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#242508 01/23/04 01:25 AM
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I have known about marriage builders for about 3 years now but never posted. I hope that I can get some good advice and meet some great listeners.

My husband and I have been married for over 10 years and have two beautiful children. Our daughter is 8 years old and our son is 7 years old. Our problems become very noticeable in our 5th year of marriage. We disagreed on most everything from house keeping to raising the children. We dealt with it for awhile but soon both of our frustrations took over and neither one of us could keep it together.

Over the next three years we separated 4 times and filed for divorce twice. Our last separation was the longest, 5 months and 3 months into the divorce process. This time I had my mind made up, I was moving on and getting over the hurt. I was in search of a new life and was willing to give what ever it took to find myself and happiness again.

About 4 months into this last separation my husband decided that he wanted to give “us” another try. My first reaction to this was no way in hell will I go back to what I was in that lonely and cold place that we called a marriage and family unit. Being on my own this last time gave me so much strength and empowerment to find myself and become the happy and outgoing person I was when I first married. I liked who I was and was very afraid that I would lose the true me if I gave “us” another try.

After late nights of long talks over the phone and through emails we both decided to go for counseling, something my husband had been so against in the past. Since he was willing to do this and do anything to save “us”, I felt this time could be different and that I owe it to our children to try and save the family one more time. So back in I move and explain to all my friends and family that we are trying again.

So this brings us to the future. Were back under the same roof safe and sound and that in its self is more than enough to be thankful for and so far so good. We have decided to take one day at a time, baby steps into building a solid, happy and successful marriage. Our real problems are with money and bills that we have acquired together. My husband makes much more than I do and so he has always felt that it’s his money and that if I want nice things that I should work harder and buy them myself. I don’t mind working but when I do I still have the house hold to look after and the kids to take care of. My husband is an outstanding dad but as we all know being a mom is a 24/7 job, we get no breaks.

I want to work and be in touch with adults. I want to be known for an individual and not just someone’s wife or someone’s mom, but I can’t do all and don’t want to pretend that I can. I have agreed to work in the mornings while the kids are in school (after school day care just kills us) and that would give us extra money to have fun with. The older the kids get the less they will need me and I can work more.

My main issue with our marriage is how do I overcome the guilt that my husband makes more than me and how does he over come the feeling of resentment that he is the sole provider?

Any feed back or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

#242509 01/23/04 01:33 AM
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You can't.

#242510 01/23/04 10:28 AM
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Loves, I am fairly new to MB myself, but I would suggest reading over the MB concepts and have your H do this too. If he is interested in working on your M, then he will probably be open to reading and discussing these concepts with you. Marriage is a partnership and less about "your" and "my" money or whatever. Let the fact that he seems willing to work on your marriage at this time encourage you to approach him with this.

#242511 01/24/04 01:55 AM
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Hi Loves,

You've got alot of positives going on. Have you two been in MC? Have you done the Emotional Needs Questionaire? How about His Needs/Her Needs book? If not, RUN and do them! If he's truly in the 'Save My Marriage' state of mind, then it's time for him to put his money where his mouth is, so to speak [Wink] .

It sounds like he's still not getting it. His insecurities about money are affecting his marriage (yes, HIS, not yours). You two need to really get to the bottom of this issue, or next time you probably will not be tempted to return.

FS (financial support) is a legitmate, real need. Can you get him to MC to discuss this, specifically? If he is willing to do anything, hold him to it. Explain how you see yourself falling into the old thinking of wanting to leave, that you really need his help on this issue. If FS is a real need of yours, then when you start meeting your own need, you might think you need him less... not good, either. (may as well leave, what the heck? kind of thinking)

You feel guilty because he makes more $. Ask him if that is how he wants you to feel, if that's what he intended? I'd bet it's not. Good luck - Dru

[ January 23, 2004, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Drucilla ]

#242512 01/23/04 02:39 PM
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Hello, I am the evil husband "loves" is referring to :holding outstretched pinky to chin:

The thing 'loves' didn't tell you is that she has very expensive tastes such as:

-a 2001 Chevy Tahoe SUV that costs a total of $720 per month (pymt, gas, insur)

-a 'cosmetical' bill that runs $130 per month

-a $5,000 credit card maxed out @ $100 per month

-a Macy's card @ $50 per month

So that's $1,000 in bills I did not incur, let alone even have a part in DECIDING on. I wasn't even consulted on these bills. Loves told me I would never have to pay a penny of the 'cosmetic' bill because her mother was paying it (which turned out to be untrue). She bought the Tahoe when we lived apart. Same with the credit card which she ran up on a video cam, digital cam and other things while we were apart (she lived partially off her credit card because she didn't want to work)

I never even got to play a part in these decisions. Even if Loves works part time, she won't even make enough money to cover these bills. That leaves US *NO* money after my paycheck covers a $2,300 mortgage, another car payment and utlities. NO MONEY for vacations, NO MONEY for fun, NO MONEY for savings, NO MONEY for our kids future, NO MONEY for ANYTHING extra whatsoever.

