So many broken things...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hi, all.

    I'm sorry to whine. I feel like I've used up more than my share of board space with just whiney stuff lately. But I am totally overwhelmed and I need ideas.

    You all know how difficult life with a difficult child is. I won't go thru that again.

    I posted not long ago about finances. With the cost of living going up, and the huge portion of my paycheck going out for difficult child (and other medical last year), I have been looking at ways to cut costs.

    Another of those ways has been to handle our own mechanical repairs to vehicles, which I am capable of doing and have been trying to do for the past year or so.

    However, I am really begining to resent husband over this matter, too. I am working 18 hours a day between work and trying to "cut costs" at home, while he puts in his 8 hours at work and comes home, MIGHT hay the livestock, and either tinkers in the shop or parks in front of the tv. As a typical example, yesterday, he got up at 10. Went to his folks and fed their cattle. Was gone 3 hours (they live 5 miles away). Got home and put some supports on the horse drawn sleigh he built, set up the new fishing pole he bought, then about 3:30, started hauling some of the brush out of the yard from the ice storm in December, worked til about 5, then went inside and made a holster for his gun.

    I fed the horses, cats, and chickens, filled the livestock tanks, difficult child 2 had a friend over (and I fed them, too), did all the laundry for the week (which I hung on the line to avoid using the dryer to save money), did all the dishes by hand (can't use dishwasher right now because drain line is collapsed, needs to be replaced, so all water has to be hauled outside in a bucket), changed the oil in the truck, loaded the transmission out of husband's truck, fixed lunch, sorted and loaded all the clothes from storage that difficult child 2 and easy child 2 have outgrown over the past couple years, and scraped the sealant off the roof of the camper to reseal it because its leaking and rotting the roof away and the shop was going to charge $500 labor to do it (and its not hard, just takes time). difficult child's friend had to leave on short notice, so I helped difficult child clean up from his friend, gave him a bath, fixed supper, took some of the clothes to a friend with smaller children (1/4 mile down the road), put difficult child to bed, then finished sewing a dress for a wedding (I got a perm in exchange for making the dress).

    In November, when easy child's truck broke down out of state, husband stayed home with the smaller kids on the pretense of "getting things caught up" while I took a 20ft gooseneck trailer 600 miles to pick up easy child and his truck to bring them home. When I got home, husband had built a wood burning stove and stuck it in one of our shops that has an entirely open front with no doors! That's all he'd done.

    He is currently driving my car because the transmission is out of his truck. easy child and I took the transmission out to get it fixed (which was the transmission we loaded yesterday). The car is wearing a tire badly. I replaced the tie rod end, but it still needs an alignment, I just haven't been able to get it to the shop. (husband got off work early Friday and went home and parked his hiney in front of the tv - after fixing himself some food, which was unfinished and left on the plate which was left sitting on the burners on the stove, along with the dirty skillet). He previously had been driving his parents' truck until the alternator went out of it. Now its parked. Yesterday he suggested I should get the alternator out of it, too, so we don't have to pay a core charge when we buy the new one. Everything we own is overdue for an oil change by at least a couple thousand miles. The camper has needed the bearings repacked for over a year now. The bull went thru the barn door. husband swapped stock tanks and didn't swap heaters, so he melted a hole in one of the stock tanks, so now we have 18 head and one 50-gallon water tank (not nearly enough). The melted one can be fixed, just needs to be cleaned, dried, and epoxied. The fuel filter is cracked on my truck and needs to be replaced. A radiator hose needs to be replaced on my car that he's driving now...

    A typical day starts with me up an hour before him, I get myself ready for work, pack difficult child's lunch, feed the chickens and the horse husband dragged home for difficult child (great horse for difficult child but has to have special diet and be fed twice a day and guess who does it? love the horse, its perfect for difficult child, don't get me wrong, but...little help here??? And who has time to ride, anyway?), take difficult child to school, go to work, pick difficult child up at school, go home, feed the horse, fix supper, do dishes, give difficult child a bath, get him ready for bed, and then try to cram in all of these other repairs and maintenance things around typical household tasks while husband reloads some shotgun shells, or watches tv. If I go to the shop to work on a vehicle, I'll come back inside to a house trashed by difficult child, while husband played computer or watched tv.

