My Life As A Single Mom

Last year, the deal was if one person took our son to school, the other person would get him dressed. Even after I was no longer working and taking him to school every day, he would still get him dressed.

This has stopped without discussion. He sits there doing nothing while I'm running around trying to get my son ready. Get him out of bed. Get him dressed. Get him out the door and off to school.

In a few weeks I'm volunteering at a big week-long conference. It's a huge networking opportunity for me as well as free attendance to useful sessions. He's been on me to start work again and I want to! But I had to negotiate hard for him to do two pickups and FORGET drop-offs, since he usually lies about until 10 and rarely leaves the house before noon. He told me had arranged so that he could pick up our son at 5 most days. But that i wasn't to 'exploit' that.

He's never sat down with our son and done homework. He's never been out to see regular weekend sport, never mind get him ready and take him. He's never taken him to a museum. He's declined opportunities to come along with us to museums and amusement parks. He now barely sees him on Sundays since we're out doing sport in the morning and in the afternoon he goes to one of his Dungeons and Dragons groups.

It's true it's a lot easier to just walk out of the house when he's upstairs, but his method of childcare is to be on his computer upstairs while my son watches tv downstairs.

I'm not doing EVERYTHING, but I'm doing the vast majority of stuff. He's implied that unless I 'act like a real wife' - i.e. return to the marital bed he won't even do the small share of stuff he did when I was working full time. So basically all that I'm doing now, plus working full time, too. Note that there was no mention of 'sex' - though he probably does want to resume his normal. A few times a year of bad sex in which he doesn't want me to move during foreplay.

So basically I'm a single mom. Except if were a single mom I wouldn't have someone criticising the way I make a sandwich or put on socks or undermining my decisions constantly in front of my son.
elkclan elkclan
41-45, F
13 Responses Sep 14, 2012

Would love to chat!

It really shows his colors that he would deny his son as a punishment to you. That's just f***ing horrifying!

Are you sure staying with him is the best thing for your son? We know it's not best for you.

I think getting yourself back to work will give you some options you may have not considered. That's your ticket out and the sooner the better. You are a hero of many here...just take good care of yourself.

See this seems minor compared to when he was a baby and I begged him to watch him so I could take a shower on my own. Husband's response? To tell our infant son over and over again "Your mother's abandoning you." Even when the temp goes down, you're still a boiled frog.

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I have been there and done that with my ex before I had enough. I was mother and father. I would do boy stuff with my son and girl stuff with my daughter and would do things they both could enjoy. I diddnt know much about the girl stuff but with help from other mothers giving me advice it helped me alot. I know its easier said than done but you need to leave your husband. I stayed in a sexless controlling marriage for 28 years for the kids and believe it or not the kids know we were both unhappy and it did more damage to them seeing us that way. Sounds like you are in a never ending battle . Get out while you can!!

I remember speaking the same experiences 10 years ago, and my now ex-husband saying the same things to me. He too, was a "gamer" online. His favorite, still to this day, World of Warcraft. I found an online discussion group called "World of Warcraft Widows". I thought, "How bizarre, what kind of group is that?" You can imagine, I'm sure. These spouses (it turned out to be any spouse, either husband or wife, who was married to a gamer) sharing their tragic stories of what it was like being married to someone with an addiction to online gaming. You might benefit finding and participating in a discussion group of this kind. It helped me. I too, couldn't fathom, not even consider, a divorce, over what seemed like something so benign, so innocuous, as an online gaming addiction. What it does for you, is begin to open your eyes to the real psychosis bubbling underneath.

His immersion into game world is something that comes and goes. It's very, very bad right now. I estimate 40-60 hours a week. But even when he's not doing all the gaming, he's still a jerk. He's been a jerk since our son was born. Something flipped in him. He wasn't great before, but then he got really bad.

You could have been divorced by now.

Chai made an interesting point earlier today about persons who have left. It was something along the lines - "I've not heard anyone who got out saying "I wish I'd stayed another 6 months - 3 years - whatever"

Well **** me !!! Really ??????????????????????

Not six months ago, but a year ago sure. But I was still too shocked by his failure to cooperate, I couldn't QUITE believe it. Now I get it.

Good luck on getting out ASAP.

A therapist once told me that it is better to live alone by choice then to live in a marriage and feel lonely. Not only are you lonely but your son is lonely as his father is not living up to being a father and demeans you in his actions. Your son is learning how to be a man by seeing his mother put down and he may grow up to repeat his father's actions towards you with his female partner.

