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Zoob

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Long post alert... Am really struggling at the moment to know what to do. I feel just so mentally and physically exhausted most of the time, but I think that's just because of the life I lead; working and looking after my family. 

 

I moved from the east coast to Seattle about 9 years ago, when I got offered a  decent job. Since then, I've had 2 kids (and we already had a daughter from my wife's 1st marriage). I changed jobs a few years ago, and now have a relatively low stress, but very well paid job. 

 

My wife has struggled a lot over the years. I think she just struggles at life. Everything is hard for her. Working is hard, being a stay at home mom is hard, having to do the stuff you need to do (take kids to appointments, social outings) is hard.

 

Because of this, I feel my marriage is very one sided. Until the last year, my wife was a stay at home mum (out of choice). in the last 9 months, she's worked 1 or 2 days a week. But either way, I end up doing so much more than her once I'm home (evenings, weekends, holidays...). Most nights I cook dinner (sometimes wife helps sometimes she doesn't). Every night, I tidy up dinner, regardless of who cooked it. I'm usually the one filling and emptying the dishwasher. I often do our supermarket shopping on the weekend, so my wife doesn't have to drag the kids with her. Pretty much every night, I put my kids to bed. They're a bit older now (5 and 8), so it is easier than it used to be, but getting them washed, in their PJs teeth brushed, lights out etc. is still often a long process. My wife helps maybe once or twice a week - but often makes such a big deal out of it that it's easier if she doesn't. My kids have also historically been terrible sleepers (8 yr old having lots of nightmares and anxiety since she was about 2), so until recently, I was up in the night with them anywhere between 3 and 6 nights a week... I would then get up for work 1-2 hours before my kids and wife woke up, yet on those rare weekend occasions where my wife would get up in the morning with my kids, she'd need a nap later in the day to make up for it. 

 

My 8 yr old is super smart, but has bad ADHD and is currently being homeschooled by my wife. - I totally get that this is stressful, particularly with my 5 yr old not starting full time school until start of the next school year. But so many of my days are punctuated by my wife giving me minute by minute text message updates on how terrible things are and what an awful time she's having. Does anybody else get these from their wife? is that normal? I get the venting thing but it's so constant and relentless and negative. 

 

Added to the frustration is that some of the suffering is caused by stuff that could have been avoided (like since my youngest was old enough to whine, my wife has basically given into her when she whines and cries, which just teaches my kid that this is how to get her way - she doesn't do same with me as I don't give in.).  As for me, it's as if I'm not allowed to have a bad day, or be tired. Any time I am, I'm made to feel like I've done something terrible. 

 

Any time I point out any of the above, my wife either denies reality (i.e. says she does as much as me) or says I'm keeping records / a tally on her and that's not what marriage is about, or just says "I'll never be good enough for you because your expectations are unreasonable").

 

Ultimately, what she wants is to move to a small town in Ohio, where her sister (and sister's kids) live and where her parents are planning to move to. We could sell our house here and buy a house mortgage free in Ohio, but while I totally get that family is important,  I couldn't keep my job and move to Ohio. It would be almost impossible for me to find a job in that small town, but I could spend a couple + hours a day commuting to f***ing Cleveland. Even then, I doubt I'd be able to get a job anywhere close to what I currently earn, so even mortgage free, I'm not super confident I'd be able to earn enough to support my family of 5 (particularly with soaring healthcare costs) 

 

Seems like every 3-4 months for the last couple of years, my wife throws a child-like hissy fit because I won't say "ok, let's move to Ohio", then says she accepts that it's better here... and then does the same thing a few months later by sending me Ohio house listings. And for what it's worth - she's gone to visit her family 5 or 6 times (including 4 times on her own) since I visited my UK family last, so it's not like she never sees them. On the one hand, I'm struggling with what's more important - being close to family and less well off in a small town in Trump country, with little culture vs. living in a fantastic liberal city, with lots of opportunity, beautiful surroundings, culture and a well paid job. 