It's frustrating. Loves gets her hot Tahoe on 22" wheels, her 'cosmetic' upgrade, her awesome house, beautiful looks, beautiful kids, free time to chill out and watch TV during the day, etc etc and I get... well.. I gfet to go to work and pay for it all.

Hmmm. I wonder why I'm frustrated. I feel like my wife should work full time and make a nice living doing something she enjoys, and we should share all of the house responsibilities and child rearing duties.

OK, so why not do that? Sounds reasonable right? Wrong. Can't do that. Loves won't split the duties with me. She's a perfectionist and won't let me help her with the house or kids. She wants to do it all herself. But she can't when she's working full time.

This is a no-win situation for US unless Loves agrees to get into a field where she can net around $2,000 per month.

She wants NICE THINGS, a GOOD LIFE, FREEDOM and FUN and expects me to do all the sacrificing to make it happen. I have to do the commute, the grind, the co-workers, the career field that bores me to tears, etc etc to support OUR life! I thought marriage was a partnership. I wanted to be a partner, not a caretaker. [Frown]

I love my wife more than words can say, but her double standards (namely wanting the good life and expecting me to foot the bill) are very, very frustrating sometimes.

HR

[ January 23, 2004, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: HighRize ]

#242513 01/23/04 03:49 PM
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I see two people who are more concerned with being right than being married. Read the Basic Concepts on the home page here and learn about Disrespectful Judgements and POJA.

#242514 01/23/04 04:02 PM
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I couldn't care less about being "right," I'll GLADLY be "wrong" if the bills get paid somehow. We are not competitive. We simply can't agree on this money issue because she wants the good life and wants me to work for it while she gets to chill out and enjoy it and I get to do nothing but work.

I think it's pretty straightforward... but the solution is anything BUT..

#242515 01/23/04 04:13 PM
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What's your stand on DJ's and POJA?

#242516 01/23/04 04:22 PM
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In my opinion, if you two can agree on these things you will be steps ahead and not have so many conflicts:

1. To run purchases over $100.00 thru each other so that each agrees on the purchase.

2. To develop and agree on a workable budget.

3. If you want nice things you both have to agree to work. One should not be supporting the other ones nice things unless both agree on this.

4. To agree on selling things, paying off credit cards, getting loans off your backs in order to take money pressures off you both.

5. To agree to lock up credit cards and keep your credit good. To agree that the one who has run up the credit card must work and pay it off. Before buying any more luxury items.


I could go on and on. Lets just say you need to agree that your marriage and your love for one another is more important that continuing these disagreements about money, In other words, you must love each other to come to some good written compromises regarding money.

If you do not love each other enough to do this, then go get a counselor to help you do this or maybe your love is so dead there is no hope. I think you still love each other enough to compromise, develop a good budget, and be financially happy. Both will have to sacrifice equally.

#242517 01/23/04 04:30 PM
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I value all Dr Harley's concepts. I'm not trying to be judgmental of my dear wife.. and her GUILT is her own.. she KNOWS she has it GOOD and she knows I'm doing all the work to support it. YOU would feel guilty, too. ANYONE would.

I NEVER tried to make her feel guilty by asking for her help to support OUR GOALS. And yes, fun, vacation, our nice home, our nice cars, etc.. those are OUR goals.. I just want some help with them. It's not my fault she feels guilty when I ask her for help and she's not inclined to give it. [Wink]

Love you , dear wife [Wink]

#242518 01/23/04 04:32 PM
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Baba2.. well said! I couldn't agree more. It is about sacrifice and compromise. I totally agree with your asessment 100% . No one person should have to carry the burden.

Thank you

#242519 01/23/04 07:35 PM
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Ok, we've got two very one sided stories,here. Loves, I came out in your corner, but HR is sounding pretty rational... Care to rebuff?

Couples must work together within the limits of their budget. Period. Sacrifices must be made for the good of the family. Mounding debt is a horrible thing to live with. Good luck - Dru

#242520 01/23/04 08:09 PM
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I never said that I didn’t want to work or even work hard for what I have and want. I just can’t do it all. When my h comes home he gets to relax and my day begins the 2nd shift.

Yes I am picky about the house, it should stay neat and organized: I feel it’s a sign of pride. I try to teach the kids that their room and toys should be well taken care and hopefully they will carry that through life.

When I do stay home I’m not sitting on the sofa eating bon bons getting fat. I’m running errands for the family, planning dinner and waiting for the kids to come home so I can help them with homework, feed them, bath them and get them ready for bed. These are all things I do so my h doesn’t have to. I will say that recently when I ask my h to help he is very responsive and will do the task with a smile.

I know it is important to my h that he has an equal partner and has someone that he can rely on. I want to be that person but I to have needs and want to feel no matter how small those needs are they are still valued and important to the rest of the family

#242521 01/23/04 08:31 PM
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How about as a first step you both consider trading in the Tahoe on a car that has a smaller payment and uses less gas? That would help take a little of the financial burden off and ease a little of the tension. Keep a car with a high payment that is a bone of contension is just NOT a good thing, it builds ones resentment and the others guilt. There can be time later for a bigger hotter car.

