My husbands irresponsibility is killing us and could kill him as well

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
My husbands irresponsibility is killing us and could kill him as well
25
Tue, 11-08-2011 - 4:57pm
One of the biggest reasons I married my husband was because he was the most morally sound and responsible man I'd ever met. That was 10 years ago. Every year he has changed more and more into someone who is incapable of being responsible for anything and is now almoat completely unreliable. We have now had a situation this weekend where he suffered seizures because, due to some added stress in our lives right now, he forgot to take them consistently. While normally this is an easily excusable offense given the circumstances, this is seizure medication - not cholesterol meds or something that wont have you ending up possibly killing yourself or someone else. Our situation now is that he could lose his license for a year which would mean he will lose his job and we would lose everything we own. I also just found out that because of the fall he took during the seizure he has a cracked vertebrae. This could possibly mean him having to go on disability and ha e surgery, which also means we lose everything because we wouldn't. Be able to afford to live off of the decreased salary. I am a SAHM of a 3 and 1 year old and his injury will prevent him from being able to stay home and care for thew if I were to work. I also would bring home a fraction of what he makes and wouldnt be able to pay our bills. When the doctor asked him how often he wanted to take his pills every day, he suggested as fww times as possible so he would be less likely to forget to take them. The doctor told him to use his phone calender or Outlook to send himself reminder, which I have begged him to use in the past with our everyday things... but he simply says he doesnt remember to use them. I remember everything for our family because I am responsible for 99% of everything - and have had this level of responsibility even while working full time and caring for two kids. He has 3 or 4 things to remember to do every day and fails almost daily. Oddly enough, he never, ever forgets something he has to do for work.

I'm at my wits end. I'm at a point where my life, home, my children's lives are all being negatively affected by his inability to be held responsible for anything. I am not his mother, I am an equal partner in a marriage to someone who I thought was a responsible adult whom I'd never have to take care of just for lack of effort on his part. I feel he isnt living up to the vow he made or to being the person he presented himself to be when we met. I have explained how his behavior negatively effects everyone and we ha e even been down the road of discussing separation and or divorce because he always promises to try harder but after a 2 week effort, falls right back into his old habits. I am convinced this behavior wont change and now because of it, I am not in a situation of possibly having to lose my home and a home for my kids to grow up in because he just simply didnt deem taking his meds as being important enough to remember. I have no idea what to do anymore.... advice???

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Hi,

Is your husband suffering from early dimentia or early-onset Alzheimer's? I ask because it's something to consider. He may be failing on all fronts for a mental-chemical reason rather than just sheer stubborness or because he can't remember what to do.

Secondly, I think you'd be very wise to separate your finances as much as possible and seek the advice of an attorney regarding your liabilty for debts and bills. It hurts but I think it would be wise to get as much information as possible before the situation gets worse.

As for your job skills, you may be worth more than you think. I'd being searching for a job now and find suitable care for your children. Better to plan a head and be proactive than wait for the house to fall down around you.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

Hi

He is ill worse it is a combo pack of problems.

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

My 16 yr old son has a seizure disorder that developed 2 yrs ago--he takes pills in the am & at night and really he doesn't forget to take the pills--of course I reminded him at first, but then he said he didn't need me to remind him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
My DH started his seizures at 16, went off the meds for 2 years and ended up having seizures again... so he had to take them for life. At least in our state if there is a seizure episode a doctor has the responsibility to report it to the DMV. My husband drives for a living as part of his job and his company doesnt really have anything else ro offer him instead. If the hospital I had him taken to reports it, he may lose his lic. for up to a year.

I have always taken care of myself and have never relied on anyone to support me. I was making more money than he was but encountered extreme bias at my company and out of the blue they denied me the ability to take sick or vacation days. I tried to make that work for as long as I could but after my husband exhausted more than half of his own vacation time over the course of two months to care for our girls when they got sick, a meeting I had with my company to discuss a compromise ended up with false accusations against me and I quit my job. In lieu of a lawsuit they didn't block my application for unemployment so at the very least I have that income.

