Can anyone help me get closer to my wife?

Hello Everyone,

I am new here so I hope I am doing this right. I am in need of advice regarding my wife. We have been happily married for 10 years and have several young children…all within 5 years of each other. Up until this past 9 months or so things between us have been pretty good. Lately though it seems that she and I are growing apart…at an alarming rate I may add. I work a ton of hours and am not much help at home (i.e. I average about 4 hours of sleep a night.). She stays at home with the kids all day which I admit would be very tough. She has been complaining lately of being “trapped” in her situation so I have been squeezing in some alone time for her, unfortunately this has gotten carried away. As soon as I get home it seems as if she is ready to walk out the door. And not for a couple hours I might add…the average time out is about 6-7 hours and she may come in at 2 AM…I forgot to mention that she goes out by herself. She says that she is going shopping or movies or harmless things like that but there have been a couple of things I have found that point otherwise. (I seriously don’t think she is cheating but this situation makes the mind wonder!).

Now I have addressed my concerns with her which usually ends up with her getting mad at me saying that I am holding her back or trying to stifle her which is not true. I just want protect our marriage! Now I am accustomed to getting the short end of the deal. She has always been a seriously self fulfilling individual but this has gotten carried away! The worst part is that it is starting to impact our children. She is viewing them as “roadblocks” to her “freedom”. They are noticing this,along with other changes in mommy and have begun to ask me questions like " Daddy why is mommy always mad at me?" or “Daddy does mommy still love us?”. Now she tells us every day that she loves us but her actions don’t show it. Oh…to quantify time out…last month she was out on her own 9 times…and did I mention my average sleep time? :slight_smile: I am getting worn out!

Any advice/prayers are welcome!

Have you looked into having the kids go to a church daycare or having a sitter come in one afternoon a week? My church offers preschool 2 mornings a week for about $165.00 per month. Those mornings are a life saver for me, I can go to bible study on one and shopping or run errands on the other. It’s huge for my sanity. Have you gone on a date just the two of you in a while? My husband and I try to make sure we schedule at least one a month if not more and at least twice a year we have a Mommy and Daddy only weekend and the kids go to grandmas.

You might also look at your work schedule. Is this a temporary thing or a forever thing? My husband’s job goes thru cycles where it gets really bad and then calms down. When we are in one of those cycles it gets really hard on me, because I have no help at home and I start to get really frustrated. If your situation is temporary let your wife know, and if you can let her know it is going to get better and when (build a buffer into this). Then schedule some time for the two of you together. If your situation is not temporary and there is no end in sight, you might want to consider changing jobs, as it is not worth missing out on your family growing up.

And here I am wondering how to fix my marriage and become closer to my husband. We have been married for 11 years (12 this May) and I feel like I live with a complete stranger because our lives revolve around work and the kids.

My husband works construction, so he generally goes to bed at 8pm with our 3yr old, and is up and out of the house around 3am. We see each other for maybe 1 hour a day and that is spent preparing dinner, eatting and cleaning up dinner. We have not been intimate since New Year’s Eve. Just tonight I told him that I feel like I have to beg him just to hold my hand or show me any kind of affection or acknowledgment that I am even here.

I LOVE my alone time. I do tend to take myself out to dinner or movies just to get away and be ME and not Mommy or the Maid.

I would suggest getting a sitter, family/neighbor/college kid, and taking your wife out on a date. Go to dinner, go to a movie, go to the park and take a walk together. It sounds to me like she feels she has lost her identity and when she gets out of the house she gets to be someone other then Mommy. You might also suggest scheduling a meeting with your pastor or a christian counselling center and talking things out in a neutral environment.

Best of Luck and please know that you are not alone. friend,sounds like my marriage. (Which ended in divorce because I committed adultery due to the fact that she did not even wanted to look at me,but that is another story,as R.Kipling would have said.) You need to sit down with her and talk. Tell her what You need and let her tell what she needs. A marriage is a compromise,and both parts needs space,but also time together,and with young children that can be hard to solve. But it can be done,but that means that both of you do a honest effort to fix what need to be fixed,keeping in mind that You are equal partners in a “company” called marriage and that is one reason more to talk. Keep a open dialog with her,and what ever You do,be honest. A catholic defends marriage always,it is a sacrament,a priest in Finland (Fr.J.Aarts) said that once,but if it seems to be impossible to continue,a thing both of you need to understand,is that a good divorce is better for the children then a bad marriage. God bless You.