    He's got a pair of tiny shetland ponies. Both younger kids have outgrown them, but he refuses to get rid of them because they *CAN* be hooked up and driven as a team. We have a team of horses that we *DO* drive. Last time the ponies were hooked up? Three years ago and counting. Both ponies are foundered now and now require even more care - trims every 6-8 weeks without exception, can't be kept in the pasture, etc. At Christmas, when he built this sleigh, he went to the Amish to get parts for the sleigh, but never bothered to take the ponies to get their hooves trimmed. One pony had hooves 6 inches long, couldn't hardly walk (this is animal abuse in my book). I took the pony on one of my days off work cause I can't stand to watch them suffer.

    I have talked to him, and he'll do a little while I'm standing there after I talk to him, but like Friday when he got off early, when I'm not around, its all the same. He even watched movies and left the cases lying on the couch and floor in the living room. And when I talk to him, he will still bring up the fact that difficult child 1 didn't do his share when he was here - and gfg1s been gone for 6 months now!

    He didn't used to do this. easy child 1 says he's gotten too comfortable, but I'm beginning to think thoughts I don't like about this situation. He's the only dad difficult child 2 has, but I don't like what he's teaching difficult child 2, but I am beginning to feel like his mother. Leaving isn't an option, but I've talked til I'm blue. He'll help while I'm mad (but then he's mad, too, so what good is that???) We need to downsize to what we can manage or he needs to step up, but so far, he won't do either, and I"m exhausted. My BiPolar (BP) was 160/91 on Tuesday.

    Am I just whining or is there a serious workload balance issue here? Any suggestions?
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think you should arrange to sell the ponies that you're not using, yet are supporting for no good reason. When H balks at your plan, tell him tough noogies and go ahead with it. Since he's not pulling his weight and there is no use for these two animals, surely you could use the money from their sale for more practical purposes, such as repairing his truck so he's not using yours or reparing the dishwasher to make your life a bit easier.

    You also need to go on strike with things that H can easily handle but still keep up with things so at least you and difficult child can keep living and moving along. Even if the house begins to resemble a dump, hang in there. H will get the point.

    Seriously your H is not behaving as would a "best friend". He sounds like he's also overwhelmed and is just incapable to plugging through as you are. I hate to tell people things like this, but sometimes if a strike doesn't work, a separation does. Just a thought. If you're going to be doing all the work anyway, why have him making more of a mess or getting in your way while you're doing it??

    I sure hope that H comes to his senses and sees fit to help with his half of the chores. Whenever I bust my H's behind about helping out, he always drags difficult child into it, as if she is going to go out back, split wood and build a fire in the woodburning stove! Yeah, when pigs fly. I'm sorry that he's being such a lazy poop and I hope that you're able to find something to shake him up a bit. I'm not a good place and probably shouldn't even post to anyone today, but I am thinking of you.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Wow Shari, I got tired just reading about your day. Would your husband be willing to sit down and review the list of all of the things that need to be done and split them evenly? Would he follow through if he had a list? I know for a long time my husband would do what was on the list but didn't "see" what NEEDED to be done if there wasn't a list (he'd do thing he WANTED done, often leaving all child-needs until I got home).
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You have much more patience than I. I would have sent him packing on his ponies a looooong time ago...

    Maye write it all out. Some people (*cough*, guys) have selective hearing and seeing. If he pretends it isn't happening, then it isn't. Write out something similar to what you just did, more like a my list / your list thing, and let him see the differences. Then specifically let him know what yo need him to do.

    Men are often guilty of doing less around the house.
    Women are just as often guilty of being vague about what they want. Be specific. This way he can't say "well you never said..." because indeed you did.

    List the pros and cons about the ponies. And do not let him veer the conversation to the difficult child who left home 6 months ago.

