Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I Can't Unscramble the Eggs

These days, it seems more and more like I made a mistake in getting married and having children. This, in turn, has led to mistakes like buying the wrong house and a bunch of other mistakes.

As it stands now:

1) I do not think I am being a good enough husband.

2) I do not think I am being a good enough father.

3) We are not taking care of our future like we should.

Pertaining to #3: From a secular perspective, what is a man’s primary responsibility in life? It is, over his lifetime, producing more value than he consumes, so as to contribute to society rather than being a burden on it. There are times someone is going to be dependent, such as childhood at one end of life and elderly decline at the other end, and maybe some times of severe illness or injury in between. However, these times are supposed to be offset by the productive times. Ultimately, it is taking sunlight and other natural resources, our imagination, and the knowledge of those who came before us, and producing.

Raising children can be productive. Obviously, without the raising of children, society ceases to exist as the human race disappears. However, it is only if those children are raised to also be net producers does raising children help. Otherwise, they can be a severe burden.

A man should only take on raising children if he can not only be productive enough for himself, but for raising his children, and that includes being productive, and equipped enough, for marriage and has found the right woman to be his wife.



Some members of my family seem to think it was just a matter of me marrying the wrong woman. Fortunately, they have not told her this. They haven’t explicitly told me this, either, just strongly hinted at it, with my father saying he thinks she and her family perpetrated a fraud (his intention is to never see her family again, but that also involves other issues) and my mother and sister keep telling me that they don’t think my wife is, or will remain, capable of doing some basic wife/mother things. They get along with my wife and are pleasant with her, and she spends more time with them than I do. They don’t know everything a thorough reader of this blog knows, nor should they.

I don’t think any woman would have been the “right” woman. I thought my wife was, after doubting such a woman existed, but that was deception and delusion. I suspect my doubts before finding her were correct. Yes, I’m someone who genuinely likes women (some heterosexual men do not), is a team player, can be devoted to one woman, is affectionate, and appreciates affection. I’ve never been the partying sort and have been content to be a homebody. I’m that dependable, reliable, nice guy women seek out after they’ve spent their youth with bad boys, but I happened to marry a woman who didn’t spend her youth on bad boys, However, even though those things are true, that doesn’t mean I “deserve” a wife or that I am a good husband and should be married.

I’ve noticed in recent weeks that the most pleasant parts of my week have mostly been when I’ve been alone - not driving to and from work, not running errands per my wife’s request – alone at home. The last lovemaking I had with my wife was over a week ago (they seem to be weekly, at best now) and was one-sided, as she no-doubt felt obligated to get me off while I was not allowed to enjoy her and please her in return. I don’t know when the next chance will be.

I love my wife and kids. There are a lot of good things about them and I know a lot of men would give their testicles to have what I have in that regard. I know I am supposed to enjoy spending time with my wife more. I know I am supposed to enjoy spending time with my kids more. I do like it when my kids give me hugs or little gifts, and I like playing/horsing around with them to a certain extent, and explaining things to them that they ask about. However, most of what I enjoy are solitary activities, or collaborations online. Constant requests of my time and attention from my wife and my kids can get extremely irritating. Now, you might be saying, “You chose this life.” Yes I did. That is my point. I’m thinking more and more that I shouldn’t have.

My wife and I aren’t going to go anywhere without the kids. (Except for when my kids are dumped on my family for a couple of hours or overnight). The kids can get along really well, for about ten minutes here and there. Otherwise, they fight quite frequently, and both are quite disobedient. They are very intelligent and creative, and stubborn so they’re really good at being disobedient. My son is at least as emotional as I was, probably more, meaning he’s prone to tantrums as well as crying. This was entirely predictable based on my own childhood (the temperament… he’s way more mentally advanced than I was), though I only recall getting like that when I was out of control, and he seems to also do it when he’s just trying to protest or get a reaction.  I eventually mellowed, but that was a long and painful process. I should have considered more strongly if I was up to this challenge.

My sister (and to some extent my mother) is convinced that we are ruining our kids and our relationship to them because we are homeschooling them. My daughter is getting through the material faster than the pace, but my sister dismisses the content as inferior and flawed (despite it being approved by a public charter school) and focuses on the relationship aspect. My sister, generally conservative, is nonetheless part of the public school machine, and both of my parents were public school teachers at different times in their lives. My sister sees the frustration between my wife and the kids, and notes to me, every chance she gets, that my wife is not a trained teacher. And I note, back to her, that many homeschoolers aren’t, to which she cites the bad results of homeschooling for some kids. She doesn’t seem to think we’re going to one of the success stories, and maybe she’s right, based on the things she has told me she has witnessed between my wife and kids while they are supposed to be doing schoolwork.

