How Often Do You Bicker with-Your Spouse Abt difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Is it alot and bitter? Fighting or bickering or just crankiness with each other? Does one of you drop out, clam up, shut off? How much in agreement are you? Did it end a marriage? Has it harmed your marriage? Are you generally in agreement? Do one of you make most of the decisions and the other not?

    I know there have been threads about how difficult child's affect your career and have you lost a job because of difficult child? But what about your significant other relationships?

  2. judi

    judi Active Member

    Whew! Well tomorrow is my son's 24th birthday. We haven't seen him in a year and don't know where he is. I've been here since 2001 when he had his first hospitalization....things have not improved.

    This weekend husband and I celebrate 29 years of marriage. Do we argue about difficult child? Not anymore. But we did - we now know that maybe we could have done things differently, maybe we should have done some things and not others. We don't know. We do play the "what if" game and at least for us, that hasn't been helpful.

    Our marriage was very stressed by our son and still is to some extent - we grieve for the relationship that we wish we had with our son.

    We are both professionals and yes, our jobs were stressed too but we managed. Our kids have always come first and we would have done anything to try to get our son help.

    In the end, at least so far, none of it made any difference in our son's outcome.

    I wish you the best with your child - its never an easy journey.
  3. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    We bicker every bleeding, blanking day! He enables and I try to clean up the mess, good cop/bad cop. We have spent a fortune on couples counseling. I'm still the heavy in this family. I just told him I'm tired of wearing the p***s in this household. It is hard because he is bipolar and I have spent most of my life as his wife. In the long run we only have each other, the nest will be empty in 5 years. husband has been the only constant in my life (constant bickering, constant anxiety, lol!), we realized how important our long relationship has been to us during our long drive from Maine to Maryland to bury his parents who had both passed at the same time. We reminisced about their parental quirks and the old stories. This relationship works for us in a twisted sort of way. It sure has changed me from a shy worm to an assertive woman.
  4. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Oh, how I can identify. We don't fight every day, but over every issue. My husband is not mentally ill, but he is severely co-dependent having had to 'raise' his neurotic and dependent mother (he was pretty much responsible for her emotional stability since he was 8 or 9). Abnormal seems normal to him. Protecting the emotionally disabled the the consequences of their own behavior is part of his identity.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We don't always agree but we really don't fight or argue (probably because we're both tired of it from the kids-lol). Usually we agree but not always then we talk it out and decide what to do. Still I think having a difficult child does put a stress on a marriage. husband and I try to make a concious effort to be on the same page but I still think difficult child knows husband is the softer touch.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, we argue. It was worse when they were younger and nobody was medicated (including husband). It's only been in the last year or so that husband has become a more active participant in their issues. Still doesn't go to psychiatrist appointments for the difficult child's with me, but he does go to school meetings now, which is very helpful. He's finally realizing that their behaviors are NOT normal. And I'm hoping he sees his own reflection in them some day because they did NOT fall far from the tree if you Know what I mean?...
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Yes, and I feel that he disapproves of how I handle Miss KT. Since I'm confrontational, and he isn't (usually), I ask what he would prefer I do about (fill in situation here), and he doesn't know, but not whatever I did, or plan to do. Does any of that make sense? Granted, she is incredibly rude to him, the stepfather, and I agree that she needs to be polite, but how?
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We bicker, but it's not usually about the difficult children. He does enable, and I am the heavy, but a lot of times we agree and switch. Or we're both the heavies. So it's not too bad.

    We actually discuss the kids and BM. THAT's not so bad. It's the other little stuff that we bicker about! "Did you change the litter box?" "Was I supposed to?" "Dishes?" "Laundry like I asked 5,681 times?" And so on. He's the dreamer, creative type - so things get forgotten. And I do the same, so I don't have a lot of room to talk!
  9. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    No, we don't bicker but we did feel the stress when difficult child 1 still lived at home. Since husband is the stepfather I was in charge of discipline and making appointments, handling school, etc. Sometimes I felt resentful that he got off "easy" but it was more resentment about my kids' dad dieing and leaving me with 3 kids to raise, none of them very easy! I also felt very guilty for a few years that husband had to put up with all this. He did know I came with 3 kids but neither of us realized how difficult difficult child 1 was going to be though I should have been able to predict it. I felt guilty too because we bought our house with an inheritance husband got from his mother and also we took out a $50,000 loan for difficult child 1's Residential Treatment Center (RTC). husband would have plenty of money to live on and could retire when he wanted to, etc. if he had not gotten involved with me and my family.

    The good thing is we have managed to stick together and have fun together as we did when we were dating. I feel a strong bond due to our adversities--we have been through so much with these kids together that other people just can't understand (other than you guys of course).

    Also, my husband is not like another kid--he vacuums, does dishes, takes care of the cars, the lawn, etc. We just somehow naturally divided up chores and neither one of us nags the other. I guess we basically see ourselves as a team and each does his or her part.

  10. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Non stop. Mostly because he doesn't see anything. I deal with school, dr's, I am the target of difficult child's anger....I take care of everything.

    We start off bickering, end up all out screaming. Always because of difficult child. Or atleast in the beginning it starts off because of difficult child.
  11. jal

    jal Member

    We have our moments, but rarely fight about difficult child. We are on the same page about him. I am very lucky though in the fact that husband is very involved in Dr. appointment's, in-home therapy and school. He is there at almost every single dr appointment and always at all school meetings. He is also very hands on with difficult child. We bounce off each other and can tell when one needs to step way, so we cover each other. We just started to realize that a lot of the times we are thinking the same thing or one of us says what the other was thinking. This comes from the fact that we have been together since we were 18 and we've been together for 18 yrs, so we kind of grew up together, so in a lot of ways we think somewhat alike.

