Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 58
J
Jennidy Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
J
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 58
I have read the books in the past and recently reviewed all the concepts and the forum and I can't quite find an example like my situation. I thought asking in the forum might help.

Four years ago, my husband quit his job because he didn't feel like they were compensating him enough and respecting him for his work. He served on multiple non-profit boards that directly benefited his employer, but his employer was making him use his PTO to attend the board meetings. When it was time to ask for a raise, he realized that they could not afford to give him a raise, so he asked for an increase in his PTO to at least cover these other work-related meetings. They said "no", so he resigned. Then, he started telling all our friends that he "retired". He continues to serve on three of the non-profit boards, which is uncompensated, but something that he really enjoys and it only takes a few days each month. During this same time, I received a large raise, so the decrease in his income has not negatively impacted our lifestyle.

Three years ago, my husband's mother died after a long battle with cancer. She did not complete a will, so her estate has been a mess. He is not anticipating a lot of money from it and has some ill-feelings towards one family member, so he has decided to mostly stay out of it and let his sister try to clean it up. Her house still needs to be cleaned out, but he has only gone over there three times to work on it with his sister.

I bring these two incidents up, because at first these were the reasons why I ignored my feelings about his behavior. I knew he was having a hard time dealing with both of these losses and I didn't want to add to his stress. For some men, "retirement" can mean .. "yeah, I finally have time to finish all the work around the house". Our house is unfinished, so I was actually hopeful that his "retirement" would led to the house getting finished. We aren't wealthy, but we could afford to do one small project at a time and he says that doing that type of work is something that he can and wants to do. He doesn't want to hire anyone to do it for us. I also thought that his "retirement" would give him time to clean out his mother's house. However, "retirement" for my husband has meant that he sleeps in, works out intermittently, watches TV for at least 4 hours during the day, and hangs out with his friend that is on disability and does not work.

I continue to work full-time and continue to do most of the cooking and all of the house cleaning; as I have throughout our 25+ years marriage. When we were both working, it did not bother me that I was doing most of the cooking and all of the house cleaning. If he was busy working on house projects or cleaning out his mother's house, it would still not bother me that I am doing most of the cooking and all of the house cleaning. However, it is starting to really bother me, because he is not doing anything "productive" all day. I have tried to encourage him to be in charge of dinner each night, because he is a better cook than me. But, if I don't plan a dinner, then when I come home and ask him what he has planned for dinner, he hasn't thought about it 8 times out of 10.

My "taker" keeps telling me that it isn't fair that I work all day and then "work" when I come home, while he just does whatever he feels like doing all day. But, if I look at it from his perspective ... why would I be upset that he isn't cooking and cleaning, I've been doing those things for 25+ years?

Every time I try to talk to him about working on the house, he says things like "I know I want to get X house project done too", but then nothing happens.

We have not been saving what we should have for our retirement, so I don't see myself retiring anytime soon. I am turning 50 years old next month and if this is what the next 30+ years are going to look like, I am not sure I want to stay here.

Any advice? Which Emotional Need or Love Buster do you think I need to discuss with him or work on?


Jennidy

Married 1992
Divorced 1999
Re-Married same man 2002

No children.
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,431
Likes: 7
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,431
Likes: 7
Welcome back to MB. I see that you used to post here a long time ago, and that you have an interesting history with your husband.

Your unmet emotional needs seem to be domestic support and financial support, but I think that fitting them into Dr Harley's precise definitions is not important. You have described a great lack of concern from your husband, and I can see entirely why you wouldn't want to live like this for much longer. You two divorced before; has he any idea that you feel this unhappy today?

If you are turning 50 soon, how old is he? How old was he when he "retired"? Does he have any substantial income? When is his pension due? Did he basically give up working for an income knowing that you are earning and that you could both survive on that?

Do you have children - presumably grown up?

As I said, I don't think it's the definitions that count so much as your husband's lack of concern over pulling his weight in the marriage. You said that when you mention things you'd like him to do, he temporarily agrees and then doesn't do them. You could try all sorts of things, such as creating a chart of things for him to do on a daily or weekly basis, but if he says he will do them and then doesn't, you will make no progress.

