Space in a marriage


#1

I am finding that now that the kids are getting older that I have too much time on my hands. My husband does not want me to get a job so I have been spending more time with people from my church and doing volunteer work. I just need some positive outlets. I am use to being busy and am bored. There is only so much cleaning you can do.

My problem is that my husband and kids want me available and home when they are home. They seem to have a problem with me having a life of my own. I make sure the house is clean, laundry done, lunches packed and dinner is cooked. Drive them wherever they need to go. I don't feel like I need to be home every minute that they are home.

Wednesday night, a friend called because he is going through a rough time and needed to talk. My husband was irritated and cranky. I was probably on the phone for 30 or 40 minutes. We still had plenty of time together and I explained my friend's problem.

Thursday is a busy day. I volunteer at different places. I still take care of the kids and hubby. I get the kids ready for school then do my volunteer work. I get back in time to pick my son up from practice. Cook dinner, feed everyone, do the dishes and head to the gym. My husband was irritated when I got back from the gym and finished up my housework instead of spending time with him. He hoovered around me asking questions while I emptied the dishwasher and packed the lunches for the next day. When the phone rang, my husband did not answer it and did not let me to answer it. There was no way that he was going to let me talk to anyone.

It just seems like I get no space. I can't go out at night or talk on the phone when my husband is home. I need to be sitting in the living room with him. We don't talk about anything important or cuddle so what is the point. I am starting to feel like a teenager instead of a wife.

Am I being unreasonable wanting to have some time to myself? I am not happy in my marriage and prefer to spend as little time as possible with my husband. I have all day when the kids are a school and the husband is at work but sometimes I like to escape at night.

I am starting to feel that I just need to ignore his wishes and get a job.


#2

[quote="cviolette, post:1, topic:240063"]
I am not happy in my marriage and prefer to spend as little time as possible with my husband.

[/quote]

This was a red flag to me. Getting a job won't help your marriage at this point -its just a way to get further away from your husband. I suggest a Marriage Encounter weekend. Check the links wwme.org/ marriage-encounter.org/
Having your own time is reasonable but not if its to run away from marriage problems. Since your marriage is a life long commitment your first priority is to work on what has broken down in your marriage that makes you "prefer to spend as little time as possible with your husband." Healthy marriages don't just happen & avoiding your spouse is not the way to have a healthy marriage.


#3

Your husband is the most important person in your life! Forget about friends who need you. He needs you more! When you marry, you must forget about people who are not important to your marriage. Give him a break. Spend time with him!


#4

forums.catholic.com/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=561731


#5

Well, I have a similar situation, in many ways. I have been at my family's disposal since we had the kids. I did some substitute teaching in the schools the boys were in, but hubby thought I worked too hard for the little money I got and that it was tiring for me.

Whenever the subject comes up, what comes out is that he doesn't really want to have to change his own routine to accommodate my job. It's been great for him because he has never missed a day's work due to his sons' illness. Or field trips. Or holidays. Or half-days. He's just never had to change his hours in order to drive a kid to school, or pick him up from school.

So why would he want to give that up? And have to be inconvenienced? I mean, I am not blaming him for this - I am the one who chose to do it. At any point along the way I could have easily just gone and gotten a job and let the chips fall where they may.

I am bored too, cviolette. I spend too much time on the computer. I started doing that when my husband would come home, eat dinner, maybe play with the kids, and then go to his home office and work some more. Now he thinks I like being on the computer more than being with him. That's not it, necessarily, it's just that I made substitutions. And like your husband, it's not like he wants to be romantic with me or anything. They just seem to need our attention when they are there. When our counselor would suggest that we spend more time together, my husband would joke about "sitting on the couch and staring into each other's eyes." Like there is something wrong with that. You look into someone's eyes when you want to show them you care about them and that you are listening to them.

But maybe your husband and children do love you and want to be with you....maybe your husband is sensing that "wall" between you as my husband terms it. Not very adult to keep you from answering the phone. My husband gets snippy with me when he thinks I am ignoring him in favor of the computer. But I don't know what he wants me to do while he is still working!!!

