What would you do??

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2013
What would you do??
Wed, 12-18-2013 - 12:17pm

Hello Everyone,

My husband and I have been married a little over two years (my second marriage his first). Together for three. We had a great relationship at the beginning, like most. We didn't see each other a lot at first. (Once a week) It was ok though than we started seeing one another a few times a week and it worked ok for us, it was about the quality of our time really. He has continually gotten more busy after the marraige and changed and thats the problem. He basically works two full time jobs by choice (He is a true workaholic, he doesn't want to admit it though-he works 108 hours a week out of 168). One job is family owned which is supposed to be part time he looks at it that way but he puts in 50+ hours weekly. His main job is full time and he puts in 55+ hours there. Also I just have to mention he is super controlled by his family I didn't realize how bad it was until after the wedding, I wish I would have!

So I knew he was busy from the start, he was open and upfront about that. But as we got closer and got into a relationship, he also let me know clearly that I was so very important to him (the most important actually). And he made time for us and our relationship. If there was an event he was there, a family get together he was there even if a bit late. He wanted to be with me and have a life with me. We spoke of this many times. Well fast forward  after the wedding and he starts changing. He is later and later at work. Than after work he heads to the family job well he is later and later there. And it has just gotten worse. He always wanted me to talk to him if his time became an issue. Now that it has become a issue and I have talked to him a  few different times he doesn't want to hear it. I have wrote it out, cried and told him I was lonesome for him all the time and needed him. He just shrugged his shoulders and says yeah I know my days with you are numbered so he doesn't even care if he looses me now.

He no longer comforts me like he used to, he doesn't care if I cry, he doesn't care if things are wrong with us he just leaves and I don't hear from him. He never treated me this way before I married him. He couldn't stand if I was upset. He would call and call. He had to fix it

He makes time for anything and everyone else but he has no time for me. We maybe see one another a hour a day if that and he is practically asleep by the time he gets home to me. We have no life togetther. He works all weekend to. Every holiday. So the relationship is time starved and I know you will say well it was from the start but it was different than. The time we had together was so important to both of us, our time together was so important to him, he made time for me, I was his priority. Now if it means he's visiting or just working longer and it will take time away from us oh well. He shouldn't be avoiding home, I don't nag him to do anything here. I don't ask him to do anything for me. I quit talking to him about my needs. I just go to work, keep the house clean, cook his suppers and pack his lunches and feel like his roommate versus his wife.

He has no time for me and our home. He makes me feel like he has no room in his life for me anymore and like after he married me I became a bother to him versus the woman he loved. And to put the icing on the cake it was like he was my best friend before we started dating and when we were dating well I told him now I feel like I can't talk to him and he isn't there for me. A prime example of not being there for me. Is I lost my mom this past summer and I watched her die for months with no support or comfort from him and he was off a whole month with the family business and a new operation they were putting in. The morning my mom passed away I texted him to let him know and he stayed at work anyway that whole day so I was alone do you know what he told me (He thought he was doing the right thing= working). Since we got married I always come last.

He's to busy for me and our marriage. We don't have time to do anything ever he won't make or take the time either. He won't take time off to spend with me. We never took a honeymoon like he promised. This year we didn't even have time to get a tree, it's how little he's been home, but than he also turns aroung and acts like it's my fault. I told him only he can change his life. Because he could totally change the family situation and stop being everyone slave but he chooses to do so day in and day out and it will cost him his marriage and he seems fine with that fact.

He has even said I make time all the time just not for you, now again these are things he would have never ever said while courting me.
It just hurts me so bad because we spoke about what we wanted out of this marriage. And I was terrified being it was my second go round and he knew how badly I was hurt the first time I wanted it to be right this time. But all he said than and the way he was to me is gone. And it hurts me because that was my biggest fear in marrying him was that he would change on me. He begged me to give him a chance, let him prove it to me, he wasn't like my ex, he promised. And now this.
I'm sorry this got so long, I'm just devasted I have no one to talk to. My family doesn't care.