    As for losing a job over a difficult child, yes I did - I was there 9.5 yrs. We bought our house, got engaged, married and had difficult child all through my time there and actually, I am glad I did because they gave me several months paid vacation (because they knew they were wrong) and I landed a better job (with more flexibilty and understanding and better pay!) not long after.

    It''s not ever easy and it is so stressful on you as individuals and as a couple. That is why you need to be sure to have alone time and couple time. It really can help you to decompress.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi WSM--

    Great thread! Thanks for bringing this up....

    My husband and I don't "bicker"....but he prefers to be in denial about a lot of things. And lately, difficult child's behaviors cannot be denied, and so husband is really struggling to cope.

    Whenever I try to talk to him about it, he clams up. I get the feeling that he is trying to "power through it". So he is coming up with solutions that are designed to force everyone to be happy.

    :confused: How do you force people to be happy?

    As you all know from my recent posts, difficult child was just released from psychiatric hospital with no good solution in place. I've been so upset! But husband in his determination to power through the situation actually yelled at me to "Think positive!! Why can't you just be positive?!?!!"

    And now he has a solution to stop difficult child's nastiness toward her brother. He has decided that every time he hears a put down, a nasty name etc we are going to assign a chore....and we will just keep piling them on until difficult child decides that she would rather be nice than do chores.

    husband is trying to forget that it is the assignment of chores that usually leads to the biggest and scariest rages around here....

    I think this whole thing is going to break his heart terribly....

    I love him so much and I don't know how to help him.


  13. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I am a lucky one. My husband is my rock and foundation. We never fight about difficult child and actually are closer because of him.

    I believe husband is a little autistic, he absolutely has no social intelligences and can not tell when he is hurting my feelings. But yet loves me very much and is hurt and frustrated when he finds out he has hurt them. Through counseling for difficult child, HD has learned lots of new communication techniques, particularly how to lessen and prove you have actually heard what was said. He now uses these techniques on me, and for the first time since we were married I feel he actually heard what I said. Which was always one of my biggest frustrations.

    husband has gone out of his way to support all of us. What ever is needed he will do. We both believe we need to be a united front, so we both make sure that any disagreements are discussed away from difficult child. So even if he disagrees with me, he will repeat whatever I said to difficult child, and then talk with me about it when difficult child is not around. I appreciate this and let him know. Also when difficult child is being particularly nasty to me, husband will take over and allow me to escape. I do the same when difficult child is angry at him. husband said that he can't imagine going through this with anyone else, and I could not make it without him.

    As far as losing a job. Well it is not lost, but husband is considering retiring much earlier than planned so he can manage things better at home. So he might chose to leave the job because of the difficult child.

    But, Jal what is alone time or couple time? I don't think we get much of that? Sometimes those discussions without difficult child is over the phone when we both are at work, because we never really get the time.
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Having raised my difficult children mostlly by myself (they were 3 and 7 when their dad and I split), I hesitated to chime in on this thread, but I'll throw in my 2 cents, from a different perspective.

    I found it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a relationship with a man while raising my girls. I had one failed 2nd marriage (11 months.. poor choice on my part) and several failed relationships. What I finally figured out was that I was a better mom by myself, than I could ever be with someone else, trying to get them to understand my girls, accept my girls, deal with my girls. I simply did not have the time or energy to devote to both dealing with my girls' issues, and nurturing a relationship with a man. It wasn't fair to my girls, or to him (whoever "him" was). Or to myself, really.. it stretched me too thin.

    That's not to say I didn't find time for me, and date occasionally. I just finally figured out that marriage/living together was not in the cards for me while they were still at home, I wasn't willing to walk on those eggshells. Once I accepted that, I was ok with it.

    I know my course is not for everyone.. some of you single moms out there have found wonderful men and it's worked out great for you. Big kudos, and hugs, to all of you. I just wanted to say that if it doesn't work out that way, it's ok, too.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  15. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Before my husband was diagnosed and medicated, we fought all the time about difficult child. husband would tell me I was drugging him, there was nothing wrong. That was when difficult child was doing well. Then when difficult child did not do so well, husband would say he needs more medications, they aren't working. I decided early in difficult child's treatment I would have to schedule and take difficult child to all his appts.

    After husband was diagnosis'd (about 1 1/2 to 2yrs ago) it changed. husband will give difficult child his medications unless he honestly forgets, before he just did not care. husband will take difficult child to Occupational Therapist (OT) and to therapy visits. I do psychiatrist visits but that is because I watch difficult child much more closely. husband is welcome to go, but I got to those for sure.

    For us, the bickering was mainly due to husband's instability. He has had rare periods of stability, and now knows how valuable treatment can be.

    We really do not argue about difficult child's behavior much, I think we just moved past it. I really think that husband's experience has been the big motivator.
  16. jal

    jal Member

    aeroeng - what I mean by alone time or couple time is to find something you can do away from difficult child. For example, my difficult child has never had a babysitter except his grandparents (and even then we do not ask often, because face it, he's a difficult child). My husband loves to fish and plays in league baseball. These are outlets he has for time alone to recharge his batteries. I may go to dinner with-friends or up to hang with my parents and this is time for me to step away and recharge. Couple time - now this is rare, but husband and I took off a Fri and went out on our boat on a lake. Just the 2 of us. Time to chill, talk and get some sun.
    Incorporating a bit of this the best you can does help to ease the stress.