Anyway, I haven't got any easy answers for you. How is your counseling going? I went to one session and decided not to go back to that counselor, but it did me a lot of good for different reasons. I realized that it doesn't matter what my husband thinks of me. His opinion of me is not necessarily relevant nor is it any more truth than any other outside opinion. Kind of hard to explain but it's pretty revolutionary. Also, that my expectations of him are unrealistic. I keep expecting him to change so he can be the person I need him to be. Well, snap! He's not going to do that. If any change happens it will come through the Holy Spirit and not me. That is why I am thinking of getting a job, because I need to have my needs for intimacy met in a different way. No, a work relationship isn't really intimate, but at least I will feel useful.


#6

Sounds like your husband has some unhealthy patterns of controlling you. Why did you go along with this? Do you not realise marriage is supposed to be a friendship of equals, not some one commanding and making life sour for the other.
I’d say, if you wanna get a job then go for it. I wonder if his jaw wouldn’t drop if you told him: I decided today that you are to stop working, working half time or be a stay at home dad. basta, finito…
NO no no… thats not how marriage is supposed to be.


#7

[quote="rayne89, post:2, topic:240063"]
This was a red flag to me. Getting a job won't help your marriage at this point -its just a way to get further away from your husband. I suggest a Marriage Encounter weekend. Check the links wwme.org/ marriage-encounter.org/
Having your own time is reasonable but not if its to run away from marriage problems. Since your marriage is a life long commitment your first priority is to work on what has broken down in your marriage that makes you "prefer to spend as little time as possible with your husband." Healthy marriages don't just happen & avoiding your spouse is not the way to have a healthy marriage.

[/quote]

I find that we get along better when we see less of each other. I am struggling with the idea that divorce is not allowed so I need to find a way to stay in the marriage and not be miserable.

Thanks for the link. There does not look like there are any in my area. I am going to suggest marriage counseling but want to work on my own therapy first.

[quote="Irish_Kathleen, post:3, topic:240063"]
Your husband is the most important person in your life! Forget about friends who need you. He needs you more! When you marry, you must forget about people who are not important to your marriage. Give him a break. Spend time with him!

[/quote]

Last night, I did that. Stayed home and finished the housework before he came home from work. I didn't want him upset three nights in a row. So we both stayed in the same room. I'm on the computer and he is reading a newspaper. He was happy but I was bored. I just don't understand why he wants me near him but just ignores me anyway. :shrug:


#8

I didn’t get that impression and gently disagree.

I don’t see how wanting to spend time with your wife is “controlling.” Obviously she is providing for food, cleaning the home, doing laundry etc…well her husband does not want a maid he wants a wife!

To the OP: your family wants you, they love you! You didn’t mention how old your children are but they love and want you too! Maybe there are deeper problems here as you are unhappy in your marriage. Jesus does not want you to be unhappy in your marriage…Jesus loves you and wants your marriage to be a source of joy (at least sometimes!)

Try a retreat and start living the life that you really want to with your husband and family. I will pray for you!


#9

[quote=cviolette;7870049
] I just don’t understand why he wants me near him but just ignores me anyway
[/quote]

. :shrug:

This is all he is capable of, at this point. It is enough for him and probably all he can do for you. He loves you as much as he is able to, cviolette. Not nearly enough for you, but try to think that he is doing the best that he can. It may help you to forgive him for his failures.


#10

Exactly. With us staying at home, they are free to come and go as they please. He comes home to a warm meal and does not have to help around the house. It was fine when the kids where young because there was always plenty of work but now I need more.

You could have gotten a job but when the kids are growing up but it is better and easier to be around for them. Now that we have more time, it would be nice to get some support about future plans. Bounce some ideas off them about career decisions.

I am bored too, cviolette. I spend too much time on the computer. I started doing that when my husband would come home, eat dinner, maybe play with the kids, and then go to his home office and work some more. Now he thinks I like being on the computer more than being with him. That’s not it, necessarily, it’s just that I made substitutions. And like your husband, it’s not like he wants to be romantic with me or anything. They just seem to need our attention when they are there. When our counselor would suggest that we spend more time together, my husband would joke about “sitting on the couch and staring into each other’s eyes.” Like there is something wrong with that. You look into someone’s eyes when you want to show them you care about them and that you are listening to them.

I had to cut back on computer time. It got me into too much trouble. It is so easy to make bad choices when I am angry with my husband. So I limit myself to checking emails, this website and posting my training.

