Relationship opinion needed, long read but very important!

Discussion in 'Your Front Porch' started by recentlydizzy, May 5, 2014.

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  1. shartsoe

    shartsoe New Member

    Yesterday we got some difficult news. My daughter and son-in-law, who will be married four years this month, are divorcing over some medical issues she has. She never shared their struggle with us (her parents) or sought help from a qualified therapist that I know of. When she sat us down last night and told us they were separating, I got the distinct impression it was because he doesn't *want* to put the effort into living a different life than the one he was expecting. I don't know if the *want* is there for either of you, but that has to come first. Sometimes what the heart doesn't feel, can be known by the brain. Feelings are fickle things. Life gets hard. But when we establish with our minds what we know to be right, we can be strengthened to push the heart onward toward mutual support. Perhaps the first step is to sit down and determine if you can still imagine love in your head.
  2. jimmykicker

    jimmykicker New Member

    I think it is very hard for the sick folks to really put ourselves in the "well" person's shoes a lot. They have to deal with the sick ones and it can be very daunting. Right now my parents are both in their mid seventies. My dad just got out of the hospital after two weeks in there. It's ridiculous how much I had to pick up the pace to keep his affairs in order. I was SO freaking exhausted last night...mentally and physically after getting him home, comfortable and then running to the store for groceries for them....Then I had to drive home 30 minutes at almost 11 pm...All this after working all day too, so I have been on that side of the fence too.

    BUT, you mention codependency. I found that a person that has tendencies to be codependent, like myself, that is involved with a jealous person, they tend to get swallowed up in it rather quickly..."putting out fires" as it were and never gaining any ground in the relationship. And if you feel like you are there to "rescue" her and that makes you feel more emotionally tied to her, it just gets worse from there. Trust me...I know. I have no idea about what she is like than what you tell me, and I am sure she has a side too, but man...I can relate, as I had been there. I had to escape in my case because this woman was not only jealous, but very mentally disturbed. I found out the hard way, and my "obligation" to her and my codependency almost got me killed. In more ways than one. I have always believed that that hydrops situation came to a head due to the stress of a strained psyche and immune system. Now that I am away, I am way better off. Not to say that is your course of action, but food for thought.

  3. recentlydizzy

    recentlydizzy New Member

    Thanks so much for all the responses' it is truly helpful. I traveled a lot for work so satellite radio was a must for me and I got hooked on listening to Dr. Laura. Several times I have heard her say to callers "if you wanted an elephant why didn't you marry an elephant". That got me thinking about my situation and then I came up with a question for her that I will never get a chance to ask but here it is.

    Suppose I married that elephant and thru no fault of their own they were no longer the elephant I married? See, I can't do the things I use too like work M-F 9to5. So I am no longer the elephant she wanted. Would love to see the look on her face if she ever got that question!! Intrepid is very correct I knew or should have known what I was getting myself into. She was damaged goods from the start (for lack of a better analogy). Her first marriage that resulted in my four step kids she got messed over big time (abusive cheater type of messed over). Hence the extreme jealousy.

    Initially she did some things that by her own admission was pretty messed up. This is for james2013 (she poked me with a fork) funny today but at the time I was about to go to the police. This month I will have my second child out of high school and into college. A grape vine rumor (and we all know that grape vine) said she was just hanging in until this kid got out of high school then she was going to leave. I confronted her about it and pretty much said that was not cool and I felt she was using me. I got this great down home southern phrase from one of my doctor friends who said "Smitty she either needs to S%^t or get off the pot. Now that is so flipping funny from the mouth of an MD.

    My position thus far is if she leaves she goes if she stays she stays. I just don't know if I have a breaking point... time will tell.
  4. Intrepid

    Intrepid New Member

    You're making this too much about her. Make it about you.She will not change unless she wants too. The question you need to be asking yourself is are you willing to change, for yourself? If so, then work on it.

    It's very rarely about the other person unless we are trying to escape personal accountability.
  5. Philosopher

    Philosopher New Member

    Dump her. Give her the boot.

    Move on.

    It makes no difference if you are in your 20's, 40's or 60's. Sponging is sponging and she is clearly not interested in what's best for you, the two of you as a unit, or your children.

    Time to move on my friend.
  6. Philosopher

    Philosopher New Member

    And, oh, I forgot to mention:

    Run! Don't walk!
  7. kraunque

    kraunque New Member

    A lot of good advice given here, especially the part about needing to make this about you, and not her. I have nothing to add to it except to say that I hope you find the outcome you need by taking the actions that are necessary.
  8. nicmger

    nicmger New Member

    My view are letting this be all about her and what she wants, giving her all of the power. That would drive me crazy. It took me a couple of years to "accept" that I dont have the power to control everything about this Meniere's. Other than that, if it is in my power, I can't let myself be in a position where I am unhappy.

