My husband is at work at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday and I am tempted to separate


#1

Since yesterday was New Year’s Day, my husband did not go in to his office as is his custom, every Saturday morning. Last night we got into a big argument about all the stuff he is having trouble keeping up with because he’s an independent contractor. He wants me to work for him or help him out in all the details of taxes, accounting, expense accounts, etc. I’d be his administrative assistant or secretary. The business would pay me, but I don’t want to work for him. So he left this morning at 6:30 to go and get his work fix. Here I sit, turning to the internet as I have for about 5 years, for support. Sad, isn’t it?

Work has always been his first interest and his family comes way down the line (this is how I see it). He’s a pretty solitary person in general and having children has been a strain for him in many ways. He’s been prone to sudden outbursts of temper if the kids are too noisy when he’s thinking about work. There was one time when our older son was just a toddler when I seriously thought about packing up the kids and leaving, but with a lot of prayer, the moment passed. He didn’t harm them but his anger was too much for the situation. He holds his emotions in check but then if he is pushed into a corner, he loses control.

Anyway, back to the now…I know that I am bitter and resentful about all the time he has spend working over our marriage. Yes, he makes decent money, but he really would not have had to put in all the hours he has in order to make the same money. Work is everything to him, he has no hobbies and we have no couple friends. Since he lost his faith as a teenager since his parents divorced, it is as if he felt that all he had is hard work to pay back God for deserting him and ignoring his prayers to save his parents. I tell him that his work is his “wife” and we are the “mistress,” and he tells me that there isn’t a competition between work and us. But there has been, and we lose all the time. His father is the same way, he’s almost 80, still working, has nothing else but work, and hubby and his dad have even been partners for the last 4 or so years, which has put a tremendous strain on our family as his father is a narcissist and is extremely difficult to work with (and has done other things within our family to stab us in the back).

So now my husband wants me to work for him/with him. On one hand, as his wife and partner in life, I know it will make him happy and content. He can then concentrate on what he loves, which is his intellectual scientific problems and solutions. On the other hand, by agreeing to handle all the crummy details of having 3 separate companies and traveling out of the country for 2 weeks a month, I am enabling him to spend more of his time doing “fun” stuff while I get stuck doing stuff I never trained for and don’t really enjoy. On the third hand, if I don’t do it, he’ll hire someone to do it and then that will take more money away from the family. I feel doomed to do this even though I dread it. Should I just bear this as a cross? Did you ever know a person that is so overpowering or forceful that eventually he just wears you down until he gets his way? That is my husband. He is not going to stop for anyone or anything, so I feel as if I may as well just go along to get along, since nothing is going to change on his part. But I am sad and bitter because of it.

Last night I really was tempted to pack a bag and leave. He keeps implying that I am just content to sit and do nothing while he works, that I am “comfortable,” even though I have always done everything around the house and for the kids and still do. It is like a one-way thing to him - he is of value as a money producer and I have no value as the main parent of his children. He seems to be saying that I am taking money from him, as if I am using him for his money. This insults me greatly, and as you know from my other thread, our intimate life isn’t so hot right now because of these tensions. We’ve been in counseling but we still have these deep resentments. I think he needs to do therapy about his childhood, he got pretty messed around by his narcissistic father and somewhat flightly, non-demonstrative mother (they were very young when they married). But he’s not interested.

So here I sit, turning to strangers on the internet, at 7 a.m. on a Sunday. I pray and I am trying to forgive him and not carry the resentment, but I am struggling not to want to leave right now. If he sees me as just a loafer after 21 years of marriage, I don’t know what to do about that. It’s killing the love in my heart for him, and the charity I have for the child that he was and the hurt that he’s suffered through his own parents.

5 years ago I started going to Al-Anon after we had a most bizarre experience where my husband was going to buy a resort in Colorado with money we didn’t have (5 million) and in a business we knew nothing about (running a resort), and have me run the business while he kept doing his regular work. When I finally called a halt to it, he called me a “dream-killer,” although from my POV I was being sensible. That is what woke me up to the fact that we see things 180 degrees different. He puts the blame on me for holding him back. I thought he had really lost his mind.

Help. Any and all feedback is welcome. I know I am sinning if I leave. But I just don’t know what to do any more. (and I have no business trying to help others! :blush: )


#2

Divorce is not an option for CAtholics, as there is nothing in your post to indicate abuse or any circumstance which would make it imperative to separate for the sake of your safety or that of the children. Neither is leaving, since you indicate no reason for such a step other than your own present dissatisfaction with your life, which will not improve if you leave. Nor do you indicate any reasonable plan for caring for yourself and the children if you do leave.