I don’t even need him to look into my eyes. If he would just share what is going on in his life. How was his day? How is he dealing with the stress of work? He caught a bad virus while out of the country. I found out when I saw the medication. He couldn’t tell me that he was having severe stomach pains and headaches. He shares nothing personal with me. He won’t even tell me about his travel plans until the night before he leaves. Sometimes I find out earlier when I hear him talking to someone else on the phone. Why would I want to spend time with him when he closes me out of his life?

But maybe your husband and children do love you and want to be with you…maybe your husband is sensing that “wall” between you as my husband terms it. Not very adult to keep you from answering the phone. My husband gets snippy with me when he thinks I am ignoring him in favor of the computer. But I don’t know what he wants me to do while he is still working!!!

My kids love me :slight_smile: I am just another possession to my husband.

Anyway, I haven’t got any easy answers for you. How is your counseling going? I went to one session and decided not to go back to that counselor, but it did me a lot of good for different reasons. I realized that it doesn’t matter what my husband thinks of me. His opinion of me is not necessarily relevant nor is it any more truth than any other outside opinion. Kind of hard to explain but it’s pretty revolutionary. Also, that my expectations of him are unrealistic. I keep expecting him to change so he can be the person I need him to be. Well, snap! He’s not going to do that. If any change happens it will come through the Holy Spirit and not me. That is why I am thinking of getting a job, because I need to have my needs for intimacy met in a different way. No, a work relationship isn’t really intimate, but at least I will feel useful.

It is still hard when they do not respect us or think that what we do is important. I know I struggle with this. Especially when it comes to financial decisions.

I am leaving him to the holy spirit. I pray the St Monica Prayer.

I am getting my emotional needs met by some of the people at church and my gym. Everyone needs someone to talk to.

Therapy is going great. I think it is going to be a long process but I am happy with my therapist. I am starting to trust her enough to cover some of my more embarrassing problems.


#11

It is 20 years of being controlled. I was 21 and he was 28 when we met. I looked up to him and put him on a pedestal. He fell off the pedestal a few months ago and it is hard to change the relationship. I am not even allowed to have my own opinions. He will argue with me until I agree or feel like a complete idiot. I am working on changing this but it is hard. He is very intelligent and I am very messed up.

He would just laugh. I put my foot down about him buying a house at an auction a few weeks ago. Told him absolutely not. He ignored me and went and bid on it anyway. I have no control in the relationship. He asks my opinion on things and then will go into detailed on why I am wrong.


#12

My husband is 12 years older than me. Others may label me as selfish, but I do as I please (making sure that what I am doing is not offensive). I cannot for the life of me imagine having to ask my husband’s permission to do anything.
If I were you, I’d do what I want and just let him have a tantrum. Who cares?


#13

I also wondered if he was very controlling. Not allowing you to answer the phone is a red flag in my opinion. Monitoring your calls and what you do doesn't seem normal to me.

I am still in the young children stage, but I can see why you feel the way you do. I know when its my time that I will be highly encouraged to work, but before then I am in the stage of just making sure everything is taken care of without it really being noticed. I hate it when I realize he has nothing to say to me or forgets to tell me stuff, because he has been out and speaking with "adults" all day and he just wants to come home and relax. He doesn't even realize that I have had no interaction with an adult and only with children, and that I need that adult connection at night. I am the last to know things b/c he forgets to even tell me since it happened earlier in the day and its out of his mind by the evening. I can't tell you how many times I've been embarrassed when we are with others and they know more than I do, especially my in-laws. They would all be talking about something and I'd sit there feeling stupid b/c I had no idea what they were talking about since my hubby never bothered to mention it to me. His response was always "oops I forget" without any real thought as to how that affected me. So during those times I get to where I feel like I just won't talk to him. If he doesn't think to tell me, I don't think to tell him anything either. We get into really bad times in our marriage when I allow it to get that far.

I have to say that I have been praying and working on myself lately, which has helped me to feel happier and more satisfied and it in turn has changed my relationship with my husband. You say you are angry with yours, and I know that feeling, and I wonder if the same is going on with you. You are angry, he does not know why, he does not ask why, and he responds by ignoring you also. So you are just roommates now.

