A husband problem

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Liahona, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    A bit of background. husband is autistic. I handle all the money. Any attempt on my part to get him to even look at the money he shuts down (back to me, absorbed in a computer). He has very little impulse control and is ashamed of it. Our money situation has always been very stressful, down to the wire, never having enough. Now its worse. We got by because certain companies were willing to wait until the tax return got here every year to get paid. Now with the economy they aren't willing to wait. Its not just one company it's 3 that have changed. This is at a time where we have got to look to every like we are 'with it' and can handle difficult child 1 and all our other problems.

    We have got to have more income. husband agrees with this. I've tried starting my own company. Its not making any sales. husband says he is looking for work. He has been looking since May. His looking has devolved into watching movies all morning. Before Sep. I tried to work with him on looking. Wife instructing husband did not work well. I tried doing most of it for him. I spent 4-6 hours a day filling out applications. Doing his resume. (Actually I took what he had and made it readable. He had it all small font with no spacing.) He was ok with me just doing most of the work. He actually got a job interview that way.

    I can't do that any more. Between difficult child 1's behavior, X's behavior, lawyers, schools, cleaning, and my own PTSD I just can't do his job search for him.

    mother in law has agreed to come out and help with the job search. I've talked to husband about her coming. He agrees to her coming. mother in law is no saint. She is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about cleaning to the point if cps knew what was going on when husband was growing up all the kids would've been taken away. She also doesn't believe in husband's diagnosis. (I have talked with her about how hard it will be for her to let me and the kids make mistakes with the house. And if she spends all her time cleaning here then when she leaves it'll all just fall apart. I need to learn how to take care of the house. ) I am desperate. I like hot running water and we are starting to get shut off notices. (They'll be taken care of temporarily, but the programs I'm using are not a long term solution.)

    The problem comes in that even though I talk to husband about her coming and why she is coming it is not sinking in. He thinks that she will come and clean the house and because 'he doesn't have to worry about the house anymore' then he'll be able to look for a job. Yeah. This is implying he is taking care of the house now. He isn't. He might cook a meal once a week. (And leave me with so many dishes to do it takes me days to do them all.) Or he might change the laundry over (and leave piles of clean laundry all over the place.) He might do the dishes. (And then I'll have dirty and clean dishes mixed together and the kitchen still isn't actually clean.) That is it (Maybe he'll do these things once a week.) He spends his mornings watching movies. After work he comes home and watches movies. Just in Oct. he has gone threw all the seasons of CSI, X-files, and mythbusters.

    I know I am part of the problem. As you can imagine confrontation with any male raises my PTSD to awful levels.

    I'm thinking of writing husband an e-mail (much easier for him to communicate by e-mail). I'm still working on what to put in the e-mail. Sorry this is so long. Its not a topic a talk to many people about.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Liahona, I am so sorry for this level of stress. I am under paycheck to paycheck and always playing catch up too. i seem to pull it off but I only have the two of us. I would ordinarily say wouldn't it be better to talk/communicate...blah blah... but it is so different for people with Autism. My girlfriend is married to a man with Aspergers as well. They have been married over 20 years and it has not been an easy road. I think if you feel an email will help him to understand your point then it will be a good idea. Maybe leave open that of course you are willing to discuss the points in person if he wants to. You have to be so creative to parent all your little ones and also to negotiate your marriage. Dont worry about the house...sigh.

    With all that is on your plate, I think it is great you are working in creative ways to help solve your family's concerns. I am glad you felt comfortable posting this here. HUGS and all my support...Buddy
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Normally i would agree about letting the house go. Now though we are having different tdocs in at least twice a week (often more) that soon will be standing up in court to say what a great parent I am and what a great environment my home is for difficult child 1. The house (and routines to keep it up) has been thrust to the top of the list. I've got to learn to do it and I can't have it work for a bit then all fall apart again.

