Relationship issue...need advice

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know I am in the wrong...cant figure out how to fix this one so I am coming here to get some help.

    Tony and I have been together for 25 years this July 15th. He isnt a mover or a shaker but he is steady. He has two things he loves to do as hobbies and that is hunting and fishing. He gave up hunting for quite a few years because we just didnt have time or money for him to really do it but he has kinda gotten back into deer hunting in the last year or so. He is a huge fisherman though. He would fish every weekend if he could. Heck...every day if he could!

    This wasnt so much of a problem when we lived at the beach or when the boys were younger and they tagged along with him. I was also healthier and I had outside interests and could go and do things. Now I cant. Now Im stuck at home and when he is gone I am left to be the driver which wasnt such a problem when the boys were younger because they werent working.

    Now I am always mad and upset when he wants to go do his thing. I know its because I have nothing to go do. I also have the health problems that make me feel left behind and I do miss having his attention when he works all week and I am stuck in the house with no one to talk to besides the boys.

    I am so isolated.

    He doesnt get it and thinks I am trying to control him and use him only as a paycheck. It isnt that at all. I dont even know how to explain how I feel. I guess I just feel abandoned and this is something that hits harder with the borderline junk and makes me lash out in anger...which I try really hard not to do and to try and explain my needs calmly...but if I cant get it across...I get angry.

    How do I solve this? And dont say find a hobby...I have tried. I really do live in a one horse town and there is nothing to do here that doesnt cost money. Gas is so high I cant afford to drive to the next bigger city that often. This is really starting to be a huge deal. We are at each others throats constantly.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Janet, you both have needs. How about you print this out and let Tony read it. We know it's not that you don't want him to fish, it's that you feel lonely and vulnerable without him. And he probably needs the serenity that a day of fishing gives him. Some people just need to stay connected to the land.

    How about bringing out the calendar and figuring out a compromise? This way he can plan his time away... and you can prepare yourself for it.

    Is there anywhere nearby that you can join him for a half day? Or is this his time away?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Janet, I'm sorry you are feeling this way. My advice can't be worth a lot here since it's not exactly like I have experience with long-term relationships. But being an outsider looking in, it looks like BOTH of you need to do a little giving in. I don't hear you asking for too much. He isn't really either- but he does need to realize that the circumstances aren't what they used to be. My ametuer opinion is that you don't expect ALL his spare time- just some more than what you are getting. And he probably knows that but- the male thing- is afraid if he gives an inch, he'll lose it all.

    Since you know him so well, would it do any good to talk to him about a compromise solution? (He cuts down the fishing time to have more time with you and/or helping out, but he doesn't give it up altogether?) Would he go for marriage counseling (not that this seems to be a huge, make-it-or-break-it problem)?

    I wish I could be of more help. Hang in there- I'm sure those with more experience in this will have better suggestions.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Janet, I wish I had an answer, because then I'd have one for myself as well. All I can send is hugs.
  5. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    25 years on July 15th, Thats incredible. I think with a heart to heart talk that he just might understand. I say this of course knowing that men and women are from two different planets. Our thinking is completely different. Men are simple women are not. Lol!! I do not think that your asking for much. Maybe consider setting aside one or two days or evenings just for the two of you for a date even if it means cooking up a romantic dinner for the two of you or somewhere local.

    Here is a saying that I have heard many times.

    "Would your husband swim across shark infested waters to give you a glass of tea"

    If so, You have your man
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Put a bass boat in the living room, flood the front yard and stock it monthly from the fish hatchery with nice bass.

    And have him buy you a pontoon boat so you can tag along in comfort, watch him fish and still get outside, but not be bored.

    Since you are short on gas - make the boys paddle.

    Hon - I think TM gave you the best advice - print it out, and talk to him. I don't see that you are being selfish - you're just lonely. I don't see him as selfish - fishing is just his "down"time from work, the boys, life. I don't see where you begrudge him that - but there needs to be equal time for Janet - and since you can't fit into that mermaid outfit - the king of the sea is going to have to come inland to the princess once in a while.

    Plan a night where the boys and all the kids are OUT - O-U-T. And have some alone time with him - even if you just grill out, make popcorn and watch a movie together - it's time for you and him together.

    hey - and tell tony the fishing is GREAT - at Lake Janet!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He is very good to me. He gripes about it but he works 2 hours away from home and sometimes has to come home and fix dinner for me. I know its not fair to him. When he gripes I feel so worthless. He tells me all the time he isnt griping to me but to all the other useless people in the But I still feel the sting.

    I think bringing out the calendar and working out a compromise is going to be something we have to work on. The problem with that is I never know from one moment to the next when I am going to have a good day. It gets really awful if he plans a trip and I end up down for the count. I know he thinks I am exaggerating it.