    For goodness sake, he should be embarrassed that you are doing car repairs. I think it is awesome that you can, but shame on him.

    Good luck to ya!
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I've been married 25+ years and I find it hard to work together with my husband. Can you divide some more tasks into his pile and then forget about them? Or would you still worry that they aren't being done? Can he repair cars as well? You deserve a special treat for saving all that money. Would he read your post? Just trying to think of ideas, you made me tired just reading.
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Gosh...I need a nap after reading your post!!:yourock:

    Advice given is good. Just STOP doing. Get rid of things that are not of use (I know it's hard with animals), but if no one is using and enjoying them, they become too much.

    My husband cycles so bad it makes my head/heart spin. He'll lay for days on the couch watching old westerns, then the next few days are how he's so behind and I can't get anything done. Well...pacing is the word. I've done my best at seperating from the cycle, and it hasn't been pleasant. He has not been real receptive to the idea of me actually standing ground.

    I'd come home from work and the first sentence (Not was your day?) was what is for dinner. Ummm...I am working, you are NOT. You figure out dinner.

    Keep your head up. Let some things go. Hugs...

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Wow! You and your husband do more than anyone I know! LOL! I feel lazy now!

    Seriously, be sure you have communicated clearly the way you see things working and listen to the way husband sees things working. Most often it is just a matter of the other not knowing what one is thinking.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sounds like a sit down with pad and paper to write a list of jobs to be divided between husband and yourself. Quit trying to do everything. Downsize what you can. Hopefully if you sell some of the things, your financial burden may ease.
    husband doesn't honestly compare his chore list to a child's? Who is the adult?
    Prioritize, delegate and leave things if husband doesn't finish.
    You can't be taken advantage of if you don't participate.
  9. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I guess the big questio is how iss your communication with husband? He is not supposed to be just husband best best friend at all tmes. A Best Friend would not allow you to grow waery and take on the burden that he is not livnig up to . I worry that you will wear yourself down in no time flat! I FULLY understand the money deal (I've never been thgis broke in my life! Pay electric or water or rent - but can't do all 3!) It's very hurtful when you are pulling ALL the weight and your best friend isn't helping out the way he could. ((hugs)) I agree with the rest of us that you guys really need asit down at the very least to explain to him how you're feeling and why.

    Side not off topic - check out a website called They have groups in almost every area in the country. It';s an exchange of people needing things for free and giving things away for free from anything to books to couches and washer/dryers. It's been a real life saver for us!
    I'm so sorry for what you're going through - but you definitely need a sit down before you have a melt-down. You can only keep going on the way you are for so long. Keep your sanity - sit him down and make him understand that you can't have things be this way for much longer and if he doesn't get it GO ON STRIKE!!!!!!!! Good luck - keep us posted!
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks all. And I'm sorry to keep whining about this.
    I keep trying to talk to husband but he's just not hearing how important this is.
    I've found someone who wants one of the ponies. They are not going to buy it (which is ok with me), but they are going to take it, take care of it, use it, and care for it properly. They will call tomorrow night. husband will have to deal. He has not taken care of them for the past year. He hasn't used them in 3.
    I'm cleaning off the fridge and posting a giant list of all the bigger things that need to be done. Oil changes, bearings packed, ground wire run for the stock tank heater, barn repair, when a pony needs to go to the farrier. Its not MY list, its just A list - of things that must be done if we're going to keep what we've got. Otherwise, we MUST downsize. husband has GOT to GET this.
    The last thing I'm thinking about going is a little childish, but I've tried and tried to talk to husband and he just does not understand really how important this is...but I am thinking about listing my horse for sale. The price will be high, and I don't intend to sell unless I get that exorbanent amount, but husband knows what my paint means to me. My thought is that seeing it in print and fielding some phone calls will make him understand that I'm not playing around. Its a gamble, its manipulative, but I have no doubt it will get his attention. And if he doesn't step up and this is the way my life is going to go, I certainly don't have time to ride it, anyway. Is that totally wrong? (cause beleive me, I've talked to him repeatedly - if I'm standing here, he'll do something; If I'm outta sight, he's in front of the tv).
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG Shari! I don't think I'll ever complain of being overworked again. :stopglass:

    Well, I'd certainly sell those ponies. A completely unecessary expense, and they would enjoy the attention ect another owner could give them anyway.

