husband not handling this well...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maxeygirls, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    difficult child is now on half of her regular depakote and still stepping down gradually. She's up from 3-6am, which is a radical difference from her 24-72 hour periods of nearly no sleep while husband was deployed. The house is barricaded again, she's violent but not uncontrollable. Her evaluation with a psychologist who only does detailed evaluations has been bumped from 8/4 to tomorrow, which is fantastic.
    For the most part, this kid is a breeze compared to a year ago. Problem? husband wasn't here for the worst of it and thinks I have it easy compared to him. Granted I didn't spend the last 2 weeks trimming palm trees in 110+ degree weather while waiting for a new job to start, I have to stay up every night to get the housework done or I end up getting behind if I go to bed with him like he wants.
    I'm really trying to remain calm but it's becoming a challenge. I handle all the housework, cooking and cleaning. I make his lunches, do all the grocery shopping, and I get 3-4 hours of sleep a night if I'm lucky. I don't want this to be a contest, but I don't want to have my head bitten off at 3am when I ask him to put difficult child back in bed since she listens to him better at night... and I've only asked once. I don't want to have my head bitten off because he jumped out of bed before me the next night too.
    He really is turning this into some sort of a contest, comparing our 'jobs' and listing why mine is easier. Finally I asked him "Well, do you get a lunch break? two 15 minute breaks a day? a drive home when there's nobody around but you?" "Yeah" "Do you get to go to the bathroom alone? shower every day? talk to other adults?" "well, yeah" "Then you get more of a break than I could ever dream of.
    I really am trying to be the better person here, I keep reminding myself when he complains about how out of control difficult child is or how tired he is, that he wasn't here for the worst of it. I tell myself that no parent on earth can know just how bad it can get unless they go through it, to be patient with him. And I keep reminding myself that at least he's on board with taking difficult child off all medications and getting a new evaluation.
    I wish we had the time for some sort of therapy to stop this before it becomes a big problem, but husband is working 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week.
    The fighting after the kids go to sleep resembles a bad sitcom. How on earth can I put an end to this? I've tried pasting on a smile and letting him think I get 10 hours of beauty sleep a night but then he wants to know why I don't have the energy to go walk around the mall, or why I don't get all the housework done during the day. When I tell him I didn't get more than 3 hours of sleep the night before, he starts the "my job is harder than yours" game.
    Help, please tell me someone has dealt with this and has advice other than beating my head on a wall?
  2. joneshockey

    joneshockey Guest

    I wish that I had some answers for you, but all I can offer is my understanding & support. I am dealing with sort of the same situation with- FF1. He is gone most of the time working and when he comes home ALL he does is complain about being tired AND he has a very short temper with B2. It's like I REALLY want to ask him for help with B2, but know that he will probably end up yelling at him, which I know will only add fuel to the fire. I always ask myself how much do I REALLY need the break? Is it worth the potential "mess" that I will have to sort out once I get home? I guess that I am fotrtunate somewhat though because FF1 never complains or gets after me when I can't keep up with the housework... I think he at least understands that B2 takes up all of my time during the day... As for sleep, I try to get my rest, but haven't slept well in weeks (I get maybe 3-5 hrs. per night). I am however looking forward to going back to work in 3 weeks (is that a REALLY horrible thing to say?), but am a little bit nervous about how B2 will do adjusting back to the routine of daycare...Hang in there and know that you have many friends here to support you! Take care of yourself too!
  3. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    I'm jealous that you get to go back to work... is that more horrible to say than you can't wait to go back? ;)
    Thankfully husband doesn't complain about the housework, just when I don't sit down and watch TV with him (Simpsons, really?), when I take my one hour a week to catch NCIS, or when I stay up to finish the dishes, laundry and cleaning and he wants me to go to bed with him. He has remarked a couple times that I could be better at keeping the house clean, and to that I responded "yep, and you could be better at putting your dirty underwear in the hamper" It usually shuts him up :laugh:
    Shortly after writing this, his alarm went off and he started carrying on about how he shouldn't have to get up at 3am and how it takes him forever to fall back asleep (judging from the snoring, 'forever' is exactly 3 minutes) and I... snapped. I didn't yell or cry, I just told him I was fed up with him comparing our jobs, yadda, yadda, yadda. To be honest I don't remember half of what I said, it was 4:30am and I hadn't had my first 2 cups of coffee yet. Whatever I said seemed to register though. He had an "ah-ha!" moment and said "so what you're saying is you would be in a better mood if I put my plate and the girls plates in the dishwasher after dinner and gave you one weekend night to sleep for 8 hours?" Uhh....yeah. At that point, I explained it doesn't seem fair to me that I pull the 'difficult child night shift' 100% of the time during the week and 50-60% of the time on the weekends.
    Do I expect him to even remember the conversation (aside from me 'getting emotional' of course) this evening when he returns from work? Nah, I may be insane but I'm not delusional. But even if he forgets it all, hearing him say he gets it will at least get me through today. Well... that and making my 4 cup coffee maker pull overtime.
    In some ways this was so much easier when husband was gone. I may have been the most sleep deprived woman in the county (unless another parent on here lives by me, that is), but I only had to please difficult child, easy child and the cats. When I went to bed it meant I intended to sleep, I didn't have to explain my daily activities and nobody was around to try to compare their day to mine in an effort to get sympathy.
  4. joneshockey