Then there’s the house, which continues to yield “surprises” left by the people who tried to flip it. Experts we bring in to fix things shake their heads at the mess those previous owners made of things. For a while, any complaint about the house was taken by my wife as a personal attack, since she was enthusiastic about the place and pushed for it. She now tends to be more silent in reaction, having admitted that buying the house was a mistake.

My original family’s solution is for me to move my family to where they are, or at least my children, because the public schools there are at the better end of the spectrum. I know, because I went through them. However, I thought things were bad enough when I was going through them and I know they are worse now. I could rant for hours about all of the reasons I don’t want my kids in even the higher end public schools. I don’t make enough to send them to private school and cover our other expenses, in part because the region where we live has a high cost of living. The public schools where we live are unusable and suitable only for raising the next generation of gangbangers and government dependents, even though the neighborhood itself is not all that bad, perhaps because of the longer-term residents who will die off before too long.

We’re not moving, for many reasons beyond the fact that we’re not sticking our kids in public school. It costs money to move, and we don’t have it. It takes time and effort to move. We would have to downgrade from a house to a smaller condo or apartment. We have roots (friends and activities) here. We’re close to my wife’s parents (although they can’t watch our kids) and one of her brothers. My wife insisted we walk away from her condo, and that does a number on credit, so our ability to find a new place would also be limited by that.

I haven’t achieved the level of financial and professional excess to be satisfied in my career and to provide properly for my family. So I need refuge from my work in a pleasant home life, but what do I find there?

Thankfully, I do not dread coming home to my wife. I do know what it is like to come home and regret that my girlfriend is there. I am thankful it isn’t like that. Still, I’m not able to come home and completely relax or enjoy myself. I get to play referee to my children and look after them because my wife has been doing that most of the day.

Actually, we’re paying someone else to look after my son for two half-days a week. And my family is looking after the kids another half-day most weeks. And then there are the activities and tutoring and Sunday school, etc. And I gather that some days when I am not home because I am working, my kids get up and fend for themselves for multiple hours before my wife gets out of bed. We’re now paying someone else to clean our house because it won’t get done otherwise. My wife will do laundry, but often lets it go for weeks and weeks, waiting for when our kids will be with my family (because, you know, doing chores and errands is preferable to doing anything else when we’re alone). She’ll wash the dishes and I’ll put them away. She cooks maybe one or two nights per week these days, and when she does, it is usually something she threw in the crock pot to heat up all day. She doesn’t get up to make me breakfast. I can take leftovers with me for lunch. She’ll do most of the shopping, but often defers too many days due to being tired. And why is she tired? Because she is sick/disabled.

I’ve been over that before. Every time there is something we can’t do, or that other wives/mothers can do that she needs me to do with her, or there is a related physical effect, every time a prescription has to be paid for or picked up, every time there is a medical appointment that means me having to take the day off from work, every related bill is a reminder of something I specifically sought to avoid in seeking a wife. I wanted a wife to mother our kids and take care of the home. That is why I agreed to be the sole income earner. As I’ve explained before, she was either self-deluded or deceptive (along with her family) about her abilities and needs, and I bought it because she was living on her own and working full-time, on her feet quite a bit of each workday.

When my sister starts in with her criticism and suggestions we ditch our entire life and relocate to where she is, it gets to the point where I tell my sister my kids are going to be screwed either way, and I apologize for making the mistakes I have made or gone along with the decisions that have brought us to this point. I avoided substance abuse and gambling, I avoided crime, I didn’t shack up or make babies out of wedlock, I did well in school, got a four-year university degree, didn’t blow money on cars or expensive vacations, never “cheated” on a girlfriend, went to church, worked like a dog since I was still in high school, paid my bills, maintained a good driving record, visited the doctor and dentist, insured and invested, got married, bought a house… tried to do it all right, and yet here I am, a major screw-up, ruining the lives of my kids by sometimes blowing my stack and yelling when they’re being disobedient, by not spending more time actively engaged with them, by having them grow up in this neighborhood, by having them homeschooled by someone without the skills or temperament to do it, by having them mothered by someone who is supposed to be an expert at caring for children but behaves in multiple ways that appear to be less than stellar mothering.