    As for husband you could try making up 2 lists. List 1 has all the things you do for each day of a week. List 2 has all the things husband does for each day during a week.

    Show husband both lists. Tell him if things don't even out pretty quick he needs to tape the lists to the bedroom ceiling. That way the next time he's feeling the slightest bit romantic, he can just look up and read why you're too exhausted to care.

    Men are visual. Hopefully the lists will show him what he's not getting with his ears.

    If that doesn't work, go on strike. If for no other reason than you can use a break.

  12. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Now I feel really guilty having husband fill my car up with gas...................................
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I say "cut the cable and the cord"!

    "Disable" the t.v., vcr, video games, etc. (if you can pull an alternator, you can pull the plug on all of the entertainment stuff) and then stop babying him.

    Don't wash his clothes, don't fix meals for him, don't fix his car/truck/mom & dad's truck etc., don't clean up after him, don't consult him on anything.

    If he's not there in spirit, don't pamper the body.

    I'm sick and tired of all of these guys acting like they've got it so hard. Whine, whine whine and then we're crazy enough to pick up the slack.

    It's time for anarchy gals...let's get to it!!!


  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Shari, I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with all of this. I hear you, I've been there done that in spades. You've been picking up the slack for husband and your family for so long, that everyone around you has lost sight of the slack that you've picked up. I'm also betting that you just get on and do it, because it takes as much energy to whine about it as it does to get something done. The problem is, when you keep taking on burden after burden, those close to you figure that you're strong enough to handle everything that life throws at you.

    I agree with the others who have recommended making a list. I also agree with those who have suggested that you stop. Stop taking on everything. Give the ponies away, take your car back from husband and have him make arrangements to get his own truck fixed. Stop washing his clothes, taking care of his messes, and picking up after him.Continue doing for yourself and difficult child, but your husband is a big boy, and he can take care of himself.

    It will be hard, no doubt your husband will complain, and try to get you to continue doing what you're doing.

    Think of it this way...right now, the only reason he has to do what you ask him is because having you mad at him and standing over him is harder than just doing what you ask. However, doing the work when you're not there watching and whining is way harder than sitting like a lump in front of the TV.

    Stop nagging, but also stop doing for him. When he asks you why the alternator isn't in the truck yet, reply, "I don't know when I'll have time to get to that. Maybe you should see to it" and walk away.

    Anything that you can't cope with, get rid of. Anything that you can do without, but that's important to your husband, let him take care of. Anything that's yours that YOU need (such as your car) take back.

    You're on your way to burnout, Shari, and then you won't be any help to yourself or your children. You need to stop now, while you still have the strength to do so.

    I got to the point of collapsing from exhaustion at work last year, from doing everything for everybody. I was then where you are now. Speaking from experience, you have to stop because no one else will pick up the slack until there is slack sitting on the floor to be picked up.

    Take care of you, Shari.

    All the best,
  15. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Okay, my two cents......some people don't let things bother them to the point that if others will take care of it....they will just wait until someone else handles it. You have taken on so much, there is no need for him to step in.....his vehicle wasn't working, tell him to get it fixed......don't give him yours, he can ride a bicycle......I bet he would then make it a priority to get his fixed. He is not stepping up, but you need to step back......don't take up the slack when he doesn't pull his weight.....tell him its his responsibility to care for the things he needs. Is this any different from getting a difficult child out on their own? On the other hand, if husband isn't willing to his part why not cut the work by one? Harsh, but let him know how frustrated you are. By the way, if you sold the ponies how long would it be before he even noticed they weren't there? Cut loose dead weight.......if you get my drift????? You shouldn't have to do this all by the way I need oil changes in two cars, if I supply the oil will you change it? Right, learn to say NO!
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{shari}}} Making a list at any time is always a good thing. If it doesn't get H's attention, my hope is that it will get yours! Having everything listed out in front of you to see exactly everything that is getting done by you and needs to be done is a great eye opener. It may be the very thing that gets you to STOP doing everything.

