Here I am on a Saturday night again at home while my husband is out. My husband goes out just about every weekend while I sit at home. Tonight he went out with friends to a game that is about an hour away. I got a call from the police asking if my husband drove a certain vehicle, which he does. They said it was parked close to the interstate and they wanted to make sure we knew that the vehicle was there. They had gotten a phone call from a concerned citizen thinking that someone was trying to vandalize the area, etc. When I first answered and realized the call was from the police, it scared me because I thought he had been in an accident. Turns out he had parked the car and gotten a ride with his friends to the game.
I'm always afraid something will happen because my son was hit by a car this past summer while riding his bicycle and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. At the time, my husband was at the Lake at a second home that his parents and family own. He goes there often and sometimes takes his buddies there for the weekend. I go sometimes also, but his parents are usually there on weekens, and I can't stand to be around them for too long because they are very controlling and always speak their minds on every little thing. I have always been brought up to keep my opinions to myself and I think it's very rude the way they demand things and say things that are very hurtful. They also tease in a mean way by saying things that deep down are true, but are said as a joke. They think I am too sensitive when they say mean things about our kids or my husband. For instance at Thanksgiving, my father in law said something about a naked lady that my husband was with years ago before we were married. He said this in front of 20+ people at the huge dining table, and in front of me and my kids. He's always bringing my husband's past relationships up and we've been married for 20 years! I've been brought up, unfortunately, very refined and feel very out of place during these situations.
We have been going to counseling about our differences in parenting and it has helped some, we have discussed our different backgrounds and realize that this has been a problem with our different parenting styles and perhaps our relating to each other. I'm more open to talk with my children, whereas he believes that his way is the only way to parent and there is no exception.
I'm wondering if I'm justified by feeling abandoned every weekend. Last weekend, it was a poker game, this weekend, something else. He lines up his schedule around Thursday for the following weekend. I usually call my sister (who is a mother figure to me) and she says that he is probably trying to get away from the difficulty at home. In counseling, he discussed how his father was never at home and it's still true to this day. His Dad plays poker every week, goes into the Casinos on the weekends and flies to Vegas a couple of times a month. That is the way it has always been. After I go to counseling or talk to my sister, I feel sorry for him and think that he's doing this because it's his way of coping. I don't believe he is cheating. His family has always accepted this kind of behavior as normal and used to say that I'm being too jealous for nothing. I always felt that my feelings were invalid and I was stupid for caring. I don't discuss it anymore with them, because I know they will never understand. I'm not really jealous that he's with another woman, but that he schedules times around our anniversary and my birthday to be with friends or family mostly. When we first got married, his Dad invited him to a basketball game on my birthday. I was crushed that he accepted knowing that it was my birthday. Our anniversary falls two days after a holiday because he wanted his family to be able to take off work to go to the wedding. Every anniversary since, if I didn't have to work, he always scheduled a date with his brothers to go to a game several hours away because it was the only time they could be together. I would stay at his families, which I hated, while he went into the game. His family lives a couple of hours away, the games are always a couple of hours from there.
I have been afraid to confront him too much because my sister says that he's doing the best he can, and his family thinks there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it. He has always been very close to his family and spends every chance he can with them, expecially at the Lakehouse. His Dad has always had an annual fishing trip, when the guys all go to the Lake and play poker and go to the Strip Clubs. I usually stay home if he goes out with his friends in this town because I don't feel comfortable leaving my children home alone, even though they are old enough to take care of themselves. And besides, he hardly ever invites me.
I have considered leaving him but I always put my kids first. I have often thought about what I will do after they get out of high school. I'm not sure if I will stay with my husband, but don't want to leave until the kids are grown. Divorce has never happened in my family and although my parents are no longer living, my siblings have never been divorced and have all been married for more then 25 years. Although he is the oldest out of a very large family, his siblings have all been married for more than a decade and never been divorced either. Divorce is almost not an option.
My questions are:
1. Given my situation and no divorce policy, what should I do about him?
2. How should I deal with his family, am I obligated to visit them? It would be very awkward and embarrassing to him and my children if I didn't attend family functions.
3. Am I being too stuffy? Our mutual friends are wealthy SUV driving, longtime married couples, stay at home moms, with perfect children and perfect lives, so it seems. Since we lost are incomes, we are totally out of place. I can't open up to them about my husband's behavior. We have become the black sheep and are outcasts. I have no real friends left. Just a sister I can talk to.
