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Tragedy breaking us up?


seraphina

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Hey everyone

 

My husband and I have been married for 8 years, together for 9 and have been friends since school. Our relationship has always been good. I have a son from a previous relationship who will be 11 in three weeks. In Dec 06 my son suffered a serious brain injury when he was overdosed during an operation. The hospital has admitted all liability for this. My son has been left with severe mobility problems, blind and his cognitive abilities have also been very badly effected, leaving him essential toddler like. We have a child together, a daughter, who has just turn three, she was 8 months when the incident happened.

 

My husband has always been fairly 'child like' when it came to anything serious. However, with the very high needs of my son and also a toddler plus all the agencies and legal issues going on I had hoped he would realise that he needed to up his game. Unfortunately this has not happened. I am no so exasperated with my husband that I feel that I have lost all respect and love for him and feel he is just adding to stress not reliving it.

 

I have sat him down several times to ask for help and he responds by doing the laundry for a couple of weeks!

 

I am not ready to give up on this relationship so I have written this letter (below) and would really appreciate some input. I appreciate it is quite angry but I am angry and I want him to realise that.

 

Thanks

Seph

 

____________

 

I’m writing this because I really don’t know what else to do. I’m also writing because I hope you can read it and re read it and we can find a way together to sort this mess out.

 

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that I am pretty pissed off with life at the moment. Life is hard but the fact that our relationship is not standing up to the strain is making things all the much harder.

 

I really don’t feel like I have a partner in this situation. It feels like I have to support you too.

 

I feel let down. I didn’t expect you to be superman but I feel that you are completely lacking in taking any responsibility for anything at all, whether that be making a decision on what to have to for tea or more major issues such as money.

 

Help in the home

From time to time I tell you that I need more support and your response is to rush about doing more washing which you then leave in a huge pile somewhere in the house, usually only partly dry because the dryer doesn’t dry it completely. It infuriates me not because you are doing such a bad job at it but because you actually believe that is helping in someway. Why is there washing hanging up drying in the front room? Why would we want it drying there? Doing the washing is the easiest job in the house, the machine does all the hard work but you still seem to be able to mess it up.

 

When it comes to most other things in the home:

Cleaning, hovering, putting away, menu, budgeting, childcare, meetings, organisation, in fact pretty much everything – you are just not there. Why do you take things out of the dishwasher and just leave them? Why is there are vase of dead lilies outside in the garden? Why can’t you put things in the right place in the cupboard. It’s insulting to me to have spent weeks finding a place for everything when we moved only to have you throw things back in any old how. I do not want to spend 20 minutes looking for a shoe because you decided to just chuck it in the cupboard.

 

Listening

I just feel like you feel everything you have to say is really important but you don’t listen to anything I say. I tell you important things and you hardly ever remember them, but you will quite happily talk to me when I am trying to watch tv or trying to get things done on the laptop, interrupting me to tell me something you’ve already told me before like I wasn’t listening the first time or repeat some fact back to me that I told you like you invented it.

 

Stepping up to the mark

I feel that I have had to drastically change my life as the situation demands it. I’m drowning under the meetings, grief and day to day madness but still you expect me to do more. It’s time to step up to the mark and be more responsible. Throughout the entire 21/2 years I have to take on the responsibility of everything. I almost feel that you are totally blind to what needs doing.

 

If you secretly feel that you are not prepared to make changes because why should you its not your fault or son so you are resisting it then that’s fine but be honest. If you want to leave then go don’t wait for me to chuck you out –it feels sometimes that you are behaving this way because you want me tell you to go so you don’t have to be the bad guy.

 

Sex

I miss the closeness of our relationship but I am so angry with you that I don’t want to kiss you or be intimate with you. Think of it like this. You are working really hard for your boss, but he decides that he can’t give you pay rise because the current financial climate doesn’t allow it, but you know this is not true. Your annoyed, you feel like you are being taking advantage of. You can’t tell him to stick his job because there are no other jobs. Your pretty angry with him as the situation goes on and on and he wants you to do more and more. Then he turns around and invites you out for a drink – would you really want to go? Would you really want to be all mates with him over a pint? Probably not. Until you can resolve the issues between you about expectations on both sides the likelihood is you are both going to feel resentful.