So - mostly this is just a rant - but would appreciate people's thoughts on priorities on what people think is more important... or any general advice to stop me losing my mind :)  If I didn't love my kids so much and think that my presence is a positive thing in their lives (and them in mine) I'd just say "ok, go take the kids and live in Ohio..."

 

Am so f***ing relieved we won the European Cup - I needed this in my life! My wife knows how important Liverpool are to me, but hates that I'm a football fan, and she didn't even say good luck / hope Liverpool win or anything like that to me yesterday. Me going to watch the game was just an irritation to her. 

So - mostly this is just a rant - but would appreciate people's thoughts on priorities - what is more important - 

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First thing that struck me was ‘well-paid’ but time poor.

One thing that would help you would be to hire a housekeeper/nanny.

She can prep meals and help with the kids.

 

I will read the rest now.

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Really sorry to hear that you're having a hard time. It sounds like life is tough for both of you.

 

What strikes me the most from the way that you talk about your wife is that you don't talk about her with a great deal of fondness. Pretty much everything you've said about her is a criticism, there's no acknowledgement of any struggle for her or that she's trying her best at anything. Of course you're just blasting off and letting off steam, but if that's a reflection of how you think of her it's not a good start.

 

I don't know either of you or how your dynamic as a couple works, but if you're both already suffering from stress and the day to day bulls*** that life throws at you, a dysfunctional relationship is only going to amplify that. Have you considered entering into marriage counselling or similar? It strikes me that if you were happier as a couple, that both of you would have a greater capacity to deal with life. It also sounds like left unchecked, there's going to be some form of disaster or other on the horizon. 

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Zoob I really really feel for you mate

 

The advice about a nanny is good

What better way to spend some $ atm?

 

But in general my advice is the same as it was a couple of years ago, and given that you’ve started an identical thread, I think it’s fair to say I was right to advise that “things won’t just sort themselves out”

 

Your wife sounds like she has depression

Has that been investigated?

 

That notwithstanding, I’d be planning a life without her

I’m sure she has redeeming features or you wouldn’t be with her in the first place but she’s making you unhappy

 

You only get one shot at this

Imagine the kind of woman you’d like to be with

On the evidence of your post she’s a million miles away from your wife, yet there are almost unlimited versions of her out there - to be discovered when the time is right obv

 

As for the kids, the older they get, the more these tensions will affect them so staying together as an act in itself is not necessarily a kindness to them, which you probably know deep down

 

And taking them out of a fantastic place like Seattle to some s***splat Trump town is the worst idea ever

 

 

 

I’m gonna show your post to my partner when she arrives in Spain in a week

 

She’ll know what to do and she will have witnessed versions of your situation many times

Edited by Molby

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It's sounds like you both need to go to therapy separately to try and sort your individual problems and together at some stage to iron out the issues you guys have communicating. It's very easy to let small things become big things over time in a marriage

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Do you have any family close by? A support network? Sounds like you could benefit greatly from some time together without the children. Me and my ex had no local family and it was hard to do anything together without them and also when you just need to chill and focus on yourself even without your partner... Friends who had family local took it for granted how huge a benefit it is...

 

Sounds like her hints to be near the family might be with that in mind maybe? Which is fair enough... So it might be worth to go with the suggestion above where you can get that support via a nanny and not have to move maybe?

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Your wife sounds like she has depression

 

Yeah, I thought that when I was reading it but didn't want to say it in case it's a thorny issue.

 

As someone who has put their partner through a lot over the last ten years (I am bi-polar and have had many different medications, diagnoses, suicide attempts and hospital visits) then all I can say is that our relationship never really found the rhythm we have now until I was properly diagnosed and medicated. It took a long time and a lot of f***ing patience but we're better than we've ever been and can't imagine our lives without each other.

 

EDIT: But then, I've known couples in similar situations split up and they've both gone on to find happiness with other people. It's s*** and you just have to go by what you think is best.

Edited by schmuckdonald

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Zoob, you need help. Physically such as a home help 1 or2 days a week. Also, check with your local school system. Kids with Adhd are almost the norm these days and they have structures in place to help these kids. You don't mention them, but I assume you have the correct meds for your kid. If you have a good pediatrician, talk to them. Therapy for kids with adhd has come a long way. We went through this with our oldest when he was younger and the right support really helped. Homeschooling is right for some, but kids with issues need specialist help and some parents aren't up to the task.

