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PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

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Old 08-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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Question PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

Hello everyone,

Reading a couple of other posts gave me courage to post. I've been married for 23 years and not really happy. I don't know if it is me or my husband, neither, or both. I will say that things have gotten better over the years. We used to have terrible fights at least once a month but I felt it was always blamed on my "hormones." I did have bad PMS and now that those days are over (I'm 50) we rarely fight, but also I feel it is because I have given up on fighting over the same old issues with little or no change. I would often tell him I felt he was not providing for me. We live in a 30+ year old single wide mobile home. I really DO NOT like the hot, humid weather of SW Florida. I miss the mountains we moved to in VA when we married. Our window a/c units do not sufficiently cool our home. It is often 85/90 degree in the kitchen. I cannot even use the stove because it is so hot, but he hates the cold so we have lived here for the past 16 years. It smells terribly mildewly to me when I walk in the door. I have many health problems. . chronic fatigue and a very bad back for which I finally had 3 surgeries. For years we had no medical insurance, but I have it now on myself. I've worked for the last 3 years as a special needs teacher's aide and trying to get my degree in teaching so that we can have a decent income. Between the 2 of us, we make about $30,000 per year. We have no savings at all, no retirement plan, and he is 54 and I am 50. It's scary. Over 16 years ago before we moved here, we lived off a credit card for a year (rent and food). It's a long story, but I think he was depressed. . .would not or could not work? Anyway, the interest added up and we ended up with a huge debt. Then, we started a health food store and ran it for 8 years, but he wanted none of my help (after it got going a little) and no advice from anyone. Finally, I set up to see a consumer credit advisor.. . no help there. I contacted a bankruptcy lawer. I took training to work from home as a transcriptionist in order to pay the $250 a month to clear us in 5 years. Then a "friend" told him just to "not worry" about paying this debt because it was "unsecured." Same "friend" also told him not to worry about paying taxes. So he did not for five years. After fighting about this (he would not let me even pay my taxes), finally (after we began receiving lien notices) he agreed that we should pay taxes and now all of our return goes to the IRS debt each year. Do you have the picture? His credit is ruined. The truck he drives (and will not let me drive) is in my name. The van I drive (which he also drives) is in my name. After hurricane Charley, I got a job as a teacher's aide, so now I have med insurance. After being told for years that I "could not" work full time; it would be too much for me, now I am encouraged to get up every morning at 5:00 a.m. and work 40 hours a week and take classes to finish my teaching degree. I do love this man, but lately I am so depressed, tired, etc. I do give him credit that he seems to be trying harder in some areas. He is kind and gentle. He does not smoke, drink, chase women. He doesn't call me names or be verbally abusive, but I just feel it is subtle, manipulative things. I almost left about 4 years ago, but made the choice to stay. I have not been the perfect wife. I have had a terrible time with a harsh tone in my voice and much emotional baggage myself. But I still wonder at times. What is so bad about me that he doesn't want to take better care of me? There is a vise grip on the faucet on the tub where it broke months ago. The last time it broke it took well over a year until he fixed it. Our water is full of iron or tannin or something that ruins clothes, dishes, etc. I mentioned that I wanted to go to counseling (for myself) he said he didn't think it was neccessary. Between my CFS, work, depression, taking care of all paying all the bills,etc. I feel overwhelmed. He does help with the housework and shopping. Am I wrong to feel like I do? Can anyone related? Please can someone offer some advice? I'm sorry this is so very long.

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Old 08-23-2008, 02:31 PM   #2
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Re: PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

You are not alone. My situation is not the same as yours, but some similarities. I have been married to my husband for 23 years and I love him and care for him, but I am not in love with him. My husband is a disabled veteran, we married in 1985 and was injured as a fireman in 1987 while in the Air Force, serving overseas in Korea (not the war). He has been in pain ever since. From 1987 to October of 2007 he has been on narcotic pain medication, this started out slow and progressed, from about 1995 on it was constant pain medication use. He totally needed it, we went to drs. did 2 surgeries, took care of him best I could and still am. But it is very difficult at times since I don't sense anything from him emotionally or have a connection with him that is needed in marriage (long story needed here, later). I am glad that I am a Christian and believe God has kept us together all this time, 'pain in the offering'. He is barely mobile right now, the VA just installed a ramp for his power chair and they are looking to help him where they can in his daily living. My husband has had control our whole marriage, if anything happens to him, I am going to be gun shy of any man walking into my life. However, I hope someday, I get to fall in love and live in a marriage that is like that. I wont leave him. We have two grown daughters (one I already had when we met and one together). Our youngest, 22 now is expecting and is 11 weeks along. She can't wait to give her father a grandchild and wants this to happen before he dies. I keep wanting to make sure he has enough benefits, support, durable medical equipment, a means to get around, just in case I die before him. I am going to be 45 in 10 days and he is 43. We are very young but this life has taken it toll, heavily taken its toll. I have wanted to get out and dance, I struggled for a long time not having a life. I am not out dancing and for right now I don't miss it as much. I have a small group of friends that know me and my situation, I am thankful for their involvement in my life, their support, encouragement and prayers, I don't know where I would be without them. Get support, here with me and other's but also in your community. Let people know where you are at and what is going on. Some will not care, but you will find these gems, that will love on you heart and soul, and that has made all the difference in my life. I wish I were the one that no matter what the circumstances, problems or hardships could hang in there ~ I didn't plan on this and I didn't marry him knowing full well what I know today. I had to get counseling for past childhood sexual abuse and a ton of other stuff. I have to continue pressing on with my issues, it does not just disappear, not ever. I now realize that I have lived in a passion-less marriage (for me, not him) for 23 years, wow that just now sounded very strong, but usually I think of how stupid I was. I was so devastated and my man came along in authority, it was different to me and I really went right along with him. I have to get ready for church, so I will right later. I am thinking about you.