    We all know you don't want to sell your horses, but I see nothing wrong with this part of your plan. He is manipulating you, perhaps it's time to manipulate him. And if in the process you learn that your life needs to take on some drastic changes, then it may be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps it is time for some major changes in lifestyle, living arrangements, jobs, etc.

    Anything that gets H thinking and you two talking is a good thing. Best of luck~Hugs.
  17. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Shari, one day it occurred to me out of the blue that when people would ask me how many kids I had, " 4 " always came out of my mouth. Because I automatically included dex in the total LOL

    I have always been a doer for everyone and everything. Every once in a while I would get on an angry roll when I got too overwhelmed, and everyone would just look at me with that " what, whats the matter- what have we done" look on their face. I went for years just taking care of everything because it was a lot less hassel than getting into an argument over who actually should be doing it.

    I reeled in my apron strings with Dex and pointed him to the door, but still ended up "doing" now for the other three. One day I had a phone call at work, I can't remember which of the boys it was, complaining there were no clean towels. Someone else called right afterwards wanting to know if I was comming home on time to go shopping and make dinner.

    I went home on time and promptly lost it, and moved me and my stuff in the spare room. Didnt go grocery shopping, didn't make dinner, didn't do laundry, and just acted like I was a roommate. I think it lasted a blissful month of me only taking care of my wants and needs (although my stomach was in a knot when I had to ramble thru the house for some reason - it was a disaster). One day I got a call at work to tell me, mom, I did the towels, and another, mom I washed the dishes. I came home to a clean house and apologies for not helping out, from the boys AND SO. Since that time, they have done a pretty good job of keeping it going.

    Your hubby should be thankful he is married to you and not me. They would be scouting the back 40 to see if they could find where I buried him. I realize you must live on some kind of farm but jeeze, there should be some limits on what you take care of (animals first) and sharing of the work load. I don't know, seems like you selling your horse to make a point is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. And then what will you do when the horse is gone and hubby is still playing remote roulette?

    Its going to take a LOT of work trying to untrain him. Good luck with that. I had a conversation with easy child not that long ago after a harrowing call with the eldest where he said Mom, you need to watch us, even me, cause we will take advantage of you if you let us. And he was right.


  18. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Shoot girl - I could marry you ifn youze a fella!

    I just have no suggestions other than write a chore list for the entire farm - sell some of the livestock that is only eating hay and making more work through fertilizer (a trip to auction could last all weekend and be a nice get away)

    DF while a wonderful man - is sometimes like your husband. I could cut an entire tree down, saw it up, haul it off to dry, split the wood, cut it into pieces and he would come out of the den and say "Look I made a scabbard for that new rifle I bought" (he works in leather and tinkers also)

    he gets a buy - because of being disabled.

    But I look at my life and some days I am so overwhelmed it makes me want to scream - and then I think - Well - if I didn't do it - what would happen? Does this thing cost me money or make me money. If it costs me money does it /will it make me money?

    And then I think some days that I'm being so unappreciative about everything because I AM ABLE to do it all - Eventually I won't be able to due to disease, age. And then when I am sitting in a nursing home - I'll long for the days I could and DID do things. Sometimes that helps when I feel like I'm doing more than my fair share. i already got a glimpse of that when I went out to cut 2 cords of wood - I couldn't swing the maul hard enough to make it stick in the wood and I got SO angry at myself - I had to walk away crying. DF said he could swing it - and so he would do that, I'd swing the sledge and then I'd chop it. I felt better about
    Delegate - Delegate - Delegate and REDUCE.

  19. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi Shari.

    Not sure what I can add, but can I give you a husband's point of view?