This post has many signs of danger. I have been down this road in my own marriage and first want to say , don’t give up, or listen to the world on this one. Thanks to my husband who was faithful to me as our Lord, our marriage survived & we just celebrated 25 years.

First go to God, see if you can get your wife to attend Mass with you. Go to confession. In my experience secular counselors will actually aim you toward divorce or will suggest having an affair as an “outlet”

Your wife if she is in the sin of adultery is probably miserable. The world will also tell you that cheating = divorce (we know too that it is grounds for divorce in the church).

There is however grace and healing available no matter what has happened. The Lord promises to bind our wounds. I will pray for you now. Believe that God joined you. In marriage & he will be faithful to help you & your family.

I hope this helps, may the peace of the Lord be with you in this time.

Wow this site is amazing as well as the participants! Thanks you for the responses and the support!

There were a few questions raised in the previous postings that I can easily address. Yes my job is seasonal. There are two pretty tough cycles of about 2-3 months each where I have to work really long hours. I have been in this industry for about 11 years now so we are “used to” the work load but yes I have been seriously contemplating a career change. Although when I mention it then the uncertainty of that situation makes her really nervous.

The inconsistancy in her responses are what trouble me. She says that she is never around me (which is true in these cycles) yet when I get home it is all about her “alone time.” She says that she needs more stimulating adult conversation (not just kids songs and movies) yet she goes to dinner, movies, shopping etc. alone…or so she says. The kids (5 and under) are held accountable for the messes that they make (usually through her constant yelling at them) yet every dish we own needs washing. There are many more examples but you get my point.

I tend to believe that there is an identity crisis of sorts (she has even made mention of this) but how am I to handle it when she is never there as a mother and a wife? I agree that we need more together time and that I am working on. The past month I have been trying to schedule dates but what happens is that she wants our together time to be working around the house (which I understand has to be done) but the evening time then will become her “me time.” I have even offered to pay for a maid service during these difficult cycles. It is just so difficult when the kids and I are willing to try to change the situation (i.e. me willing to change my job, kids trying to clean more than they are capable, etc.) yet she is so self absorbed that she feels that she is the only one put upon.

Oh well chin up and keep plugging away. Tomorrow is another day. :slight_smile:

Thanks again for all the support and prayers. I will pray for all of you also.

More comments and prayers are welcome!

It sounds like she needs some counseling. Is there anyone that she would be willing to talk to? Her life is spiraling out of control. That is not good with 4 small children. I have been out of control lately and have seen how it affects my kids and they are teenagers. I finally started paying attention this week. The kids are not happy. They can no longer do whatever they want.

It is easier to clean up after little ones than yell at them and make them clean up. She is really making her life harder. And she is probably too exhausted to take care of the kids because she is up until 2AM. Not good.

Dear friend -

Is it possible your wife has depression?

If she has never had it before, she (and you) would not recognize the symptoms. It sounds to me like a distinct possibility. The anger and the dissatisfaction with everything and wanting to get away are the first symptoms I see in myself when I’m on the verge of depression.

When I was diagnosed initially, I had NO idea that I had depression. It was not even on the radar screen. I didn’t really know what it was, or how it presented. I’ve since then learned to be aware when it could be kicking in, and usually excessive anger is the very first clue.

God bless!

As someone who suffered from PPD I can tell you that I have suffered quite a bit trying to figure out my “new Identity” as a mother and how that fits into my overall identity. I sometimes feel like there is no “me” left only someone who chases my daughter around and is the house maid. Being a stay at home mom is very isolating and can be really lonely. As to wanting alone time…that I get too, sometimes I just want quiet or time to be by myself and do what I want to do. Getting frustrated with the kids is also not unheard of…I swear I clean up the same messes and same the same things over and over again. I think the maid idea is great (send that to my husband please). A nanny or preschool a couple mornings a week might not be a bad idea, maybe to coordinate with a hobby or activity your wife enjoys.