    joneshockey Guest

    Don't you wish that all of us lived closer so that we could share our kids every once in a while to get a break? or It sure would be nice to sit and have a conversation with someone who TRUELY understands what it is like to live with- difficult children? Plus the kids would see that they are not the only ones dealing with- these issues. In a perfect world, sigh... I try to go to bed close to the time the FF1 does, but I usually end up tossing and turning and evcentaully get back up because I dont want to keep him awake, since he gets up at 5 for work. My biggest issue is the fact that I can't go to sleep at night and then once I do either B1 or B2 and sometimes both of them end up in our bed, so I am constantly moving someone out of our bed and back into their room, until I eventually GIVE UP and then I end up on the couch! Why is it sooo unfair that FF1 can sleep through anything and I am left to deal with it all?
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Ladies! Trust me! You're singing a song that most of us have down in 3 part harmony (the scary part is that we're harmonizing WITH OURSELVES!).

    My husband (whom I often refer to as AH - draw your own conclusions ;)) , went through this even before we had kids. Once we had difficult child 1 and eventually the other 2, I worked full time, 2 hour commute from 7-3:30. I shopped, cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, took care of the dogs, mowed the lawn and changed the oil on my car. He worked 15 mins away, and dropped the kids off on his way to work and picked them up. I wouldn't leave the house in the a.m. until I had the kids breakfast and lunch and snacks packed, change of clothes, diaper bag for difficult child 2 and 3. AH would then get up, take a 30 min. shower and then come down and yell at them to get their coats on (they were 4, 3 and 1.5 years old). When they got home, I'd fuss over their projects, wash faces and hands and get dinner on while he went to the bathroom (45 minute expedition - how the heck can you SIT in there without a circle on your butt I will never know!) and then complain about what was for dinner.

    He would or would not eat and then have a wicked headache, stomach was bothering him, didn't sleep well the night before, yadda-yadda-ya. I would entertain the kids, go over notices, do the dishes, feed the dogs, break up the fights and handle whatever the meltdown of the day was about.

    We separated in April. 15 years down the old tubes. Personally? I think it happened because I stopped pleading my case. After a while I got totally apathetic. He got away with murder and I seethed on the inside.

    Lesson? Don't suffer in silence - if you have to yell, kick and scream - do it. One-upmanship never works. Tell him "yeah, I know you have a hard day, oh boo-hoo, now, will you help me with this?"

    My Dad served in Korea. He was army through and through. One day, my sister was whining and complaining (every minute of every day if you let her!), and he turned around and said "my drill sargent told us that if we want sympathy you can find it in the dictionary somewhere between - well, let's say between two not so nice things. (the line actually is used in "Major Paine" with Damon Wayan - which ironically is about a bunch of misunderstood kids being led by a misunderstood Drill Sargent at a private school). That's what I'd LOVE to say to her right now!":rofl::rofl::rofl:

    If they want sympathy - give 'em a couple 3 minutes and then repeat that you need help!