    I'm sure many people who read your post see someone who is obviously shirking a portion of the REAL work that goes into a family. I won't lie and say that many husbands don't think their day ends when they get home from the office.

    But, as I read your post, I didn't get that impression.

    You say in your sig that husband is your best friend. There must have been a reason for saying that. But now that's changed, and it's obviously (and rightly) upsetting you.

    From my perspective, when I read your post I heard you describing a man who is completely out of his element. I admit that I don't know your whole story, but much of what you wrote about your husband could have been transcribed by my beloved wife about me after we started dealing with McWeedy.

    I didn't mean to become a slob. I didn't mean to shut down once I walked through the door. I didn't mean to "forget" that work isn't just at the office, it's at home as well.

    But I did.

    I can't speak at all for your husband, but for myself I was in shock. And while I could be motivated to deal with McW's antics, beyond that I might as well have been an ottoman in front of an unused recliner. I don't make any excuses for my actions - there are no excuses. But I was in shock.

    As a man, I always felt (and still feel) that I'm ultimately responsible for dealing with the "hard stuff" in my family. And God chose my son to teach me the stupidity of that position. When I realized that McW was going to do whatever he wanted, and that there was little I could do to control it, I started withdrawing. When things got worse and the antics affected the whole family, I withdrew even more. I couldn't "fix" the situation, and I couldn't "fix" the damage to my other loved ones the situation was causing.

    So, when I got home, I threw myself into my computer, into one of several multi-volume sci-fi book series, watched every movie from Blockbuster I'd ever had the least interest in, and boy-oh-boy during football season I had a hand-made excuse for escaping all day Saturday and most of Sunday.

    Basically, I threw myself into anything I could think of that didn't involve acknowledging the elephant in my living room. Unfortunately, escaping the McW drama also meant bailing on most of the stuff around the house as well.

    wife tried to soldier on, didn't make a peep, but couldn't take over everything. Her health started to break down, her mental reserves (already drained from working with Learning Disability (LD) pre-K kids all day) just gave out. Eventually, she let loose on the whole family and went on strike. I didn't realize it, but my other two easy child kids had followed my lead and also withdrawn, leaving wife on her own to deal with the house and everything in it.

    I admit it, I was a heel, but I didn't mean to be. I didn't even understand what I'd become until her health issues became serious enough that she just physically couldn't keep up the load. I know it sounds stupid, but I was really, truly surprised to find how far "out of it" I'd slipped.

    I'd like to say I'm a better husband now that I know, but that would be a lie. I try very hard to make an effort at home now. I also try very hard to make sure the other two easy child kids help as well. But is it enough? I don't know. I feel pretty cruddy because it's something I have to force myself to do, even though before the McWeedy Chronicles started it was second nature to be wife's partner in work at home.

    It's an effort, but I try. I still find myself unconsciously drawn to books, to the computer, to work, when things get bad with McW. But at least now wife knows to tell me (or beat me :devil2:) to help. And now, I know that I don't have the right to consciously or unconsciously bail out on the family because I can't handle McWeedy.

    I don't know if that helps, or if that makes me just another grunting Neanderthal with no hope of moving up in the gene pool. But I heard a lot of myself in how you described your husband, and wanted to tell my side of it. It may or may not be his side as well, so YMMV.


  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you again, everyone. And thank you, Mikey, for you reply. It always helps to have some understanding of the other side of the coin.

    husband is still my best friend. I haven't given up on him. And I know that my ability and choice to pick up what everyone else is dropping has contributed to this situation. So I've got to change what I'm doing to get different reactions from the others involved...mainly husband. I'm just trying to be proactive enough that I do it BEFORE i melt down or my health goes totally south - because both are inevitable like this.

    The list is started, I'm adding to it as I think of things. The ad is typed up and waiting to be sent.

    On a good note, wee difficult child is sick today. His behavior is always wonderful when he's sick (and he's rarely sick), so I'm at home today accomplishing all kinds of things I WANT to do while difficult child sleeps. I'm enjoying it immensely.

    Thank you all, so much. I'll keep you posted.