This is a great point. When I was diagnosed with moderate PPD and Post Partum Anxiety I was shocked. I could not believe that it was happening to me. Things like this didn’t happend to people like me. I felt like the worst person in the world and a complete failure. Now I know that spending time away from my kids occasionally and spending alone time with my husband makes me a better mom. But at first I felt so guilty for enjoying time away from my kids. You might want to see if some counseling might help you and your wife.

This is troubling to me. It is nice that you help her get out but I think 9 times in a month is rather excessive and expensive…not to mention dangerous. A lady out at all hours of the night by herself? And what kind of wholesome activities are there at 2 AM? I think that if she needs a get away you need to try to figure out something for her during the day. I would also add that I would limit it to lady’s only activities, for example a ladies church group. Coed activities at this point could really cause a problem.

One thing that I have not seen in this thread is when are YOU supposed to get your alone time? It seems that you are the one on the schedule and working all the long hours yet you are getting no support in return. Be careful to not get burned out or do things out of spite! It could be really easy to want to give her a taste of her own medicine…be careful and stay calm. Make sure to take pride in your family, not just your work. Ideally your times out should be together. Hopefully you can rekindle what you had before.

I’m praying for you! God Bless and keep us posted.

Short of her sitting out in a car, or at a friends house, the only place to hang out until 2am is a bar.

You have 4 kids under 5? Is ANYONE in school? That sounds like exhausting days.

You can do some research and find that just noise alone stresses out a body. Given all the PG’s that must nearly have been back to back, I wonder about the condition of her body.

I would suspect exhaustion, depression, hormone embalance, out of wack thyroid… all which a dr.s appt. and some blood tests could determine. If any of this is out of balance… easily she may over react… screaming comes to mind.

Any of these things left unattended lead to a woman who can’t exercise good judgement. She may just want to get away from the noise… and if she’s feeling desperate… may get stupid.

I would encourage a physical… and then reminders that it’s going to get better SOON!!! And maybe you both be planning some alone time together for that time period.

I’m sure it’s hard to be thinking of changing careers in this economy… Rock and a hard place… !!!

I know a woman with 5 kids who then had another 5 boys–two sets of twins and another boy–in four years. They weren’t coated in money, but they hired help for her because she needed it. She also went to Reno once a year, and boy, did she deserve it.

First off, I would consider having someone in to clean the house for her. You might also ask if she would like someone to come in for “the arsenic hour”. If she had a teen to watch the kids while she made dinner and to help her bathe them afterwards, this could be huge for her. You might also consider whether you can find a preschool or pre-kindergarten for the older children. Having “only two” babies to take care of could seem like a break.

Do you have a date night? Figure out how to get away together…to have fun. Have “problem solving time”, but on another night. Fifteen minutes dedicated to her every day would also be a good thing. If you have to call her from work on your break while she locks herself in the bathroom so she can talk to you, do what it takes.

You do know that there is a limit to the number of hours that a man living in the same home with his wife can work in a week, yes? Since this is cyclical, you might also figure out how to give her a goal…that is, a week-long “honeymoon” to celebrate the end of your busy season. You have to realize that when you burn the candle at both ends, though, you’re burning her candle, too.

My DH works very long hours, year around. It takes its toll. The thing is, it sort of creeps up on you. You do it for a week, you do it for a month, and then you hear yourself saying “I can’t figure out why I’m so tired” or “I’m a terrible mother, how can I be like this?” You’re totally exhausted, that’s how. Flesh and blood has its limits.

Most of all, tell her how you feel. Tell her you miss her. Tell her you want to make her life easier, but don’t know how. Tell her you don’t know anyone for whom staying out until 2 am was a healthy solution to exhaustion, not in the long run. If you can’t do it on your own, perhaps talking with your wife with your pastor can help you get started.

You might also try a Married Encounter weekend, for that matter. I’ve known many couples who thought they were a million miles from needing Retrovaille that got amazing results from it.

*Never there? *May I please hit you in the head with a cast-iron skillet? (Metaphorically, of course. You seem a nice sort of guy, just a little thick.)

