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I don't see how he could be having an affair. When he travels, he's in a different town or city every night, and often he doesn't know where he is going more than 24 hours in advance. Most of his work involves assisting with opening new stores, closing under performing stores, or "putting out fires" (crisis management). He's very good at what he does and he takes his job very seriously. But it would be difficult for an affair partner to join him. And there is only one casino in his region and he doesn't get out that way all that often. But even if he's not using prostitutes, he's blowing about $1000 a month gambling which to me is almost as bad as cheating. When he doesn't get to the casino, he spends his Saturday afternoons at the local Off Track Betting bar with his brother and their old high school buddies.

I know it's hard for him. I only deal with a stressful home environment. He has to deal with a stressful home and work environment. I just don't know how to make home less stressful. It might help to get a full time live in caregiver for our son but as long as he keeps gambling (and he ALWAYS loses) we can't afford it. The state aid we get for him only goes so far.

And even if we could somehow solve the issue with our son, we still have so many other issues to address. His weight. The lousy sex. Him thinking I am lazy because I don't work outside the home. Him never being home except to sleep. His constant disrespect in never telling me when he's going to be home late or not at all on any given night.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to leave him (unless he's cheating or tries to force the issue of institutionalizing our son). But I want to have a good marriage again - more like it used to be before our son was born and H checked out emotionally.

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


What kinds of things did you when you were dating? You probably also want him to do things he doesn't want to do - such as take your son out - so the solution is to brainstorm and find things you will BOTH love.


Missed this question last night. When we were dating - we went to sports bars and watched football. Had sex. Went out to eat at expensive restaurants. Had sex. Went to the beach. Had more sex. Went to museums, long road trips, camping, hiking, concerts, antiquing. Had even more sex. Went for rides on his motorcycle and went to every Renaissance Faire on the East Coast. And you guessed it, more sex.

I know this - our relationship would never have even gotten off the ground if we hadn't started sleeping together only 2 weeks after we met. And now? Of all the stuff on that list, the only things we still do are go out to eat and have sex. And it's not good sex like it used to be. It's just about him getting off.

Our son is too small to need a wheelchair yet. He rides in a specially equipped stroller. We don't even need a handicap van yet. There is no reason whatsoever that we couldn't still get out and do things as a family. Plenty of other people do it. But he won't. And he won't even tell me the reason why.

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Ok I have what may be a strange question. It seems to me that you can manipulate the POJA just by the way you word it. I can say, I'm less than enthusiastic about working outside the home. My husband could retaliate by saying that he is less than enthusiastic about me being a SAHM. At this point, do you just maintain the status quo? So that since we weren't aware of POJA before I quit working last February, I would continue not working? This is just an example I chose to explain my question, since my H has no actual say in whether or not I go back to work since I no longer have a drivers license.

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You might not see how he could be having an affair, but I can! In your description there's literally no end to opportunities. There's probably not just one affair partner. Have you considered that? I'd venture to say that every man I know of who lives the lifestyle your husband does has a partner in every city, prostitutes on the side, and possibly even partners that were willing to go out of their way to meet up with him trying to gain some advantage by doing so.
Why, given his history, do you trust him not to be doing it anywhere and everywhere? From my viewpoint you are putting your son at the huge risk of having a mother sick with STDs.
if you don't have the motivation or personal energy to snoop and find out if he is or is not having affairs then please for your own safety hire a PI to find out.


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What happened to your Drivers license?


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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


What kinds of things did you when you were dating? You probably also want him to do things he doesn't want to do - such as take your son out - so the solution is to brainstorm and find things you will BOTH love.


Missed this question last night. When we were dating - we went to sports bars and watched football. Had sex. Went out to eat at expensive restaurants. Had sex. Went to the beach. Had more sex. Went to museums, long road trips, camping, hiking, concerts, antiquing. Had even more sex. Went for rides on his motorcycle and went to every Renaissance Faire on the East Coast. And you guessed it, more sex.

I know this - our relationship would never have even gotten off the ground if we hadn't started sleeping together only 2 weeks after we met. And now? Of all the stuff on that list, the only things we still do are go out to eat and have sex. And it's not good sex like it used to be. It's just about him getting off.


This is the kind of stuff you would plan for your dates. You would find things to do that you both enjoy. The reason you don't enjoy sex NOW is because you are not emotionally attached to him. Going out on dates will change that. Women need 2 things to desire sex: an emotional attachment and the prospect of enjoyment.