Try an experiment of being nice for a week, real friendly and helpful and open etc. even if you can't stand it, and see how his personality changes, if at all. It always works for me, I just forget to stick with it LOL But I have promised myself this time that I will continue my good attitude and my openness and I won't allow us to fall into that bad state again as if we are roommates. If he angers me, I just let it go, its not worth the feelings it brings up in me and I feel better about it when I approach it that way.

Somehow when I improve myself, the home life improves as well. They seem to feed off of me and how I am acting and when I allow it to go downhill, I am the one to bring it back up. It sounds like I'm saying I'm a moody person and I'm not, I'm pretty normal I think. I'm just saying that I get into a state of "I don't care" in my marriage and that is the worst attitude I can take.

Pray for your marriage and for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to bring it back to where it should be :)


#14

[quote="Monicad, post:8, topic:240063"]
I didn't get that impression and gently disagree.

I don't see how wanting to spend time with your wife is "controlling." Obviously she is providing for food, cleaning the home, doing laundry etc...well her husband does not want a maid he wants a wife!

To the OP: your family wants you, they love you! You didn't mention how old your children are but they love and want you too! Maybe there are deeper problems here as you are unhappy in your marriage. Jesus does not want you to be unhappy in your marriage...Jesus loves you and wants your marriage to be a source of joy (at least sometimes!)

Try a retreat and start living the life that you really want to with your husband and family. I will pray for you!

[/quote]

I will love to be a wife. I look at couples that hold hands and do things together and want that. We just don't have that type of closeness.

Four kids (12,15,16,and 18 years old). The kids are great. I enjoy spending time with them. Usually at night they are doing their own things (working or with friends) so they are fine. It is more important that I am home when they get home from school. That is usually when they want to talk.

Not sure a retreat would be enough but I will eventually face the problems in my marriage. Thank you :)


#15

I have been discussing this with my spiritual director. He opened my eyes to some of the reasons that my husband is so cold and distant. Things I totally missed. He is the best husband that he is capable of being. It helped me to become less angry. Anger still slips in once in awhile but it is not as bad.

Part of me realizes that I am being selfish but another part of me is worried about being a door mat. Hard to find that balance.


#16

[quote="Musician, post:12, topic:240063"]
My husband is 12 years older than me. Others may label me as selfish, but I do as I please (making sure that what I am doing is not offensive). I cannot for the life of me imagine having to ask my husband's permission to do anything.
If I were you, I'd do what I want and just let him have a tantrum. Who cares?

[/quote]

That is what I am trying to do but I can't handle when someone is angry with me. I am trying to find a balance. I only go to the gym on Thursday nights and I go to a church function every other Tuesday. I am home on all other nights. So I can't understand the problem. And I really don't understand why I can't talk on the phone. I thought that might be jealousy but he was just as irritated when my sister called.

I can do whatever I want in the day time. He never asks what I do or where I have been. It is only at night when he is home.

I don't always listen to him. He didn't want me to go to therapy and I am still going.


#17

I am wondering if he is just having a problem with my new life. I am very involved in the church and have new friends. I just returned to my religion last summer. It is funny but these are the same people that try to convince me to work on my marriage and not give up. I would be long gone by now if it wasn’t for them.

I am still in the young children stage, but I can see why you feel the way you do. I know when its my time that I will be highly encouraged to work, but before then I am in the stage of just making sure everything is taken care of without it really being noticed. I hate it when I realize he has nothing to say to me or forgets to tell me stuff, because he has been out and speaking with “adults” all day and he just wants to come home and relax. He doesn’t even realize that I have had no interaction with an adult and only with children, and that I need that adult connection at night. I am the last to know things b/c he forgets to even tell me since it happened earlier in the day and its out of his mind by the evening. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been embarrassed when we are with others and they know more than I do, especially my in-laws. They would all be talking about something and I’d sit there feeling stupid b/c I had no idea what they were talking about since my hubby never bothered to mention it to me. His response was always “oops I forget” without any real thought as to how that affected me. So during those times I get to where I feel like I just won’t talk to him. If he doesn’t think to tell me, I don’t think to tell him anything either. We get into really bad times in our marriage when I allow it to get that far.

That sounds like my husband. It is very embarrassing when you have no clue what someone is talking about. But some of them just seem too big to forget to tell me. Like when a close friend died. He even went to the funeral and never told me. Or he had to go to a different state because he was getting sued and only told me because he won and was proud of himself.