Make a plan to leave this man for he is neither a husband or a father. You will be better off and so will your son. Peace,D

What does the lawyer say? Have you consulted a family law attorney and given him/her the full facts of your situation? Please, please be sure you know exactly what is in YOUR best interests as you progress towards the end. {{{hugs}}}

Let me get your story straight:

* You both used to work and share responsibilities with the kids.
* You aren't employed any more, so your H would like to assume traditional roles.
* Spending time with the children is very important to you and your H doesn't do enough.
* You've left the bedroom and refused sex.
* Your H has retaliated by refusing to do things that you find important , like spending time with kids or helping with chores

Now, the kids are center stage for a control and power struggle in the marriage. Yikes! Did I miss anything?

Is there any chance to talk about what you both want, or has the level of resentment risen too high? Whether you are together or separated, you'll want to find a way to resolve your differences away from the kids. They need to see a consistent message on matters which affect them.

I haven't refused sex. It hasn't been asked for. I told him very plainly that it was too painful to be in the same bed and not have sex. I was sick of the frustration. We have a long history of him refusing - classic refusing.

I worked full time and he did very little. He's doing a lot less - some of that's fair enough - but I very much doubt he'll step back up to the minimal level he was doing before. I'm actively looking for work now and he's made it clear he's not willing to act as a partner. It's very likely I'll be earning more money than him and have a much higher work load when I do go back - as it was before I stopped working. As to the fun stuff - I'd expect him to want to come out and spend time fun time with his son, but that's his decision. I'm very disappointed for our son.
I would love to resolve differences, but so far our method of conflict resolution has been him bullying and me giving in or just going around him. I don't think that's a healthy model either.

You missed the parts where her H refuses to have sex with HER, is an abusive a$$hole to HER and the kid, and that's about it AFAIK...

Note that you do NOT want to be saddled with alimony, it may make sense to get out BEFORE you make more money than him....

That's just what I'll have to do. I'll ensure any financial settlement has a penalty for reneging on childcare arrangements, if possible.

I don't think I can get him out. It's plainly unaffordable now. I also need to work. Can't stand that kind of out-going without incoming. But I also think I'll be ok as the custodial parent.

2 More Responses

Can totally relate to the "can't rely on him" factor, although mine LIKES being around the kids, but only to play, not to be responsible (make lunches, drive them in, etc - I fought for YEARS to get him to drop the kids off in the a.m., but he refused outright until he got off on sick leave and had nothing else to do all day and it became impossible for me at the same time).

Now - I KNOW it would be easier to hire a babysitter and a student to clean my house, so that's what I'm doing. I'm at school while the kids are at daycare; I am hiring a student to do jobs around the house; I'll be working part-time starting next month at $14/h to pay the student $10/h - seems worth it to me right now.

elkclan, consider kicking him out and hiring support for yourself - nanny, cleaner, etc. - or carpool with another parent.

OH and you can probably already relate to my story about trying to get my mom to babysit one time - she showed up, got upset at something my 6-y-old said about "not wanting to be with grandma", and stormed out of my house in a huff, leaving me with no support just before an important meeting.

These guys don't understand that if they don't like the way the sandwich looks, they are more than welcome to make it themselves, and until they do they have no right to complain; that they get a say in the decisions when they actually participate in that particular parental activity. I can tell you from experience that even with an engraved invitation, engagement can be difficult.

Such a disconnect these guys exhibit. My own H is ready with the sweet words about how he supports whatever I do, that if I go back to work, we'll find a way to make it all work out. Sure, it'll work out. After he forgets everything we plan, a number of crises occur setting back the offspring in key ways, and using offspring as a pawn in brinksmanship. Harumph! At least said offspring is poised to spring off . . .

I tried to do freelance consultancy. He encouraged me to do so. I was VERY clear about what that would entail and the flexibility I would need. He reneged on almost everything and left me high and dry on a couple of occasions.

He won't do that either. He makes a middling income as a lecturer. Which is fine. But he's not willing to do more work at work. Besides, the full financial support thing is a clear ticket to being less employable and less valuable down the line. I want out! You can't get money where there isn't. We live in the most expensive city in the world, so I need to earn to get out.

wow... first out the chute, he is missing out on two of the best things in this human existence, the love and companionship of a loving spouse, and the love and companionship of a child... the time i have spent with my kids, horsing around, helping with school work, doing and observing sports (my son is very active in football...) and having them help me (sometimes begrudgingly!) around the house is something precious and neither i nor they would trade for anything in this world... your spouse, like mine, seems to have forgotten what a marriage is all about and how easily it is poisoned... we all can find a room mate, someone with whom to simply split tasks, and chat with periodically, but that is not what a marriage is supposed to be..

i am sure you will get all sorts of advice on what to do from folks (lots of throw him out!) and only you can tell when and where to take steps like that, but just wanted to say that i feel for you, and understand what you are going thru...

I remember this scenario oh so well sister E. I won't go into the detail, but I often felt like a single Dad. Mainly in fact, because I more or less was.

Tread your own path.