Things are better than when the kids were younger and I felt like they weren’t getting out enough. When Dr. Laura talks about the superiority of being raised by a stay-at-home-mother, she is envisioning women taking their kids to the park, going running and pushing the kid in a pram, riding a bike with the kid on back, and playing with the kid, and then greeting the breadwinning husband’s return to the home with a nice dinner and affection and then a nice session of lovemaking a little later (because the wife, not having to work a full-time job in addition to taking care of the kids, is going to have the energy). She’s not talking about sitting around with the television on, doing sedentary activities, getting involved with the kids mostly just to break up the fighting between the kids. Like I said, now it seems like we are on the go a lot more on the weekly cycles, and yes I do mean we, because some of it involves me – Bible study, multiple year-round sports, a four-hour block of time for church, and this is in addition to my weekly counseling and my wife’s medical appointments. Not only do I feel it is one thing after another without a break, but a lot of it involves shelling out money.

I can literally spend hours with my kids at bedtime, first with one and then the other. Those are the nights they are awake, rather than arriving home asleep in the minivan. That’s the most time I spend with my kids, and I only recently realized that my clever son will request to be put to bed on some nights before he’s ready to fall asleep, because it is how he gets me all to himself. But that is usually the tail end of too-long days where I am listless and struggling to stay awake.

After that, that’s when my wife might have scheduled our once-per-week lovemaking session, when I’m struggling to stay awake and she plans on staying up later. Whether we make love or not, my wife will only come to bed to actually sleep at the same time I do if she is especially tired or not feeling well, which of course means no lovemaking. Back in my wayward youth, I used to enjoy expressing my love (wrong as it was) for my girlfriend through physically pleasuring her. That has been taken away from me almost entirely in this marriage, as even when we do make love, my wife’s medications (even if she has skipped a couple of doses in anticipation) not only take away her desire, but make it nearly impossible for her ever reach a climax.

My wife says she’d like to cuddle more, and so would I. Cuddling on the couch would mean getting even less sleep when I’m not getting enough. Since she usually comes in to sleep long after me and I get out of bed way before her, cuddling almost never happens in bed.

I’m still not quite sure how it happened, but we got money from the sale of her condo. This has given us a little cash. I’d like to hold on to as much of that cash for now as possible. Most financial experts say it is a good idea to have at least six months of liquid cash. I had quite the emergency fund when I was unmarried - almost a year’s salary, due to my modest lifestyle and extra work. But then I got married, had kids, bought a house and that was completely depleted. We’ve been going without a reserve for a while, and at one point, had to borrow money from my mother for a month or so to cover our bills. I never want to be in that position again. Yet my wife is determined to spend all of our reserves on a vacation, entertainment, relatively minor home improvements, etc. I expect that if we do that, we’ll be struggling again, not because I don’t have a good income, but because it is expensive to live in our greater metropolitan area, my wife's medical care is expensive, the house has problems (including energy inefficiencies that won’t be remedied without major work), and it being expensive to raise children - especially when my wife insists they each need a full-blown birthday party every year, in addition to a rather generous Christmas and Easter. We’re not giving enough to our church. We ARE putting away some for retirement, but I don’t think we’re putting in nearly enough.

So, I’m tired and frustrated, and sometimes I blow up. I yell, and that’s bad. Thankfully, I don’t get physically violent in any way. Yelling is bad enough. After I yell, my wife asks me what she can do to help me. I tell her that my happiness is my responsibility, and if there is anything she can do, I’ll ask for it. The problem is, I can’t be completely and thoroughly honest with my wife. There are things that she can’t change and things she won’t change, and getting those off my chest with her will not make me happier, because even if it feels like a temporary release, all it will do is hurt her, and likely make her angry, and then things will be even worse. Probably the “easiest” change to make would be for me to have more time to myself or SOME time out with my friends, but that would mean her having the kids by herself for even more time, and the kids having even less time with me than they already do because of my working and commutes to and from work.

So here we are.

One of these days, she’s going to break a hip or bump her head in a way that’s going to give her permanent brain damage, or her liver is going to disintegrate from all of the medications, or I’m going to have a heart attack, or get some form of debilitating cancer. Or, maybe one of us will be badly injured in a wreck. That will make the days we have now the “good ol’ days”. I will likely be bitter at all of the lost opportunities - that we didn’t make the most of the time we had when we were still relatively young, that we didn’t save enough to provide well for ourselves, that we didn’t make love more when we could. Even without some event like those, life is short. The years are slipping by and every day spent is a day that’s never coming back.