    You said you have custody of the kids. So whether she is there or not, you will ensure that your kids are taken care of. You are paying all of the major bills. Then you make her pay up the child support which will help with any incidentals.

    I will take the statement from the doctor about "sh*t or get off the pot" - take that for yourself and do some hard thinking about what YOU want and need. What will make you happier. If it is making it work, then sit down talk it out and put the time and effort into it to turn things around. If it is not having her around, tell her that it is over and get to steppin'. :D You can't control other people, but you CAN control who is a part of your life (or not).
  9. jimmykicker

    jimmykicker New Member

    I agree with the first part of this, but not necessarily the last sentence. I think that "rarely" isn't entirely accurate. Every situation is different. If the case is that you are codependent personality type (as I can be and he seems to be) and you are involved with someone as if in my case...a borderline (emotionally abusive)...all you have is "personal accountability". You believe everything is your fault because you have been TOLD over and over that it is...that there is something wrong with YOU, not them. You actually believe it after a while, and personal accountability? You become a prisoner of it...yours AND theirs.

    Now bear in mind I have NO idea of what her situation is, or what her personality type is, but if you have been involved with an emotionally abusive person? (mine threatened mine with knives and did $4000 worth of damage to my car too) When it's over? When you wake up? Then it starts to come out...that maybe you CAN shove some of the blame off on your partner...cause you're so damn tired of eating the blame all the time...damn tired. Damn tired of having wasted your life keeping "fires" out as it were and you can realize that THEY own some?? it's a huge burden taken off you. My therapist told me that I NEEDED to let her shoulder some blame because I was swallowing it all.

    But as far as personal responsibility goes? Firm believer! I'm not a guy that blames a cop when he gets a ticket for speeding, or would bitch that if I got lung cancer from smoking when I knew how bad it was for me. Those are in my control...but you cannot always be the one being the target of the blame. That's a really seriously dangerous place to be in mentally. Just to clarify too. I totally believe that my HSV that I believe caused me to get sick was aggravated by her she to blame though? No...I could have walked the f*ck away from her. It was entirely my fault for staying...That's my accountability.

    Bottom gotta separate emotion from facts....look at it as if you were an outsider....a friend asking you his opinion...or even better yet think as how a female friend might respond to what you're saying...During my recovery I found it good to talk to people that didn't share my viewpoint. Helps you think outside the box a bit.

    Hang in there buddy.
  10. recentlydizzy

    recentlydizzy New Member

    Thanks so much everyone! Maybe a potential breakthrough has happened today. My next to oldest step daughter is graduating high school next week and starts a summer cna program at the junior college. August she starts college lucky me my state has a program for low income households that cover tuition costs. So I can swing the room and board and books.

    Her graduation present (if it is still on the car lot in the morning) is a 03 EClass Mercedes Benz. The best part is her mom actually got the financing approved on her own. Finally I heard her say "ok maybe working isn't so bad after all". Here's hoping that things will start to look up from here.
  11. msprygada

    msprygada New Member

    I was just going to read this thread and move on...but this is just over the top. Hell I would like to not work and have someone take care of me too. Someone that would work hard to bring home the bacon and buy me stuff and provide me with money to buy whatever I wanted. To have a Mercedes in the driveway, to live in the south when it is winter and be taken to exotic places in the winter and then have a nice summer home up north. Hell I will never be able to retire and I have a good job, just started late in life to go to college and get a good job. Oh regrets. Just the way it is.

    But hey, this is the real world, if she wants to marry a sugar daddy and you don't want to be that sugar daddy, than you have to tell her to pack her bags and find someone that will. This disease is tough enough without having to put up with this shit. Sorry but I work hard in life and my partner better be that way too.
  12. recentlydizzy

    recentlydizzy New Member

    Thank you for the reply msprygada. I understand where you are coming from and in a lot of ways I agree. I have had that thought run through my mind especially after my health nose diving and her reaction to it. I promise neither of us is living a life of luxury. Well unless staying at home and raising kids is luxury in her case it just might be. Lets be honest, it isn't every day you run across a guy who is willing to accept and love four children that is not his own (Like his own) one of them was still in diapers.

    The best I have been able to do is provide a safe stable environment free of drama. I chose to live in the middle of nowhere because it is so much better for the kids IMO. I have a garage door that has been stuck open for almost 2 years and noting has gone missing. I never worry about my kids running the streets because if something happened I would get four or five people calling texting emailing and showing up at the door in seconds.