    Its times like this I have to remember why husband is such a great husband for me. We both have our ghosts that make our marriage weird. He has put up with my ghosts. Now its my turn to deal with his.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh of course, wow, just another piece of the puzzle.... You do sound like a good team in many ways. much admiration for you my dear.... luv, Buddy
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I lived that for..........ohhhh about 15 - 16 yrs of my marriage. Only I didn't work except for about 2 yrs worth of it. (I found out that just made it worse, husband would never look for a job)

    The only solution I ever found was to start letting utilities get cut off and making husband tough it out with the rest of us. I started with non essentials first (cable, phone ect) Then I literally drug him down to the welfare office to sign up for emergency food stamps.......went to community action for help with essential utilities (usually they'll pay it once per year to keep it on if they have the funds available) ........And made him fess up to his mother so she'd stop loaning him money. That one hurt the most, all of us. But she was trying to help me and the kids but was enabling the hades out of the man.

    That helped alot. He didn't like doing without stuff like lights and heat and water and food (especially snack foods he liked).

    Then I had the accident and my short term memory was literally shot to heck for at least 2 yrs, reading even a simple bill was confusing and I had issues adding 1+1 for pete's sake. So I told him he had no choice but to keep the bills paid, and if he didn't........we were done, over, fini, caput. I was scared to death to hand it over to him, but I just had no choice at that time.

    He did a LOT of juggling sometimes (not always his fault, mostly not his fault actually), but he managed to keep them paid..........ok a few times we did without trash service and it peeved me but there is a huge difference in doing without trash service or doing without heat or lights or water. Know what I mean??

    If it were me and husband (and trust me I did this so much it wasn't funny), I'd take away the video games, the movies, shut off the cable........if that's what it took to get his attention. (think overgrown child because in some ways they act the same way) Then I used them for motivation. You want this? Then you do this. The ol' carrot routine.

    I'm not sure how workable that would be for you but you might figure out a way to make him uncomfortable enough to find the motivation to look and find a job at the very least. I worry about mother in law coming in because he's already seeing it as more play time for him.........job hunting my foot, lol, he thinks just like my husband.

    I'm as stubborn as an ox/mule mongrel when I need to be, and with husband I needed to be often.

    If you can at least get him to talk honestly with you over the job thing (I could at least get husband to do that without getting snarky on me) you might be able to figure out where the issue is.....could be anything from the interview process......he may need to practice those skills........to going into a new work environment.....to whatever.

    Like with any other difficult child, you've often got to think outside the box. The thing that made me the maddest with husband was on some issues I had to treat him like a child, literally, when what I wanted was a partner.

    I will say though once mother in law stopped loaning money to cover his spending and he felt the pinch of it first hand, he got that part under control at least. And then he finally managed the bills. I've got a mess on my hands because his filing *cough, choke, cough* system is omg an utter disaster......but the bills were only behind because he didn't get his unemployment check for August.

    Thank heaven above in the money or working respect, Travis does NOT take after his dad. At least not that I've seen. But then I've never enabled him the way mother in law (bless her heart) enabled husband either.

    I feel for you, hon. I really do. It's not easy for sure.

  6. keista

    keista New Member

    You may end up pleasantly surprised. While I realize that he's not being very helpful physically, it doesn't mean that he's not mentally/emotionally carrying the burden. Once that burden of "worrying" is lifted, he may be better able to focus on his job hunt - something he should be more capable of.

    I'm suggesting this only because that's kinda the way I function. Even on days when I end up getting absolutely NOTHING accomplished, I feel completely drained because I've been worried about this needing to get done, and how am I going to to that? and then there were those things, and on and on and on goes the list. And even if I write out the list of things to get done, I can spend the better part of the day prioritizing, and then I'll start things, and get side tracked by other tasks, and then need a break and then other things that need immediate attention are upon me, and before I know it, a week has gone by, nothing is finished, and I am EXHAUSTED.

    So, what I'm saying is, don't be so sure that he doesn't really get it. Once his mom is there relieving him of the burden of "worry about the house", he may function "normally" again.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Even though Tony isnt autistic (that I know at least) he does have some difficult child traits. He is able to keep or find a job for the most part but it is in fairly low paying construction work. Most folks think construction workers make great livings. I dont know if its just mine or if its the economy or the type of work he does or our location but he doesnt get paid very well for working 30 years in the same occupation. He also has a very difficulty with reading comprehension which bothers him tons. He is allergic to making phone calls for himself about anything outside his circle of friends and immediate company he works for. He wont call a doctor, he wont call the power company, he wont call the phone company, anything like that. He wont do anything like math or forms. All that is what I am for.

