Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Am I A Bitch?

Posted by Anonymous.

I'm a in my Mom of 5 year old absolutely healthy smart and sweet daughters we adopted from China a few years ago. X and I were married/together for 22 years before adopting. We tried for 12 years to get (stay) pregnant and after 8 miscarriages and so much heartache, we stopped trying. We then tried to live a life without children, and then jointly (key word... jointly) decided we really wanted children, and then we got so lucky-beyond belief and were referred two perfectly healthy beautiful girls over a few years. We're financially stable, we have a lovely house, we've travelled the world and had all the toys we could ever wish for, and we both have full-time quite stable jobs that are in pretty immune-as-it-gets industry with great positions and salaried. Jeez, it does sound perfect. But it's so not.
X has a quick temper. And he's quick to get quickly mad at the girls for being...well, sometimes cranky, bratty little girls. In other words, perfectly typical toddlers. His temper is bad. He yells....a lot. He gets mad...a the litlte girls. Our parenting styles are different. I try to take the brunt and intervene and manage the girls when I know they are tired or sick or cranky but i can't always be there in those cases and when he is around and they are not being perfect and sweet, he shouts a lot. For example, today when they were being cranky, he told them he was going to throw them in a closet and lock them up. Well, I know for sure he would never do that (and he would not...truly....) but he says that kind of stuff all the time. And it makes me very upset. Then we argue. And yell. And then i get unproportionally upset. And it just cycles over and over. It's not good for any of us but it is esp. bad for the girls. Then they walk around the house saying "Is Daddy being mean?" "Why is Daddy making you cry?"....Oh, it breaks my heart.
And, his temper affects everything. When he gets mad and I get upset, then I just feel myself retract...I just isolate myself and my girls and I put up my defenses up big-time. Then, when that happens, we certainly aren't I am sure not interested in sex. And then....that makes him mad. And then, he says the lack of sex gives him a short temper. Which then spirals down to him having more outbursts and me being less inclined to want to be intimate....And, downwards it goes. It's gotten so bad now that we're in a bad place and the LAST thing I want is to even think about sex. I don't know what to do.....And make it all worse.....there is one more element in the mix. He is now (he says...) depressed because of lack of sex and he's exercising less and gaining weight. A lot of weight.

Which makes him even LESS desirable. And he is telling me the reason he is gaining weight as he is turning to food and beer instead of exercise due to the lack of sex. So, I need a sanity-check. I am mad at him. I am mad at his temper. I am mad at his outbursts. And I am aggravated with his weight gain. (i'm especially disgusted because exercise and staying fit is a big deal to me...oh, I sound like an absolute bitch, don't I?....)
So, I would like a sanity-check. Am I being totally out-of-line with all this? I want him to calm down but he says he won't because he's mad because I'm a "frost-queen". He totally completely fully and 1000% refuses to go to any counseling. He won't even consider it. What do I do? Is this all my fault? I don't want to have sex with him. I don't like him lately. But, we've been together for 25 years and I can't believe we can't get this fixed. Just don't know how.....Please tell me straight....I can handle it...Am i being a bitch?
Thanks for any feedback. I can't talk to anyone about one at all.....


Anonymous said...

I would say that he is projecting his issues on to you - that's why he won't go to counselling. He knows that screaming at your girls is not the best way to parent, but he doesn't want to have to face that.

My husband does some similar things, and when I am rational instead of reactive, I can call him on it. But it's so hard to be rational.

I would say, try to have a heart to heart talk with him, where you first tell him what you love about him. Then you tell him what he does that bothers you and why you think that's totally at odds with the person you know him to be. If you don't get it out there, you can only stay in a miserable situation or leave, and I don't think either option is attractive.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that he's not willing to go to counseling..but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go and get some on your own. And you are not a bitch for disagreeing with him or refusing sex.
As for hubby and I do have different styles. He's the yeller...and I'm the one who follows through on the discipline so both children listen to me..which frustrates the hell out of hubby. However, he's the one they ask to spend time with and the one who takes them out and my kids do understand he doesn't mean anything by the yelling and aren't afraid of him in the least. Me, on the other hand, not so much. And we have taken parenting class, together. We play to eachother's strengths, do not argue about how we discipline in front of our kids, and try our best to not argue in front of them period. Not easy to do at all.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but establish a date night. The adjustment to having children and less time with you is sounding difficult for him.

And last but not least, have a meeting or two about your expectations for your daughters, what's acceptable disclipine, rules, and goals that you can BOTH agree to.

Wishing you the best and congratulations on your children.


Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people can relate at least on some level with you. I think in marriage we all go through stages where we get upset, the sex dwindles, and the cycle gets worse. But something has to be done to get us out of that cycle to stay happy and together.

It sounds like this has been going on for a while. And it sounds like he is blaming everything on you and the lack of sex. He can't blame his weight gain on you. I think you both need counseling. Together and separate. Have you tried sitting down and talking to him? And telling him (in a REALLY nice way) that you feel his anger hurts the girls and changes the dynamics of the household? Have you had a really serious conversation with him?

Because if you have and things can't change, you guys won't make it. I hope things CAN change because it's not healthy for the girls OR you both.

MrsMessiness said...

You are not being a bitch. It sounds like he is depressed and has found a way to project a lot on anger onto you- he has given himself permission to be angry at you for the way he feels.. each time he realizes that there is something else about his life that he is unhappy with, he is going to find a way to make it your fault.

The *worst* thing you can do is accept the blame- it just gets worse from there, trust me.

Maybe you can ask him to go to counseling. If he feels attacked by that suggestion or still insists that the negativity is your fault, tell him you will go with him. I think this is an absolute necessity to save your girls' self-esteem, your marriage, and your own self worth.

Good luck to you - sending warm thoughts from someone who knows what this feels like - hang in there.

Jill said...

I don't think you're being a bitch, but I don't think you're being entirely honest with him either. Is it an option for you to go to counseling on your own to help you learn how to communicate with him to express how you're feeling and how his behavior effects you and the girls? I had/have many of the same problems you describe here and while I still don't have my sex drive back, I was able to learn to express myself better so I didn't bottle everything up or internalize things. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a case where you're bringing out the worst in each other, and it's creating this ugly cycle.

He gets frustrated, he gets angry, he handles it poorly, you get hurt and scared, you withdraw, and it frustrates him even more. He called you the Ice Queen or something similar? That makes me think that he is way, way too reactive and you aren't reactive enough. The more reactive he is, the less reactive you want to be, the less reactive you are, the more he feels the need to rant and rave.

My husband and I do this, but I'm the angry one. If one of you breaks the cycle, it will go a long way in helping the other one find a different way to act.

Everything else, the sex, the weight- it's all just a function of you not feeling safe, him not feeling heard, and all the fall out, I think.

There is a special place in hell for men who need therapy and won't go get it.

You go. You go to therapy, and try to make things better. I think that's the best you can do right now.

I don't blame you a bit, by the way. My father has a temper, and if my husband ranted and raved at my child (I have none yet) the way my father ranted and raved at me? He would go to therapy or get the fuck out of dodge. Because I'm willing to sacrifice an awful lot to make my marriage work, but I could never subject a child to that hell.

Perky said...

We also adopted two children, so I can relate to the changes that you go through as individuals, as a couple and as a family after the adoption.

It sounds like you really do want to make your home and marriage a happy place again. It's a shame that your husband won't consider counselling because it sounds like a lot of the issues are stemming from his side of the equation.

I agree that counselling is a good idea. If he won't go with you, then go alone. You're going to need help getting to the bottom of what's going on and how to solve it. Perhaps counselling will help you develop strategies for handling this miserable situation and it might, after time, rub off on him that counselling is useful. You might be able to lead by example.

In the meantime, your welfare and happiness and that of your children is important. You need to do whatever you can to maintain/regain it.

Keep the lines of communication open and let your husband know exactly how you are feeling. It may not sink in to him immediately, but maybe after time, he'll start to see things from a different perspective.

Finally, keep a journal of your feelings. I don't mean a list of grievances, but rather a summary of your emotions and feelings. It may help you explain your position to him in the future.

Good luck. I believe that you two can overcome this, but it's going to take time and work. It's worth it!

Mrs. Case said...

Introducing children to a relationship is huge, especially when said people have had 20+ years to grow into themselves, their habits, etc. 20+ years is a long time to get accustomed to things being a certain way. You get into a routine, ya know?

I'd tell him, "I want you to go to therapy. The appointment is Thursday at three. If you choose not to attend, I will still be going." Even if he refuses, it could do you some good.

PLus, I'd throw out all of his junk food! ;)

Anonymous said...

I was married to a man very similar to this. You are not being a bitch. Your husband is being emotionally and verbally abusive. That may sound harsh, but that's what he's doing. This is not a healthy environment for you, the kids or him. I totally agree with other posters...if he won't go to counseling, go yourself. Maybe he will change his mind when he sees you trying to make an effort to make things better. If not, you might have some hard decisions to make.

In my case things got worse, so he is now my ex husband. I hope you can work things out so that everyone will be happier. ((hugs))

Lise said...