4. Do I need to move? I can't leave my kids, can't pull them out of school and away from their friends, and I'm not accepted by other people in our new low income bracket, or our old income bracket, for that matter. I also need to stay or we may lose our home. I don't want to pull any funds out of our retirement income.
Last edited by goingdaffy; 01-30-2010 at 10:57 PM.
Reason: spelling error
You have a lot going on in your post. Just some starting thoughts.
1) I think you are right in not leaving your kids alone each weekend. Late teen years is not the time to bail on parenting. That's not to say the occasional Saturday night would be a huge deal. But leaving them alone for whole weekends is asking for trouble with most kids even if they are good kids.
2) On the other hand, I do think you are being a bit too stuffy. It sounds as if your attitude (I don't mean that in a bad way, just in the sense of how you respond to things) is eliminating the opportunities you have to spend time with your husband.
3) To that end, is there anything you both like to do together. Or as a family? Is there a way you could get ahead of the curve and plan your own weekend before he plans his. And plan yours to include him? I know money could be an issue and this is not a good time for outdoor things, but if you start thinking ahead now for doing some things in the spring. If you use the web and look into local activities, it's amazing the things that are out there for very little money if you like outdoor activities.
4) Aside from this social issue, how do you and your husband get along? Monday through Friday, apart from the weekend issue, do you enjoy each other? Or do you just not connect and sitting at home alone is the last straw?
I have always been the one who has felt like I couldn't leave the kids. I think he has taken full advantage of the situation because he knows he can leave and I will stay with them.
One reason I think that I am stuffy is because I have been terribly hurt over the last 20 years. I used to open up, but found out that was not a wise thing to do. I approach his family almost in a business like manner. I don't reveal too many feelings. I've learned not to respond when my in laws say hurtful things. I keep my month shut when my husband hurts me.
After my husband has been gone for the evening, the next day he acts like everything is normal. He tries to be very affectionate, it takes me a few days to get back to normal but I pretend nothing is up. I just busy myself with my ecommerce site and try to spend every free moment on the computer. I try to stay up later than he can or go to bed earlier to avoid the confrontation. I lay low for a while.
If it doesn't have anything to do with sports or visiting his family, he is not interested in doing things with me. I don't care for either one of those because I have given up my time for these things for years, I've finally stopped. My sister lives in the same area that my inlaws do, but except on very few occasions he will not go with me to visit her or my brother. He's always got an excuse, too busy, can't get away from his family, his mom has a project for him, etc.
I'm beginning to think it is over, I need to wait 3 or 4 more years for the kids.
Yes, they are his kids too. We have never been divorced. He used to take them to the Lake with him when his family was there, when they were young. I had a job where I had to work one or two weekends a month overtime and had to work alot of overtime on holidays. He was self employed so he could take off when he wanted. But most of the things he does with his friends (and family for that matter) involve drinking. It is also male bonding time or poker time. He did ask my son if he wanted to go, but my son has other things he would rather be doing to be truthful, and always says no. He and my son don't get along most of the time. My daughter is always having friends over or over at friends. She is also a teenager and spends most of her free time with friends or helps me around the house.
I'm confused. Are you both still unemployed? If so, how in the world can you guys afford this stuff (marriage counseling, games an hour or more away, gas for said games, strip clubs, drinking every night, trips to a family lakehouse -- again, fuel for these trips, food, entertainment)???
Have you and your husband's employment situation changed?
Since counseling doesn't seem to be really working, your life sucks, your kids' lives suck -- again, based on your prior posts about your daughter and son -- why is divorce not an option? You've tried. You've counseled. You're pretty much checking out of the marriage right now, and it's more than obvious your husband has been checked out for a long time.
Please don't stay in such an awful mess "for the kids." Unless you want to breed another man just like your husband and a woman who is going to marry the exact same type of man you did. Your kids sound like they're tweens/teens. They're familiar with divorce, I'm sure, and obviously the current living situation is NOT helping them at all.
But I ask about the job situation because (1) I can't fathom how you guys can live this lifestyle on government assistance/welfare and (2) I think both of you would do well to get jobs and set good examples for your kids. Are you and your husband just together in the house all day unemployed?