    Well all that was well and good until I started getting sicker back in the early 2000's. It got even worse after 08 with the meningitis. By 03 or so I was barely able to understand taxes at all anymore and I had excelled in that in school. We had always done separate taxes and had taken them to a place to have them checked or and had them efiled in the 90's. Sometime in the early 2000's, he got a notice that the IRS was questioning him taking the EITC. He didnt understand the form and hid it from me for over a year. Maybe 2 years. I filled out his taxes as normal, I filled out my taxes as normal in 01 which was my last year working and used both kids because it was going to be a nightmare tax hit. He was fine with it. I sent both our forms in but didnt notice that we got a notice back on his because he hid it. Fast forward. The next year...I had already started to forget things and he didnt give me his 1099 and never even thought about it. Several years went by...letters started coming in. Oh no! We went to someone but they were a scam. Wanted to charge us 3K and then we would do all the work, supposedly it would go away but we couldnt actually find everything they wanted. His employer wouldnt cooperate with giving us everything they wanted, we couldnt get other things they wanted either. Things like gas receipts for car expenses. Who keeps those things? Then even in 09 just after I got out of the hospital, he expected me to be able to do his taxes again. Ummm, I couldnt even add or subtract anything. I tried to get him to have Billy do it. He refused. I have no idea where anything is. I dont think he does either. I really dont care. Nothing is in his name. Its all in my name. We arent married. I keep telling him to call someone and try to get things worked on. He wants me to call. I keep telling them they wont talk to me because Im not him. He wont call. Oh well.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    How did you get him to stay and suffer the consequences with you? husband leaves!!!! He goes to a place that has internet, heat, toilet paper, ect... I get so mad at him when he finally comes in after midnight when the kids and I have been in a house without heat all day (in the middle of winter, ice 1/2 inch think on easy child 1's window). He doesn't tell me he is going to leave. He just goes. Or he doesn't come home after work. And he gets mad at me because I'm upset with him.

    Its not his problem if the kids don't have diapers or wake up crying at night because they are cold. Its mine because I'm the one that cares. I guess I am enabling him because I don't want the kids to suffer. And I feel the need to keep the basics on because of court stuff. (I'm court ordered to check my e-mail once a day since X can't contact me by phone.) I'm the one that goes to all the community programs, apply for food stamps, medicaid, ect...

    I think I will confiscate all the electronic devices in the house. mother in law will have husband's two laptops, his ipod, his phone, his two computers, the kids gamecube, and my laptop. He and mother in law can work on one laptop to find jobs (together). He wants movies and computer games he will have to satisfy mother in law's expectation of how he should work (and she does not enable). His smurfs and farmville are going to have a horrible harvest. This could get very ugly getting this stuff away from him.

    husband will steal money/debit/food cards from my diaper bag. He has this ability of just glancing in your general direction while you are using the card and he knows what the pin number is. He hides what he buys from me. (He is horrible about hiding things from me. I always find out.) He lies to me about the movies. He doesn't admit the problem is as bad as it is if he admits there is a problem at all. (He is busted though because mother in law knows how to track what he has been watching.) I don't think I'm going to find out the issue. I do think its probably many small issues that he isn't willing to admit to me that he has.

    Lisa thank you for responding. I am going to have a huge fight on my hands. It really means a lot to me that you responded. mother in law gets here Nov. 16th. How did you get the electronics away from husband?
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    This is "easy" (as in, easy to say, not necessarily easy to do... and just me shooting off the cuff...)

    As I see it, you have exactly two options...
    1) Get married, or
    2) Get a POA from Tony so you CAN call.