    We need to find a way to reconnect. With everyone in the house we have no "us" time anymore. Ok...I dont know if we ever did. Its like we never got to stop parenting after 25 years....and it doesnt look like that time is going to end any time in the foreseeable future.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending gentle hugs your way.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Janet -

    I think NOW is the time - to tell the kids -


    I'm serious - YOU don't need a break from each other - you need a break from your adult kids and their kids.

    IF you did NOT tell Tony - that say next FRIDAY night - he would come home from work - TO A QUIET house with ONLY his wife - WHAT do you think he would do? Go fishing?

    _I don't think so. You guys are dying for a date night - and your kids need to give it to you.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think Star is right on this, Janet. Those boys are old enough to send them somewhere for a while. Ok- you can't get them out of the house? Pitch a tent in your back yard.
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Finding time and energy to put into a relationship is so difficult. And after 25 years, well, you've said and done about all there is to say and do. Having the difficult children around all the time is exhausting. It seems like husband and I have nothing to talk about if we aren't talking about one of the kids. I have to make time. If I'm feeling good, I make lunch and carry it to him at the store. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll fix his favorite meal, and tell the kids to find something else to do for the evening and cut off the phones. I look for little things while I'm out to pick up for him that I know he'll like----anything Harley Davidson around here is always appreciated. I try to do little things to let him know I appreciate him and he seems to react in kind. So, maybe some new fishing lures???? While he's fishing suprise him with a picnic????
  12. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Great suggestions.....set up that date night! And, find a way to let him know how you feel. Nothing wrong with printing this out as suggested....true feelings in the moment that might not come out the same way in person. You've been together a very long time, maybe it's just a matter of getting on the same page again & reminding each other how much you need one another.

  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Great advice all around.

    If you have a hard time saying things in person, try writing a heart-feld letter. Don't do it in one shot...think about what you really want to say.

    He seems like a great guy Kids out!!

  14. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I was thinking the same thing as Tired Mommy when I was reading your post. Sometimes it is hard to say what we need to our loved ones because we get so emotional. Your post spells out your feelings clearly and perhaps if husband understands where you are coming from, you can arrange a compromise. One day of the weekend for fishing and one day for couples time, just a thought.

    Good Luck.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Read super duper fast the responses and caught the word "compromise..." That works for me. How often is he going hunting and fishing? Is it EVERY weekend? If so, that doesn't seem appropriate. Can you get out a calendar and agree to every other weekend? Whatever it is, it needs to be LESS than it is now. In addition, you might want to think of an activity of your liking on your day or your weekend. Do you like board games? Shopping? Whatever. I think you have a fair complaint...especially if he is going out frequently with-o you. You have a partnership. He is entitled to his hobby, but not if he is going out with-o you for extensive periods of time and he is working on the other days. He really needs to make time for your relationship and it is fair for you to ask for something to be worked out in my humble opinion. by the way...if you are having a bad health day...stock up the freezer with- really good frozen pizzas...those wiill be good for a few nights. OR Find a place that sells a good cooked whole chicken...and ask him to pick it up. Throw in a baked potato (microwave or oven) and open up a can of peas. This is a super duper easy meal for someone not feeling well and no one is put out.
    Wishing you and your husband well!
  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Disclaimer: I AM NO RELATIONSHIP ADVISOR. (trust me on this)

    I know my husband HATES it when I cry. I'm sorry...I cry at MeowMix commercials. Don't even get met started on the Animal Planet adoption commercials. I could make a pool of my own tears.

    So, when it's something that is really critical to me, I take my time to write it down and let him decide the time to discuss.

    It doesn't always happen that way. When he chooses not to discuss, I get really agitated. But, I've given it a shot. Then I fester. ;)

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I completely understand. It really is time to print out your post, maybe tm's response and a note asking if that would be OK, or if he has another suggestion.

    I even "get" the not knowing when you will have a good day or a bad day. But there ARE ways you can plan so you increase your chances of having a good day. Stay out of the heat the day before. Do gentle stretching and as little other stuff as possible, or whatever will be best for YOU and then you can gear up for the next day.

    It is time to tell the boys that on certain nights they WILL be out of the house. period. Baby, rides, etc don't matter. Not on those nights. They can take care of their own stuff and their progeny's stuff. Period. They leave and forget the bottle? they get to buy a new one. they don't get to come back and get it. If they need to write a list of what all they need, the baby needs, the dog, horse or pigeon needs, they should do it and check it off ahead of time.

    On that night you and Tony are NOT parents, grandparents, phone answerers or email answerers. You are husband and wife, and if you want to pull out the living room couch and go to town on it, YOU SHOULD!! heck, you should hang from the lights, or just sit and cuddle.