I agree, what kind of "government assistance" is there that allows such a lifestyle? I work full-time and have a pretty good job, but I can barely afford one meal a week at the local Mexican food dive! Let alone Playstations, weekend junkets to a lakeside house, sporting events, nightclubs and drinks at bars (at $5 a pop!)
Perhaps if the husband found gainful employment, he'd find fulfillment in his career and wouldn't need to be constantly taking off on these trips. Then again, it doesn't seem likely that he'll want to give up this fun lifestyle for a boring job. But he probably will never feel fulfilled as long as he isn't being productive in some way.
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong
Really, what does unemployment have to do with it? Most of the things went on when we had jobs. My husband gets by on the cheap. He is the coupon king (you wouldn't believe it). The lakehouse was bought with equity from buying and selling 4 or 5 times. Not my deal. We have been entrepreneurs until the economy started hurting and then we got into the workforce. (Well I was in the workforce for a long time, but was doing a business on the side). My company shut down after buying plants in China and other countries. I am applying for jobs everyday and for every job I apply for, there are literally thousands of applicants.
Back to my problem. I'm angry about alot of things. When my son slid in front of a car, I didn't know if he was going to live. While I was driving to the hospital, I had to call the Lake and my husband was out fishing without a cell phone. My mother in law answered and was worried about the damage done to the lady's car that hit him. She always thinks first about pinching a penny and was worried that we would get sued. My husband didn't find out about the accident until after everything had stabilized. Several days later, I had to go get him because his parents didn't offer to give him a ride. (His friend had to leave the day before the accident). I sure could have used him that day!! My son's helmet had busted during the accident. My son's friends who were with him when the accident happened said he was seizing (I wasn't there so I'm not sure).
My problems with my in laws started when my husband's aunt started gossiping to me about what they say about me. Some of the things really, really hurt my feelings. They blamed me for moving their son away from them when I got a promotion. My husband was the one who suggested it, I would have been fine staying there. I try to just keep my feelings inside and don't say anything negative to them. My husband has a tendency to say " I don't want to hear it" when I need to talk to him. His mother does this too, so I feel sad for him because I think it's a learned response. My husband can be very affectionate at times, so the situations keep me confused.
We have just started counseling and it's about our son, but marriage and background has come up. It's not really professional place, most of the counselors are students, so we don't pay much at all.
I had a long talk with my husband. It seems he feels that I am always busy with something else and never have time for him. I always feel like he is trying to micro-manage me. If I am on the laptop while he is watching TV, it bothers him. I don't understand what the problem is if I don't want to watch what he is watching, at least I am usually in the same room. We need to talk much more about how I am not satisfying his needs, but I don't want to give up any more of my life for him. I feel like I have given up everything already. I put my life on hold when I met him because he didn't want me doing certain things and seeing certain people.
We had a long family talk, also with our kids. We reflected on how we raised our kids much different than we were raised. They are much more independent and less naive than we were. We talk to them and are much more involved in their lives than our parents were in ours. This causes alot of conflict with his parents (mine are dead). My husband especially was raised to do exactly what they said, don't ask questions and children should be seen and not heard. His parents believe that their way is right and we should raise our family that way. They are always getting involved and I'm not sure how to keep them out so much. My sister inlaws chat alot on the internet and are alway prying about what my children are doing, who they're hanging out with, what drama is going on, etc. I don't gossip and I don't tell on them, only to people I don't know to get advice. This makes me an outcast in the family because I don't engage and spread rumors. I'm not kidding, everything they do, they blog about. Like "going to the store, I'm going shopping for new furniture", etc. It's not like I'm trying to keep secrets from them, I was just raised that way. My parents would have considered it disloyal to tell family problems to other family members.
My family didn't get me involved in Sports or anything else. They left things totally up to me as far as if I wanted to play in a band or play sports (I chose a band). They never offered anything either. My husband was made to do things the parents wanted. We have very different upbringing and I think this is part of our problems.
My kids are terrified that my inlaws will find out bad things they've done or things they've experimented with. They all get on my kids internet sites and question them about what happen if they put their status a certain way or if they mention something about how their birthday wasn't what they expected. To me, that's prying; to them, that's loving and being concerned. I consider it micro-managing my kids when they have their own younger ones to deal with. They say they need to be involved in the teenager's lives. It's always a bunch of drama that I don't agree with. There is always drama in that family. If for one second there isn't, they will create drama.
My real desire is that my husband and I can raise our kids the way we believe is right. I don't feel that we have ever had that freedom.