* How do I get more support from my husband? *

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2008
* How do I get more support from my husband? *
14
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 2:20am

My husband is not giving me the support I need. I don't get emotional support, support/help around the house or with the kids, or even when it comes to church related things (BTW- our Pastor is also DH's father). Normally I would just suck it up & move on, but I'm in serious pain right now. I went to the dr Friday (6/3) & was told I needed surgery, which is scheduled for Thursday (6/9). I have a 4 yo & a 2 yo that I'm hone with all the time, but because of the pain, I can't really pick them up or play with them or do things for them like I normally do. It just hurts way too much to be on my feet for too long, but I try to make do & get the things done that need done.

This isn't a new thing, but because I'm in so much pain, it's really annoying me. He basically has this attitude like he works all day (7a-3p, home by 4p) & he has every right to be tired & not want to do anything. Like yesterday- he worked overtime for 8 hours. I asked him to get me a Mt. Dew from the store & he said he would. My dad offered to go get me one & bring it by the house, even though he lives 15 minutes away, but DH said he would do it. 3 hours later he was STILL laying on the couch, 1/2 sleeping, saying he would do it in a minute. When I got up & left to go to the store he said "I was gonna get it for you". He seemed to think that he worked so much harder than me & was so much more tired than me & he deserved the down time, not me. Today I was feeling really sore so he told me he would fix the kids lunch & I should lay down. He fixed himself lunch & ate while I fixed the kids lunch, then HE went & fell asleep on the couch while I played with the kids. When I finally did get a 2 hr nap, I woke up at 6p & even though he said he would, he didn't load the dishwasher or start dinner (leftovers... all he had to do was turn the over on & reheat them). He didn't help me clean the house at all (basically pick up toys, run the vac, do the dishes... that's all) which means that, pain or no pain, I have to do twice as much work tomorrow, & find time to bathe the kids, take a shower, & go to my pre-op appointment an hour away.

I've tried to talk to him about this before, & he always finds a way to make me feel bad. He works hard all day & he's tired when he comes home & he doesn't even get a chance to sit for lunch & I do... blah blah blah... & I end up apologizing to him.

What do I do? As it is my mother wants me to come stay with her when I have surgery so I don't have to recover while taking care of the house & kids (surgery is Thursday, he has to work Friday & volunteered for overtime work Sunday). How can I tell him that I need more, make my point clear without sounding needy or bitchy, & get him to understand?

I just don't know what to do!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2007
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 3:31am

There could be one of

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 11:00am

A baseball bat, applied firmly to the back of the skull MIGHT get his attention, or might not.

Lets see, how about you quit playing the victim, tell him what you want done, and let him do it, even if it takes two weeks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 11:58am
For your surgery, I think I'd opt for going to your mothers to get help. Then when you are recovered, it's high time to have a conversation about the family.

When you two were dating, did you ever talk about what roles each would be expected to have once you had children? Yes, there are some men who feel their job is to make the money and the wife is to run the household/kids. My dad was one of those. I'm just wondering what you both discussed with each other prior to having a family and how different is it from reality?

Regardless, in order for you to feel like a team, maybe it's time to re-communicate what each of you needs in order to function as a team. When you do have this conversation, try to stay away from "You never..." or "You always..."

I took a business writing course ages ago and we had to write these practice customer letters without using No, Not, Don't, Never - everything had to be positively phrased. It might help with getting him to see the "team" importance factor and he won't be hearing complaints.

Did he ever help you with the household back when the kids were not born?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2008
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 12:24pm

When we started dating, I had 2 kids, & when we got married we had 1 more, so there never really was a time when it was just us. We did discuss the division of labor but since then, things have changed. I've tried to revisit the subject, but I always end up feeling bad & apologizing to him. I try to tell him how I feel & he invalidates those feelings.

It's not just that I need help around the house, but I don't even feel like I get emotional support anymore. His friends & family have said horrible things to me in the past (one of them even accused me of having muchausin by proxy when my son had c. diff) & instead of getting angry & defending me, he just lets it go & tried to rationalize the things they've said/done to me. Recently I applied for a job because 1- we need money & 2- I want to finish college, but without money, I can't & he laughed at me... wanting to know why I all of a sudden decided to get a job. It made me feel so small.

Believe me... I let a lot of things go, like the housework, when I'm busy or not feeling up to it or he says he'll do it, & when he finally does do it, he gets an attitude like he shouldn't have to do work while I sit on the couch. I'm not really a clean freak & it doesn't bother me if the house is messy, but it drives him crazy & HE decides that WE need to spend the entire day/weekend cleaning the house.

When I go somewhere & leave him here with the kids, he has 100 reasons why the house is a mess & nothing got done- mainly that he can't watch the kids and do XYZ at the same time. I'm afraid to leave him with the kids for too long because I've walked in many times with him sleeping on the couch & the kids doing who knows what (the youngest ones are 4 & 2).

