time for the dreaded D word?

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My wife and I have been married for four years. We are in our mid 20s. Since that fateful day 4 years ago, and in particular, the past year, things have been going down hill. My wife has gotten fat and lazy. We are homesteading, and she does little to nothing to help out, she is addicted to tv. I have tried to provide the best life for her and our 2 year old as I know how. I run a business in the warmer months, and it brings in 1000 dollars weekly to bi weekly. That affords my wife 8 months of free time, in which she doesnt have to work. But then, you would think, the homestead would have plenty of opportunity to grow. But it winds up: I dig and weed and plant and sow the garden. I take care of additions, buildings, house cleaning, cook my own meals (she only cooks for herself and our daughter). I ask for help, I work 60 hours a week when the business is running, and have to travel 3 days a week, but she can come with me (but doesnt). During the winter, she has to work a 30 hour a week job to help provide income. Thats when things really go down hill. If she vacumed once a month before, and did the dishes weekly, that drops to nil.. or nearly so. If she cooked for me once ever 3 days, that drops to monthly. I work during the winter, too, doing another home business, and this time, my daughter is inn tow. That leaves me to work 40 plus hours a week, watch the kid, and take care of everthing. I am up to my eyeballs in this. I got married for keeps. I have put up with: slips back into alcholism (her, not me) her entire family lived here, at various times, literally sponging off of me. None of them held jobs, all did drugs and drank extensively AT MY HOUSE despite my warnings. I have eventually thrown every last one of them out. One still lives near by (sponging off some one else) and my wife is always their personal chaffer (sho fur, however u spell it). She spends more time there than she does here. What in the heck did I do! My wife is not the same person I married. She was, then, helping (we build a huge barn for a neighbor right before the marriage, yet our barn was built by me alone) caring (she now curses extensively, has hit me, has hit me with the car, kicks things out of her way)... I met a homestead gal who went city. I am not a fighter, I dont argue unless its so important its silly (I shellfish up), But, and god I hate to say it, I hit her once. Hard. Socked her in the butt, and I felt AWFUL... I was mad because she was breaking the dishes again, because she didnt want to wash them. I am so afraid of being alone though. Im young, I dont want to be a miser for the next 25 years. I want(ed) to homestead with a partner. Is there anything I can do to get this girl: back to the way she was, back to being inspired, back to her helpful caring self!? Are there any tricks of the trade her, or is all lost? AA didnt work, and the only one hope I can have is maybe depression sesessions? But a shrink cant help someone who doesnt want to be helped, nor do I think I can get her to go to one. Help!

-- trying hard (nottoohappy@dontemailme.com), February 07, 2002


Well, you can't change her, bottom line. Don't even try because you will make yourself crazier than you already are. Go get help for you and your daughter. You can only change you, your mind, your way of seeing things. When you change maybe she will, maybe she won't but you will have a better grip on yourself and what is important to you. Most people go to counseling, AA, AAA, and any other forms of help groups or individual sessions to change the other person and it isn't going to happen. Only she can change herself and only you can change you.

Good luck! Susan

-- Susan In Minnesota (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), February 07, 2002.


-- Grizz in Western Marylaqnd!! (southerneagle@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

Wow, I'll have to think about what to suggest for a day or so. This is too important to just give you my "off the top" reaction. I can say that I agree with everything Susan said. Everyone, and every situation, is different. For me, I stuck it out for over 20 years in a much less than fulfilling relationship just for the sake of my daughters. In other words, my two lovely girls came first, and my life came second. Once they became "adults" was when I divorced. My only regret for waiting so long to divorce was not being able to provide them with good role models for what a married relationship should be like. I pray that my decision doesn't have an effect of them "settling for less" in their own future relationships. --Happy trails, CF

-- Cabin Fever (cabinfever_mn@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