The short answer is that you need to make clear that his behaviour is making you unhappy and that if it continues you will want to end the marriage.

Have you ever had that sort of conversation with him?


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 58
J
Jennidy Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
J
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 58
I have been expressing that I think I am having a mid-life crisis. For awhile, I thought that I just wanted to leave the ice and snow and move someplace warm, because I was kind of obsessed with planning vacation after vacation and as many work trips as I could take. Then, I realized that I love my job and the community/State where I live ... I am just tired of living in our dirty, cluttered, unfinished house and these trips were a way for me to avoid my home. When we are traveling, I also forget about the domestic support and financial support issues. In the last two weeks, I have mentioned twice that I don't want to live in our house like this anymore. He agreed that he didn't like it being dirty, cluttered, and unfinished either. I started making a bigger effort to do more house cleaning and decluttering ... basically spending my evenings and weekends on this effort. He did clear off one table of bills that he makes the payments on (with my income), but he just put them in a box upstairs next to the filing cabinet and let me know that he was done with them and they could be filed.

My husband is 51 years old, so he was 47 years old when he "retired". He put in for the COVID unemployment and put those checks into his saving account and called it "his retirement account" because I have my 401(k). He probably has $60,000 in there. He has talked about using the money to buy houses, fix them up, and sell or rent them ... which I encourage him to do whenever he brings it up. He has a small 401(k) account from when he was working. No pension. One thing he said when he "retired" was that full-time work was too stressful and that he needed to focus on his health for awhile and that I should support his non-profit work as "real work" ... which I probably would if it took more than 3 days a month. For the first year, he did work out more and lost most of the weight that he wanted to lose.

We do not have any children.

When I have suggested specific chores that he could do, he says things like he doesn't want me to boss him around. I do this maybe once a month, because I don't want to be a "nagging wife". I have been sick with a bad cold (not COVID) and too tired to do dishes these past two nights, so this morning I mentioned that it would really help me out if he could do a load of dishes, because I will probably be really tired again when I get home. So, I will see if he made an effort tonight when I get home.

Thank you for the encouragement to be more direct about letting him know that his behavior is making me unhappy.


Jennidy

Married 1992
Divorced 1999
Re-Married same man 2002

No children.
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 20,270
Likes: 2
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 20,270
Likes: 2
Have you told him straight up how you’re feeling?

Is it safe to assume that you don’t get much UA time?

Have you read How to Complain in a Marriage


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,431
Likes: 7
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,431
Likes: 7
Originally Posted by Jennidy
When I have suggested specific chores that he could do, he says things like he doesn't want me to boss him around. I do this maybe once a month, because I don't want to be a "nagging wife". I have been sick with a bad cold (not COVID) and too tired to do dishes these past two nights, so this morning I mentioned that it would really help me out if he could do a load of dishes, because I will probably be really tired again when I get home. So, I will see if he made an effort tonight when I get home.

Thank you for the encouragement to be more direct about letting him know that his behavior is making me unhappy.
I think that his complete lack of concern with your feelings and emotional needs is a sign of how little he values his marriage to you.

The major problems are not just his failure to meet your needs, but also the lack of interest in the Policy of Joint Agreement. By this I mean: you don't need to give his behaviour a technical term, but he should have the attitude that you need to come to mutual agreements about solving the issues and problems in your marriage. He should be willing to tackle your problems (such as clutter) with goodwill and a determination to resolve the issue. Also, any married person should have an instinctive concern for their spouse's happiness. If they don't have this, they should not be married.

The way that he just gave up his job and pleases himself all day does not show that he cares about what you want, and what makes you happy, at all.

Your situation sounds awful to me. Of course, it could be that your husband meets enough of your needs to make you want to stay, but the way you have described things here, I have no idea what is in this for you and why you don't get out.


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 20,270
Likes: 2
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 20,270
Likes: 2
I agree with SugarCane. Why do you want to stay in this marriage?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.




Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
2 members (Janet Johnson, 1 invisible), 18 guests, and 41 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Mwid, Shepherd, alg, Pelican89, SRL
71,672 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,526
Posts2,322,545
Members71,673
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5