    You might want to pop over to the Watercooler Forum with issues like this. You'd get TONS more responses on this subject!

    Feel better ladies!

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Times like this tend to surface the worst aspects of a couples' marriage--those things that might have been irritants or stressors on a regular family's marriage can be disastrous when you have a difficult child in the house. Whatever is going on now probably isn't new, it's just been made worse because your job is more demanding.

    You may not be able to control some things in this (like difficult child needing constant supervision or your husband's work schedule), but it's imperative that you make some changes in what you can control and get enough sleep so exhaustion doesn't set in and make the whole situation worse. I saw it happen to my own mom who was a single parent and it was devestating to the family. Both emotional and physical health is highly dependent on sleep.

    Decide right here and now that you aren't going to play the "My job's harder than your job." with husband. Let him know you're done playing the game and that if he isn't willing to make some changes to keep the household functional, then you will. If he can't/won't go, arrange counseling as support for yourself. I don't know about you, but pasting on a smile and letting him think you're getting 10 hours of beauty sleep and listening to comments about the house would lead to bitterness in me in a hurry.

    Start asking yourself: What can you do to simplify your life so you get more than 3-4 hours of sleep per night?

    Hire someone--even a teen could run errands, grocery shop a list, help with housework, or entertain kids while you work at home. You don't have to do it all and if husband won't help, find someone who will

    Ask a friend to help with errands. A friend did this for me when we were going through a rough stage. Once a week she'd show up for my list, etc and take care of whatever I needed--return library books, videos, go to that store where I maybe just needed one thing. It was a huge help.

    Use a lot of paper plates and disposables

    Rethink your laundry strategy. Could some things go a little longer? Towels or pj's be reused?

    Take a hard look at what is sucking up time during the day. If it's picking up toys, bundle some up. If you need to do more babyproofing, do it. Pack away non-essentials that need extra dusting.

    Think "crisis mode". If this were a crisis time in my life, what could I do to simplify, what could we live without?

    Look into resources that the army may have for supporting families--I have no clue what's out there if anything but thought I'd toss it in.

    You will feel a lot better if you can find ways to control what you can, instead of feeling like you have no control over all of this.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You need strong ground rules.

    No comparisons.

    No blame.

    Difficult kids just happen. Marriage soon stops being roses around the cottage door and Stepford wives. It IS possible to keep the romance happening, but when it becomes a competition in any ay, instead of a cooperative venture, you have problems. I suspect your husband wants the roses around the cottage door and sex every night at bedtime with a wife who has the time and energy to be passionate. He needs to know it's not that easy but not in any "You haven't a clue, buster!" kind of way unless you have no choice (as when he begins to whine at 3 am!)

    If you can get him to lurk here, it might help a great deal. But if you're going to get him to lurk here, always stay aware of what you post.

    My husband began lurking here, then sometimes posted under my sig but identified himself as "Marg's Man". Then it began to cause me some confusion because I sometimes missed updates because the site thought I had already visited threads that he had looked at but not me. So I made him join in his own right. He doesn't post a lot but he lurks every day, reads what I write and if he has a problem with it, we talk about it. Generally though, we found he would come home and say, "When you wrote it all down like that, it made a lot more sense than when we tried to discuss it while the kids kept interrupting."

    Good luck with it all.

  8. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Well we reached a breaking point on Saturday while getting ready to go to the in-laws for our niece's birthday party as a last minute decision... sDH's tandard procedure, which I hate. We were just over 2 hours late. We kept the majority of the fighting away from difficult child and easy child thanks to the Care Bears movie I stuck in the DVD player before rushing to the bedroom. When I started crying hysterically and telling him I couldn't take another minute of being ignored and cut off only to be told 20 minutes later that I have an attitude problem, he started to realize things. We discussed everything for over an hour and although I knew going to the in-laws would be a disaster, I felt like he was starting to get it.
    He is starting to get it, but it'll take time. I'm hoping we can get difficult child stable enough to attend one of the marriage retreats that the military hosts. I know many couples have come home so much stronger after 2.5 days of working together.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm glad his eyes are starting to open.

    Spouses rarely arrive to the same point at the same time.