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Old 05-04-2005, 06:31 AM   #1
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Confused and angry

What do I do about a husband of 22 years that drinks 4 to 6 beers during the week and on weekends 8 to 10? He never appears drunk and it doesnít outwardly look like it does anything to him. He does not get along with our 13 yo ADD son and cannot comprehend the way he is supposed to react when he knows my son may be rebounding during the week. It doesnít matter, even when my son is not rebounding they do not get along 80% of the time. Itís always something that sets the two of them off. Our 16 yo son gets along fine with his father. My husband has always said Ďfrom the day he was born he was pushing me away.í My son is not innocent in this but it is mainly in response to the way he is treated. He has the same issues any kid has and the way my husband corrects him is very harsh and verbal. I feel so confused right now. Iíve put up with what I would call mental abuse, but stay because most of the time I can see his point.

Yesterday was his birthday. Two days before he said Ďjust get me cupcakes and throw a candle in them.í Sure, I thought no problem. He actually bought the cupcakes and showed them to me reminding me thatís what he wanted. The reason he did this? He didnít want me to buy a fancy cake or make too much out of it. So, you think you need to get someone a gift. I mean he has two sons that want to enjoy their dadís birthday. I bought $46 worth of scratchers (lotto) and put them in a box that had heavy batteries to kind of throw him about what was in the box. Thought heíd laugh because he likes scratchers and that we got over on him. Well, he opens the box and has this look on his face and says Ďyou shouldnít have done thisí or Ďyou didnít need to do this.í something like that. I say to my younger son, we have to go to drum lessons now and my husband says Ďnow youíre rushing out.í We get more angry and I tell him, Ďcanít you just say thanks?í He says Iím overreacting and maybe I was but that is what he does all the time when I give him something. I was just trying to make it fun. So I leave and yeah, I screeched my tires a bit. Got home after lessons and he was going off to bed - it was 7pm! I said well, arenít we going to have the cupcakes? No, Iím tired and off to bed he goes. Then we cannot find the cupcakes. My younger son goes to throw something out and sees that my husband had thrown all the birthday cards in the garbage (no cupcakes - still havenít found them and really donít care anymore). I yell to my husband who is in bed, Ďwhy did you have to throw out our cards?í He says, ĎIím tired.í This morning I look on my dresser and see that the scratchers are sticking out of my music box.

I was crying as I said goodnight to the boys. I donít want them to deal with this situation. They should be concerned about school and friends and having fun at home. I donít mean that they have to be smiling 24/7 but this is crazy! We have been having communication problems for a while - actually most of our time together, but moreso in the last 5 years. There is ALWAYS a loud discussion if not full-blown argument at the dinner table. Me and the boys eat at the kitchen table and my husband is sitting in the front room which is opened into the kitchen, and usually finds something to get us angry or anxious. If itís not about the youngest (13) and the way he is eating (or not eating) his food, it is something about him. My son told me he doesnít like to sit in the kitchen because my husband always has a mean look on his face. I mention that to him and he says 'my eyes are tired.' We do sometimes eat in the dining room but the words still happen.

Iíve asked him to stop drinking at least during the week, but he really doesnít see it as a problem because he has a good job, takes care of the house, and cooks and cleans besides. I mean every night he cooks dinner and does the grocery shopping and laundry, vacuums, just the other day cleaned the carpets. Iíve told him that there is no reason I canít cook because sometimes he cooks the dinner and by the time itís ready to eat he is so frustrated because of all the work he did he gets mouthy with us. I also tell him that I will go grocery shopping, but nope, he doesnít want me to.

I could go on much more but I guess what Iím looking for is opinions on how this looks to you all. I have been thinking about him leaving for a long time. I have actually thought of scenarios in my head of how it would work. I donít want my boys to not have him around because we really can be a good family when we are. Iíve suggested counseling but he thinks he knows more than the counselors. Should I ask him to leave temporarily? I just donít know anymore. Iíll go home tonight and it will be the silent treatment or he will act like nothing is wrong. The Ďacting like nothing is wrongí is so he doesnít see that there is a possibility of us splitting up. He needs to have a Ďbreak throughí with the youngest. I canít take it anymore when I have to explain to my son the reasons why some things were said to him like Ď canít wait till youíre on your owní or Ďyou donít like me and I donít like you.í I donít want him to be mentally scarred. Then I donít want my oldest to be deprived of a father that he has no problems with.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-04-2005 at 11:08 AM.

 
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:53 AM   #2
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susieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB Usersusieq0726 HB User
Re: Confused and angry

A husband that works, cooks, does the shopping and cleans? And the problem is what again? Sounds to me that he is worn out. I think I would cut him a little slack.