Key: Get positive support and surround yourself with positive people, they are out there for you. talk to you soon.....G

Last edited by gwoman; 08-23-2008 at 02:37 PM. Reason: spelling

Old 08-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

I wish that I had some words of wisdom, but I don't. I do understand and can relate to both of you. I have been married for 10 years and I don't love my husband. He has been providing for me (sort of) while I've been taking care of our kids. My husband wanted me at home with the kids. He is not good with money, but is at the same time very controlling about it. We have been living above our means and now have a fairly large debt. Wrenegade, I understand your fear because my husband is 50 and I am 48 and we have no savings at all, only debts and no retirement plan. My husband has not been a kind husband. He has been fairly abusive for most of our marriage. Like you, I have not been a perfect wife.
Gwoman, I, too, hope to one day be in love and know what it is like to be married to somebody I love and who loves me.
One thing I have realized is that a marriage like ours takes its toll on one's health. I've head several health issues because of my marital stress.
Take care of yourselves and let me know how you are doing. I wish that I could give you some insight, but don't know what to say.

Last edited by negot; 08-23-2008 at 04:11 PM.

Old 08-24-2008, 01:48 AM   #4
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Re: PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

You are not wrong to feel that way, but it is impossible for you to feel good all the time.

May I ask you what made you give up leaving four years ago?

My impression is that your marriage might lack negotiation (trading-off?): the you-do-this-for-me-and-I-do-that-for-you thing. Maybe if you talk in terms of exchanges, he will begin doing things for you. I know, I know, it'd be a lot better if this came straight from his heart, but I can't think of any other way to have him do the things you need.

Having little money is a problem and so is living in an unhealthy climate. I understand his not liking the cold, for as we get older, due to a poorer circulation, the cold begins to affect us more. Maybe you could move to a place where the climate is temperate (not very hot, not very cold), but moving now would mean the loss of your job(s), right? Now that you are on the right way to fix your financial troubles.

It's good that he helps you with the chores. This is rare for men to do. But yours is an old marriage: it is somewhat natural for things not to be so intense at this point, even the fights are no longer so. LOL Maybe you should approach him with words of "Thank you for the things you do" (even if it is not enough yet), "I appreciate that you are trying hard here and there" (even if he is not the perfect husband), "I appreciate that you have endured me so far" (even if it is equally true in the opposition direction), etc... Don't let him think that you take him for granted.

Perhaps he takes you for granted, too. So, my advice is: don't try to be a superwoman. Do just as much as you are able to do. Rest as much as you need. Don't concentrate that much on your home, your house, your marriage problems. Find other things to do: books, new friends, charity, tai-chi (they often give free lesons, and it helps with back problems), whatever. If he wants to come along, fine. If not, do what needs to be done, and let's see if something changes over time.

Good luck.

Last edited by pendulum; 08-24-2008 at 01:50 AM.

Old 08-24-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: PLEASE help me; I need a fresh perspective. . struggling. .

You all are a true blessing. I was afraid that maybe someone from what I call the "I hate men" club would post trying to sympathize, and that kind of thing was really not what I wanted to hear. I have realized over the years that my husband does not hate or dislike me; he can be extremely kind and has gotten better with using loving words. I believe he is doing the best he can, but I think some men are just limited in their abilities to provide and/or be affectionate. I do thank God for what my husband does that is positive and I very, very frequently thank my husband and let him know that I do not take him for granted, much more than he ever tells me, but I am learning to accept that which I can not change.

Pendulum, I will try the compromise method you have suggested. He has seemed to be receptive to that in the past. He is wonderful about helping me with the housework and I realize how rare that is. I am working through a lot of emotional problems myself still and thank God at least things are better with us and could be much worse.

We only knew each other 2 months before we got married.

To answer the question why did I not leave four years ago. In May, I had decided to leave, but was still praying about it. I began to notice small improvements in our relationship. In August, Hurricane Charley came and swept away our Health Food Store which was a huge source of contention and a very poor source of income ($5,000 a year average profits). We pulled together after the storm to clean up the messes and one day when tempers were short, I snapped at some minor impatience on his part and said "I didn't HAVE to stay, you know." He grabbed both my hands, looked in my eyes, and said, "Just help me get through this." At that point, I felt at least I was needed and I just haven't found a good enough reason to leave yet. We are slowly working on trying to improve the condition of this trailer that we rent and live in. I am thinking of suggesting that I could move out until the water, mildew, and a/c situations are fixed. I just want a clean, comfortable home, not a mansion.
Anyway, I thank you all three for taking the time to really read my post and reply with good, sound advice and true sympathy. I will take the advice to heart and keep you in my prayers, too. It's good to know I am not alone and we can all hope together.

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