him just alittle bit more. But the next paycheck I sent him the money and he blew though it in less than three, I didn't send him more. I knew he had a roof over his head and food in the house so he was fine. He was pissed thatI didn't send him more money but truthfully I didn't have any extra mony to send. But he did have to learn that he has to make the money last because I don't have more to give him exspecially if he wants us to make our move this summer. I am still remodeling the house and I have to buy a new car and so does he. So every penny counts. This time he went gocery shopping and he told me he got a weeks worth of groceries for 20 dollars. He is finally listening. But if your husband is hiding things from so he can get things he wants hen you need to sitdown with him and you and him need to write outa budget and see where you can cut costs. I know it isn't easy but tell him you need him on board and try to plan out getting him new games. There are a few ways you can save money without cutting things you need. I am willing to give you some of my ways I save money, if you would like.

Jane - posted on 04/25/2011

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He probably is lying so you won't fuss at him. That said, you have a choice. You can focus on his good qualities (you must have married him for a reason) and learn how to be the grown up in your marriage, or you can divorce him.

If you choose to divorce him, consider the effects on all your children before you do it. If you choose to stay love him for his good qualities and figure out how to put limits on him as if he were a child, without fussing at him.

For example, give him an allowance, no matter how small, that he can spend any way he wants. Or learn to tolerate a few stains on the kids' clothes - at least he helps by doing the laundry! Many husbands wouldn't even do that. Or help him brainstorm some sort of job he can do in the winter to up your income a bit.Depending on where you live and what his disabilities are, perhaps he could shovel snow, learn to do odd jobs for folks, or be a handyman, charging an hourly rate to hang pictures or do minor projects for people in your area.

Perhaps you might consider letting him be the SAHD (stay at home dad) and you get a job, once this baby is born. When my husband became disabled that is what we did. So the kids weren't as clean as when I stayed home. They were healthy, happy and well-fed and my husband felt needed.

As others say, it is your choice, but stop and think before you make the choice.

JuLeah - posted on 04/25/2011

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Past behavior is an indication of future behavior. He has shown you who he is. You now get to make a choice.

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I am with you on this one. The kids needs come first. If he's not adult enough to put the kids needs above his own wants, then you will either have to leave him or mother him. It's your choice.

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