In defense of my wife, I am not too keen on house work, though I tend to keep all the outside work up and running. She isnt much for projects and does feed the animals daily (bout 30 mins of work) where as I usually dont. I am addicted to cigs, thats my one hang up. I am also very (cheap) thrifty and count pennies and dont buy all the things that make her happy. No diamonds, scant jewelry, and a minimum of gagets. I can be stubborn. I withdraw when things arent going "my way." I get grouchy when the house is a disaster- which is often, and dont come out and say why i am mad. I hold anger for days, sometimes. I know thats not healthy. I tend to want to stand (hand and hand with a loved one) alone- friends who, at best, might be considered alterior in their motives sometimes, don't make my day. I either make a friend I can trully trust or dont make one at all- which accounts for my having no "guys" to hang with- I just havent found any who arent so totally engrossed in looking at the opposite sex (and remarking), or drinking heavily, or smokin dope that they are worthy of my friendship. My philosiphy on life changed, during the marriage, too. I went from wanting to make it rich to wanting just enough to pay the bills- subsistance farming, in a way. We wont get into the trivialities of Money and how it affects our relationship, suffice to say: the bills dont get paid if its left to her, nor does the house, its all spent, and I have to save the day by pulling money out of my magicians hat. But I wouldnt consider myself "good with money management" though I have gotten better since my young years of bachelor living. Two sides to every issue, but I have to believe, most of the stuff thats happening aint on me- my growth has been positive, for the most part.

-- Two sides to any issue. (nottoohappy@dontemailme.com), February 07, 2002.

Have you asked her what she wants out of life? What she expected when she married you? That might go a long way or starting a conversation that might improve the situation.

I divorced my ex mainly because he was so busy chasing a million dollars by 40, that he did not have time to sit down to one meal a week with daughter's and I. He gave me everything material, and nothing that mattered.

Ask her, you might be surprised.

Good luck and get marriage counciling if you can.


-- AngieM2 (ameininger@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

You sound really angry! Hmmmm! That's not good for a beginning or an ending. A bond of hate and anger can be stronger than a bond of love and respect. You need to get yourself in a different frame of mind and get help for you, before you do something you might later regret. No one can take advantage of you if you don't let them. Feeling sorry for yourself and getting angry about it is counter productive.


-- Susan in Minnesota (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), February 07, 2002.

This woman is sick. She needs HELP - medical and mental. Being "lazy" like that is a symtom of serious illness. If she won't go for help, then you must, even if by yourself. Or leave. Don't leave without the child tho, that's abandonment. I am so sorry and hope things get better.

-- Susan in Northern Michigan (cobwoman@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

Trying hard, Okay, if you want to stay married to this woman perhaps you need to tell her what you told us. If you can't talk it out, it won't work. Is there still love? Is there affection? Is there a chance for compromise? there is nothing wrong with letting her have a few frills. A lot of ladies need them to feel good about themselves. Not everyone is like me and gets excited over finding a Bizy Liz strainer or getting a new buck or having the pasture fenced. Even I like getting a new ring or silver chain. so talk to her and go to a marriage counselor, if that doesn't work at least you know you tried to work it out. Good luck and may God bless.

-- Karen Mauk (kansashobbit@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

To answer a few of the questions. Yes, I am angry. I think that I deserve better treatment. Also playing into this is the way I was raised (my mom was a neat freak) versus the way she was raised (her mom was a drunk, among other things). Ok, so some consessions have been made in reguards to upbringing. BUT the thing that angers me the most is the fact that she's changed so much since the "big day." As for affection in the marriage, ... I have pretty much given up on giving affection, as I am so often rebuffed. The big S word of three letters, well, since the marriage began, that has been on the back burner, to say the least. If thats what you mean by affection. If you mean like just wanting to be together by the fire on a cool evening, or reading together at night, or a walk into our pretty forest in the spring or fall, well, the TV must have more appeal, because its me going for the walk alone, sitting by the fire alone, and reading alone. I have thought very seriously about handicapping the TV by pulling a wire out, but you know what they say about a deprived junkie: they will find a way to get their fix. And beating up the TV doesnt "fix" the real problem. Do I treat her out to dinners, or go for rides in the car? Not as often, anymore. We did go to Niagra Falls last year as our romantic vacation, but youll never guess who went with us (besides our daughter), and joined in our sitting by the campfire with real live (well, boiled, at that point) lobster. Yep her cousin and his girlfriend in a beautiful campground in NY state. But to get to the bottom line. I will talk this over with her. I have done this before on seperate topics, and it usually winds up sounding like an ultimadum, which i dont want it to: stop drinking or else: get these rascals out of our house or else. Its just weird to me to say stop being lazy or else. I will try at all costs to avoid the or else, even if it takes me a time or six to get through. I do thank you all so far for the much needed (support), this whole situation is one I have been facing day in and day out with no one to talk it over with. My parents, who I always feel the need for my life to be hunky dory, can be tough to talk to, and they are the only people I feel comfortable enough to talk to. Here, you may have surmised, I can at least be an unknown. I do feel somewhat better getting this load off my chest. I spent about 14 hours today cleaning this poor negletced house. All those little things that never get done GOT done.