I do the same thing and stop sharing my life with him because I feel why bother since he doesn’t tell me anything. He even hides things about the kids. One of my kids lied to me about how he was injured. My husband knew the truth. Finally the doctor force my son to tell me the truth. I was probably the only person that didn’t know because there was a video going around that showed the accident. I felt like a complete idiot.

I have to say that I have been praying and working on myself lately, which has helped me to feel happier and more satisfied and it in turn has changed my relationship with my husband. You say you are angry with yours, and I know that feeling, and I wonder if the same is going on with you. You are angry, he does not know why, he does not ask why, and he responds by ignoring you also. So you are just roommates now.

Try an experiment of being nice for a week, real friendly and helpful and open etc. even if you can’t stand it, and see how his personality changes, if at all. It always works for me, I just forget to stick with it LOL But I have promised myself this time that I will continue my good attitude and my openness and I won’t allow us to fall into that bad state again as if we are roommates. If he angers me, I just let it go, its not worth the feelings it brings up in me and I feel better about it when I approach it that way.

Somehow when I improve myself, the home life improves as well. They seem to feed off of me and how I am acting and when I allow it to go downhill, I am the one to bring it back up. It sounds like I’m saying I’m a moody person and I’m not, I’m pretty normal I think. I’m just saying that I get into a state of “I don’t care” in my marriage and that is the worst attitude I can take.

Pray for your marriage and for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to bring it back to where it should be :slight_smile:

I am working on myself too. I am in therapy and pray for my marriage. There are weeks when I try hard but he just seems to get worse. One week, 4 days in a row I stayed out until he was asleep and got up before he woke up. On the fifth day, I stayed home. And it was the first time in months when he was nice to me. He was nice for 3 days in a row. I had hope. I put my wedding ring back on. But he went right back to his old ways. Wedding ring is back off.


#18

Is it possible that your husband senses the disconnect between you? I remember your other other thread.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=535634&page=3

If he suspects but does not know, then he may be trying to reassure himself of your affection by wanting your presence. He does want you around, and that is HUGE.


#19

I just read through your previous thread. Something that I wonder about, would you say that your husband is a kind man?

What would you do if you left your husband? Would you work on becoming stronger, or would it be an excuse to give up?

Suppose you knew that you could separate, share custody, receive child support and alimony? What positive change do you think that would lead to?

Also, I read that your husband had been your boss. What drew you to him? Did you feel like he valued you at that time?


#20

[quote="cviolette, post:15, topic:240063"]
I have been discussing this with my spiritual director. He opened my eyes to some of the reasons that my husband is so cold and distant. Things I totally missed. He is the best husband that he is capable of being. It helped me to become less angry. Anger still slips in once in awhile but it is not as bad.

Part of me realizes that I am being selfish but another part of me is worried about being a door mat. Hard to find that balance.

[/quote]

cviolette, when I married my husband I really wasn't aware of just how damaged he was...and still is. I mean, I sort of knew his family history (father's adultery, parents' divorce) but like society constantly drums into us, that shouldn't matter, right? Now I know that he is remarkably functioning for such destruction wreaked in his early life, but he is still a deeply wounded person. His father is a narcissist, that was one thing I did not know when we got married. It's only over time that I have learned how destructive that person has been, to many people in his life, but especially to his son.

My realization last week is that I am not sick for wanting an emotional and spiritual connection with my husband. He is too damaged to be able to meet me half way. It's taken me a very long time to understand such a simple fact. I kept wanting to heal him or help him want to heal himself, but he doesn't want that. It is not wrong of us to want more from our husbands. There is an emptiness inside of me that will not be filled by my husband...And it is not the emptiness of someone who doesn't know Christ, because I do. In fact, it is only because I do have Christ in my life that I can let go of my desire for my husband to be my true partner. It's simply not possible for him at this point.

I do believe miracles can happen, but I'm not going to be the one to start that miracle, it has to come from God. I just know that I am not going to hang my head in sorrow any longer about this. I have done nothing wrong, wanting my husband to return to a love of God and to be the kind of father and husband that his sons and I would like him to be. And it's not just a selfish thing on my part - I desperately fear for his soul, since he doesn't believe in sin and doesn't go to confession or anything like that. If something happened, would I see him again in Heaven? I just don't know.

How will I meet that need for emotional connection when the kids are gone? A very big question in my life right now.


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