    Its really about you covering your own backside on this stuff... so, look out for you, and while you're at it, you'll show Tony that you are still good for some things, even if you can't quite keep the house up to snuff...!
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Keista, if its not worry about the house it'll be worry about something else. I'm sorry that he is worried. I am to. Worried and scared to the point of if I focus on it I don't function well. We are in several sticky situations. Right now though I need him to go forward. Its become a mater of family survival. He needs help to go forward. I hope mother in law can get him going in that direction. We've talked about letting me worry about the house. He doesn't have to own that worry.

    Janet, sounds like Tony would have very interesting results from a neuropsychologist test. Insanecdn has a very good point.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Getting married is so NOT going to happen. That would screw me seven ways from Sunday. I always knew that...lol. I dont have the ability to handle any of this stuff anymore. My oldest son can do it if Tony would just allow him to do it and Tony could handle it if he would. Doing it is the issue. He simply wont. I attempt to force the issues and he continues to say thats what he got me for. Well yes he did but that was almost 30 years ago and I am not the woman I was then. He is also not the man he was.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Janet - I "knew" that option 1 was a non-starter... but option 2 might scare Tony into doing it for himself... and if it doesn't, at least you CAN. If "that's what he got you for", then he'd better at least enable you to do it??

    No kidding on option 1... husband and I would be better off in terms of $$ (taxes, etc.) if we were not married, and that's just a simple case! We don't plan on getting "unmarried", though...!
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    How to take the electronics ect away? Hmm. Well, you know your husband's pattern of behavior far better than I ever could. The man has got to sleep sometime, go to the store maybe? All you need is enough time to remove them and lock them up somewhere. I used to remove them if husband while husband was working (when he was) or I'd have him make a run somewhere for me (you may have to wait until it's a long enough list) ect.

    And yeah, husband always blew a major gasket. I just ignored it and told him when we could afford it, for such and such a reason, then he'd have them back again. Until then, they were gone. The man went whole summers without cable.........once it was 6 months......that one was right after I told mother in law no more loaning money. If that level didn't get his attention? Things he liked to eat and drink most certainly did. I stopped buying them. That alone drove him nuts. husband came from an upper middle class family. He'd never gone without except occasionally in the Army and then he was paid to do so.

    Unfortunately during the time he was spending money like water he was also stealing it from the family to do so. I stopped that by making him direct deposit his checks, the minute they appeared in the acct, I withdrew every penny. It never (I repeat) never left my person, when I slept it was safe tucked under me between the mattresses. I had to resort to withdrawing it all because he'd write counter checks at the bank and they'd go BOUNCE. ugh We paid all bills during that period by money order or cash, which he griped about because you have to pay for the money orders.......and again I told him if he'd stop blowing it and making it disappear, it wouldn't be necessary. Credit cards and bank cards were cut up in front of him.

    Now I will say, husband could be stubborn too, and he was the king of passive aggressive.......but he'd met his match. (I was raised by the master of passive aggressive and a control freak among other things) Plus, my dear ol grandma taught me well on how to make a man miserable in his own home while having a smile on your face. lol There were times when it got so bad I'd cook a meal he wasn't allowed to eat. (sorry bud, you spent your funds to buy your portion) And I went on strike. Sometimes with housework, sometimes with cooking.......sometimes with little things that he liked me to do for him.

    And I can do guilt to make any Jewish mother proud. husband used to say so all the time. lol However, for the autistics in this family you've got to lay it on thick or it zips right over their heads.

    husband's main motivator though was his food and his toys. Same with Travis.

    I gotta tell you this one cuz it still cracks me up. husband wasn't working. It was before his SS kicked in to help with the unemployment. We were really hurting. He was sitting here gobbling up kraft cheese slices like nothing I've ever seen before...... First thing I did was go generic. When he complained I told him we couldn't afford name brand.......when he started doing it with generic......I started using it to put Betsy in her crate at night and rewarding the dogs with it every chance I got. Every time he turned around he was out of cheese again. He wasn't allowed to shop because I was pinching pennies until they screamed. The look on his face when he figured out (finally) where all his cheese was going was priceless. He got the idea and backed off in a huge way until we could afford the "snacking" thing.......of course I still gave it to the dogs. No one needs that much cheese. omg

    Hmm. Another time when food was tight.......I made sure to buy the bulk in foods he didn't like to prevent him from eating it to the point where it wouldn't last. He dropped a pant size or two during that one. And he learned to love fried potatoes and onions. lol

    I dunno. I've had people tell me some of the things I did were cruel and childish and manipulative (you bet!). Maybe they were, heck, they probably were. But in all honesty? I spent the first half of the marriage trying it as someone normally would and I got nowhere. Best I got was he'd tell me what he thought I wanted to hear (plenty of practice with his mom) and do whatever he wanted. Thinking outside the box and getting downright creative was the only way to get his attention and keep it.