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Our son is too small to need a wheelchair yet. He rides in a specially equipped stroller. We don't even need a handicap van yet. There is no reason whatsoever that we couldn't still get out and do things as a family. Plenty of other people do it. But he won't. And he won't even tell me the reason why.


So you shouldn't try to force him to do that. Try to find things to do that you both like.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Ok I have what may be a strange question. It seems to me that you can manipulate the POJA just by the way you word it. I can say, I'm less than enthusiastic about working outside the home. My husband could retaliate by saying that he is less than enthusiastic about me being a SAHM. At this point, do you just maintain the status quo?


The default position is to do nothing, NOT to maintain the status quo.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
I don't see how he could be having an affair. When he travels, he's in a different town or city every night, and often he doesn't know where he is going more than 24 hours in advance. Most of his work involves assisting with opening new stores, closing under performing stores, or "putting out fires" (crisis management). He's very good at what he does and he takes his job very seriously. But it would be difficult for an affair partner to join him. And there is only one casino in his region and he doesn't get out that way all that often. But even if he's not using prostitutes, he's blowing about $1000 a month gambling which to me is almost as bad as cheating. When he doesn't get to the casino, he spends his Saturday afternoons at the local Off Track Betting bar with his brother and their old high school buddies.


I can't think of a more perfect environment to have an affair. He is free to do whatever he wants and you would never know.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Ok I have what may be a strange question. It seems to me that you can manipulate the POJA just by the way you word it. I can say, I'm less than enthusiastic about working outside the home. My husband could retaliate by saying that he is less than enthusiastic about me being a SAHM. At this point, do you just maintain the status quo?


The default position is to do nothing, NOT to maintain the status quo.


See that's what I don't get. If you do nothing, nothing gets done. I don't want to do the dishes alone. He doesn't want to help. Therefore the dishes simply don't get done? Same could apply to any type of chore. He wants me to work. I don't want to work (this isn't actually the case but continuing the example). How can you do nothing in such a situation? I'm already not working so by default I'm getting my way if we do nothing.

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Originally Posted By: buildsherhouse
What happened to your Drivers license?


It was revoked after I had an accident that was determined to have happened due to a depth perception issue that unfortunately can't be surgically corrected. However I don't qualify for disability because my home business brings in more than the minimum allowable income.

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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Ok I have what may be a strange question. It seems to me that you can manipulate the POJA just by the way you word it. I can say, I'm less than enthusiastic about working outside the home. My husband could retaliate by saying that he is less than enthusiastic about me being a SAHM. At this point, do you just maintain the status quo?


The default position is to do nothing, NOT to maintain the status quo.


See that's what I don't get. If you do nothing, nothing gets done. I don't want to do the dishes alone. He doesn't want to help.


BUT, he is not enthusiastic about doing the dishes. You can't force him to do anything. If you don't want to do the dishes alone, then don't do the dishes. But you should not force your husband to do dishes.

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Same could apply to any type of chore. He wants me to work. I don't want to work (this isn't actually the case but continuing the example). How can you do nothing in such a situation? I'm already not working so by default I'm getting my way if we do nothing.


The same answer applies. You are not enthusiastic about working and he should not force you to do something against your will.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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That seems to me like making excuses to be lazy. I HATE doing housework. I do it because it needs to be done. My H refuses to help because his childhood upbringing taught him housework was women's work and only a single man living alone should ever have to do it. If we both got what we wanted, our house would be a pigsty! The only solution I can see is hiring a maid service and as long as he refuses to stop gambling that's just not something we can afford.

I learned very early in our relationship that if something needed to be done I would have to do it myself. Prior to our marriage, my husband was literally leaving his apartment a disaster area for weeks at a time until his mother came over and took care of it for him. He is an unrepentant slob - but I have to give him credit for doing a very good job of hiding it from me until we were married. I know Dr Harley doesn't think living together prior to marriage is a good idea, but I never would have married him if we had lived together first. I would have run after a matter of weeks.

I want so much for us to return to our good days. Unless he is cheating, I have no Biblical grounds for divorce. So I NEED to find some way to fix this before I have a nervous breakdown. I've already been in the hospital 3 times in the past year with panic attacks that had me thinking I was dying.

I will try to talk to him this weekend about finding things we can do together as a couple again. I can't guarantee he'll stay home long enough to have a decent conversation though. After all, the NFL playoffs start this weekend, and that's SO much more important than your wife and family.

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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Are emailed questions only answered via radio?

No: Dr Harley will write you a personal reply.

Have a look at MrAlias' thread in this forum (MB101) - just the last few pages would do. He has written to Dr Harley a few times, and has posted the replies for us to see.