-- anon. (etc@echo.com), February 08, 2002.


Talk to her doctor, make her an appointment, take her to the appointment, fill her prescription, see that she starts taking them. If the doctor say counseling, then arrange counseling for both of you.

She is the same girl you married, you just didn't know her very well, did you? Your choice is a good marriage or a bad marriage, which one do you want?

-- Dr.Laura (Doc@crazy.com), February 08, 2002.

Before you give up, give yourself a chance to find out why she is not happy. I say that because I have been with my husband for 15 years and we have gone through it all. I have been fat and am so right now. Women go through things that men don't get sometimes. Give yourself a week and court her like before you were married and see if it helps. My son just got married and the only advice I gave him is not to forget how to kiss his new wife as he did one there first date!! Women Do NOTICE THAT! Women love romance. I am not a touchie huggie kind of person but every night when my husband and I lay down to sleep he says I love you more than flees on a dog, hurshey has kisses what every he can think of and in 15 years he has never said the same thing twice. LOL wish I had had a little book and writen it down every day. After a couple of years women give up trying to be romanced like before they were married and eat instead. Depression becomes an every day state of mind and you start to think your husband dosn't care if its you or not just so long as the housework and kids are taken care of. I have left my husband twice over this type of depression. And drinking dosn't help! My 17 year old daughter killed herself at home 3 years ago and I hit bottom. I of corse wanted to move but my husband and son did not. My son did not want to change schools and so we stayed. Well he got out of school last may then got married in July and still we are in this house. I have put on so much weight I don't even know who the fat women in the looking glass is. Surly it isn't me. I am really to the point I kept thinking the only way out of this house it to join my daughter and I knew that was not a healthy way to be thinking. I went to the doc and got prozak and it surly helps tho it made me sleepy then I cashed in my life insurance. I thought my husband and son would be better off with the money and free of me. Now I wouldn't leave them in the learch if somthing happended to me and am finly snaping out of it a bit. Sit her down, nothing works itself out you have to be willing to talk. Tell her you love her and know she is not happy but can't figrue out why she is so unhappy. Tell her you love her and want to get things back on track but you know it will take alot of talking and working at it to make things write. Most of the time you will find a women just dosn't feel wanted for anything but housework or mothering and just needs some good old fashion passion.

-- Teresa (c3ranch@socket.net), February 08, 2002.

I like what she said. The main thing is to try not to be angry and accusatory when when you talk to your wife. As Steven Covey said "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." My ex used to discount my feelings because he couldn't see it through my eyes. That's not fair! Remember these are her feelings and you can't tell her she doesn't have them just because you do have them too. If you can sit and calmly just listen (not argue or give your opinion)to what she has to say then with out replying take the time to think about it. You, of course hope she would give you the same respect maybe she will but then she may not, just yet.

Don't go at this like you are going to change her. Both of you have changed, that is part of maturing. Go at this as a team effort and you will work and support each other. If you really want to work it out you can, but be prepared for a life time of work. Marriage is NOT easy, no relationship is. It requires work from both parties.


-- Susan in Minnesota (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), February 08, 2002.

i hate to say it but i agree with ms. Schlessinger,[dr.laura]

post partum depression is nothing to dill dally about. if you remember a sweet,helpfull attractive young lady & want her back, just IMAGINE what she feels like every miniute of every day stuck in that body, needing a drink just to get a little false happiness/mellow time or more than one to leave or deaden all the hate filled thoughts. think of what she must think of herself now vs. what she used to be.

can you?

look at her and see the woman you married, give her what she needs to be healthy; unconditional love, third party counseling [for the both of you!]-pastor-doc. marriage counseler-it does not matter y'all just need to talk to someone now. she will very unlikely to fix/cure herself!

every time you yell, or sulk, or leave the house in a huff, you are renforcing her feelings of self loathing. so some one who is clinically depressed does not 'rise to the challenge'or become inspired to 'improve' themselves, they just sink further & further into self loathing.

do what needs to be done to give your child a happy home. it will be a long road and you might not be married at the end of it. but you will be a better person at the end of it.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (pepper.pepper@excite.com), February 13, 2002.

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