    BUT you should be ALONE. NOT one night. But one night REGULARLY. And if it is after fishing, cool. Knowing that Tony will be home at a certain time, you can get ready and spend time with him. Then you will both enjoy it - he will because he will come home relaxed. You will because you have his attention.

    It is also time to see if you can find some services to help with the transport if the kids can't drive. I know you have asked previously, but it has probably been awhile. It is maybe time to ask again?? Cause what will happen when the driving and work have you totally bed/chair bound?? And it WILL happen if you don't get some help. Also assign the boys chores. Just make them lists. No chores done, no rides. They can walk to work. I know a guy who walked 8 miles EACH WAY to teach every morning. They were in deep financial trouble, so he sold his car and walked to work. Then someone gave him an old bike so he rode that. YOUR BOYS CAN DO THIS. Or get others to give them rides.

    Hugs, and lots of love,

  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    In no way are either of you being selfish. You're lives are just more than a bit crowded right now. I'm sitting in the middle of the same thing, only I can get out and about but it's not making that much difference in the relationship aspect, believe me. And yours is being complicated by the health and money issues.

    I don't know how you're schedules are, but any possible way you could juggle a get away day just for you and husband? Maybe 24 hours in isolation at a nearby campgound? (should be free) Of course you could shoot for a whole weekend but I was thinking with the schedule thing that might not be possible.

    I dunno the asnwers, but maybe you and husband are gonna have to become spontaneous about sneaking off together til all the chicks are finally out of the nest.

  19. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Okay, I may be way out in left field here, but if I recall Cory is wearing the ankle monitor and he is essentially under house arrest?? This makes YOU the warden. Tony gets away by going fishing and you feel strapped to the house. Maybe I'm not remembering the facts of your household, but I think you need to find someway to get out of the house at least once or twice a week. I know your health can preclude this, but if you are driving people around you can make an effort to get out of your surroundings for at least a couple of hours. Don't know if you enjoy outside, park setting, find a library and sit and read in the quiet surroundings. Find a place to park the car and knit.....just get away from your house....... Now I may have underestimated your situation, but think it's not that you don't want Tony to go fishing, it's that you think you can't go anywhere cause you are playing warden....
    I think having to be responsible for someone on house arrest is one of the most stressful things a mother can go thru.....YOU can't do it all, take a daily break, a half hour of chanting, crochet doiles, anything to relieve your mind of all that's going on in your life......
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{Janet}}} I like everything that everyone said and compromise is usually a good solution. Will H compromise? I don't think swimming across shark infested waters is a true testament to loving someone, but it does come close, :redface:.

    If you can, find an hour of peace and quiet, uninterrupted. Sit with a pad and pen and close your eyes and do some self talk - talk away all the things you think about on a daily basis. Travel back in time (in your mind) and try to remember the things you used to do that fed your soul, lifted your spirits and put your mind at ease, made you smile and feel good about yourself. Write them on your pad. After listing one item at a time, think about that one activity and how it would apply in your life today - is it doable? Is it within your means? Will it still bring you joy? Are you still interested enough to pursue it? After you write each item and ask yourself those questions, you will have something to work with for your time alone, while H is off fishing.

    Much as I think it's important for H's and W's to spend time together, I also feel that it's important for us to spend some time apart to feed our own souls and do things that WE enjoy without always having the other tag along, Know what I mean??

    I really REALLY enjoy my gardens. I love weeding them, because it gives me time to just sort of do this repetitive action and think or not think at all. I take in my surroundings of nature and breathe it all in; it puts me at peace. I sit on the ground and let my bottom get wet from the moist earth and just pick at the weeds very slowly. I find it relaxing. Sometimes I go out with a hand clipper and shape and cut back overgrown shrubs or smaller plants. Sometimes I snip herbs for harvesting and freezing. It's a way to do something for me and get away from H for a bit, and difficult child. I tell them, "No phone calls" while I'm out there doing my thing.

    Do you enjoy reading, or journaling? Perhaps you could join H while he's fishing and read or journal a little? It's a way for you to be 'with' one another, but still affords H his time to do his thing while you do yours.

    I won't claim to have the perfectly balanced marriage, that's for sure, but I sure wish that H would figure out something to do besides work. All he does is work, eat, watch tv and sleep. When we were first together, he was an avid cyclist. Now he has two bicycles that sit in our shed and do nothing but get rustier every year. I would LOVE to see him go on his 30 mile bike rides again and burn off some stress. H becomes annoyed with me if I plan too much time out of the house but yet, when we're together, there's nothing going on. So, what's his beef? Do you see where I'm heading with this? Much as you don't want to be told to find a hobby, you DO need to find something just for you - something that you like a lot to match H's love of fishing. Consider it an escape - and then compromise with H about how much of your time will be spent on those things.