    I have a modest home, three modest cars, nice furnishings and never worry about paying for any of it. I will say my lose of income is nothing more than an inconvenience. Guess I never realized how much money I blew until I actually started paying attention. I really think military service during war changed me in both positive and negative ways. All I want is a peaceful stress free life or as stress free as possible. That point is where so many peoples input has been valuable to me because everyone acknowledges the stress it causes and really made me think about if this is stress I should be putting up with. O yeah for the record the Benz is old high mileage and only 5k. For her it is a major milestone because I have bought and paid for her last three minivans.

    I hoped role reversal as it is would help her see things from my perspective. When she complains I remind her I did it for twelve years she has only done it for four months. Wow it will be interesting to see what happens next! Stay tuned!!
  13. Jordan

    Jordan New Member

    I am not a relationship expert, but I have been married for more than 20 years and am a stay-at-home mom to 5 kids. Although I am not obligated to do so, I work from home as a freelancer. My husband is the one with Meniere's, and his condition is currently controlled with antiviral medication.

    I am fortunate in that my husband has never asked me to work as he believes it is his responsibility as the man to provide for me and our children. He, too, is a freelancer, and we sometimes work together on different projects since our fields overlap.

    There was a bad period of time in 2009 when it looked as though my husband might be disabled due to Meniere's. Although he was pushing himself to work, the fact was that he could not really sit in front of the computer for long periods of time, which is crucial to his job. Nevertheless, he did not give up, and I could tell you some hilarious stories that were not funny at the time regarding how we managed to finish some of our projects.

    I have lived through every moment of the illness with my husband, and I have a lot of sympathy for anyone who experiences even half of what he did. My husband is the type of person who hates sitting around, so to see him incapacitated and unable to perform simple tasks for an extended period was very unusual and difficult to watch.

    It was around this time that I realized that I needed to step up my freelance efforts as a security cushion. At one point, I was also offered a very attractive job in an international company that I was tempted to take at a time when we really needed the cash. Ultimately, however, we decided that it was not in the best interest of the kids for me to suddenly start working outside the home, and I am glad I decided to decline the offer because it turns out that my older teens in particular seem to need me even more than my toddler these days. Parenting is a full-time job, and I am glad that I can be here 24/7.

    Stepping up my freelance efforts paid off as well. I am currently inundated with work, and I still get to stay home with the kids.

    Reading your initial post, I did not feel that you fully understand what it might feel like for a woman who has stayed home for 12 years to suddenly enter the workforce. Not only is she going through a major transition by working outside the home, but she is also working the graveyard shift, which would be stressful for anyone under the best of circumstances.

    Related to this, when I was around 9 years old, my mother suddenly had to start working after 16 years of being a housewife. Although I understand why she had to do this, it was incredibly stressful for me as a child as I felt that she transformed into a different person as far as the way she dressed, thought, and dealt with things. She was a lot more stressed out, and it was just very lonely for me to come home to an empty home every day. I have thus always vowed that I would do everything possible to stay home with my own kids.

    Having said that, if my husband could no longer work and I had to take the responsibility for doing so outside the home, I would not hesitate to support my family in this manner. When push comes to shove, you have to do what you have to do.

    But the great thing is that things have changed a great deal over the past 20 years, and working at home is now possible for most people. If you have a computer and an Internet connection, there are many things that both you and your wife can do from home. If I were you, I would consider exploring the possibilities together because having a home-based business could bring tranquility and stability to your lives as you begin to earn money from the comfort of home. Although my husband and I work in the fields of writing and translation, there are other possibilities as well. An ill friend of mine, for example, sells things like herbs and organic honey, and she is quite successful at it.

    Reading your post, the question burning inside my mind was why your wife has to work the graveyard shift in particular. Although it is wonderful that you are taking care of things at home, and you are to be commended for that, it does not make sense to me that a mother of 5 would have to abandon her family in the middle of the night except in the most dire of circumstances. Even if working at home were not an option for any reason, it seems like she could at least work during the day. If you show a bit of sympathy towards her and help remove this burden from her life, this may improve things in other areas of your life as well. The feeling I get right now is that you just want her to suck it up, and I am not getting a good vibe from that.

    I understand there are other issues as well, and it seems that your wife may also not fully appreciate what you are going through as far as the illness. So, in short, I think you guys need to work together in order to find a solution that you can both live with. You should also make some kind of pact that neither of you will belittle the other's efforts. Most of us thrive on appreciation and gratitude, and one person has to get the ball rolling in order for it to start flowing from the other side.
  14. recentlydizzy

    recentlydizzy New Member

    Jordan thanks for the reply! You are 100% correct about my attitude of "suck it up" that is one of the not so pleasant personality quirks from military service. The graveyard shift thing is a result of two things. 1. She needed a job with health insurance. 2. I live in the middle of an oil/gas patch so jobs for women are next to nothing. Hold on three things. 3. She had one semester of college to finish but because it was math classes she never finished so no college degree. Money isn't a huge issue but the health insurance is kind of important. Not that I "need insurance" I can use the Veterans Administration, but she needed coverage for her and it is a convenience for me.

