So angry at husband - vent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband has never had any energy. It's an ongoing battle. And I do mean battle. Anything that is done for me or for our home is only done if I hound him every single moment of the task. No task is ever completed. No task is ever undertaken unless I thoroughly plan and schedule it. It has been this way for 20 years. I didn't mind it so much when he was working long hours and overtime, but that's just not the case anymore.

    Over the last 5 years we have tried to deal with his fatigue. Every spring it becomes more of an issue. There are things that need to be done. Period. If we didn't own a house we would still have things that needed to be done more than having him play World of Warcraft and ignoring me, so we won't even pretend to suggest that scaling down on our house is an answer to our problems. He has had corrective surgery twice for snoring. No help. He's on a C-Pap machine. No help. He's on anti-depressants. No help. Four years of therapy. No help.

    Last weekend was especially bad. He took Thursday and Friday off, so with the 4th being a holiday, he only worked 2 days last week. No big projects. I had him run some soaker hoses out to the veggie garden. This in addition to his mowing the lawn. I have a new client and had to spend the weekend doing work at home. The entire time he was in drooling in front of his computer. I had to try to get a year's worth of bookkeeping in order all the while keeping an eye on the dogs and saying "Honey would you please let the dogs out?" His big contribution was to have me sort the laundry and oversee what he could and could not put into the dryer. For a grand finale, he moved out to the back yard and ignored the dogs tearing things up outside while reading. The weekend before he didn't say two words to me, because he "just didn't have anything to say."

    In addition to my regular job and the new client, my friend N has gone out of town and asked me to look in on her cat and hang out at her lovely pool. So Sunday I bust my azz and get through the books and take a couple of friends up to sit at the pool for a bit in the afternoon. We get to talking about how stressed I am that I have to choose to either get nothing at all from husband - or be on constant watch to get him to do even the littlest thing for us. C asks if it is depression, I explain that it is not and why. K is not contributing to the conversation much. K leaves her watch at the pool and comes by on Wednesday to pick it up.

    K tells me on Wed. that she took the liberty of telling her husband K that husband is having troubles and needs to get out of the house, so Mr. K is going to "help us out" by having husband come over on Saturday to "help him build his deck." I'm dumbfounded. Mind you, husband helped K build frame, skin, and roof his outbuilding over a course of several weekends last summer and fall. K came over one day this spring and helped us move wood for about 1.5 hours, then husband was wiped out for the weekend. K does not need help for his projects. WE need help for life. I told Mrs. K that if husband helped K with his project, I wouldn't get anything out of husband, and it would not help us. She was shocked! "Well, I can tell K not to ask..." in that sing songie voice like I'm such a flake/witch for not realizing that all husband needs is some fresh air and male companionship. I told her that I would talk to husband, but that husband needed to understand that he could say no, and that this would be an opportunity for husband to commit to me first. But I would prefer it if he did not do this because he is ill and I am ill and it would put a strain on our marriage.

    So, before I can talk to husband about it, Mr. K calls. I'm shaking my head "No no no no no!" Whispering "You have to ask me!" "We have plans!" "No! No! No!" husband is stupefied. "Sure, K, thanks for thinking of me! Uh, I might not have time this weekend. Oh, for the next four or six weeks? Sure! Oh, uh, but only a little bit. I might not be able to come for more than an hour or so. Do you have the design already? Sure I can help demo it! Uh, I don't know when..." He tells me he thinks he owes Mr. K because of the 1.5 hours of help that he gave us one day. Bull pucky! Mr. K is WAY into debt to us for all of the hours husband spent working on his outbuilding!

    WT....? I'm lucky if I can get him to roll his lard belly out of bed by noon. Then there must be a second breakfast because he's already gotten up in the early hours to feed the dogs and eaten then but how can he possibly get by on that? So, after second breakfast and I clean up that, I have to remind him of what he needs to do. Mow the lawn? What an idea! It's Oregon, grass never grows here! Funny I should ask him to do it once or twice a week each summer. Then he needs lunch, because how can you get by for two hours after two breakfasts? All the while I have been keeping up tit for tat with him on nothing more than a cup of coffee because otherwise he'd be back at his computer. If I get far enough into the yard he'll go inside and get himself some lunch - I don't eat, right? - and "check his e-mail."

    What's this? I wanted you to actually go into the garage an hour once a week to clear it out like you agreed to do last month so we could be sure that there are no rat infestations? Why would I expect that to come automatically? Does he still have to mow the lawn? Well, he can't mow the front today because the neighbor is having a party and he can't get the last strip next to the curb so he'll leave all of his tools laying around the back yard until tomorrow afternoon.