Cosmetics, well, stuck there, that is a basic that makes her feel good, look good, and I am sure that you like her to look good.

For help with the domestic responsibilities, check out www.flylady.net

Realize that though it may feel to each of you that you are alone in this that there are ways to compromise and work through it as a team. You both have to sacrifice and you both have to give. That is marriage.

It is obvious that you both love each other, so in light of that love it seems that giving up a few luxuries for now is worth keeping the love alive and the family together.

Each of you can make a list of what you are willing to do and willing to give up and them talk through both lists see if there are common things that have been overlooked due to the tension these discussions lead to. Go into as a battle between the two of you against the debts. Don't keep focused on the problem, keep focused on finding solutions.

#242522 01/23/04 09:25 PM
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Thank for the good advice on the Tahoe but I’m upside down about 5k on it and unable trade it in. Does anyone know what I can do in this situation to lower my payment or even sell the truck with out loosing out on too much money?

#242523 01/24/04 02:07 AM
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Well, You could always put it on ebay for auction with a reserve price of what you owe on it. IF it doesn't sell then you can look at other ideas, if it does, then it gets you out from under the payment.

#242524 01/24/04 10:27 PM
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I want everyone to know that I love my h very much and never indented him to feel the entire financial burden. In my last posts I failed to disclose that I came from a very dis functional family and try very hard not to bring my kids up that way. My mom was a stay at home mom but I never benefited from it. My mom hated life and covered it up with drugs and alcohol and was not afraid to let me see that side of her.

I want nothing more to be all to everyone but I’m afraid that I don’t know how to balance it all.

I’m asking for advice on how to be the best for my family.

#242525 01/24/04 11:18 PM
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Try looking at "thedollarstretcher.com". I have found mounds of helpful advice on everything from cars to managing a household on very little to party ideas and cooking ideas. My H and I have gone through some hard financial times and have learned that there are many things that many people have that we decided we could do without. I am a stay at home mom, but we found this to be cheaper and better for us than childcare. You will have to work together to agree what will work best in your situation. Take an honest look at other things you can agree on and be willing to give up, at least for the time.

#242526 01/26/04 12:24 PM
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Hi Loves,

So, I'm still not sure what you are asking... let me ramble...
quote:
I want nothing more to be all to everyone but I’m afraid that I don’t know how to balance it all. I’m asking for advice on how to be the best for my family.
The quick answer here is, that more Money and Stuff is NOT the answer on how you can be the best for your family. I know tons of rich, unhappy people. I had a crappy, but poor mom. I'd traded crappy for Sweet and kept the poor, any day.

quote:
My husband makes much more than I do and so he has always felt that it’s his money and that if I want nice things that I should work harder and buy them myself. I don’t mind working but when I do I still have the house hold to look after and the kids to take care of. My husband is an outstanding dad but as we all know being a mom is a 24/7 job, we get no breaks.

I want to work and be in touch with adults. I want to be known for an individual and not just someone’s wife or someone’s mom,

This REALLY belittles the significance of your motherhood, is that what you intended? Did you always plan on going back to work after you had children?

quote:
but I can’t do all and don’t want to pretend that I can. I have agreed to work in the mornings while the kids are in school (after school day care just kills us) and that would give us extra money to have fun with. The older the kids get the less they will need me and I can work more.
So you are asking for HR to do more work around the house and with the kids so you can take a job. HIGH RIZE? Is that the question, and are you refusing?

quote:
My main issue with our marriage is how do I overcome the guilt that my husband makes more than me and how does he over come the feeling of resentment that he is the sole provider?
That really doesn’t seem like the problem. The problem is that you really want to work outside the home, but HR isn’t totally on board because of the extra work for him? What does HE get out of it? Seems like you & the kids would get nice things, but he looses nice at home time with his wife AND has to do more work... I can see how he would not be crazy about the idea...

See, I came from a SAH mom who was depressed and drugged out half the time. I got ZERO benefit. But you really have a chance to be much better than that, don’t you agree? I'm not saying you shouldn’t get out, and maybe take a small job, but it seems you really have a down attitude about this Wife and Mom thing. A job alone may not help as much as you think?

What do you think? Thanks - Dru

#242527 01/27/04 01:11 AM
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Taking care of the kids is not "The good life" . It's a full time job. If you had to pay someone to do that it would be quite a lot of money, not counting what it would cost to pay someone to make meals. SO, if you want to be looking at if from the financial perspective find out the cost of a full time live in child care worker + cook + maid, add that up and that will be what your wife should be paid doing all of the stuff that you label "the good life".

Get your perspectives in line about what your wife's work is really worth and this money problem won't be such a problem.

A women who is living the "good life" is a woman without children who is living at home doing much of nothing and living off of her husband.

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