Your husband works to much, in your estimation.
You say he as asked you to take on some of the administrative work of the business to free up his time, presumably as a paid office manager or administrative assistant, which you do not want to do for reasons of your own. Therefore he will continue to have to fill both the actual business activity, and the administrative tasks, leaving him little time at home. Other than his hiring an outside help or outsourcing those tasks, which is a business decision more than a personal one, I don't see an alternative. Do you?

What do you propose or have you proposed to him as alternative solutions for lessening his work hours?

What are the underlying reasons he does not want to spend time at home with you and the children, if as you say demands of work are not enough to account for this choice? That is where you should direct your investigation, not exempting your own ability to make the home a place he wants to be.

You hint at but do not explicitly state other reasons for your fight. That is your next place to look for answers. You also do not state why you went to al anon. Has he a drinking problem? Your answers are probably there in the story you post, but in the things you have not said. I am not saying, give these answers here, I am suggesting you ask yourself these questions. What is the real reason for your quarrel with your husband?

You asked, I responded, don't shoot the messenger.


#3

No, I am here for help and advice, I have never yet responded defensively or negatively to anyone who takes the time to answer - you don't have to worry about me "shooting the messenger!"

I went to Al-Anon because there is no Work-Anon. I needed support when he had been working 60-80 hours a week and also pursuing buying a business 2 states away that neither of us had one clue about running. I realized that I was completely isolated within the family and had basically no one in my life and he was telling me that I was the one at fault for killing his dream. I called Al-Anon and explained that my husband is a work addict, and they told me that I could attend Al-Anon. My mother's father was a violent alcoholic, so I qualify from that standpoint, but I am working the steps based on the primary addiction in my home which is work.

There really is no way to propose that he lessen his work hours. Like any addict, when he is away from his addiction he becomes impossible to live with. At one point he tried not to go in to his office on Saturday but the kids and I got tired of the endless negativity which would go on all weekend. If he works on Saturday, he can usually spend at least some relaxed time with us at some point during the weekend. If not, we pay for it all weekend. I no longer try to stop him from going in to the office. I am not going to take all the blame for this. I have done the best I could to make a home for him and the kids and have always been available. He has never had to worry about having a hot meal when he gets home from work, and I don't question the hours he spends. I have found other ways to fill up the time that he doesn't spend with us, which aren't altogether healthy (the internet) and I recognize that.

I know that leaving would be sinful. And I suppose, no matter what, it is going to mean my working for him. Guess I'll just have to bear it as a cross. He doesn't want to hire someone else, he wants me to do it. I know that. I guess I have to find a way to do this and not carry resentments. I was never the type of person to hold grudges but trying to keep my heart from hardening over the years has been very difficult.


#4

In many ways your husband sounds like mine was. I remember a time when I privately cried every day .We pulled through everything and have been married long enough that our granddaughter just graduated from university. He too found the pressures and noise of a young family difficult, but he's a fantastic grandfather. He very seldom gets angry now.

I understand that you feel backed into a corner, and it's a kind of compliment that he's ask you to work with him though I understand it's a scary amount of responsibility. And it isn't fun...for you or for him, all that horrible paperwork. But it's no good if you took it up and resented it either.

One of my sons is an independent contractor but does his office work at home. Had to, as he's a custodial single Dad. Paperwork so often uses up his evenings after caring for the kids.

I know the pressures for the independent contractor, but also see yours, but I hope you won't give up on your husband. There were times it was REALLY HARD being my husband's wife, but he did become a much sweeter guy and heaven help us, there's never a day we're not together mostly all day now that we're oldies. :D I remember him going off to work at 4.30 am if he couldn't get back to sleep.

People usually see me as several years younger because my hair's still brown and I still look young for my age, but I have over 40 years of marriage behind me...and can say that with give and take, understanding each others problems, you can get through.

I don't lightly dismiss either of your problems, his or yours. Or how much giving and enduring is called upon. But even with all the hard stuff, your husband sounds like a good man.

There were many times people wondered why we stayed together, why I stayed with him, but I knew he is a good man, he has integrity...he wasn't great with affection in the early years, and so often thought he was right, but he's the sort of man that would put himself between me and a bullet, even if he's loath to say "I love you".
It seems to me your husband is a good man.