His lack of responsibility comes from him continuing to follow theough with important matters. How many times do you allow someone to disappoint you before you stop asking them to do anything? It got to the point where I had to take over the finances because he wouldn't balance our budget or keep track of our expenses. He would fail to even make calls regarding his own health responsibilities, like following up with doctors. With any task, it was a crap shoot as to whether he would follow it throuh to completion. So when it got to the point where he would fall through on something that directly affected me, I decided to just do it myself. That then snowballed into me doing everything important because I couldnt count on him to actually do it. I was doing literally 95% of all our responsibilities, while working full time and caring for two babies. Now I find I'm doing everything now that I'm home full time, and I resent the hell out of him for it.

All he has to do on a daily basis is go to work and take his medication. I do literally everything else. He failes to take it, had two seizures (the first while lying down next to our 15 month old), has subsequently broken a vertebra in his back and thus has totally put our income in jeopardy. What makes this even worse is that we just moved back into our house after having been flooded out by hurricane Irene and with all of our worldly posessikns distributed btwn a storage facility and just randomly tvrown into our house, he now can't lift anything at all. Did I happen to mention that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 6 months ago? Yes... and I still do everything for our family. He always says he will try harder but he shows me who he is with his actions... nothing will ever change. Now I get to take care of him too, while I let it sink in that without his full pay we will lose our house. I have no idea why I ever thought I could depend on anyone, ever. I have never had anyone in my life to depend on (not even as a child) and just when I'd finally thought I'd found someone who wasnt like thw rest, the joke is on me. I love him dearly but love isnt the only thing you need in order to make a partnership work. We agreed to be a part of the same team and I've sadly realized that I'm the one making all the 3 point shots while he sits on the bench. I refuse to life a life where my sole existence is making life easier for everyone else while no one does a damn thing to make my life easier at all. If you cant even bother to set reminders in a calender on your phone (which I have begged him to do and even to ight his doctor told him to do to remind him to take his pills) then you are telling me you're not interested in making this work. Am I wrong?
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
We never know what kinds of things will be thrown at us in life. We cannot guarantee our own health, let alone our spouses or our children. I think it is very challenging and disappointing to have to be a caregiver for your own spouse. It is something we don't really expect until we are much older. I can see how you are enraged. You are tired and frustrated and no matter what you cannot force him to do something that he doesn't want to do or can't. There is no "i" in team as you said.

I am not a medical professional but I do know that seizures can cause damage to the brain and sometimes short term memory loss after.

When you describe your husband's inaction it makes me wonder is he just blatantly disregarding you? Or is something else going on with him medically? When is the last time he had an MRI? Do you think he is depressed? Is he engaged with the family when he gets home?

Does he know that you are serious about a separation? And if so is he okay with this or just blasé about it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
My husband has had a few MRI's in the 10yrs we have been together so I know his failure to follow through isnt medically related. Im sure that what has ended up happening is that when he would fail to complete something that he was responsible for and it had a negative effect on my life, I would panic and take over the responsibility for myself to ensure it got done. With each consecutive disappointment and argument over him failing yet again to follow through with something, I again would take over that responsibility. Some may say I was being a control freak but if your bills were being paid late and affecting your credit just because your husband "forgot", you would start controling the bills as well I would think. So thats how it started and now after 10yrs I am responsible for everything to ensure things actually get done. He swears its never his intention to slack off but he doesnt know whats wrong with him that he has NO PROBLEM AT ALL remembering what he needs to do for his job, but for anything related to the home he cannot be responsible for anything or it wont be taken care of. I handled all of this even when I worked full time, when I was pg and on disability with complications, etc. I feel like his mother and like I just have another child to take care of. And his lack of effort isnt based on some masogynistic (spelling totally wrong, I know) attitude for if it was, I would have been out of here a long time ago. He just apologizes, says he will try harder, apologizes some more, things change for a week or two and then everything goes right back to the way they were before.

I have threatened divorce on several occasions, and never irresponsibly - I was alway desperately in tears and begging him to just help me run our life together instead of me doing everything. He will be in tears, swear to change, and then the two thing I just mentioned. Neither one of us has any clue as to why he is incapable of being responsible for anything. Oh, and he also wont do anything at all without being asked. Wont clean anything, wont complete a task like something that needs to be repaired on the house, wont even make a phone call to have someone else do it. I have no ides WTH goes on in his head. How do you not even want to repair your own home????? I do ALL the repairs on the house MYSELF. I feel like a slave, a prisoner of my marriage and situation. If I simply stop doing everything, then my life suffers as well.