    Believe me, husband and I have had these conversations very specifically about not volunteering to do anything outside of the home until he gets to the point that he can actually stay on task and do something around here without hurting his back or his calf or being so tired that he has to sit in his dungeon of a world or warcraft room for the next six days. That his primary focus right now must be his health. Getting enough sleep. Losing some weight. Being fit enough to do two tasks without it wiping him out for a month. He's at the doctor all of the time. We're making payments on the sleep studies, and the result is that it was of no help because he won't change his lifestyle. Did you ever watch a man eat a full bag of tater tots then complain because he didn't have enough energy? If he wants to get himself into shape, then he can volunteer all he wants. But so long as I have to hound every little thing out of him, helping friends and neighbors who aren't in dire straits has to wait. What is so hard about that?

    Of course, now I'm the witch. He has to tell our friends that he can't help because I said no. Or he has to help our friends and then spend every other waking moment trying to do something for me that he's too tired or injured to do. Why can't they carry a thought in their head for one moment? Why can't they apply abstract thought to a concept? "She doesn't want me to volunteer to be the President of the Rotary because she can't get five minutes work out of me and says I should take care of myself and my issues and then decide whether I'm able to volunteer." Great. Now apply that to "Neighbor wants me to devote six weekends to building his deck." If I could walk out on him right now I would.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I don't see any way that your friends could understand that, with-o the long explanation you just gave us here. I can see where there are serious physical and emotional problems with-your husband and that he needs to be seen by an expert (or 2, or 6).
    How frustrating.
    You said it's been like this for a long time ... was he like this when you married him?
    What sorts of tests has he already had? Thyroid, I assume ... the interesting part is that he doesn't seem aware of the problem, even when you talk to him about it. He sounds like one of my b-i-ls. Very frustrating.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I understand your first sentence?
    K has been around for years and has had many discussions with me regarding Allan's general malaise and the frustration it causes us. She knows about all of the surgeries for snoring and that the goal was for him to not be so tired all of the time that he can't contribute to our daily lives. She knows about all of the sleep tests, stress tests, thyroid tests, testosterone treatments, anti-depressants, diabetes tests, pre-diabetes diets, the weeks in bed using vacation time because he put his back out doing something simple because he's out of shape and can't even bend over without putting his back out, the years of marriage counseling dealing with his addiction to video gaming and his inability to participate in our household's needs without constant riding by me. So, I agree (or is it disagree?), I don't see any way that my friends would think that my saying "husband and I have been fighting because he's totally out of it and won't do any of the things he promises me that he will do and nothing gets done around my house and I'm working myself to the bone trying to keep him going or even get him out of bed and no it's not depression" means I want him to go work weekends at their house for the next month and a half.

    I don't see how anyone anywhere would think that it would be of help to tell your husband that he should ask your friend's husband to help you build a deck in your back yard for the next six weeks because you think he needs to get out of the house. No one anywhere in this situation said that husband needed to get out of the house. All that was said was that he is physically ill and unable to help around our house, and that I am physically ill and unable to keep up and this is causing us to fight.

    He's always been this way, but it took me decades to see it. When we first married, he worked sales on his feet 6 days a week. Then he became a letter carrier and worked odd hours and lots of overtime. I assumed the other roles because I figured he was just tired. That's not the case now. He's at a desk job, and gets 6 weeks of vacation a year. I'm much less able bodied than I was and going downhill. He knows this is going on, but he just doesn't make the connection. The result of therapy was that we agreed that he would do what I asked because he's not good at planning and wouldn't feel like I was angry at him because I have to repeat myself, and I would repeat myself and not get angry that I have to repeat myself because he's not good at holding a thought for anyone other than himself for more than the moment the other person is talking. He agreed to check with me to be sure that there wasn't something he had forgotten or needed to be done. No way did it include he goes to work at a friend's house the entire summer when he can't or won't do anything he promised me he would do for us.

    Believe me, there's plenty of anger to go around. I should have stood my ground with my friend when she told me what she had done. I should have told her, "I'm sorry you misunderstood. That won't help. Please do not have your husband call my husband for help. Please feel free to invite us for dinner or to go out if you think we need to get out of the house." I'm angry at my friend for putting me on the spot not just once for bringing it up, not just twice for not backing down when I said "if he goes to your house to do work he'll never do anything here for me", but three times by going ahead and having her husband not only call and ask for help for the one day she told me about, but to force the issue into "don't worry, I'll be working on it for at least six weeks, you can help any time" so that they could rescue him from his unhappy life with me.
  4. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    (before reading my response, realize that I've had a rotten day and in a very witchy mood....)

