Husband making up for poor childhood

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Husband making up for poor childhood
11
Mon, 12-21-2009 - 9:07pm

My husband had a terrible childhood.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 12:56am
Welcome back Momathome91401 ~ I won't be able to get to your post for a bit yet, but I want to provide the links to your previous posts as soon as I can so that others can get a better feel for your situation and history, and as a result be better able to offer thoughts and suggestions that fit your actual situation and can be more helpful to you.

You might read through your old posts too, many find reading their old posts very helpful and enlightening; they're able to see situations more clearly than they could when they were in the middle of them and are able to see improvement, or lack of, in their situations, even when the posts aren’t about the same situation. I hope you find it as enlightening as most do:

Frustrated and need advice








"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


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"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 1:39am
Mom, the title of your post and the problem you describe aren't matching up. You have hardly touched at all on your husband's poor childhood and hardly touched on him spoiling kids. What you've focused on are some very real problems with you feeling overwhelmed and overworked and not seeming to have any kind of support from the man who's supposed to be your partner or the children who need direction, as well as to see their parents work as a team. The problem is, you're in a vicious cycle; the more you do, the more they expect, which makes you try to amp up your work to accommodate them, and it goes on and on.

In your previous post you spoke about the same problems; in what you write today, it seems to have only escalated. Would you agree with that?

Last time you posted, you didn't come back and talk with us, we don't know what might have already been tried, we didn't get more information that might have helped us offer some different things, I'm hoping this time you'll talk to us for a while. It seems to me that if something doesn't change things are going to continue to get worse. What have you tried since you last posted? Did you try any of the suggestions offered? How does your husband's childhood enter into this? What are his suggestions to resolve these issues and help your household run smoother? Have you considered seeing a couples counselor?











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


Photobucket











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 2:06am
I wonder if it would help to think of this as an issue of control. Your efforts in the other post and this one seem to be about control, trying to control all the things going on with and between you, your dh, your son and your dd as well as the projects and the house. The one issue you don't seem to be focused on controlling is yourself, with things like the screaming. You "end up" screaming or have to scream or else "nothing gets done." I get that it makes sense to see it that way, but at the end of it all seems a bit backward. You really cannot control your husband spoiling your son, your son refusing to find his pants, your daughter procrastinating her project - none of those are within your realm of control. Your screaming, your own behavior, actions and reactions, are within your realm of control. Trying to control things you can't control leads to being out of control, controlling the things you can actually control can lead to being in control. More focus on yourself and less on everyone else might give you back a sense of power and control over everything that is going on. That won't solve all the issues you and your family are facing, but it'd be a good place to start.



Easier said than done, I know from first hand experience. But try that on and see if it fits.



Have you considered marriage therapy or family therapy? Between the two posts you mention some really pervasive, serious issues that could be heading you toward a family breakup, and certainly sound very unhealthy. If the issues are addressed now, you might be able to avoid that ending. Keep letting them go on and on, and I'm not so sure.



Here's a way to evaluate how seriously troubled your marriage might be. Look at these four measures and see if they fit your relationship as it is today. If so, you might want to really seriously consider marriage or family therapy:



http://www.relationshipresourcecenter.com/html/fourhorse.html



"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" are behaviors that, if they occur regularly, are very good predictors of either a failed or a terminally unhappy relationship. If you discover that any of these occur often in your relationship, you and your partner are most likely heading for trouble. The "Four Horsemen" are:



1. Criticism versus Complaint. A complaint addresses only the specific action at which your partner has failed. A criticism is global. It attacks the matefs character or personality. Here is an example: Complaint: "There is no gas in the car. I'm aggravated that you didn't fill it up like you said you would." Criticism: "You never remember anything! You can't be counted on for your word!"



2. Contempt. Contempt is composed of a set of behaviors that communicate disgust. It includes, but is not limited to: sneering, sarcasm, namecalling, eye rolling, mockery, hostile humor and condescension. It is primarily transmitted through non-verbal behaviors. It does not move toward reconciliation and inevitably increases the conflict. It is always disrespectful. Research shows couples that display contempt for each other suffer more illnesses and diseases than respectful couples.



3. Defensiveness. These behaviors convey the message, "The problem is not me. It's you." From this position you imply that, because your partner threw the first stone, they are responsible for the entire conflict. You avoid taking responsibility for your own behavior by pointing to something they did prior to their complaint about you. You do not acknowledge that which is true in what they are saying about your behavior.



4. Stonewalling. In relationships where intense arguments break out suddenly, and where criticism and contempt lead to defensiveness, and where more contempt leads to more defensiveness, eventually one partner tunes out. This is the beginning of stonewalling. The stonewaller acts as if he (research indicates that 85% of stonewallers in marriages are husbands) couldn't care less about what the partner is saying or doing. He (sometimes she) turns away from conflict and from the relationship. Any form of disengagement can be stonewalling.



If either you or your partner regularly engages in ANY of these behaviors during fights, you have some work to do if you want to ensure the success and happiness of your relationship. The Four Horsemen corrode the love that is at the core of an intimate relationship.