 

 

I think this is our major problem – my expectations are not being met at all and it’s making me angry and I don’t feel able to lower my expectations because I don’t feel they are unreasonable.

 

So what are my expectations?

 

I expect you to understand what is being done and what is going on in the house (day to day running and meetings) and suggest ways you can help.

 

I expect that if you are going to take responsibility for a household chore that you do it properly and routinely in a way that is helpful.

 

I expect you to take a 50% share in the finances and not expect me to do it all. I also expect you to follow the course of action we agreed on over finances and not carry on spending money we don't have.

 

I expect you to take the lead in sorting some things out in the house and not wait until I either do it or nag you to do it (ie, ensuite bathroom).

 

I expect you to answer the above telling me how you feel about these expectations and what you are going to do.

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Yikes...DON"T GIVE HIM THIS LETTER....as written it WON'T give you the desired result. I would suggest that you draft a letter explaining how tired you are, how difficult this has been on you, how you desperately need help from him because you are finding it too difficult to cope. Instead of criticizing the botched up jobs he is doing why not just make a list of the things you need help with and how the tasks need to be done. Frame this letter from the perspective of how overwhelming all of this is to you. Thank him for the help he is trying to give and for being there for you regarding your son. In other words, the tone of the letter needs to be about how YOU are feeling overwhelmed rather than everything he is doing wrong. If you want to re-draft the letter in that way I would be happy to have a look and make suggestions. Please feel free to PM me.

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i wouldn't send the letter either.

 

imo instead of writing this letter - which sounds like a mother scolding a child and since he feels that doing laundry is doing his share- be specific about what needs to be done- discuss or give him a specific list of things that need to be done.

 

 

Bob, i need for you to put the laundry in the washing machine- put them in the dryer- make sure they are dry and then fold them and put them away.

 

i also need for you to unload the dishwasher and put the dishes away- after that put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

 

I am going to be cleaning the tub and then i'm taking johnny to a dr appt-

 

or vice versa- bob, i need you to take susie to her dentist apt and then take her to day care..

 

from what i understand the more specific you are the better.- no passive aggressive - non specified ..i need your help- give him specifics.

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I would not send that letter for the same reasons.

 

And you should not be telling him what you need him to do - be careful that doesn't backfire on you. He might tell you what he needs you to do and what your jobs should be.

 

Instead of being so confrontational and degrading to him I think you should enlist him not as a helper to be told what his duties and responsibilities are but as an equal partner who not only takes on his fair share of the chores but also takes on his fair-share of the decision making.

 

You are coming accross as 'the boss' who is in charge of the house, the children and of him - and that won't work. You know this because it isn't working. So try something different.

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Yes, agreed. Just don't ask for help, he'll just do the laundry like he always does. Tell him to do the dishes and put them where they belong, take a kid to whatever appointment needed, specific stuff. 100% agree with the posts above.

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I strongly disagree that you should tell him to do anything. He is a man not a servant or a child to take orders from a boss and part of this problem could well be that he is rebelling at that role you have been placing him in already.

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I strongly disagree that you should tell him to do anything. He is a man not a servant or a child to take orders from a boss and part of this problem could well be that he is rebelling at that role you have been placing him in already.

 

i agree but if he "thinks" doing the laundry is leaving wet clothes in a pile on the floor- its obvious he doesn't know the steps it takes to run a household- so yes you have to be very specific.

 

maybe not "assign" him jobs but tell him what needs to be done and then let him choose- but she definitely needs to be specific as to what needs to be done and what constitutes as "done".

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I agree with everything here, but I would make one little change. In terms of the household chores I would:

1. Write out everything you do around the said

2. Highlight the duties you need help with

3. Negotiate with him which ones he can do and when he can complete them

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The best thing to do is to negotiate as equals. First get him to agree that he has a responsibility to take on his fair share - not as a helper but as a partner. Then you negotiate the details. Don't be 'telling' him anything nor should he 'tell' you anything.