 

Mentally, all this will be a strain on your whole family. My advice would be to deal with one problem at a time. Talk to someone and decide which issue is the most important and work on that first. Talk to your healthcare provider/employer and find out about everything that is available to you.

 

As for moving to small town Ohio. Don't do it unless it is the absolute last resort. We had friends who moved from Omaha to Sydney, Nebraska to be closer to the wife's family. He quit his job here, got a decent job there, but lost it when the town's major employer was bought out by Bass Pro. He ended up working 2 jobs before they eventually moved back to Omaha. He really resented his wife for "ruining his life"

 

You guys need to talk, to each other, to a specialist, to family members and to your friends, teachers, doctors. Don't be afraid to admit you don't have a clue what to do. There will be a lot of crying, some anger and resentment, but don't be too proud to get all the help you can. Look for support groups near where you live. Sometimes, talking with people going through the same stuff can be an amazing release.

 

Posting all your s*** on here can be a help personally. Getting this stuff off your chest in a bit of a rant can make you feel good. Sure, you might get some daft responses, but for the most part you'll get support and a virtual shoulder to cry on. I know I did 4 years ago. If you ever want to chat properly, PM me and we can exchange contact info. I might not be able to help, but I can listen and tell you what we went through.

Edited by Nebraska Red

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No counselling or reconciliation can happen unless both parties take ownership

 

The way Zoob describes her, his wife is in one of two modes:

Denial or passive-aggressive

 

Zoob, if you suggest counselling and she doesn’t want to know then I double down on my suggestion to leave the marriage

 

Again, possible depression notwithstanding

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Don't work in Cleveland, i have been many times, and each time i went i disliked it more especially the cold Winter!

 

That won't help any domestic situation IMO

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Marriage is a kind of unwritten contract and, wife having some kind of undiagnosed depression(or similar) notwithstanding, it sounds as if she simply doesn't buy in to the contract or has no interest in doing so...  Her lack of willingness to make any kind of contribution should not be a reason for you to drive yourself into the ground. You and your kids both deserve better than that. 

 

I don't know what the answer is but you need to find a solution somehow, and that solution is NOT upping sticks and moving to a new place. Whatever that place is. 

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I'd go along with Molby. Sounds like your wife has some degree of depression Zoob, as a lot what she's doing rings true with what I felt before I was diagnosed. I'd say a tentative word to gauge how she feels and just listen, then a trip (together?) to the GP to look into the next step: CBT/medication/whatever?

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Cheers folks :)

 

My wife has been on anti depressants for years. I think they help , but I also think she really is one of those people that always struggles , and always thinks the grass is greener elsewhere. She sees Ohio and being close to her family as a magic solution but I’m more of a realist . In Ohio, my kids will still be hard work , and we’ll likely struggle financially . I think she just envisions hanging out with her family as I do all the housework and most of the parenting. Not exactly a huge appeal for me .

 

My 8 yr old was only recently diagnosed with ADHD, and we did try to get her into a school better suited to her, but they were full so she’s on a waitlist . She went to our local school for a year and had such a miserable time there , we pulled her out. Am open to looking Into meds, but she’s so young, I worry about them changing her in a negative way ...

 

We have tried a couple of marriage counselors. Both focused far more on how my wife could / should change things vs. how I need to work on anything, and now that they’re in the past, my wife has re-written history and denies that the counsellors said any of the stuff they said.

