Financial Woes From Marrying A Child

I was 34 when I married him with a masters degree and one bad marriage under my belt already. You would think all those factors would have kept me from making the mistake of marrying him, but they didn't. We have two beautiful daughters, 15 and 18, the two reasons I stayed in the marriage for 20 years. I couldn't bear the thought of having them every other weekend and some holidays, not to mention having a person like the woman he had an affair with raising them part time. So I stayed.
The issue: he does not and never has taken care of anything. He is in construction, and works, in a good year, about 6 months per year. He has never taken care of his business, his vehicle, himself, his bank account, his daughters or his wife as long as I've known him. His truck barely runs as no maintenance has ever been done on it. He is $20,000 into overdraft, and he is about 75 pounds overweight. His daughters are embarrassed at how he watches TV or sits at the computer playing video games or researching the latest local soccer talents instead of working. Sometimes he doesn't move for hours and he never helps around the house, whether it's taking out trash, putting his dirty clothes in the laundry or starting dinner when he hasn't worked all day. He hasn't attended a parent teacher conference in years, has no idea who their friends are and doesn't connect with them on any level except for sports. He is unaffectionate with me, accuses me of anything from causing it to rain on his concrete pours to keeping him from finishing college, even though I met him years after he had dropped out. Nothing is ever his responsibility.
He spends money we don't have, erupts when he's told there's college and bills to be taken care of and accuses me of being a controlling *****. If there's a daytime soccer game, he takes the day off of work. As a result, we're further in debt than I ever dreamed, with little hope of escape. When told we can't afford a trip to his home state because it would involve spending money we didn't have as well as keeping him from earning money due to days off in the summer, his most productive time, he erupts again and accuses me of keeping the girls away from his family. To him, money doesn't matter. He wants something, and wants it now without taking into account how it affects his family and their well being. His whole life is about withdrawing, but never depositing.
He only cares about the girls from a sports standpoint, obsessing on their soccer and track successes. The girls have said that he wouldn't even talk to them if they weren't in sports. If I try to tell him this, he accuses me of tainting the kids' perception of him and turning them into "me". If one of the girls tries to communicate with him, it becomes a long tirade of how unappreciative they are and that they are *******, just like their mother. It doesn't occur to him that he has no relationship with them other than discussing their sports achievements. And heaven help them if they have a bad game or their mile times fall off. I can't imagine why they haven't quit their teams just to escape the admonishment.
I make the house payment, my car payment, groceries, have been the sole contributor to the college funds (which he spent $3,000 of last year to cover bills) and almost everything else they need on a teacher's salary. I also get big bucks taken out of my check for taxes, yet he always gets the refund check. His job is to pay utilities, his truck payment and the second mortgage. He insisted on an home addition that we couldn't afford, and now the house is only partially finished after 5 years. Probably a pretty tough sell in today's market. I can't afford to pay him off, yet I know that I'm already stretched too thin paying the bills I am paying. So I can't afford the place alone. I feel like I'm forced to live with a spoiled child who pouts or yells whenever he hears something he doesn't want to hear, whether it's about his relationship with his teenage daughters or the need to buckle down and earn money. I'm constantly on eggshells, trying not to say anything to set him off, yet frustrated about how bills are going to be paid if he's never going to be responsible for his share of the expenses. I also hate how our daughters must see our relationship and worry how they will ever have a strong relationship with a male if all they see is dysfunction in the home. I'm so worried they will end up the way I have. Or worse.
colettelanglois colettelanglois
51-55, F
6 Responses Jul 26, 2010

Good luck to you and best wishes to you and your daughters.. yes you are right different circumstances call for different and individual approaches... I offer my apologies for my harsh words..Ultimately we do the best we can with what we have..Having been in the social services environment and seeing the kinds of abuse subjected to children because women felt it best to maintain a two parent family - though it is to do with our society to maintain the family unit. Yes, it frustrates me and coloured my comments.<br />
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Thank you for your reply and again my best wishes to you and well done for all that you did for your family.

Tailor, John and Wisiwig -<br />
Thanks for your comments, although a bit belated. I appreciate everything the three of you wrote.<br />
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John-- You're kind and insightful. Yep, I've given a great deal of thought as to my part in the mess, and it's considerable. I believe the biggest part of the issue is who I'm attracted to in the first place and what I do about it. Regardless, your comments were helpful and inspiring. The wheels are in motion, and I'm hopeful that I'm looking at a 2 year plan rather than 5 years. Thanks for the careful words that tried to help without hurting. Much appreciated.<br />
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Tailor -- You're harsh but truthful and I admire that. I can take the criticism -- it's fine. It sounds like you've had a rough road as well and done what was best for you and your son. Well done. I'm also glad to hear that it's all turning out for you. You are tough and persistent and I admire your strength.<br />
Keep in mind that different situations warrant different game plans, and we all try to do our best for our kids. While the girls' situation isn't ideal, I'm so lucky we're close and can talk openly with each other about it. I read once that kids can survive quite nicely if they have just one good parent and I think I've at least managed that. We're all pretty good with the "try not to do what I did" scenario.<br />
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Wisiwig- Short and sweet is sometimes the best. Your words brought tears to my eyes, and I took them to heart. You may never know how much strength they provided. Thank you!

Jonole37, my bad. You already made your comment, I should read before I write - well along with wisiwig well said. Perhapes I should exercise caution before writing as you have so clearly done.

I guess I don't. But then is that all you have to add.. how about making a comment to colettelanglois instead. The life colettelanglois has lived and is living is one I can relate to. I lived it for 16 years and add on that the physical abuse. colettelanglois deserves better.

Jonole37 says it well. Look forward not back. You have it within you to make the changes. Plan, decided and do. Be the strong, intellegent woman you are and make plans for the rest of your life that do not include him. You can do this Look for advice it's all here somewhere. All the best with your future. Make it happen for you and the girls.

This will seem harsh. But, enough with the excuses and start living your life. Staying in this farce of a marriage has not ruined your life but that of your daughters - in terms of patterning their life after you or a husband like their father. <br />
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It frustrates me when women use children as a reason to stay in a marriage.. you end up ruining their lives along with yours. You are basically living on your own with three children including your husband. You know yourself the type of life you have subjected your daughters to all these years.<br />
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Are you going to continue to live the rest of your life with pathetic spoilt child which you have helped create? The thing is he is never going to change. Why should he? He has it good, you are his mother and wife - though more parent than anything else.<br />
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Look at moving on with your life and that of your two daughters. He doesn't deserve you. You don' t deserve a life like this nor do your daughters. You have worked hard and you need someone who will love you for the wonderful woman that you are. Treasure you and help you reach your true potential.<br />
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I left my son's father when he was one, because as far as I could see it, he was never going to change. I didnt want my son growing up to be like his father and put another woman through the hell I went through with him already. That was a 16 year relationship. However, I didnt stop my son having a relationship with his father. He poisoned my son against me..yes, things were tough, being a single parent and strugging on your own to pay bills and put food on the table. But you make it and it gets easier. My life could have easily been yours. I made the choice for myself and my son. It is never too late. I will be getting married for the first time later this year to a wonderful person. <br />
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Hugs and best wishes to you.