 

Agree on what chores need to be done and when. Write them down. Make sure you include everything including yard-work, oil changes, diaper changes etc. Then take turns picking who does what. Flip a coin to determine who goes first. See if any chores can be made easier by doing them together (making the beds for example)

 

But be cooperative with each other - and pick up the slack if circumstances mean that a chore has to be left because something unforeseen comes up.

 

And do not critique each other in the way that the chores are done.

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for all the feedback.

 

if i take all the comments on board it seems to be saying don't tell him what to do. I never have. I didn't ask him to do the washing that was what he chose to do.

 

The problem is that if I don't tell him he is happy to leave absolutely everything to me and I cannot cope. My doctor wanted to admit me to hospital recently as I am unable to continue under the immense pressure I am under. I took my husband to that appointment with me so he could hear first hand just how desperate I am. I went away for a week to relatives for a break although I had the children with me as hub has to work and when I got back he had done nothing - yes nothing at all. He had been to the shops and bought one meal for the night I got back with the kids meaning I had to take both kids to do a weekly shop the next day.

 

Previously I have drawn up a list of all the stuff that needs doing and asked him to choose - no effect. I've kept a weekly diary to show him how much I am having to do and show how much I need help - no effect. I've directly asked him to do stuff in the house - no effect. I've told him if he doesn't change I'll kick him out - no effect. Arrghh!!!

 

I know I'm ranting now (sorry) but if I can't tell him what to do and if he hasn't got the common sense to figure it out where does that leave us????

 

I think he should be adult enough to see what needs to be done and blinkin pitch in! If he doesn't want to be treated like a child perhaps he should not behave like one!

 

Can you hear the frustration!

 

Seph

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Hey everyone

 

 

 

My husband has always been fairly 'child like' when it came to anything serious. However, with the very high needs of my son and also a toddler plus all the agencies and legal issues going on I had hoped he would realise that he needed to up his game. Unfortunately this has not happened. I am no so exasperated with my husband that I feel that I have lost all respect and love for him and feel he is just adding to stress not reliving it.

 

I have sat him down several times to ask for help and he responds by doing the laundry for a couple of weeks!

 

Seraphina, I really understand your frustration, and have personally felt it as I was reading your post. However, I would like to point somethings out, which would help you deal with your specific problem.

 

Your husband is being who he has always been, nothing's changed. (This, however does not make it right). There is evidence that no amount of pointing out what he has to do will change him.

 

You also suspect that he is deliberately not being helpful because he wants an easy way out. If that is the case, then no amount of venting is going to change him.

 

I do not believe that spelling out what needs to be done in the house is going to change the situation. What you need from him is "wanting" to take responsibility for what needs to be done in the household.

 

I am more than certain that he's aware of all that needs to be done to keep your household running, but he is just not willing to do so, whatever his reason is.

 

Personally, I would suggest that you get to the bottom of what he really wants. Arrange a meeting with him, calmly pointing out how running the household by yourself is affecting you (which he's already aware of). Then ask him whether he is willing to step up to the plate, if yes, work together through a list of things that need to be done. If he does not deliver on his promises, like doing half-cooked jobs, then you can decide whether you want to stay in the marriage and single-handedly run the household or not.

 

But like everyone else, I dont believe you should give him the letter.

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Maybe I will suggest some kind of counseling on the basis that we have been through so much and our roles have changed to much because of what happened that we have got lost somewhere as a couple.

 

That takes the focus of me and my gripes and makes it more of a couple issue.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Seph

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Hi Seraphina,

 

Many things can break a marriage one of which for you is obviously caused by the tragic circumstance of your son. The pressure builds and before you know it you have drifted apart. I would say you are both suffering deeply in this and everyone deals with tragedy in different ways so maybe your husbands way of dealing maybe seeming to leave you with the majority of the works and care but this could just be his only way of dealing with it.

 

If it's at all possible could you not sit down with each other and try to talk honestly without either one accusing the other of things and express your feelings to each other in a calm and logical way and at least then you will both have a clear idea how the other is feeling and coping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe I will suggest some kind of counseling on the basis that we have been through so much and our roles have changed to much because of what happened that we have got lost somewhere as a couple.

 

That takes the focus of me and my gripes and makes it more of a couple issue.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Seph

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