I Was Hoping Things Would Change...

I've put off finding a site/forum like this, because I never wanted to admit that I was in a situation that I didn't know how to mitigate or make better. But, I'm now willing to take some constructive criticism and receive some sound advice.

My husband and I have been married for four years now. We met while I was in the Air Force, and were married four months after we met. While I understand that some folks might think this was rushed, I knew in my heart that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with - and I still feel this way. However, we've hit some bumps in the road.

Because I feel that this might have had some impact, I need to share some of my husband's background. His parents were divorced when he was 14 years old (father got custody), and when his mother decided to take time out of her new-found freedom and partying ways, she'd stop by for a quick 10-minute visit. To sum it up, after the divorce, my husband's mother wasn't in the picture very often again until his mid-20s. Therefore, he had to deal with a very demanding father who demanded excellence - nothing wrong with this necessarily, unless you factor in that my husband couldn't do ANYTHING right which would satisfy his father. My husband ended up turning to drugs when he was 15 years old, and didn't get clean again until seven years later. As a matter of fact, I was with him through his methadone withdrawal - being with me convinced him to become clean entirely. I trust my husband completely when it comes to staying sober. I have no doubt that he won't use again. However, I believe that the seven years that he was an addict changed him completely, and hindered the normal growth in maturity that he SHOULD have been experiencing during that timeframe. They say that whatever age you started using drugs is the age (mentally) that you'll be and act when you finally get clean. I absolutely believe this to be true.

My husband is in landscaping, so work isn't always 100% steady - whether it's due to snow or rain. We moved to a different state after my job relocated in 2011, and he is JUST now working a steady job after almost a year and a half. Yes, the economy is rough. It's even rougher when you don't look for a job in the first place. I would spend so much time asking him to job hunt, which would result in him getting angry with me because I was "nagging". When he would look, it would be on Craigslist, or some other site equally as easy to search...I come from a background of "do what you gotta do to survive". If he couldn't find anything online, it was an "oh well" situation, and that would be the end of that. So, on top of my full-time job, I decided to go back to school full-time...one of the reasons is because with my G.I. Bill from the military, I qualified for a housing allowance by taking 12 or more credits. Both working and going to school full-time is a lot of work - made even more difficult when you have several disc herniations and compressions in your back, like I do. The only reason that he found his current job is because I angrily confronted him one day, and said that he needed to be searching for a job...every...single...day. Why should I have had to push him to do this though? Isn't it an adult responsibility, to find a job and to take care of your family? His lack of concern with this has forever seeded some resentment inside of me.

The bottom line here is that I feel alone. I work, go to school, pay all of the bills, take care of our dogs and keep the house clean. We don't have kids yet (thank god), but I can imagine taking care of them would be all on me too. Before anyone advises that I hand things over to him, let me mention that I have tried this. My husband procrastinates beyond belief - I'll ask him to do the dishes after dinner (that I cooked) one evening, and he'll say "alright, I'll do them before bed". Two days later, they're still sitting there. I can only go on for so long before I take care of it out of hygienic necessity! He'll sit in front of the TV playing his video games, and god forbid I try talking to him or saying something while he's playing - I'll get screamed at as a response. We've addressed this issue, and he is trying to work on it, I'll give him that. I grew up in a household where high/angry octave was all my father knew - to hear this coming from my husband causes me to immediately withdrawal. My husband seems to have a lot of anger - an event that might cause someone to react "normally" isn't the case with my husband. A perfect example is if I put his dirty towel in the hamper for ME to throw in the laundry, and forget to put a new one in the bathroom for him. Instead of kindly asking me to grab him one, he throws a complete FIT and gets angry at me. He'll yell, "COME ON! Are you effin KIDDING ME?!?!" or something to that effect.

I've made life so completely easy on him - I'm to the point now where I just handle all of the housework (when my back allows), but the one thing I absolutely REFUSE to do is to take care of his cat - his sole job now is to clean the litter box. Every Saturday, I'll ask him, nicely, to scoop out the litter. His response, short-tempered, is "Okayyyy babe"...like I had already asked him a million times to do this. So, I won't say anything...and the litter will sit. And sit. And sit. And by that time, it's now the following Saturday and it's still not done. It's things like this that cause me to eventually blow a gasket and lose my temper with him over the slightest thing, and then he doesn't know where it's coming from. If I ask him more than once to do something...over a several hour period, I'm now "nagging". I'm so frustrated, and don't know what to do. When he wasn't working, it was even worse...I'd clean the house over the weekend, and come Monday when I'd get home after work, he'd be sitting in front of the TV and the house would be a mess. Something as simple as throwing away paper plates/water bottles is beyond him. I'd come home to a sink full of dishes and overflowing garbage. I began making a chore list for him (which he suggested), and more often than not, those specific chores would be on there. So what's the point then?