    I made her watch a video about Meniere's well, actually a couple. When Dana White was describing his Meniere's symptoms she had this look on her face like wow. She said to me "I never seen that happen to you". I said that is because when it happens to me I go straight to bed. When she is complaining about working nights I have said quit, find something else but without her degree jobs she is interested in doing have all required a degree. Kind of sucks for me because I see these jobs and think I could of done that.

    Running businesses and multimillion dollar non-profits was my forte. I had made the suggestion that the treatment center she works for change to 12 hour shifts. The reason why is when I did manual labor I loved 12 hour days. Yeah it sucks when it is your shift but the average 8 hour a day worker is away from home and on the job 20 days a month by contrast a 12 hour day worker is only on site 14 days. That is an extra 6 days a month at home! Also you work 4 days one week and three days the next! I made outstanding money but with so much free time I was always broke. I hate to say it about her but in all honesty I don't know if it matters where or when she works I just think the idea of her working is a sore spot. As far as the kids are concerned the ones that are home are aged 18, 17, 15, and 7 so they haven't batted an eyelash about her working. One of them told me privately nothing has really changed because when she was home all she did was sit on the computer playing facebook games. Thanks for the reply!
  15. Intrepid

    Intrepid New Member

    ....and that is what your partner means (as I told you) when she requests more feelings from you.
  16. msprygada

    msprygada New Member

    I see no reason to stay at home with kids that age unless you are either lazy or want a free ride in life. My parents both worked our entire lives and we had 7 kids. All those kids are in school all day.

    Now our parents did not coddle us. For as long as I can remember I had to make my own breakfast and lunch and had to help with dinner and the kids did the dishes. I have been doing my own laundry since I was 10 or so and had to keep your own room clean and then rest of the house as well as mow the lawn, shovel snow, and take out the garbage. Like my mother used to say, I did not have you to pick up after you. All 7 kids are working and hard workers and do not meet to rely on anyone else to get though life so having a partner to help out with life is just a plus. I have friends that have a stay at home moms and the kids just grew up looking to marry "mom" because everything was allways done for them.

    So in the age of woman's lib, why it it that you can't stay at home and she be the bread winner?

    Inquiring minds want to know. :)
  17. Philosopher

    Philosopher New Member

  18. nicmger

    nicmger New Member

    All I can say is that I was raised different it would seem from your wife/ex wife. My mom was a single mom with three kids. My dad never even paid the minimal support ordered. So my mom worked 2-3 jobs doing anything and everything to keep a roof over our head, clothes, food, etc. Yes we didn't have a lot of "things" but we made it through. To this day, all three of us kids have a work ethic that most would be shocked to see. We were raised that if you want it, you work for it. We were raised that no job is "beneath" you and you do whatever you have to make it through. Period. My brother and I are more fortunate and have better paying jobs; my sister does not. But she manages to raise her kids (by her self) on $15/hr. It can be done.

    I understand that things have changed and it may be a culture shock to your wife, but I don't agree that it is something that should be coddled or embraced. Too bad. Life changes. People work for a living. Do I joke about find that rich guy to marry me and keep me in the life style that I have become accustomed to...of course. But reality is that it is up to me to work.

    Further, unless I missed something in reading, regardless of whether you are able to go out and hold a job now - you ARE contributing. You are most likely the primary bread earner (through your Vet pay) if you are able to pay for the house and major bills. So even if she has to contribute a small what. AND even if you couldn't work, that is what "in sickness and health" means.

    I do get that she has a side to this but honestly it irritates me that someone would be upset with "having" to go to work. That is life. My motto is "Get 'er done". LOL :D

    And for the record, just because she saw that by working that she was able to get the car for your daughter....I don't view that as a breakthrough. Could be wrong, but if I were you I wouldn't cling on to that with desperate hope of change.
  19. Intrepid

    Intrepid New Member

    We are not in their home or their relationship. What you would do is irrelevant; you are not her :D

    We don't know these people. We don't know her side of the story...because there are two sides to every story.

    Let's just be more compassionate and accept that this is not about what "we" would do.
  20. Intrepid

    Intrepid New Member

    I absolutely LOVED being a stay at home mom. I loved (and still love) doing all those things that stay at home parents are able to do for those kids.

    Although mine are teenagers now, I am in no rush for them to leave the house, grow up, etc. Those things happen naturally. They are more than welcome to stay with the dad and me for as long as they want to.....and I have zero issues picking up after them. My boys are amazing young men regardless of who does the laundry on any given day.

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