Uplifting stuff, no? Yeah, I’m a Christian and I believe I have eternal life. I also believe God has given me one life, and what am I doing with it? We are we doing?

So getting back to list that started off this long rant:

1) I do not think I am being a good enough husband. “Well, then be a better husband. Spend more time romancing your wife. Do more things with her.” Yes, but that’s not how we’ve arranged our life.

2) I do not think I am being a good enough father. First and foremost, someone is a good father if they are a good husband, and I don’t think I’m being a good husband. I don’t think I do enough with the kids and I yell at the kids, and maybe I didn’t marry the right woman to be their mother in the first place.

3) We are not taking care of our future. I am not earning enough and/or we are not saving enough for the future. I would be if I was only responsible for me, but I’m responsible for my wife and kids as well. We’re not raising our children in the best neighborhood or the best home, with the best father and perhaps not with the best mother, and that all has an effect on the future.

I can’t unscramble the eggs. If I made a mistake in marrying, marrying the woman I did, or bringing children into the situation, I can’t change that now. Divorcing would not help; it would make things worse, at least as long as the kids are minors. After they are grown, I’d owe my wife lifetime support in addition all of the assets she’d get, and I doubt she would work and I doubt almost as much that she’d remarry, so I’d be paying the full amount the rest of my life.

I don’t want to divorce her. I have no plans to divorce her. I love her and there are still many things I like about her. Overall, my life is good. I just worry if I’m being the husband and father I should (I know the yelling is unacceptable, but what else am I doing wrong?) and if disaster isn’t looming in the future.

All I can do is improve the situation any legal, ethical, and moral way possible. I wish I had some workable ideas. I don't want to be drugged. I don't think my kids should see less of me. And yet, the best time for me is when I am completely alone in the house. What do do?

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:08 AM

    I've lived this scenario. So have a lot of guys. You married, kids come along and then you feel like you got ripped off a bit because that sweet girl you married is no longer that sweet girl.

    You can fix it by fixing some things with yourself. You can't make her change, but you can sure provide incentive that will make her change. You are a Christian so you know that you are supposed to lead your wife.

    That is something I did not really understand early on. I was very much of the mindset that this should be an equal partnership, and I, like many men, subscribed to the "if momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy!" mantra.

    So I was afraid to make her angry. Afraid to say NO to foolish things. Partly because of that mantra, and also because I didn't want what meager sex there was to get completely cut off.

    That was a big, big mistake. The more I went along with what she wanted, the more I walked on eggshells, the more I just tried to keep the peace at any price, the worse she acted and the worse the marriage became.

    In retrospect the reason is simple, women aren't attracted to guys who just do whatever they say and act like a servant. Doing so flips in reverse the man's position in the household and despite what feminists and the mass media would tell you, women don't find that attractive.

    When they start to get unattracted to their husbands, they start acting out, first in small ways and then in big ways. You need to nip it in the bud by taking responsibility for how you are leading your family and wife, and what you are tolerating in the home.

    I know it can be scary because you think "Well, if I make any demands on her or tell her NO she might not have sex with me, or she might leave me."

    Dude, I'm here to tell you, you're already not having sex, you're already miserable and you're already basically living like an ATM machine and a chauffeur to this woman. And you're doing it because you let the situation get to this by not having expectations and holding her accountable to them.

    From your write up it doesn't sound like you do anything half-assed when it comes to taking care of your family. Why would you accept her half-assing the way she treats you? Because it's that fear dude. But you have to get over that. Like I said, you're already completely miserable so you need to take steps to lead your whole family out of it.

    If a wife wants to shape up and be part of the positive place you are leading the family that's awesome. If not, if she wants to be a crappy member of the team, or bail out on you, that's on her. You can't change that other than to make being part of your team an awesome place to be. But if someone wants to be on your team, they gotta earn it by acting right.

    This book here really helped me out a lot in coming up with things for me to do to change what I was doing, which gave the proper motivations to the wife. Like I said, you can't force her to change, but I bet if you take positive steps to get your life where you want it to be, and you lead she will change for the positive and you will both be much happier:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Mindful-Attraction-Plan-Practical/dp/149045151X/ref=pd_sim_b_1/182-1250878-0549415?ie=UTF8&refRID=0R86XGNJXD0Q4QZYF957

    Check out his blog too.

    This book is for you to read. Not her, and it's best you read it in private and not clue her in until you are well underway making your personal changes.