Last edited by susieq0726; 05-04-2005 at 06:54 AM.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 06:57 AM   #3
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Re: Confused and angry

susieq, I do cut him some slack. You can see that I have tried to take over cooking and grocery shopping but he insists on doing it. I am not that bad of a cook. I do the cleanup after he cooks and usually help out in some ways. Even if I did do the cooking and grocery shopping - it doesn't solve my problem. thanks anyways.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: Confused and angry

Well the problems with your son's is a tough one. My father was kinda tough with both my brother and I and pretty much left my mother in charge of raising and taking care of us. Though we both have a good relationship with my dad now, I don't think he liked little kids very much. Things didn't change until we actually grew up and moved out of the house.
Your husband kinda sounds like he's stuck in a rut.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 07:12 AM   #5
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Re: Confused and angry

Our personal relationship is not as healthy as it should be either. We never go out and only have gone out once since we've had kids. That was to a Christmas party and it just so happened that my husband was sick and we barely made it through dinner let alone got a dance in. That is another issue on top of everything else. We both come from volitale homes and have told each other that we didn't want our home to be like that for our family. It is though. Yelling just about every day. We have our moments of great times, but it just doesn't seem like enough anymore.

My husband was worked like a dog by his stepfather growing up and had a job as a janitor so he feels he cleans better than I do. There are a lot of things that I am not covering which is kind of unfair to ask people to help me out when they don't know the whole story. I should probably see a counselor myself, but am too busy to fit it into my schedule! I do all the running for the boys, doctor appointments and there are a lot because they both have braces, see a dermatologist, and regular doctor appointments, take son to drum lessons, pick up older son from track, take my older son to art lessons, any activities I take them, I set up outings with them and their friends. We do family things together like walks in the park, family gatherings. My husband does not do anything with the boys though - like fishing or camping. He just gets burned out by work and house stuff. I've tried to suggest things to do as a family but it's usually an amusement park. Would like him to spend one-on-one time with the boys but it falls on deaf ears.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-04-2005 at 11:11 AM.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: Confused and angry

Does it sound reasonable to give him this list:

You
Once a month night out - just us!
Beer drinking only on weekends
During week - eat dinner with us
One-on-one time with boys

Me
Less time on computer (you have to understand that Ďanyí time on the computer is too much to him since he does not use computers. I am on a computer at work 8 hours a day so 20 min at home does not seem like a lot to me. He cannot stand to hear me typing when I am checking email. I have relatives out of state and that is my main communication with them. If I play a game of Euchre, it absolutely drives him crazy because he thinks I am communicating with my Ďbuddies.í So Iíve learned not to go on the computer at all when he is around - not a big deal for me but just thought you needed background so you didnít think I was on the computer obsessively.)

Iím sorry but I cannot think of any other things to put on the me list. His main beef with me is that he thinks I am always sticking up for my ADD son when I am just trying to make sure he knows all the facts. There are many times when he interjects or says something without knowing the whole story. Iíll tell him and half the time he has to apologize for jumping to conclusions.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: Confused and angry

I went home at lunch and decided to write him a letter - my arm hurts - either I'm not used to writing or I wrote a lot of pages. Anyway, I am picking my 13 yo from school and going to take him to get his hair cut. My oldest will be at track until 7pm so we will go watch him when we are done. I plan on bringing home something for dinner, probably Chinese since my oldest has been wanting it. Left the note where he'll find it right away and wrote on it 'Please take the time to read this.' He will have three hours alone before we get home. I'll let you know what comes of the letter. Please, I would like opinions and advice.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 12:44 AM   #8
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Re: Confused and angry

I think that you want to leave, because your husband seems very controlling and unhappy, and I think that's probably the best move. I'm sure your kids would be happier not living with a dad who doesn't seem to like them and verbally abuses them, and it seems like you would too. I don't think anyone deserves to be treated like he treats you and your sons, and if I was in your situation, I'd leave soon before his alcoholism (drinking every single night like that is definitely problematic) and abuse escalate. Good luck no matter what though!

 
Old 05-06-2005, 05:43 AM   #9
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Re: Confused and angry

Hi Snails, your first sentence made me think. Sometimes I think that I make things difficult or overreact to situations because deep down I may want to leave. It is not just him though. I look at my past and see that my father was a severe alcoholic. He drank excessively every day and I still don't know how he didn't get into an accident all those years. Thankfully he has been sober for the last 15 years, but now has emphesema (another story - but I think we all have many stories to tell). So I look at my husband's drinking as a reminder of my dad, the yelling as that of my dad, but realize that I make my husband look worse than he is. We also moved a lot growing up and since being with my husband, I moved into his house when I was 18 - we lived there for over 15 years then moved to our present home where we've been for over 12 years. I guess I get antsy when things stay the same so long. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that my children can go to one school district and make friends and be part of a community which is something I did not have.