Any advice please. Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 10:51am

I know no one wants to get divorced a 2nd time--believe me, I stayed in a bad 2nd marriage for 5 yrs and I should have left the 1st year but I was so ashamed to have made an even worse choice the 2nd time around.  It seems like your DH has basically told you that he won't change even if you leave him.  That's pretty sad.  Is there some kind of project that he has to finish where he is working so much now or does it seem like this will go on forever?  If he won't even make any effort to be with you now, then I guess it's really your decision how long you want to put up with hit.  He probably wouldn't notice if you left him since he's never home anyway.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 10:56am

Hello, I'm really sorry this has happened to you. You took a risk, gave him your heart and now it hasn't panned out. I don't think anything you do will change him. He already knows the marriage is almost over and he's not willing to fight for you. If I were you, I would let him know what life will be like without you, to maybe wake him up, although I'd consider it a last ditch effort before throwing in the towel. For that one hour you're usually home together, don't be home. Go to the mall or a movie. Go to dinner with a girlfriend. If you've let friendships slide and need new friends, join meetups.com or a book club or take cooking lessons or dance lessons. Take up a new hobby. Make your life fulfilling without him. Don't pack his lunches and be gone when he comes home for dinner and don't leave him anything to eat. Join a gym. If he asks you why you've changed, tell him you need adult conversation and will be seeking that out with friends from now on. If he asks you why you haven't packed his lunch or made him dinner, tell him you're exhausted from the gym and doing housework and that he'll have to pack his own lunch from now on. Be bubbly and happy. Put on an act. Don't let him bully you into serving him meals when he doesn't do one thing for you. Don't do his laundry. Only do your own. If he makes his own meal and leaves them in the sink, leave them there for 5 or more days if you have to. The best way to change someone else's behavior is to change your own. Workaholics usually don't change, but it's worth a try. He knows what you want so you don't need to talk about more time with him. If he doesn't care enough about you to work a reasonable about of hours so he can be with you, then there's no reason to stay. It's far worse to live a lonely life for however long you have left on the planet, than to throw in the towel so you have another chance at happiness with someone deserving of you. Let us know how it goes. Take care.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 2:37pm

So sorry to hear all of this.  Although I am not condoning playing games, I do agree with Safire that you need to find a fulfulling life that doesn't revolve around the few hours a week you get with your DH. 

There is a way to do this without being spiteful.  Still be curtious, as you are still married.  Don't just be gone or stop cooking, rather still be polite and tell him "I am starting a new class and will be gone on Tuesday nights," or "there are leftovers in the fridge you can warm up, I have plans with my girlfriends."  Stuff like that. 

I don't think you should run off and file for divorce just yet, but you may want to have a plan, just in case. 

Your DH sounds like a pessimist, and so is mine.  I could totally see him saying something inapropriate like you mentioned "guess my days are numbered with you."  I guess I still hold out a shred of hope for you based on what you described your time when you were dating. 

Men have an inherent instinct to provide.  Unfortunately in workaholics the instinct goes beyond what it was intended for. 

My last thoughts are this:  For one last time, I would state what your needs are.  Don't make it an ultimatum like "if you don't do this, I will do that," type of thing, but rather let his decisions, or lack of decisions, be the decision.  Hope that makes sense.  For example: "I need us to find a way to spend more time together.  I am willing to set a side time for this and I am asking you to do the same."  And that is that. 

My DH and I (BF at the time) had hit a crossroad and I was tired of waiting for him to make some changes and decisions in his life.  We had "the conversation" and I said it was time for change.  It was time.  Period.  I stopped asking about it.  About 3 months later I woke up one day I was done.  He acted like it was a surprise.  I reminded him of "the conversation" and I said three months have gone by and you have not done anything you said you were going to do.  His indecision was his decision.  He couldn't comit and he moved out.  In our case, he realized very quickly what needed to happen and we got back together. 

Your scenario would play out a little different, but at least then regardless of what happens, you have done all you can do.  I would say go to marriage counseling but I highly doubt your DH would go. 

Enough out of me.  Good luck and I hope you keep us posted. 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2013
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 7:13pm

Thank you all for the great advice. I will keep you posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 8:08am

HI Babydoll--

((((hugs)))) to you!!