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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
If we both got what we wanted, our house would be a pigsty!

Is living in a pigsty what you both want?

If not, how could that result be "if we both got what we wanted"?


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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
I want so much for us to return to our good days. Unless he is cheating, I have no Biblical grounds for divorce. So I NEED to find some way to fix this before I have a nervous breakdown. I've already been in the hospital 3 times in the past year with panic attacks that had me thinking I was dying.

I won't argue with you about having no Biblical grounds for divorce, but please realise that you don't need to divorce. However, unless his behaviour turns around quickly, you DO need to separate.

If your health has suffered this way already, you are well past the time to remove yourself from his behaviour. How did your husband respond to the hospitalisation - and by the way, who looked after your son at that time?

Did your husband see this in any way as a wake-up call, for him to support you instead of checking out of the marriage?

Dr Harley would NEVER allow a woman to wreck her health by putting up with her husband's marriage-destroying behaviour. Please write to him today. I am horrified by what I am reading.


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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
That seems to me like making excuses to be lazy. I HATE doing housework. I do it because it needs to be done. My H refuses to help because his childhood upbringing taught him housework was women's work and only a single man living alone should ever have to do it. If we both got what we wanted, our house would be a pigsty! The only solution I can see is hiring a maid service and as long as he refuses to stop gambling that's just not something we can afford.


Calling your husband lazy is very disrespectful. Trying to force him to do housework is controlling. However, we have a method that splits up domestic chores and the one who wants it done the most has to do the chore.

Even so, you have much bigger fish to fry so I wouldn't lose your focus on stuff like this. This is all part of recovery, but you need to work on the framework of your marriage before you can even tackle this type of stuff.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: BMH1971
I want so much for us to return to our good days. Unless he is cheating, I have no Biblical grounds for divorce. So I NEED to find some way to fix this before I have a nervous breakdown. I've already been in the hospital 3 times in the past year with panic attacks that had me thinking I was dying.

I won't argue with you about having no Biblical grounds for divorce, but please realise that you don't need to divorce. However, unless his behaviour turns around quickly, you DO need to separate.

If your health has suffered this way already, you are well past the time to remove yourself from his behaviour. How did your husband respond to the hospitalisation - and by the way, who looked after your son at that time?

Did your husband see this in any way as a wake-up call, for him to support you instead of checking out of the marriage?

Dr Harley would NEVER allow a woman to wreck her health by putting up with her husband's marriage-destroying behaviour. Please write to him today. I am horrified by what I am reading.


I can't afford to separate I only make about $8000/year and I can GUARANTEE you if we separated he would refuse support without a court order. He can be very vindictive and spiteful. I could never support our son by myself. And I've been told that the family court system would probably side with him on the idea of having our son institutionalized.

My parents came and stayed at our house for a few days after my panic attacks. All 3 were ER visits I was never admitted overnight. And luckily for me all 3 happened when our home health aide was at our house. She is a wonderful woman who has been a total blessing to us and I don't know what I would do without her. My H thinks I am too reliant on her and refuses to pay for her to come full time.

As far as his reaction to my panic attacks he basically told me I was being melodramatic and attention seeking and to grow up. He doesn't believe that mental illness exists. He thinks it's all just an excuse for bad behavior.

But, he is also correct that he is not responsible for my anxiety. That started after my accident which is not uncommon. Aside from no longer being able to drive, I now suffer from severe anxiety in certain situations including being in a car on bad roads (which is 6 months of the year here), being around crowds, being in loud places (the sports bars he loves so much).

I started reading Love Busters today. The story about Tom and Linda really struck a nerve. We are both disrespectful to each other. I complain far too much about his long hours, gambling (I've been pretty nasty about his losses), his weight problem (haven't exactly been nice there either), and lack of interest in our son. I HAVE deliberately held back on telling him how much I hate his current tendency to take his sexual fulfillment at the expense of mine. I know no man wants to hear he's a lousy lover. He tells me I'm lazy, overly concerned with our son's needs, I have no right to tell him what to do with his money when I don't work outside the home, I'm boring because I won't go to bars anymore, I'm a lousy cook and housekeeper who should take lessons from his mother. I'm willing to work on my disrespectful behavior. The question is whether or not it will prompt a positive response from him.

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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
I can't afford to separate I only make about $8000/year and I can GUARANTEE you if we separated he would refuse support without a court order. He can be very vindictive and spiteful. I could never support our son by myself. And I've been told that the family court system would probably side with him on the idea of having our son institutionalized.

Well then, you get a court order. He won't be allowed to simply stop supporting you and his son.