I just need for him to understand that I need support from him in more than a financial way.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 12:53pm

I recall trying to get more emotional intimacy/support from my former spouse. He replied with, "Don't use big words you don't understand." It was his way of avoiding the conversation, but I felt so sad. In the end, I ended up leaving him for a multitude of reasons, but he was a crappy roommate at best. Getting him to help was like pulling teeth and he was never there emotionally for me. I was young and stupid when I married him. I hope you don't fall in this category, or I don't have much hope for you.

There are few things worse than a partner who doesn't validate your feelings. I've been there. I say time to try counseling, time to try reading relationship books, time to try something new that you haven't done yet. Then if that stuff doesn't work, reassess what you are getting from this marriage and if it's worth it.

"We did discuss the division of labor but since then, things have changed. I've tried to revisit the subject, but I always end up feeling bad & apologizing to him."

What has changed? Why wasn't the plan carried out? What do you end up apologizing for and what does he say to make you feel like you have to be sorry?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2008
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 9:16pm

I can say for sure that while I did marry young, our marriage is great in almost every aspect (no one has the perfect marriage, right?). Since we married, the 1 big thing that has changed is his job. He was working a lot of overtime (7 days a week, 12 hours or more a day) & 100% of his job was hard, heavy, manual labor. He was totally exhausted & filthy when he came home. Since then, he's been promoted & is now the Supervisor of his department. Most of his is arranging work for the guys, approving time so they get paid, meetings, phone calls, checking on work that is being done, etc. He doesn't work the long days that he used to (he's home by 4pm at the latest every day) & when it comes to teh overtime, he is the one who arranges it & he doesn't have to be there unless he wants to/we need the extra money.

Before, I really didn't expect much from him in the way of domestic work. As a trade of, I was well taken care of & never hd to worry about anything. We even had a cleaning lady who would come once a week. Now that he is home more & isn't as exhausted when he comes home, I think it would be nice to get a hand sometimes.

Even though we had pre-marital counseling before we got married, it wasn't until literally the week we got married & in those first few months of marriage that I realized that he wasn't going to give me emotional support. I figured that for 1 thing, he didn't really know how. Even though he was 31 when we got married, he didn't have a lot of relationship experience (his choice- he had plenty of girls after him but he wasn't interested in them) so I knew it would be a learning process for him. I talked to him about it a few times & I thought he understood what I was saying (it seemed like he did at the time), yet here we are... same situation again.

I'm not really sure what exactly it is that he says that makes me feel bad when I try to talk to him about it. I seems like no matter what I say, all he hears is "you're a bad husband & I don't like you", & he somehow uses that to make me feel bad. I get the whole "I work hard too & I want to relax too & I'm not saying that you don't work hard but I'm up at 5am everyday etc....". I know that he works hard, & I tell him that, & I tell him that I appreciate it more than he will ever know. But really, I'm not sure how I end up apologizing to him. One minute I'm telling him how I feel & the next minute I'm telling him he's right & I'm sorry.

To some degree, I do play the victim as the PP said, but it's only because I love him so much & I don't want to hurt him. I'm one of those I love everybody & can't hurt anybody people... lol.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2007
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 9:39pm
fissatore wrote:

A baseball bat, applied firmly to the back of the skull MIGHT get his attention, or might not...he's not unlike a lot of men...Many men think that they WORK........and their wives stay at home and eat bonbons and read romance novels.

You usually have a lot of good comments, fissatore, as you do in this case. But do we have to have the violence, the misandry and the giant font? They're taking away from the good in your messages.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2007
Mon, 06-06-2011 - 9:45pm

When someone gives you suggestions for improving the situation, rather than acknowledging the help and discussing ways you can implement it, why are you giving another victim story? Is this thread all about being a victim or is about improving a relationship?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2008
Tue, 06-07-2011 - 7:17am

I'm not trying to give a victime story. I hate that it comes across that way. I was just trying to answer some of the questions that other posted had asked.

I haven't really talked to my husband about this, mainly because, well, I've been on pain medication since Friday & I'm feeling alitle loopy... lol.

I did, however, stop caring. If the dishes don't get done or the housework falls behind or whatever. I'm too tired to give a damn really. And he started to step up, after he saw how sick I really was. I know I need to talk to him but I'm just not up for it right now. I have surgery Thursday morning but by Friday afternoon I should be a little better & more up to talking.

I appreciate all of the advice, & I have every intentions of applying, but I just wanted to gather as much as I can before I do &, like I said, I'm just not up for a seriously deep conversatioin right now. Only a few more days until I'm back to normal... lol.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Tue, 06-07-2011 - 11:52am
Other than lacking emotional support, do you think you two fit in other ways? Do you have fun together just you two? Share any of the same hobbies that could be your bond?

What about hiring a maid to come again? When you're better have a family meeting and list some options, either he helps you out (and list out what you need help with and how often), or you guys hire a maid. Because if you continue like this you'll grow resentful, bitter and you don't want to damage the marriage team like that.

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