The letter I wrote did not affect much. Only made us all realize that we were overreacting yet again and allowing the stress of work to come home. Last night my husband brought out the cupcakes - candles and all - and sang 'happy birthday to me' - we all joined in and then asked him where he hid them because we told him our youngest could not find them. He joked and said 'sure, you only cared about the cupcakes.'

I still am pushing for him to cut down on drinking and spending more time with the boys. Last night our youngest played drumset for both of us. At first my husband said I can hear you up here. Then when my son started jamming, he brought his dinner downstairs so he could watch him. You should have seen the smile on my son's face.

So although it sounded like I was pushing the alarm button on 'I've got to get out of here!' I know I am not going to and would rather make things work. In the beginning of our relationship we used to 'cyclone' fight which is pulling everything into the mix as we went where it ended up totally out of proportion. Over the years we have learned how to fight and communicate better. We both came from loud, angry households and it is tough to get out of that mode.

Remember that my husband only says things to our youngest and I am adament that he change his ways. We have come a long way with that too. I really don't think my younger (and especially my oldest) want to see their father leave, but we still have a lot of work to do. So what I am looking for are ways to help a father and son bond - not just by going fishing, but how they conversate - they really don't know how to communicate. It always seems like they butt heads over the same thing over and over again. Need to break that cycle.

Thanks for all your support. And I appreciate that you support me if I stay or go. That makes it seem like we can make it work. Humans are a fickle people! We know what we should do and just can't seem to manage to do it. If we could, there wouldn't be an obesity problem or any crime. God Bless us all - we need it.

Oh, another thing, a few hours before my husband brought out the cupcakes, I gave him back the scratchers and said 'these are yours.' He said I was going to break him of the habit with so many of them!
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-06-2005 at 05:53 AM.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 07:52 AM   #10
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Re: Confused and angry

Sawbuck ~ After reading your post and a response on Artista's thread I felt compelled to respond. One thing I think you ought to realize, and which I would like to point out having two daughter's the same ages as you boys, is that no matter how much you wish for more family time it just isn't going to happen. It is quite mormal for your boys to spend more time with friends, I know that I too am having a difficult time adjusting to that phenomenon. It just seems lately that I have to actually schedule an appointment with my daughters in order to have time with them. So please know that your expecting everybody to get together like you use to just may not happen no matter how badly you want that.

Now....your relationship with your husband is quite another thing. It sounds as if the two of you have so much going on in your household & you're juggling so much around that it's also difficult to see what you like about each other anymore. I know the same chaos takes place in my home....birthdays are just not the same......my husband on his last birthday had to attend a concert that our daughter was in...we squeezed dinner in quickly and I made a cake and we actually had to sing Happy Birthday at 11pm and ended up opening cards & presents the next day. These things happen...I think you just have to realize that the two of you are a team trying to get through these crazy years together. He does cook & make dinner....do you ever thank him or compliment him on his meals???? And when the house is clean do you take the time to appreciate that???? I know you feel like you're chaufeering the kids all over the place but it does seem like your husband is contributing to things as well. Perhaps it's time to take a step back & see the good in each other & come to the realization that you are on the same side. As far as your son's ADD, not many men are familiar with how to deal with that. My daughter had a chronic illness when she was younger & my husband, God Bless him, really couldn't help me out. He had no idea what to do and it was mostly on me.....but he did pick up the slack in other areas of our life. Perhaps your husband is doing the same. Now the drinking, although not a good thing, doesn't seem to be causing problems other than you keeping track of how many he drinks and it hits an emotional scar from your past. Seems like hubby is trying to unwind.....now if he becomes abusive & treats family members badly then I think some counselling may be necessary. But going back to your post it doesn't seem to be that way other than some of the things he stated on his birthday which looked like a crazy stressed out day for everyone. Is he verbally abusive to you & the boys????? Nobody should be subjected to that but it seems to me that you have some anger & resentment too and sometimes it becomes a domino effect when one person says harsh things to another which I feel may be the case here. It seems to me that there might just be an awful lot of complaining.....and men don't deal with that sort of thing well. Try changing yourself in little ways & see how your husband reacts. For Goody is a firm believer, having gone through it herself, that although we cannot change another person, we can certainly change ourselves and in doing so the other person may very well react in a more positive way. I hope this helps some. Let us know how things go....Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 05-06-2005 at 08:02 AM.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 08:22 AM   #11
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Re: Confused and angry