I agree with everyone who has recommended going to counseling, with or without him. I would also add that what he is doing to your girls is emotional abuse. You might be sure that he wouldn't throw your kids in the closet, but they're too young to fully understand that. I was raised with a father like that, and if anyone treated my kids that way I would pick them up and run for the door. By the time I was in elementary school all I wanted was for my mom to leave my dad.

And the blaming his weight gain on the lack of sex? That's emotional blackmail. There's an excellent book by that title by Susan Forward. I found it very helpful when dealing with a rocky marriage.

Anonymous said...

You're not being a bitch; your husband is being emotionally abusive -- to both you and your girls. Counseling is required, and if he won't go, you should. And if he continues to refuse to get some kind of help for his piss poor behavior and ridiculous accusations (eg that it's your fault he's depressed, gaining weight, etc), you should consult a lawyer. Because this is not a healthy situation for you and the girls.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are being a bitch.

Your attraction to him shouldn't be based on whether or not he's fat or skinny. Don't you love the man that you married no matter what his body looks like?

How shallow would you consider HIM if he wanted to stop having sex with you because you didn't feel like exercising?

Get over yourself and get some counseling for yourself. If he decides he wants to make the relationship work he will...but maybe he won't.

Anonymous said...

You are not the bitch in this situation. He is. You don't know me but trust me on this one if you can. My late-husband was this way.
We were married for 8 years before our first daughter was born. He wasn't able to get over not being my top priority any longer. 2nd daughter came 2years later, things go worse. He had the nerve to say to me once: I don't know why you are not willing to give up a night of sleep for me. I was having to leave our bedroom b/c his snoring kept me awake. I had a 2 year old and a 2 week old at the time.
If he hadn't died of cancer in 2003 we would not be married today.
Instead, I'm married to a wonderful man. This is his first marriage, my (our) daughters are his only children. Some men just can't get past not being the center of the universe.
Ame in TN
ame strube at aeneas dot com if anyone cares to talk further

Anonymous said...

I think you're right to want to sheild your girls from all that anger that he seems to have. That is something that he'll need to get help for or it just won't go away.

Sex is not something that you are mandated to do. Do NOT feel guilty about not wanting to sleep with him right now. It's not your DUTY.

However, you do come off as a bitch about the weight thing. He's being a bitch for saying it's your fault but you're being a bitch for saying that it's bothering you so much. Weight can be a really hard issue for someone. I should know...I'm overweight and it kills me some days.

Don't let his anger make you angry.

Anonymous said...

Thing is, he's the one who chooses to eat. I know weight is an incredibly touchy issue, but I have to say, you can still love the person, but it is hard to be sexually attracted to a man who weighs a lot more than he used to (in my case, over 100 lbs). It's all good for people to talk about loving the person, but that doesn't mean you want to go to bed with his "shell".
A little off topic, but my 2 cents.

Unknown said...

Oh my. I can't believe some of these replies. I don't think you're being a bitch at all just because you are aware of his weight gain. If I didn't marry a fat man in the first place, then I wouldn't expect to be married to one. People kill me about this, but it is true that intimacy stems from physical attraction. If you're not physically attracted to someone you are NOT going to want to sleep with them.

To me, someone being overweight makes them physically unattractive. It's different for everyone. Extremely hairy people are also unattractive to me. I can't help it, it's just the way my mind works. I didn't decide to find them unattractive, but it just happens.

No, you're not a bitch. You married him because he was what you loved. He has now changed, and it's not your fault at all.

If he didn't get help I would leave. You or your girls don't deserve abuse. That's exactly what it is, and I went through it, too. Only sometimes it can go further into the physical relm - which is what happened to me.

Stay strong. You are a brave woman, and you know what you want. Stick with that.


Anonymous said...

He doesn't want children. Sorry, it's true. He yells when they "aren't perfect"?

Well, maybe not, but look - sometimes it is hard to swallow your pride and just take a step back. You are BOTH in a spiral. He is "me, me, me" and you are "me, me, me." what happened to "us"?

So - stop everything. Take a breath. Give it up to him. Not attracted? Bull ca-ca. You wouldn't be here if there wasn't something left! Or are you just "getting permission" to leave him? Give him some sex. Hell, all he wants. If HE'S happy, then what you are saying is you're happy. And when you're happy, the kids are happy.

So, do this one big thing, one last time. If it doesn't work after that, quit whining and just leave.

(I know they'll hate me for this, but you're abusing him too, by withholding his right of having sex with him wife. It's the man's primal need.)