 

Ultimately I want to be in a relationship with someone where there is more balance, more rationality, more of a two way street. When I chat to my brothers about their wives, I admit to being jealous – their relationships are far more balanced, loving and respectful. For me, it’s like my relationship is only harmonious if I’m bearing almost 100% of the load, which isn’t sustainable. Even getting outside help a couple times a week wouldn’t help – I think my wife really does just struggle with everything (like taking the kids to the dentist, or getting the oil changed on the car… just stuff you need to do in life…)

 

But I also want my kids to stay in my life. If we get divorced, my wife will still try to move to Ohio. I even sought legal advice about this a while ago and was told that it’s pretty much 50/50 whether the judge would allow it. I think even with me paying 60% of my income to my wife, she’d struggle to make it here (and my quality of life would be challenged by this amount). So it’s like my choices are to try to make the least bad decision - stay in this often bad, and unbalanced relationship so that I can keep my kids in my life and they keep me in their lives, or let my family move to Ohio with me staying in Seattle.

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What I'd say is this, Zoob ...

Firstly, there are some, diluted similarities between your situation and mine.  If you want to stay in the relationship then you have to make some willing sacrifices in order to get the most out of it.  'Willing' is the most important word here, because you'll immediately argue that you sacrifice loads, and from what you've described, this is without question. We found out my wife had M.E. - I was angry taking much of the load (at least as I saw it), but it was because she couldn't, not because she didn't want to.  I'm in no way saying your wife has M.E. by the way.  And my kids are not your kids and so on and son on. My view is that every day I do more than my share, but we talk and it's fine.  In fact it's good.

So.

'Willing' sacrifices means doing some things in your daily life to make your wife's life easier without her having to ask, with the result that she will / should feel closer to you.  And, importantly, that you WANT her to feel closer to you, to get better. This doesn't mean moving to Ohio by the way.  

If you don't want to stay in a relationship with her, even if things improve, then be honest, make the big step.
If she doesn't want to stay in a relationship with you, even if things improve, without moving to Ohio, then she should be honest, and make the big step.

If she moved to Ohio with the children, but without you, how does she think her life would be easier/happier?  Maybe she doesn't even think that at all.

It's tough, mate.  I wish you luck.  I wish you both luck.


 

 

Edited by Case

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What I'd say is this, Zoob ...

 

Firstly, there are some, diluted similarities between your situation and mine.  If you want to stay in the relationship then you have to make some willing sacrifices in order to get the most out of it.  'Willing' is the most important word here, because you'll immediately argue that you sacrifice loads, and from what you've described, this is without question. We found out my wife had M.E. - I was angry taking much of the load (at least as I saw it), but it was because she couldn't, not because she didn't want to.  I'm in no way saying your wife has M.E. by the way.  And my kids are not your kids and so on and son on. My view is that every day I do more than my share, but we talk and it's fine.  In fact it's good.

 

So.

 

'Willing' sacrifices means doing some things in your daily life to make your wife's life easier without her having to ask, with the result that she will / should feel closer to you.  And, importantly, that you WANT her to feel closer to you, to get better. This doesn't mean moving to Ohio by the way.  

 

If you don't want to stay in a relationship with her, even if things improve, then be honest, make the big step.

If she doesn't want to stay in a relationship with you, even if things improve, without moving to Ohio, then she should be honest, and make the big step.

 

If she moved to Ohio with the children, but without you, how does she think her life would be easier/happier?  Maybe she doesn't even think that at all.

 

It's tough, mate.  I wish you luck.  I wish you both luck.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the thoughtful post at what must be a particularly difficult time for you. 

 

You hit the nail on the head with much of this. I do extra and I really don't mind doing it. But then sometimes I'm still made to feel that even this isn't enough and that my wife's days are so much tougher than mine. I would rather work than be a stay at home parent, so I get it.  And my wife may well have ME or Fybromyalgia or something similar. I do think that with a lot of it, she can't help it - she's just doing the most she can do. 

 

But she also has a childlike way of acting when she doesn't get her way (in this instance, about moving to Ohio) - she just turns snappy, and cold and constantly angry, and then eventually when I snap, and call her out for behaving like that, I become the bad guy. I didn't even know she was annoyed about Ohio, because I'd asked her what was bothering her and she'd said nothing was wrong. And I don't think she's setting out to gasslight me - I think she just has a total blind spot around what she's doing, which is driven by low emotional intelligence. 