    Why not tell K, "Since you couldn't respect my wishes and now have husband scheduled to work at YOUR house, here is the list of chores I needed him to do. Every time he's at your house I expect YOU at my house doing the work I needed him to do. Thank you."

    See... I told you I was in a witchy mood. Hope it made you laugh in a twisted sort of way. :laugh:
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was going to suggest something similar- maybe her husband can repay the favor by doing or helping with the chores at your house.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wish I had an answer for you. Hubby does similar things on a smaller scale, but it still drives me nuts. I can only imagine how much more frustrating it is for you to have the situation be constant and recurring.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well I don't have any suggestions really. I am appalled by his behavior and lack of consideration to you. on the other hand, why should he change things up since there have been no real consequences? Have you ever seriously considered leaving him and let him know about it? I only ask because you've mentioned counseling and all those dr consultations and H still doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of the problems.

    To me, his addiction to gaming is just like any other addiction. His lethargy is a by-product of that addiction. I understand that he has real health issues, but he can change that if he really wanted to but he chooses not to. Believe me, I know how that is. My H and I were in counseling and after a while she told H he didn't need to come back. He told me he must be cured. When I asked the counselor about it she said, 'no, I feel it's pointless for us to be spinning our wheels with your H here. He knows what he truly needs to do, but once he leaves this office, it's back to the same old same old for him. Iow, he's not putting into daily practice all the techniques we've gone over. I would rather focus on working with you alone because you want to grow.'

    Do you go to therapy alone so you can learn how to cope and change the way you deal with H? He is not going to change so maybe you should focus on you and your future. Hugs.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think mom2oddson is right on target. Call K and tell her how now that your husband has spent weeks helping build the outbuilding, and now will spend 6 weeks on the deck that it is only right for her and her husband to come and take care of the list of chores that you need husband to do. husband will be spending ALL of his energy, and likely a fair amount of $$ to take care of the injuries he will sustain while building a deck he is not in any shape to help with, so you need them to cover the medical bills and contribute at your home. That way everyone gets help and gets their stuff done.

    Say if with an air of appreciation that they thought up the idea of husband helping K and her hubby in exchange for them helping husband get stuff done for you. Act as if it is the agreement and if they don't do it send them a bill for the doctor appts, medications, and whatever it will cost you per hour to hire a handyman to get the job done.

    You really do NOT need friends like this. After the outbuilding when K's husband only gave 1.5 hours it should have been pretty clear that they are not looking to be true friends, but to take advantage. Maybe they think you are so much more "together" and "well off" than they are that it is OK to use you like this, but I highly doubt it. Unless you are OK with the inequity in the relationship then maybe it is time to move on.

    My mom has a friend that she helps a LOT. This woman is her BFF and is supposed to be an aunt or another mom to me. My mom gives her $$, loans her $$, pays for her to come out to visit, buys her expensive gifts and gets truly cheap items as her gifts from this woman. This bff KNOWS that my mother uses NO scented bath/body products because my dad is incredibly allergic, but still sends cheap highly scented items at every single holiday. If my mom says a particular scent makes her sick, or is esp bad then you can be sure that the next gift occasion the item will be all wrapped up for her. My mom pays for ALL of their calls unless there is some tragedy in bff's life. My father used to call her son long distance (back in the 70s when it cost a fortune) to do his homework over the phone with him. For YEARS. We had an extremely tight budget but NEVER did they offer to help with the phone bill. NEVER. When I lived in OH I was just over an hour away. This bff who "loved me more than anything, just like her own child" would drive to visit a friend of her parents at least once a week. The friend lived less than 1 mile from me. NEVER EVER EVER did she come by to see us. In the 7 years we lived there she came to see us 3 times. Many times she scheduled a visit, I cooked and cleaned and rearranged schedules and took off work and she wouldn't even call to cancel. She STILL tells my mom she calls me every week but it has been 2 years since ANY of my phones have shown her number. I stopped calling her 2 years ago after she took advantage again. I had been up front with her, told her that if my calls were ignored I wouldn't call until she started calling me. She told my mom that I was "insolent" and "rude" and "mean". Whatever.

    She has always taken the "you have so much more than me so it is okay for you to give me stuff and for me to do nothing in return" attitude. My mom seems okay with it. I am not. Just won't do it. If she cannot care enough to call me, when she BRAGS about her unlimited long distance calling plan, then I cannot care about her. ESP when she feels she has the right to "tattle" to my mother if I set a boundary.