    And it wasn't a change that happened overnight either, unfortunately. Thankfully mother in law sided with me......because if she'd kept enabling him we'd have never made it to 28 yrs.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear, this is all too deep for me. I'm just sending hugs.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish I had an answer or great suggestions for you. My first marriage lasted ten years and husband and I have been married 36. The only thing I "know" about complex problems is that they are unique to the personalities and circumstances. You are a bright, caring and thoughtful woman. Obviously you are thinking through the various scenarios. Trust your gut. We're all rooting that you can find the best way to address the issues. Hugs. DDD
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh wow Liahona.....I know I am the worst at just saying what I feel.....but the guy is stealing from you!! He is neglecting your family by leaving you at home with-out elec or diapers. This guy is bad news. It is not just that he is an Aspie - he is also not being a good person let alone a husband. This is far deeper than taking away electronics....I am afraid. I think you should separate from him until he can get some help.

    I know this is not what the courts want right now - nor is it something you are morally able to do - but I do think you need to see the reality of the situation. This man is somewhat of an abuser, only in a different way than X. He is not respecting you, or taking care of your family - and in addition he is lying and stealing. This is not what a marriage should be based on.

    I would get your ducks in a row for all of your court stuff, and then reassess this entire situation. You would be the same with or without him it seems - and your kids do not need to grow up seeing a male role model that takes advantage of their mom the way he is. At the very least he needs to get some help...........

    I am so sorry - you have SO much on your shoulders it is not fair. <<<HUGS>>>
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have no advice...I divorced Miss KT's father (aka Useless Boy) for similar behaviors. Hiding the mail, being chronically unemployed, getting the power shut off because he was "too busy" to mail the check, his P/A koi...and he also has an enabling mother, who still supports him financially.

    Many hugs.
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Let mother in law clean the house. You get a clean house (and maybe cooked meals) and she feels happy to contribute. Her cleaning the house for a while doesn't take away your ability to take that chore back when difficult child and husband are more stable.
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If you need the house clean for a specific reason, I agree, let mother in law do it. You need a stress reducer. Right now the focus is to get husband out of the house and working again.

  20. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Thanks guys. The difference between husband and a lot of guys who act this way is I need him. I need his emotional stability while I go through PTSD. He is the anchor that lets me do so much about X. So, even though he behaves very badly some times he isn't going anywhere.

    I have been approaching this from a normal marriage point of view. I don't parent my difficult children the way other parents do. Yet I expect my marriage to a difficult child to be normal? Time to change the way I think.

    I do think that taking away the electronics would vastly help. And after the major blow up (especially if mother in law is here) he will be o.k. with it and start letting others help him.

    And he is so ashamed of what he does. He can see how everyone else is but he can't figure out how they do it. He doesn't want to admit to his wife how very disabled he is. I need a marriage class: how to be married to someone with autism.

    Lisa, your post has lifted my spirits already and I haven't even done anything yet. I have felt very guilty about some of the stuff I do about the money and asking mother in law to come. Every time I have to do something 'out of the box' I'd think, but this isn't what good wives are supposed to do. We're supposed to talk about the money together. Supposed to be equal in ..... (house work, child rearing, lots of stuff to fill in the blank with) Your posts have helped me. Your husband and mine sound very familiar. We go through tons of cheese as well.

    I can't stop mother in law from cleaning. Its just who she is. But I can temper her focus a bit and I really need her to help husband. She can say things to him that I can't. I think they will leave the house every morning. This will help her focus on husband and help husband get into the routine of leaving in the morning.

    Terry, thanks for the hugs.