My husband can be completely confusing in his anger. Now that he has started a new job, I'm the one that has to alter my morning schedule around that. Keep in mind that we have two bathrooms - one is in the master bathroom. Well, I woke up at 6:30am one day last week, and he had woken up at 6:00am. He was sitting on the couch when I woke up, as it takes him a half hour or so to wake up. That's understandable. What isn't understandable is what happened next. I go to the master bathroom and start getting ready...he comes in to do the same. I patiently wait for him to get done. He then asks me to "get out". I said "you know I have to take a shower this morning". He responds, "SO DO I!! I have to leave for work in 20 minutes!!!" And it somehow turned in to my fault, and he threw a complete temper tantrum. Now, we don't use the shower in our other bathroom because the shower head offers no water pressure...but he had also just taken a shower before bed eight hours before! I patiently reminded him that he had already been up for a half hour, and why is he now waiting until I'm up to take a shower? His response was, "It doesn't matter!! You KNOW it takes me a half hour to get up in the morning!!" Andddd of course, I lost my temper. My feeling is, why the hell am I being screamed at?!?!? He's acted like a huge baby in the mornings before, but nothing like this.

I'm always concerned about money, and the lack thereof. I asked him one night if he felt bad about the fact that I have to work and go to school full-time to support us (this is a bitter subject for me), and his response was, "Well it sucks, but I don't feel bad because it's not my fault". For some reason, this really upset me. I felt like I was giving it 110%, and he wasn't even trying. Isn't marriage 50/50? It sure isn't with mine. I asked him once if he'd take over the bills for me, and he said "Sure, fine. If you want them to not get paid, go ahead"...he's so absent-minded that I believe him.

My husband is also completely selfish, without even realizing it. I got a brand new car last year, and he constantly wanted to drive it everywhere. Now, mind you, I'm not selfish in the slightest - however, it was MY new car...a car that only takes premium gas, at that. He had the spare key, and would just get in and drive it everywhere he went, without even letting me know. He went to drive my car to his friend's house one night and I said "No, you can take your truck". And he absolutely exploded at me, and said I was the most selfish person he'd ever met in his life. Are you kidding me? He's like this with everything - I'll get something brand new, and he commandeers it. He has realized that he does this, and has no clue why. What is mine, becomes his.

I understand that people may not think our problems are as significant as others...however, there's much more to the story, but I don't want to bore everyone. I basically just need some guidance. I feel like I've tried just about everything, and can't get that 50% out of him that's needed in a marriage. He knows how back-breaking house work is for me - literally - because of my back problems. There's nothing more frustrating that spending a half hour cleaning the bathroom, and then going in later that afternoon to find that he's cut his hair over the sink and has left most of it everywhere. Things like this are adding up. I feel that the fact that he was able to do as he pleased when he was younger, including the absence of his mother, has encouraged the laziness and lack of respect for others. I just don't know how to mitigate this...notice I didn't say "change" my husband, because I would never want to change someone, especially since I know it's not possible. What scares me is that his mother once told me that the reason she divorced my husband's father was due to his procrastination. I think something else that bothers me is that if and when it benefits my husband, it somehow gets done immediately. Installing his new car stereo? Within two days. Installing my stereo in my old Jeep? Still in the box, and stayed in the box until I sold my Jeep last year. We had the equipment for 11 months. My new car? He turned the wheel too sharply and hit the curb when he tried to pull into a parking spot...this has left my rim pretty badly scratched up (and I have a brand new Camaro - of course I'm ticked off). He bought sandpaper to fix it last June...that was almost a year ago, and it's still not fixed. When I asked him when he was fixing it, back in February, his response was, "Yeah babe, it's not warm enough yet". When I asked him two weeks ago, his response was, "Oh okay, I guess I'll just quit my job so I have time to fix your wheel". It's almost like he COMPLETELY negates all responsibility. If I had done that to his truck, I'd get it fixed immediately - I'd feel so guilty!

I'm sorry for the length of this "complaint", if you will, but it's been a long time coming. I guess the bottom line is that I've spoken to him about how I feel, and he doesn't realize he's like this. So, when he's made "aware", nothing is ever altered. I'm at my boiling point. I've been patient, I've been kind, but I need a new way to show some tough love. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I feel disrespected, and feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders...and possibly like I already have a child. Thanks in advance!

MissE1984 MissE1984
26-30, F
2 Responses May 18, 2012

Why are you still with him? You dont have a kid which makes it easier. Find a better guy or better yet be happy living your independence.

I am so sorry! I can relate to some of this situation. I had a similar issue with my husband a few years ago and I could not get him to pay attention when I tried to discuss it. I finally told him he was going to counseling with me or I was done. When we sat down in her office, the therapist asked him first why he thought he was there. His response was "preventative maintenance." HA! When i explained that it was my last ditch effort to save things before I priced out a house with a mortgage I could afford and arranged joint custody for our children, his jaw hit the floor! He was mad, but it was the wake-up call he needed--because he knew I was dead serious. If you take a similar approach, be 100% prepared to act on it.