This is what was going through my mind as reading your original post, "I wonder how he perceives all of this?"-- what follows is my thoughts of what might be his thoughts---I'm not agreeing with it ----

---(-What I'm thinking is that he's working 24/7 (almost) and (probably/possibly) thinks: "look at all this hard work I'm doing to support US, and how she doesnt appreciate all of my hard work, and how irresponsible of her to think I can still support US if I take time off to____with her"  ALSO,  (people who think like he does) also make "concessions" trying to "fix" stuff, (as he did somewhat) for awhile....but when the person in relationship with them (you) still has needs they are expressing, the person gets frustrated and thinks, "ITS NEVER ENOUGH!---" because they think their (somewhat small) concessions should be praised extensively, and instead they are getting more requests and just get frustrated and say "forget it".....and move on, ...all the while telling themselves that it's all the other persons fault for demanding too much/whatever.

Anyhow, I agree with the other poster who pointed out re: his "work" with family and allowing them to run his life this way....he choses this, and, as is often the case,......that very well might not change that much.  

This is what I'm wondering about:  the fact that he's working 2 jobs----plus you're working.

What's that about?  How much $$ (I'm not asking you for actual dollar amounts, just the idea) do you two earn together, and is it really necessary to earn that much to meet your expenses?

Because it seems like he's not going to be able to learn to say "no" to his family very easily, but if he didnt have the OTHER job, at least he'd have more free time.  

On the other hand,.........he doesnt seem to "need" free time,.....apparently gets his reward by the positive kudos of helping family, and whatever he does/earns at first job.............and "free time" to spend with you is a lower priority...........if it was a higher priority to him, he would be figuring a way to have more of it......................................................so, from that perspective, things will probably never be as good as you would like..........

ON THE OTHER HAND........................(loud dinging bell---wake up here , this is important):

This whole situation may very well be very much LESS about actual time spent at work/with you/not with you/etc....................

and, instead, COMPLETELY about how *valued* you each feel (or, rather, DONT FEEL) by each other:..........


HE doesnt feel valued/appreciated,  because you are not happy with his main/important  contribution to your relationship (in his view)---his dedicated working hard, as well as his (previous) efforts to spend time away from work with you 

YOU, on the other hand, dont feel valued/appreciated, because he doesnt prioritize having regular time with you over continual work

BABY DOLL......a GOOD marriage counselor could/should be able to help you two work through these issues, and communicate with each other to get through to the real issues,..............so I would really encourage it.

ALSO......I just want to say I can really empathize with you over being in relationship with a workaholic......they just dont "see" beyond the immediate job needing to be done...................FWIW....I was married over 20 years to such a person....for our 15 year wedding anniversary, I had a babysitter arranged for well over a month, and plans for the evening.  My (at that time) DH worked with his brothers, and there was going to be work needing to be done that weekend (of anniversary)...as that week started, one after another of his brothers started telling him how they were going to be gone that weekend (leaving him and one remaining brother to do the 2 man job)..............and what irritated me was he NEVER once spoke up and said, "oh, we have plans also to be gone"..........he just ponyed up and worked, I went off by myself (since I' would have felt obligated to pay babysitter anyhow after being booked so long).......................anyhow, it wasnt until years after our divorce he told me he realized how stupid he was for doing that/acting that way at the time (that was just one instance)..............

So, ............(long story short)............my guess is, ...at this point, ....he DOES still love/care for you as much as he did when you got married............BUT...:

1.  "old habits die hard"..........the workaholic/dont say "no" to parents/family is going to be a real challenge for him to change much

2. He's frustrated with his previous efforts FEELING unrewarded/unthankful for...........eg, it was probably HUGE for him to say "no" to one request to his parents/family, in order to spend one weekend date/whatever with you-----for you, it was over and done with, time to say "no" on an ongoing basis---but for him, it's yet another stress of having to do it all over again,??  -----you might start prefacing it all with OVERBOARD thanks/appreciation of what he's done so far.....on and on blathering appreciation of all he's done so far............................reminisce re: the time he took off from work and took you to ______and you LOVED it so much, and he MADE YOU SO HAPPY to go to______with him,....blather blather, how HAPPY he made you............

(one thing I remember from those John Grey Mars/Venus books was that men LOVE to think they have the power/ability to make you happy......so, for example, when he took off time, but then/now you are still unhappy.........lots of men get like him and eventually shut down , thinking, "what's the use? ....I'll never make her happy...")----

So, that's one thought to try....commit to spending a few weeks blathering on and on how happy he makes you for any/every little thing he does.....and see if he does more of it as a result?

Keep us Posted!!