I remember when a caravan caught fire, and the Dad got all his family out, then drove them 20 miles to hospital. The thing is though, he did that with burns to 90% of his body. Of course he died. I thought, well my husband may be difficult to live with at times, and he was for many years, but I knew that what that man did, he would do.

Your husband may see your working for him as a solution to a problem but it's also a compliment. If it's at all possible for you to face it, you could perhaps put some provisos, regarding time and regarding a testing period...but like my husband for years, and many others I would think, no, he probably doesn't realise the full extent of your responsibilities, stresses and work, any more than you do his.


#5

I think you can live to accept that he is unhappy and sometimes unkind. But can you stay there without your self esteem being destroyed?
Try and develop some aspects of your life without him. A part time job, volunteer work, ANYTHING to get you out and in a place where you are affirmed. Build yourself up.
Then take stock of things and see if you believe you can continue together. One hates to think of marriage or their marriage partner as the 'Cross they must Carry', but it sounds like you are at that point.

I am sorry your a struggle so. My only advice is to seek counseling from a priest and, again, start uplifting and engaging yourself as an indivudual. You need all the support and love you can get to make it with him right now.

Taben


#6

PS I know it's hard also if your husband doesn't have faith in God. Mine doesn't either, but he supports that I do.

And the anger thing, it is stress, it is also that according to some research, men can only really concentrate on one thing at a time where we multi-task. We have to. So when the kids are noisy or fighting or not doing as they should, some don't handle it well.
My husband's stresses and overwork, led to a breakdown. The frustration, the stresses, lack of appreciation for work done, a perfectionism...a breakdown can creep up a smash a person and you don't always see it coming. My husband pushed his will far enough that he'll never really recover. You can think they're being horrible and unreasonable and unkind, and impatient fathers, and all the time they're heading towards eventual possible breakdown and depression. After his breakdown my husband was never again capable of full time employment. He'd been superman. So while they don't put into words how hard it really is for them, sometimes the men also need more understanding than we realise because we're hurting too much ourselves.


#7

[quote="Trishie, post:6, topic:224538"]
And the anger thing, it is stress,.. So while they don't put into words how hard it really is for them, sometimes the men also need more understanding than we realise because we're hurting too much ourselves.

[/quote]

That is a good point and one I did not think of (my response was very different than yours). I tend to get angry at the person acting out as this woman's husband is doing but maybe compassion is needed. Sigh...it is very hard to know from where unkind beavior stems or how to respond to it. But your point is well taken.

Taben


#8

Divorce is common in our culture. It has ravaged the family and taken many souls. The evil one is very pleased; especially, if the cycle is propagated another generation or two.

If you think this generation is sad, just wait another 25 years. Then, I predict it will become obvious that many were unwitting dupes.


#9

I would advise against going to AlAnon. It has been my experience that AA AlAnon cause many more problems than they solve.
My prayers are with you and your family.


#10

[quote="VBibleSociety, post:9, topic:224538"]
I would advise against going to AlAnon. It has been my experience that AA AlAnon cause many more problems than they solve.
My prayers are with you and your family.

[/quote]

This is interesting - considering that AA has helped over 2,000,000 alcoholics stay sober and Al-Anon has helped countless spouses and friends of alcoholics to have better lives. In fact if I hadn't gone to Al-Anon 5 years ago I would have either been dead already (suicide) or left my husband and children. Or be in a mental ward. Those were my choices and I think Al-Anon was the most sensible of the 4.


#11

We men often carry our self-image intertwined with our work. It can be difficult to feel good about ourselves if we feel we are unable to provide everything we think we should.

I do not (obviously) know your husband, but try to talk with him while keeping in mind what his self-image may be and try to not cross that.

You have my prayers.

Bryan


#12

What you want and need is for your husband to have a full-heart conversion. If that happened the details would eventually work itself out.

In order to do that you need to make diligent use of sacramentals (and sacraments when you can) as well as being a beautiful example of Christian charity.

Spending so much time thinking about your husband is a VERY BAD IDEA in my opinion. You are just feeding your own discontentment. Get busy living a good Christian life and banish thoughts of discontentment and bitterness from your mind. Their source is the devil.


#13

I really can’t offer any advice, but I wanted to let you know I’m praying for you and your family.


#14

[quote="Samuel63, post:8, topic:224538"]
Divorce is common in our culture. It has ravaged the family and taken many souls. The evil one is very pleased; especially, if the cycle is propagated another generation or two.

If you think this generation is sad, just wait another 25 years. Then, I predict it will become obvious that many were unwitting dupes.