You're not the first person that the courts have had to deal with when a man won't support his family. Find out, from a lawyer, how he would be made to to this.

And I don't live in the USA, but I simply don't believe that any judge would make any parent put her son into care just because her estranged husband wants it. You'd have to be an unfit parent for a judge to make any such order. If you live in the USA, I know that this is a civilised country with a civilised justice system. Disabled, well-loved kids are not taken from their mothers and put into institutions because their checked-out fathers demand this.

Originally Posted By: BMH1971
But, he is also correct that he is not responsible for my anxiety. That started after my accident which is not uncommon. Aside from no longer being able to drive, I now suffer from severe anxiety in certain situations including being in a car on bad roads (which is 6 months of the year here), being around crowds, being in loud places (the sports bars he loves so much).

If you have the clinical condition known as anxiety, there is medical treatment available for that. Are you receiving it?

Your husband might not be responsible for your anxiety, but he is responsible for the obvious despair and depression that you display. Most women's depression is caused by their poor marriages, and that's what is happening to you.

Originally Posted By: BMH1971
I started reading Love Busters today. The story about Tom and Linda really struck a nerve. We are both disrespectful to each other. I complain far too much about his long hours, gambling (I've been pretty nasty about his losses), his weight problem (haven't exactly been nice there either), and lack of interest in our son. I HAVE deliberately held back on telling him how much I hate his current tendency to take his sexual fulfillment at the expense of mine. I know no man wants to hear he's a lousy lover. He tells me I'm lazy, overly concerned with our son's needs, I have no right to tell him what to do with his money when I don't work outside the home, I'm boring because I won't go to bars anymore, I'm a lousy cook and housekeeper who should take lessons from his mother. I'm willing to work on my disrespectful behavior. The question is whether or not it will prompt a positive response from him.

You shouldn't be disrespectful, even when faced with terrible disrespect from your spouse, as you are.

However, I don't want to give you the impression that turning this marriage around can be done by you alone. Dr Harley is rather pessimistic when the wife tries to shoulder the burden of doing this, and the husband is not on board. He finds that the marriage can be rescued when it is the other way around, but he does not recommend that women should take on this task alone for long. You need to see results from your husband pretty soon, or you need to get him out. And I do not mean just his ending his disrespectful comments; I mean the long working hours, the possible affair or prostitutes, the gambling, the checked-out behaviour - all of it. You cannot rescue this simply by stopping your own DJs.


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Originally Posted By: BMH1971


Unless he is cheating, I have no Biblical grounds for divorce. So I NEED to find some way to fix this before I have a nervous breakdown. I've already been in the hospital 3 times in the past year with panic attacks that had me thinking I was dying.


Why do you say this?

Are you familiar with the 1 Cor 7 Pauline exception for abandonment?

I, too, went to the hospital three times for panic attacks. There wasn't a fourth time; instead I incurred damage to my heart that I am still recovering from four years later.

It took a LOT of Bible studying to realize the wonderful clarity the Bible provides for separation and divorce in the event of unrepentant abuse.

Like you, I was conditioned to believe that divorce was only Biblical for adultery. Initially the Bible seems SO clear on that; however once I started researching it more deeply my initial error became very obvious.

I could hardly believe that the Bible would command a woman to submit to abuse until her destruction rather than divorce, and I'm thrilled to tell you that it doesn't! To understand, you need to question and look deeper into the verses that you have superficially interpreted your whole life.


Are you living in a covenant with death? With bitterness in your marriage? Read Isaiah 28. The bed will not be long enough or the covers wide enough for you to ever find comfort in that life. In Isaiah 28, God tells you to take a stick and beat these conditions out of your life.

Isaiah 28:29 "This [command] also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."
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Originally Posted By: BMH1971
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
[quote=BMH1971]I
Dr Harley would NEVER allow a woman to wreck her health by putting up with her husband's marriage-destroying behaviour. Please write to him today. I am horrified by what I am reading.


I can't afford to separate I only make about $8000/year and I can GUARANTEE you if we separated he would refuse support without a court order. He can be very vindictive and spiteful. I could never support our son by myself. And I've been told that the family court system would probably side with him on the idea of having our son institutionalized.

My parents came and stayed at our house for a few days after my panic attacks. All 3 were ER visits I was never admitted overnight.


Where would he go if you were hospitalized for a nervous breakdown? That is what you need to start thinking about. That is where you are headed. You would all survive a separation, it would be a disaster if you were hospitalized and unable to take care of your son. The court would force your husband to support you and your son and the state does not institutionalize children against the parents will.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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