I seriously am at a loss as to how to make this situation better.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
My husband has had a few MRI's in the 10yrs we have been together so I know his failure to follow through isnt medically related. Im sure that what has ended up happening is that when he would fail to complete something that he was responsible for and it had a negative effect on my life, I would panic and take over the responsibility for myself to ensure it got done. With each consecutive disappointment and argument over him failing yet again to follow through with something, I again would take over that responsibility. Some may say I was being a control freak but if your bills were being paid late and affecting your credit just because your husband "forgot", you would start controling the bills as well I would think. So thats how it started and now after 10yrs I am responsible for everything to ensure things actually get done. He swears its never his intention to slack off but he doesnt know whats wrong with him that he has NO PROBLEM AT ALL remembering what he needs to do for his job, but for anything related to the home he cannot be responsible for anything or it wont be taken care of. I handled all of this even when I worked full time, when I was pg and on disability with complications, etc. I feel like his mother and like I just have another child to take care of. And his lack of effort isnt based on some masogynistic (spelling totally wrong, I know) attitude for if it was, I would have been out of here a long time ago. He just apologizes, says he will try harder, apologizes some more, things change for a week or two and then everything goes right back to the way they were before.

I have threatened divorce on several occasions, and never irresponsibly - I was alway desperately in tears and begging him to just help me run our life together instead of me doing everything. He will be in tears, swear to change, and then the two thing I just mentioned. Neither one of us has any clue as to why he is incapable of being responsible for anything. Oh, and he also wont do anything at all without being asked. Wont clean anything, wont complete a task like something that needs to be repaired on the house, wont even make a phone call to have someone else do it. I have no ides WTH goes on in his head. How do you not even want to repair your own home????? I do ALL the repairs on the house MYSELF. I feel like a slave, a prisoner of my marriage and situation. If I simply stop doing everything, then my life suffers as well.

He engages with us all as if nothing in the universe is wrong and as if everything is perfect. He loves his daughters immensely and is an active and involved father. When I mention divorce he is either upset or silent. I have no idea if he is depressed or not, he doeasnt display depressive behavior (I have been depressed before about 15yrs ago so I would like to think I might know if he was but of course, Im no medical professional). The thought that I have to now handle everything alone makes me think that if thats how its going to be, then why is he here? He contributes nothing and yet reaps the benefits of a constant caretaker. I am beyond resentful and beyond done with this arrangement.

I seriously am at a loss as to how to make this situation better and still have us end up staying together.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
I don't know that you can do anymore than what you already are. The more you do the more resentment and anger you feel. He knows you are responsible and he knows that you will take care of everything when he doesn't. My husband was much the same but he was feeling anger at me. It doesn't sound like your husband is angry at you. He sounds lost, depressed. He is going thru the motions but he doesn't seem to be engaged in his life except for work.

I guess really it is up to you to decide ow much more you can take. You could proceed with marriage counseling but it's not for everyone and really won't be effective if your husband isn't on board. He has to take some initiative.

You could also go see an attorney just for a consult to figure out where you stand there.

And then there are your little girls and what you want for them and what is best for them. They need their dad to be active and interested in their lives.

There is something going on with your husband that you can't fix or take responsibility for. Your super human mommy powers only extend so far. There just doesn't seem to be an easy answer on this one. But I think that after you make some decisions and move forward to whatever that entails you will feel a sense of relief.
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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

Hi

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
Yes I knew about his condition but this was all brought on by his inability to deem the taking of his medication on time as a necessity. This was not a case of him having a seizure through taking his meds when he is supposed to. He let them lapse. HE let them lapse. He would never not show up for a work appointment but he thinks its ok for him to not take his meds? His priorities are totally fubar and they have been for a long time.

We are in a situation of having just moved back into our house after having it devastated by hurricane Irene. It looks like we just moved into a house that the old tennants hadn't yet finished moving out of. The only thing he was ever immediately willing to do was something physical in nature; run to the store, move a piece of furniture, etc. Now I dont even have that.

I have "womaned up" the entire time Ive been with him. He has yet to "man up" and stop being a 15 year old with no responsibilities who cries when confronted with real life stuff to tackle. I guess I essentially married a little boy because all I am to him is his mama. I dont even have time to take care of myself... I sure as hell am not going to take care of him for the rest of my life.

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