Thanks Goody, you really made sense. All of us complement my husband on the good food he cooks. Over the years we have had to teach our sons, the youngest moreso, that you should not complain 'chicken again?' or 'brocoli again' when someone has worked hard all day and then came home and made sure you had a proper dinner. I think we do have a lot of stress in our house. My husband knows he complains too much about work and is trying to not bring it home. It's not that we don't support each other in problems at work or stresses but he was letting it slip into his mood towards us. My sons are 13 and 16. 16 yo just got a call for a job interview - yea! It is now summertime and we have a large lawn to mow. I tell my husband 'you should have 13 yo cut the back (smaller) and 16 do front, let me do the shopping and cook dinner - you do not have to do it all!' What does he say, don't worry about it. How can I not worry about it when in the end we pay for it with an anxious overworked dad? He says our youngest is not ready to mow the lawn. He is taller than me 5'11" and weighs 162 lbs! He is ready. My husband just doesn't want to deal with the way they interact with each other. Son needs to learn to deal with constructive criticism and husband needs to make sure it is constructive! Summer just started so I'll let you know if he mows the back.

The only thing I complain about is how he interacts with our son and his drinking. You are right it doesn't really affect us because he doesn't ever get drunk. What does affect us is the time he is taking to unwind is by sitting there from 5:30 till he goes to bed watching tv, drinking beer and not socializing with us. The boys used to play baseball so we would be out 4 nights a week. That was great - we spent a lot of time together and with other adults. We don't have any personal friends that we are close enough to to invite over which is another bone of contention. My husband is a loner. I've told him that he should live like a hermit (that was years ago). We never go out by ourselves. He has not specifically addressed any issues in the letter I wrote. He just said that I take forever to get going in the morning. He is a morning person and I am a night person. That is also hard. I will try to see myself from a distance. I know I am not perfect. I have gained a few pounds and just recently lost 24 lbs - still need to lose 50 more. I 'wear' it well and am tall 5'8" so it isn't too bad. Just not the way I always was.

I know it is important for the boys to spend time with their friends. Now that my son (hopefully) will be working, it should start to get real interesting!
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 09:20 AM   #12
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Re: Confused and angry

sawbuck-
maybe your husband and mine can get together for a pow wow. mine gets off work around 3, sits in his recliner, drinks anywhere from 8-16 beers, and goes to bed. i on the other hand, bathe our son, cook dinner, fold laundry, put son to bed all the while he sits and does nothing but drink.
sorry if i sound bitter. i'm in a really bad mood today and needed to vent.
laney

 
Old 05-06-2005, 10:38 AM   #13
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Re: Confused and angry

laney, you wonder why we still think that the grass is greener on the other side. We know that no matter how bad we think we have it, someone else is experiencing greater problems. I don't know what it is but my sister has kind of the same problems I have. Her husband cooks, cleans, provides a great home, but emotionally is not as 'effective' as he could be. Their relationship is a loud one too. Maybe we aren't communicating our needs effectively so that they actually 'hear' us. It is difficult to say the least. Don't know if I have any advice for you but know I am here anytime you need to vent. Sometimes having a 'kindred spirit' helps and just to talk to someone who can support you. Taking care of a child is not an easy task. I don't know how my mother did it with 6 of us.
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

Last edited by sawbuck44; 05-06-2005 at 10:38 AM.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 10:59 AM   #14
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Re: Confused and angry

it is true. every time i think my problems are way out there, someone else comes along with something 10X worse. i should mention that i am a recovering alcoholic over a year of sobriety. maybe we just don't have anything in common anymore. blech.....i don even know. at least i am getting out of work early today. the inlaws are arriving tonight and i need to get grocerys and get my butt to an aa meeting before their plane arrives.
hope i can keep my temper this week......

 
Old 05-06-2005, 01:02 PM   #15
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Re: Confused and angry

Yeah, but I've always tried to get myself and my boys to a more positive image. If I keep comparing myself to an overweight person, I'll never lose weight! So...inlaws for a whole week? I never had to deal with that unfortunately, or in your case - fortunately...see there is that comparison.

YEAAAA!! Good for you! Quitting drinking has got to be tough. The only tough thing I had to quit was smoking and that came easy to me because I was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks with salmenella! I left there skin and bones and the first cigarette I smoked was like my first ever and I didn't like smoking when I first started so I just didn't light up another one. It didn't even bother me that my husband still smoked.

Good luck with the inlaws and have a great Mother's Day!
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If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.

 
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