Am I being unreasonable?


I’ve been married almost 20 years. My husband is self employed and makes his own hours. The problem is and always has been, my husbands lack of consideration for me. He makes plans with his friends,to hunt, fish, play golf, or whatever and it seems as an after thought, he tells me his plans. He has always done this. When he does these things, he says he’ll be home at a certain time, but usually it’s several hours later. When our kids were young, I felt I didn’t have a choice, I would rush home from work to pick them from daycare, and because he would tell my his plans at the last minute I could not make plans to meet with my friends. Some of the other moms would meet once a month after work for dinner, or a movies. I have been asking him for years to set aside some time for us. But his answer always is, he’s either too busy, or there is no extra money. We do the things he likes, but when it’s something I would like to do, I usually go alone or with one of my kids. But, if his buddies ask, he’s right there, ready to go.
Since he started his business, I can’t ask him to help around the house at all. Even though I still work part time, take care of the house, kids, bills, grorceries, etc, he’s reply is he does enough. Our kids are older now, and it’s always me having to get after them to help with chores. Making me the bad guy. He comes home and sits, while I do things around the house, and doesn’t give me any support when I’m fighting with the kids for help.
Is it just me? Am I being unreasonable? When I try talking to him, he gets defensive and yells what a sorry human and inconsiderate man he is and storms out. He doesn’t even try to see my side, or want to talk so we can fix this problem. So, I either don’t talk to him about it, or just let it continue. When I get upset and cry, he tells the kids, “she’ll get over it”. I don’t know where to turn. I don’t have many friends to talk with, they’ve all gone on with their lives, and I’m stuck here in limbo.
Any advise?


I think it’s unreasonable to tolorate this for 20 years and think it’s going to change anytime soon. The only real chance for change is going to come from you. Why must you live your life according to this?

Your children are not infants. If they want a clean plate or clean clothes - they are old enough to do it themselves. And it’s not dh’s fault that you do it for them.

I sense that the real issue is loneliness. When the children were younger, you noticed it, but not as much. Now it is glaringly apparent and deeply felt.

Dh is full of blarney. If he can make time to go hunt, he can sure as heck make time to go to dinner with his wife. He doesn’t have to give up his other activities to spend all his time with you, but to say there is NO time/money is at best exaggeration. If dh can afford to go play golf and go hunting, then you should be able to afford to go get a hobby too. Take an art class. YOU do something. You do not have to sit at home making dinner and cleaning and waiting and being lonely. Go out. Meet some other ladies at church or in an art class or a whatever other thing you’ve always wanted to learn to do.

**Your dh is right. You have given them every reason to expect that you “will get over it”. Don’t argue about it. DO something about it.:smiley: **


Part of the reason I don’t get out more, is that we live 60 miles from town, and with gas prices the way they are, it’s not easy… Since I work part time the only time I can go out is on Saturday, and I do want to spend some time with my kids. With all the sports and school stuff they are involved in, time is limited and so is my budget. I pay my own gas and other activities. My check goes to help pay bill,so there isn’t much left for entertainment.
I did so out yesterday to the movies, and for some Christmas shopping, and today I seem to be getting the silent treatment. He did ask me what was wrong, and I can’t even get the words out, because I know his reaction. I’ve always thought marriage and family should come first, but I guess that’s just my idea of it…thanks for the advise…


Unfortunately it sounds like your hubby is not willing to change through a rationale (or even an emotional) appeal. It sounds like you have been enabling him to not pull his fair share in the co-household/parenting department. My suggestion: As a starting point, stop doing the things that you would normally do and expect him to be doing, then wait for his feedback, at which time he may decide to listen to your concerns and develop a mutual approach to sharing responsibilities.


Dr. Ray would say that extracurricular activities are optional, so instead of you taking your children to them, they need to find their own way (even if it is asking your husband to take them). Make plans after work and let your husband know ahead of time. If at the last minute he has plans, stick with your plans, let him do the bailing out when it comes to doing things for BOTH of your children. They can all do their own laundry (including your husband) as well as make their own food, clean up after themselves, etc. The house will most likely become a pig sty, but when they see that you’re not caving in, they’ll get sick of sitting in their own filth. Good Luck


That is NOT cool! Comments like that are teaching your kids to dismiss the feelings of not only their mother, but their future spouses. I would try to impress that on your hubby and get him to keep comments like that between you and him…his kids don’t need to be learning that attitude. :frowning:

It’s not unreasonable to ask your hubby to keep you in the loop on his activities, and check with you before planning things that might impact the rest of the family. What would happen if you just decided you were going out with the girls one night and didn’t show up to cook dinner for everyone? That’s not responsible for either of you to do.



What would happen if you just decided you were going out with the girls one night and didn’t show up to cook dinner for everyone? That’s not responsible for either of you to do.

Funny you say that… I had taken him (my husband) to the dr. in town, he didn’t feel like going with me, so I dropped him off at home, ran back to the grocery store in another town 13 miles away…while shopping he called and wanted to know when I was coming home, the kids hadn’t had supper…They are 15 & 18 yrs old for goodness sakes…by the time I got home, he had cooked eggs…
I guess I have no one to blame, but myself for letting this get so out of control…
Thanks for all the replies…


Just stop doing for all of them, especially the oldest child (your husband). Again, Dr. Ray Gurendi has dealt with this issue many times and he says that wives need to be harder on their husbands. It’s time to be hard on yours.