 

We've been together for 13 years now, and obviously there's a side of her I love, but I guess I missed the warning signs on a lot of stuff in those early years. And the success of our marriage is driven by what proportion of the time she can be the woman I love vs. what proportion of our time she's angry and cold - because that's no way to live, and I don't like myself when I get angry, as I'm a pretty chilled guy. 

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Is it worth reviewing the medication she is on? Might be something else/stronger dose would help?

 

At some point you need to think of yourself - having a physical or mental breakdown due to everything you do is no help to your kids or anyone. Is it worth considering getting therapy yourself, so you have an outlet for these feelings?

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For what it’s worth Zoob I recognise a lot of what you’ve talked about there. My wife is incredibly up and down, there’s really no middle ground and it’s tough on a day to day basis. She struggles to sleep and is tired a lot of the time so I have to pick up a lot of the extras, and she never really wants to do anything with me and the kids.

 

She suffers from anxiety but is also really irresponsible with money and loses her temper incredibly quickly. She is also a very controlling person - it has been to quite extreme levels in the past, but I’ve managed to break out of that to an extent now which has kept us together.

 

She is terrific fun when she is on the up side, usually when we are out and drinking or even just having a meal ourselves - we still get on. That’s the girl I fell in love with, I just don’t think that she’s cut out for the grind of family life and it brings the worst out in her.

 

My kids are 8 and 10, I’m generally happy with life and pretty positive so I struggle with the relentless negativity. I suppose I’ve come around to the idea that we may not last, but I hate the idea of breaking up the family and giving up my family life. I know I’d almost certainly be happier if we split up but I’m trying to give it as long as I can as part of me still holds out hope things can change.

 

I’m going to give if the rest of the year and see where we are. I’ve said I’d like to go to counselling but she won’t.

Edited by Leo No.8

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Like Shmuck says in the first reply - moving won't change anything. At least not beyond the short-term. Some people are like that - but you can change.

 

My daughter - lets the world get her down. Partly it's being 15 I think/hope. I sound like I'm more like you - sometimes it frustrates my wife because she's freelance so sometimes she works weekends, sometimes she's off all week, but I need to have a framework of getting laundry done, getting groceries in so we can eat all week etc. I just get on with it & I get on with most things. My POV is 'most people have it much worse'.

 

I try to instill that into my daughter, she gets wound up to tears by the smallest things, and then lets each problem pile into the next one till she has one massive one - rather than deal with what can be solved.

 

So I think that you could move, it would be good for a bit but the underlying root here is perception of the outside world, how you deal with things. It'll take a change in mentality but does a leopard change its spots? 

 

And yeah - it could well be depression - or even ;just' boredom - stuck in a rut

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For what it’s worth Zoob I recognise a lot of what you’ve talked about there. My wife is incredibly up and down, there’s really no middle ground and it’s tough on a day to day basis. She struggles to sleep and is tired a lot of the time so I have to pick up a lot of the extras, and she never really wants to do anything with me and the kids.

 

She suffers from anxiety but is also really irresponsible with money and loses her temper incredibly quickly. She is also a very controlling person - it has been to quite extreme levels in the past, but I’ve managed to break out of that to an extent now which has kept us together.

 

She is terrific fun when she is on the up side, usually when we are out and drinking or even just having a meal ourselves - we still get on. That’s the girl I fell in love with, I just don’t think that she’s cut out for the grind of family life and it brings the worst out in her.

 

My kids are 8 and 10, I’m generally happy with life and pretty positive so I struggle with the relentless negativity. I suppose I’ve come around to the idea that we may not last, but I hate the idea of breaking up the family and giving up my family life. I know I’d almost certainly be happier if we split up but I’m trying to give it as long as I can as part of me still holds out hope things can change.

 

I’m going to give if the rest of the year and see where we are. I’ve said I’d like to go to counselling but she won’t.

I defo think more people should try relationship counselling.

 

We go to people to get them to fix literally everything else that is broken, but not the thing is possibly the most valuable. It's a bit mad, even if I get why.

 

Anyway, good luck.

Edited by kop205

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for counseling to work though - both parties have to be receptive

Well yeah, obviously.

 

Which is why people don't do it.

 

It is still a bit mad.

Edited by kop205

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