    The alternative is to keep going like you're going. Think you can spend the next 20, 30, or 40 years going like this? Nope. You will have that heart attack.

    Good luck man.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your comment. I have been under the the mindset that as far as getting what I want, that went out the window when I married and had kids. Game Over. If I had chosen the right woman, things would be good. That's the mindset I've been operating under, because I have been thinking that the law and social climate of our day give her all of the power, which is why men should not marry in the first place. Perhaps I need a major shift in my thinking. I appreciate the feedback and book suggestion. I will definitely give it a look. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7:35 AM

    You are right in that the law isn't exactly on your side. It's not 100% against you but maybe like 75% if it should ever come to divorce, and I hope it never does.

    But, here again is where you have to set that fear aside because it can hold you back from even starting to try to make things better.

    If the reason a wife walks out on you is because you are taking charge of your life, and making things better for the whole family, her included, and she doesn't want to pull her weight, well then, what's that tell you about that woman's attitude?

    And if you get yourself together and have things going the right way, a woman would have to be out of her mind not to want to be a part of that. If she were inclined to be so out of her mind, you can bet your bottom dollar there are a lot of other women out there who not be so foolish. Just saying.

    Sometimes when you implement these changes there is resistance. Because from your wife's point of view everything is going how she likes it. She has you making the money, you driving her around, the kids off somewhere being watched and she has a lot of time to do whatever she wants. Sounds like a pretty sweet early retirement plan right? Except you're the guy paying for it with your health and money, and heck you aren't even getting laid out of it and I bet there aren't too many home cooked meals waiting for you when you come home from busting your hump all day.

    Heck if I had that deal going on, where someone was giving me a free ride with no conditions, and then that someone came to me and said - "Hey! The game is changing, no more of this crap! You gotta earn your keep." Well, I might fight tooth and nail to keep things going the way I had it right? Might say things to my partner like "You've changed! You don't love me like you used to - boo hoo." Hehe. You know what I mean. So the approach in how you implement the changes has to be right. More like you lead by example, she follows, and believe me, she'll be watching.

    Like if for example you start working out and looking good. 99% of wives will notice, and start shaping up too.

    Now I don't tell you all these things to make things worse or to advocate you be mean to your wife, but if you read that book I suggested you might come to think of things in terms of everyone, including you has obligations and rewards in a relationship. If all you have are the obligations brother, you're not getting what you signed on for.

    It's partly your wife's fault, and of course everyone has their individual temperament, but it's also our fault as husbands in that we little by little tolerate things like this and have such low expectations. A lot of it out of fear of divorce or having the sex shut off. Which incidentally is completely a manipulation and dirty tactic by a woman to do to her man in a relationship, marriage especially.

    So, one day after a few years of this we wake up and go "Holy crap man! What happened to my life? This wasn't how it's supposed to be!"

    But it will be okay. There is a way back and most of it is under your control to make your family the happy place you want it to be, even if you have to drag everyone along kicking and screaming sometimes. You're doing it because you love them.

    Check out Dave from Hawaii post for a guy's story of self discover and transformation:

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/relationship-game-week-a-readers-journey/

    And before you go in breathing fire at anyone and saying "This here is how it's going to be from now on!!!!" First, take a couple deep breaths, get that book I mentioned up above. Read it. And then do what it suggests. It's all set out step by step in order that you should get everything to where you want it to in a loving, but firm way.


    ReplyDelete
  4. The guys above are giving you relationship advice, and as a woman, I have nothing to say about that. I have heard that guys shouldn't take relationship advice from women, and I don't have any to give anyway.
    What I noticed was that your wife has some medical problem for which the doctors are doping her up so bad it is messing with your relationship, and yet she still isn't well enough that she can do a proper homeschool mom job the way I suppose she would want to do if she weren't sick. So, I would like to suggest that perhaps the doctors are doing the wrong things, and you might want to search the internet for alternate therapies that might work better. That is, while you are perhaps taking the relationship red pill, maybe you should take the medical red pill as well. I would suggest you check out curezone.com, though the different forums on there (and people within the same forum) sometimes contradict each other, since they are written by different [groups of] people with vastly different opinions on what is the right thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to thank each of you for taking the time to offer thoughtful advice. Thank you very much. I read all of it but I noticed I hadn't yet thanked you.

    ReplyDelete

I have to approve your comment before it appears. I won't reject your comment for disagreement - I actually welcome disagreement. But I will not allow libelous comments (which is my main reason for requiring approval) and please try to avoid profanities. Thanks!