If it were me, I’d take a full time job, get an apartment in town, and move out of the house. When my husband and children finally missed me, I’d write them to tell them to fend for themselves because I’m not coming home unless and until certain things have changed, which I’d list. And most importantly, I’d stick to it no matter what. That’s what I’d do.


please dont do this… :(… its not worth breaking up your marriage for…
i would go with the prior suggestions… just let them fend for themselves and stick up for yourself… always gently but firmly… and crying is always seen as a sign of weakness… so if you need to cry go to the bathroom and cry… and then come out like there is no problem… and it is the perfectly natural thing for you to do…

god bless…


It takes two to tango! Your DH sounds unreasonable and uncharitable and you, honey, played up to it for 20 years.

The kids are 15 and 18 and can’t make dinner?

I wouldn’t run out and do something rash or angry because you made your bed. If this is not what you had envisioned, this will have to be a group effort as you had a part in it as well.

Are you willing to change for your marriage or is it all on him?


Are you willing to change for your marriage or is it all on him?

What is your suggestion? It is as much my fault as his for letting it go on this long, but, he has known all along that I wasn’t pleased with the way things were going, and made no effort to talk about it…cause after all “she’ll get over it”. He comes from a long line of hard headed men that did what they wanted and when they wanted. Confronting him, usually only makes it worse. He did encourage me to go out with friends, to travel some, but when I did he was an inconvenience for him, or he complained about all the money he had to give me. So, I guess, as you put it I made my bed…and I will accept the blame for allowing him to do what he wanted…I guess that was what he envisioned marriage to be, and he went with it…


you are allowing him to get to you… he is having his cake and eating it too… he tells you to have a good time and when you do he complains about the money being spent… the next time, you suggest having sometime to urself, and he complains about it… tell him to spend the time with you and if he is not willing to do that then you need tomake it clear with him that just as he is having a good time with his friends and spending the money… you have a right to it too… make him feel guilty about it…


I agree with you on the surface, but doesn’t the husband’s behavior suggest another relationship? That would be the logical answer to me–that he’s not being faithful, because he sure isn’t being faithful or loving to his wife in any other part of his life. I agree with the other posters who have recommended stopping the chores for a bit. Any chance of leaving the area for a few days to spend some time with family? Sometimes that kind of thing helps people see things a little more clearly…


I have a suspicion that your dh is more oblivious than you may think. Have you considered not discussing children, house, or money with him and simply request a nice dinner at home with the kids at friends/grandparents houses for the night? Better yet, don’t request it. Just buy everything for it and when the chance happens - do it.

Personally, my dh would be thrilled. Set up a table in the bedroom and turn the phones off.

No, this will not cure marital problems. But it is nice. And nice is a mighty good start to solving problems.

he has known all along that I wasn’t pleased with the way things were going, and made no effort to talk about it…cause after all “she’ll get over it”.

It could just as easily be said that he knew you weren’t bothered enough to do anything to change it. Hence, you appear to “get over it”.


I don’t understand why, after 20 years, you’re still expecting something to change.

This isn’t the arrangement you envisioned for married/family life. It seems to be his. Though we don’t know that. For all we know he’s disappointed with the way married/family life turned out for him…and that’s why he compensates for it with his buddies.

Bottom line, however, is that 5-8 years into the marriage was the time to really take care of the differences in the arrangments. Since that didn’t happen, and now that you’re 20 years into this mode, it’s time to adjust your viewpoint. Step back enough to take a look at what you have so that you can count the blessings (there must be quite a few). Then let go of those other dreams you had. You’ve held onto them way too long.

Any therapist will tell you that your marriage is what it is right now. “Someday” is never going to come, so stop putting your life on hold waiting for it. The sooner you embrace the life you have, find the good in it, the sooner you’ll feel blessed and happy.

It’s time to make time for yourself, your friends so that you don’t need him to fill those voids for you. It’s not going to happen. When you are able to surround yourself with the activities which bring you peace and happiness you’ll be a better person and perhaps then, the two of you will find a thing or two to share in common again.

The key is to stop waiting for things to change from his end. That’s what breeds the resentment and lonliness, your longing for things to be different. Keep the Serenity Prayer in mind and change those things you can, accept those you cannot.


This is called emotional manipulation to get what he wants. You have only yourself to blame if at this point you allow yourself to be manipulated by a hubby who is thinking only of his own wants and needs first.

So, I guess, as you put it I made my bed…and I will accept the blame for allowing him to do what he wanted…I guess that was what he envisioned marriage to be, and he went with it…

What do YOU envision marriage to be, and where are YOU going to go with it?


I would really recommend that you look into getting some individual counselling to better help you understand breaking out of the pattern that your family life has become, setting some boundaries as to what you will accept from your husband and your teens, and really just finding yourself again because right now you are not really you. You are like an occupied country, and you need to find some autonomy in your life.

BTW, not judging you, as I have been there myself although in a more extreme version.


Does Retrouville help couples with problems like this? I would personally get counseling, either marriage counseling together or counseling for myself or both. I think your problem is very common for couples at your stage. It’s really a societal problem. When I was teaching I remember many of the teachers complaining about similar problems with their husbands. Women are still treated as servants in our society. That’s the real problem.



Most definitely. Tell him you are both going to a Retrouvaille weekend, because you need help. Don’t take his excuses, just get there. Retrouvaille helps teach communication skills, which you both obviously need. It can make a world of difference.

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