She’s home with the kids all but 24/7/365 and she’s given birth 4 times in 5 years!! She’s been shuffling around your house accomplishing something in there, somewhere! Try being seven months pregnant, let alone eight or nine. You don’t get four hours off from that every night!

You, on the other hand, are only in bed four hours a night and still “not much help at home” with the housework yourself? If she is “never there”, then where and how often in H-E-double toothpicks does that make you?

Please, do yourself a very big favor, and do not ever ever ever tell your wife that she is “never there”. My skillet is metaphorical, but hers may not be. (Four hours is plenty of time for someone who knows where you sleep. :eek:)

Daddy of 3, I’m not saying that dads do not need “me” time, but how many weeks at a time have you taken care of 4 children under the age of 5? Did you spend a lot of those days pregnant or nursing? Guys who have made all the meals, shopping, housework, and done all of the childcare at the same time for a month or so do not talk the way you’re talking. Ask a woman who works. There are not just a few who look at work as “me time”, if you can believe that.

I can agree with you on this much: I think it would make a world of difference if this fellow would get a sitter (or two) and take his dear wife out, bought her some clothes she felt good in, and took her out for a really good time, like before they got married.


There are places other then bars that are open at 2am.

I love our local diner and it is 24hours. They never rush you and you can sit and drink endless cups of tea/coffee/soda while someone else takes care of you.

I tend to go for breakfast every couple of weeks. I stay for 2-3hours and read, pray and drink alot of coffee.

No matter what you chose to do, the 1st step is talking to your wife.

Hello Everyone…there has been some activity here since I logged on last. *

Thick…that’s pretty funny. *It appears that thankfully almost all are seeing the problem, of which I admit is on both sides of the coin. *I would RESPECTFULLY suggest that one reads what they are replying to before placing their own situation on others…as well as getting out the skillets. :slight_smile: For starters I have not disclosed how many kids I have, just the age range. *Secondly I never mentioned breastfeeding. I know that is hard and changes things tremendously…she did it for quite a while. All our kids are of the “sippy-cup age” or more and they all sleep all night.

Now I agree she needs some “me time”. As stated in my first post I was the one who helped her get it started. *What I have a problem with is how it has evolved into something bad. NO ONE can honestly say that husband or wife out at all hours of the night alone, at that frequency, and at that cost (over $400/month for her me time) is good for a marriage or the kids.

Never there for me and the kids…yep I said it and mean it. *As stated in that post she keeps diverting our together time to housework (which is just fine if that is where I am needed.) *I have been trying for months to get a date with her and it ends with us staying at home cleaning. *But then the next evening she wants to go out on her own because she never gets out. *Or how many nights do I have to lay awake until the wee hours of the morning worrying where she is and is she ok? *How about when she is yelling at the kids so bad that when I come home they are hiding in their bedrooms because they are afraid of her. *And what about the 3-5 hours of Internet searching per day…I have seen the history…mainly political websites. (So yes it appears that it is possible to get some “me time” on the job…3-5 hours worth in this case). *Here is one more recent example…the oldest two were worrying that mommy was going to leave them because she “is mad at them and no longer loves them”. * So yes she is not there.

The one who posted about her making it harder on herself hit it on the head! Her average time up in the morning is about8:30 AM…the kids are up by*7:00 AM. After the nights out it is usually some between 9:00 AM to10:30 AM…that is a lot more than 4 hours I might add :slight_smile: *(I know her wake up times by the texts we send each other throughout the day). This has my 5 year old trying to feed the hungry little kids yogurt or cereal and making more messes. *

I can easily keep the list going but my point here is not to bash my wife but rather help me help her rise up out of this situation. *I love her with all my heart and will not give up. *The help (doctor, priest, etc.) we will seek will be God centered. *

To all who have posted thank you. *May God Bless you and I will keep ducking the kitchenware. *:slight_smile:

Yes that is good advice Maureen1125. I am going to keep the dialog going! I am going to let her how much I love her, how much I worry, and how much I miss her. :thumbsup:

Find out where a Marriage Encounter takes place, and you and your wife go to a weekend. They are one of the best things that can ever happen to a marriage. I know it sure helped my wife and me.

If your marriage is in trouble, try Retroville (spelling ?) That is a program specifically designed for Christian marriages that are in trouble.

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