    I think your friend likely justifies taking advantage of you this way. Her offers of "help" are NOT designed to help you. They are designed to use you and make you look "bad" or "mean" if you object because she "ONLY" asked her husband to ask for help because YOU wanted your husband to do more.

    Sorry if this seems too blunt or hard. You really do not need friends like this. Cause they are not friends.

    As for your husband, have you ever just taken the mouse and keyboard? My husband reins in his usage because he knows that I won't feel bad at all if I have to lock them up. At this point a small reminder is all that I need to do when it gets out of hand. It did cause some royal battles earlier in our marriage, but at this point he understands.

    Your husband is an addict. The computer games are his drug of choice. As long as you keep on keepin' on he is not likely to change. Maybe some al-anon meetings might help you get some perspective on this illness? If you keep doing what you have always done you are going to get what you have always gotten.
  9. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi witz,

    Do you think maybe ADD? I can recognize myself in some of his behaviors before I started Adderall and some ADD coaching a couple years ago.

    I was of course diagnosed late -- in my 50's -- when I pooped out because I had been accommodating all my life (or adapting, or whatever) pretty well, but then finally ran out of gas and couldn't get out of bed for awhile. Hyperfocus on the computer is a biggie with ADD folk (as you probably know already). I still do it sometimes (like being on the computer now at 2:07 AM lol) but nothing like before I started the medications and coaching.

    Just my experience -- good luck witz.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    The only thing that I hate worse than a non-fix it husband is a "fix-it-all" friend.

    I get your grief and your walking shoes. But I think if you did walk out the door - the next stop would be her house to plant a slipper or 2 on her azz.
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You are a very patient woman... a very giving person to say the least! Not that this makes you feel the slightest bit better!
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yeah, I'd be pretty ticked, too. Your "friend" needs to keep her nose where it belongs, especially after you've spelled it out so clearly.

    As for your husband? Well, clearly, he's a difficult child. From the sound of things, he's the type of person who needs a lot of external structure and micro-management to stay productive. And there's only so much you can be expected to do to keep him focused on what's important at home. I second the suggestion that it might be something like ADHD going on. He sounds a lot like my husband in that regard.

    I hope the Vegas trip gives you the respite it sounds like you REALLY need!
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I was just steaming after this set of conversations with husband and the neighbor, I hit the roof. He insisted that telling Mr. K that he would be available to help him over the next 4 - 6 weekends was not the same as volunteering to be there the next 4 - 6 weekends. Pshaw, I say, because K would call every Saturday and husband would show up. He saw his doctor last month and had the entire month to get a fasting blood draw before a follow up appointment tomorrow. Friday came and he still hadn't done it. So I reminded him Thursday night and Friday morning the third time I told him to get out of bed and go to work. Did he do it? No.

    So, this morning I got up at 4:45 (couldn't get back to sleep) and took care of the dogs. I'll wake husband up momentarily and tell him that he is welcome to take breakfast with him to work but he is stopping by his doctor's office and getting his blood drawn. Then he's going to make sure that results will be available for his appointment tomorrow or he will reschedule. We had a really good talk about how I have been stressing since before Christmas about his health and that he promised he would get healthy so that he could help around the house without hurting his back or becoming comatose from fatigue. He was supposed to be riding his bike to and from the bus mall on a daily basis months ago by now. Instead, he's ridden it one way 7 times this year. THIS YEAR.

    He did do a lot of work this weekend trimming low hanging branches off of some trees - something he has been promising for about 3 years. None of his other usual stuff got done though. (No big surprise.) This only after having made it very clear to him that "every minute that he spends working on K's deck will be a minute more that I am angry at him for not doing one of the many maintenance projects that need to be done at our house." The first call from K came at 10 AM on Saturday. I didn't answer. The next call came at 10:30. I let it go to voicemail and it was his wife asking to borrow a tool. I called back to tell her that we were busy in our yard and she should send Mr. K over to borrow the tool. That's as much as he got out of us this weekend.

    Tried to get husband out of bed about 15 minutes ago now, he's still not up. I'll go tell him again. It is so lame nagging your husband to get out of bed and go to work.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    That's one of those dang catch 22 situations...where you ought to just let him get fired, but you rely on that job and insurance, too....grrr....I'm mad for you.

    I think I'm with M2OS...if husband will go help Mr K, let him. On the condition Mrs K is at your house for the duration, helping you with what husband isn't doing.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    And it's not fair to you either. You're not his mom, but clearly, he either doesn't want to or isn't able to do this himself. Good luck today!