What are the antidotes for these problem behaviors? There are many! Here are some suggestions:



1. Learn how to mirror your partner's complaints.

2. Scan for whatever is valid in your partner's complaint and address that.

3. Speak respectfully even when angry.

4. Practice holding yourself and your partner in warm regard, even when feeling distant or during a fight.

5. Learn the skills of repairing damage in the relationship.

6. Always live up to your agreements (or renegotiate if you can't.

7. Make all requests of your partner clear, simple and specific.

8. Practice sharing compliments, appreciations and praise daily.

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. " - Viktor Frankl.



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Ten Rules for Being Human
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 11:37am

I take it you dont like the screaming or the frustration that you are currently dealing with.


The main thing I got out of both your posts is the personal responsibility you have taken on, when it comes to your DH and your kids.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 1:36pm

Screaming may get things done EVENTUALLY, but this is not a healthy path at all! I'm sure screaming creates tension for everyone in the house. And then what you get is stressed out kids who scream back. Time for some behavior modification on all ends.

I highly recommend some family/couples counseling. Honestly screaming is not good and there has to be a better way. Sometimes professional counseling can help us learn new tools to do things better. I too see you taking on the responsibility for everyone in the house hold, but it doesn't have to be that way. The more you do the more they expect.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 4:11pm

>>You need to make the conscious decision to relinquish that responsibility back onto them<<

One of the previous posters wrote this and I couldn't agree more.

Hon, the problem is that you are picking up so much slack that your family aren't learning to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Your son isn't putting his shorts in the wash? Let him wear dirty ones. Your daughter hasn't done her project? Let her get a D in class. Your husband tells you that you should have gone in to order the food? Next time they want takeout, say "last time I got it everone complained. So I'm not doing it" There's nothing like life's natural consequences to make us learn!

And the screaming MUST STOP. I realise you're doing this out of frustration, but it can only be damaging the household. And to be honest, screaming would only be creating more tension and resistance to you.

Please, please try to back off the control you're trying to take on. It's too much for you....and your family aren't learning anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Wed, 12-23-2009 - 8:43pm

The control issue on my part is probably most of the problem---I do feel like I need things to be perfect and they are FAR from it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 12-23-2009 - 9:51pm

So, would you say your DH has channeled his father anyways and just ends up directing his negative actions at you instead of your son?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Thu, 12-24-2009 - 2:05am
In all your posts, you have mentioned a number of long lasting, pervasive issues that I think you need some help to resolve. There are a number of approaches that might work, but I think you would be hard pressed to deal with all of them successfully without some professional guidance. Either marriage or family therapy could be a great help in working through some of the issues you have mentioned. I did want to address this one:



anyway--he's sitting there, ignoring me, even though he knows I've asked him for four hours to do somethign--actually FOUR days---he's promised he'll do it and now he's refusing. In five minutes, he'll tell me he was never plannign to do it to begin with or that if it's important to me, I can do it myself.



I'm curious how often you see this pattern repeating? You identify something he needs to do, you inform/ask, again and again and again, he ignores, he pushes your buttons, until you want to explode? A lot? Is it very common? If you think about it, can you see the same basic pattern in a lot of your arguments?



There are lots of ways to disrupt patterns, but with the situation you describe above, I'm wondering how critical it is that he does it, or that whatever it is gets done at all? Is it critical you ask him over and over for four hours or days? If asking that much accomplishes the exact same thing as asking once, why not just ask once? If he is going to refuse to do it in the end, does it matter if you even ask at all? Since he's used to and probably expects you to get angrier and angrier and maybe end up screaming in the end - what do you think he'd do if you reacted in a way he wasn't expecting? Rather than anger, what if you expressed disappointment or sadness? What if instead of screaming you cancelled the get together? Or apologized to your guests for whatever it is that wasn't done and hope they have a good visit anyway? What if instead of dictating what needs to be done and then hammering everyone until they do it, you found out something they need from *you* and negotiated a trade? You'll do what they need if they do what you need first. What if you didn't set it up to fail in the first place - if you do not have time to get ready for company and complete your work tasks, figure out where you are okay compromising for yourself. Is all this stuff that you need from others things that they care about too? Or is it stuff that you care about and are trying to make them care about? When they do finally do something, do you show appreciation or do you show more anger or frustration that it took so long in the end? What might happen if you showed more appreciation for the things they do right?



I know that's a lot of questions and most of it is for you to answer for yourself. If you can find a way to disrupt the pattern you might see something change, hopefully for the better. Think about it this way: you are in a mouse maze, and every time you keep taking the same path and ending up at the same ugly dead end. It may seem like there is only one path, but look hard, there are countless paths. It looks like it's going to be up to you to find a new way through the maze, and lead the family down it with you. If you happened to pick up a therapist along the way, that'd be even better insurance that you can avoid finding another ugly dead end.

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. " - Viktor Frankl.



Photobucket



Ten Rules for Being Human
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Thu, 12-24-2009 - 8:01am

I like your idea about negotiating--a bit of bartering.


I think for me, I do need to stop being so

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