[/quote]

And my husband is one of the victims. His parents' divorce caused him to turn away from his faith and from a faith in God. Talk about a victory for Satan.


#15

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:224538"]
And my husband is one of the victims. His parents' divorce caused him to turn away from his faith and from a faith in God. Talk about a victory for Satan.

[/quote]

It is only a victory for Satan if your husband dies that way. You can bring graces in to the home to help convert him, and you may be his only hope.


#16

That is what I want more than anything, for him to realize that God has been with him and helping him all throughout his life.

I know it is sinful for me to hold onto resentment, as much as any sin that I see him committing. I have to let go of this bitterness, even if I feel I am sacrificing a great deal of myself so that we do not get divorced. It is just the path God has put in front of me. But i cannot hold that out as some kind of martyrdom either. I really have to grieve my losses and let it go, I have wanted revenge for my pain, which I hate to admit but you guys don’t know me IRL so I’m being honest. I am angry at the losses I have sufferered. I would have loved to have had more children but my ability to have them was ended at age 40 when I went into early menopause. At that point I discussed adopting children but found that my husband’s family would not accept that and he wasn’t open to it either.

God picked this husband for me, but I don’t know why. Why would God put us together when we were both lapsed and then draw me back to him, only to have it continue as a wedge between us? And give me such a love for children that I wanted up to 10 but then close another door? I know my vocation is as a wife and especially a mother, but now that stage of my life is just about over and where do I go from here?

I know I am not being a good Christian wife. Thanks for listening. I guess I am just going back to wallow in self-pity.


#17

I would suggest printing this out and reading it frequently.

Philippians 4

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Find other women with unconverted husbands and pray together for strength and wisdom and patience.


#18

Wow. You’ve helped more than one person, violet81.

Am on Day 2 of a 54 Day Rosary Novena and have just now (like five minutes ago) finished saying the Rosary for today.

TheRealJuliane, you might want to give this novena a try also.

:blessyou:


#19

Hi RealJulianne I just want to tell you I have every sympathy for you.In a practical way others have suggested making a 'life for yourself'this is a very good idea.I have been in your position and I threw myself into being the best mother I could be.I made lots of new friends through mother and baby groups and kept in contact with them.We became very close and we supported each other through the most difficult of times.My husband used to work shifts when the children were small and it felt like he was never there for me (or to help with family life).Eventually I was always busy with activities around the children and chatting with my friends on the phone or they would come round for coffee etc I had a very busy life style I got used to it.It was not easy at all and I went through different periods of over eating (as soon as hubby went to work),feeling depressed etc. I am not saying my way is the right way but it worked for me.Now our children are grown and we have wonderful grandchildren.One of my daughter-in-laws is in a similar situation where my son her husband has a very high pressured job (Bank Manager) and works a lot.She is a fantastic mother & I visit as often as I can & ring her on the phone for nice long chats.We are very close.She has started doing just what I did and is making lots of new friends through activities with her son and is developing a busy lifestyle of her own.She loves my son very much and realises he has to work so hard but feels neglected and lonely lots of times.That is how I felt also.

Perhaps Catholic Marriage Counselling would be of help.It may be able to bring out the reasons for you and your husband's problems and develop strategies to overcome your difficulties.

May God bless you both


#20

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:224538"]
That is what I want more than anything, for him to realize that God has been with him and helping him all throughout his life.

I know it is sinful for me to hold onto resentment, as much as any sin that I see him committing. I have to let go of this bitterness, even if I feel I am sacrificing a great deal of myself so that we do not get divorced. It is just the path God has put in front of me. But i cannot hold that out as some kind of martyrdom either. I really have to grieve my losses and let it go, I have wanted revenge for my pain, which I hate to admit but you guys don't know me IRL so I'm being honest. I am angry at the losses I have sufferered. I would have loved to have had more children but my ability to have them was ended at age 40 when I went into early menopause. At that point I discussed adopting children but found that my husband's family would not accept that and he wasn't open to it either.

God picked this husband for me, but I don't know why. Why would God put us together when we were both lapsed and then draw me back to him, only to have it continue as a wedge between us? And give me such a love for children that I wanted up to 10 but then close another door? I know my vocation is as a wife and especially a mother, but now that stage of my life is just about over and where do I go from here?

I know I am not being a good Christian wife. Thanks for listening. I guess I am just going back to wallow in self-pity.

[/quote]

Instead how bout you go to Adoration. Or kneel before the cruxifix and pray the sorrowful mysteries and remember what Christ suffered for us.


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