Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gotta get this off my chest... sorry...

My husband and I will have been married 18yrs this August. (If we make it that long)
We have 2 sons, the oldest of which has autism.
My husband hadn't had a job from before that son was born (1993), right through until April 2009 when I threw him out and told him he could come back when he got a job.
He got a job by the end of the month, working as a gardener. (Even though my garden's like an overgrown jungle)
Then, in October '09 he switched to a job in Engineering, his profession.
He volunteered to work away for 2 weeks in December, meaning that I was left working all day, dealing with the kids, running the house, attending University 2 nights a week (working for my degree) and organising Christmas for us all. (I refused to buy anything for his family this year, as they don't do or get anything for me, so they got nothing)
By the end of December he'd volunteered to work in the US for 3 months (from Jan 6th to Easter Sunday) - we live in the UK.
Divorcing him would have been easier, at least I would have had alternate weekends and some evenings each week when he'd have the boys so I could take a break.
I told him that in future, if he goes away for longer than a month, he needn't bother coming back because he won't be welcome.
I've had to repeatedly explain to my sons "Tell me again why daddy had to go away for 3 months?"
I've head to make the decision to have one of our 4 cats put to sleep due to progressive, painful incurable illness that was discovered during surgery that should have been a routine draining of a cyst.
I had to tell our sons where the cat had gone.
I had to collect his body from the vet.
I had to cut his collar off the cold, stiff, leaking body. (The boys wanted the tags as a keepsake)
I had to organise and lead a funeral service for the boys and bury the cat in our garden.
I had to hold back my own tears to help my sons come to terms with the loss of a cat that we'd had for 13yrs.
I have another cat in for surgery tomorrow with a suspected broken leg.
I've had to learn how to reset circuit breakers because his electrical handiwork means that when it rains too much I lose power to half of my house.
I've learned how to fit magnetic door catches to stop cats going in the airing cupboard and down through the floorboards and under the house.
I dug my car out of 7" of snow.
I've fitted brass cabin hooks to the bedroom doors because I needed them to be open for ventilation, but closed so the cats can't go in.
I worked out why my DVD player was showing only a blue-screen but had correct audio.
I organised my mum to have the boys the 2 evenings a week so that I could carry on with my studies.
I now have door chains on front and back doors because his parents don't appear to know how to use a doorbell properly.
I've had the air conditioning on my car fixed.
I've endured a pregnancy scare because he never went back for the all-clear from his vasectomy 6 years ago.
I've applied for passports for me and the kids, and bought plane tickets to travel half way round the world to go see him, and he hasn't even arranged which days he's taking off work to spend with us.
I've had birthday gifts shipped to him, in time for his birthday.
I had valentines gifts and cards shipped in time for valentine's day.
I had cold & flu meds shipped to him from a local store because he was too sick to go out and buy some.
I've rearranged the boys and my lives so that we can chat with him on Skype for several hours each evening that I'm not at college because he has nothing else to do.
I've installed WebCams around the house so that we can carry on with the Skype whilst I cook, do laundry, tidy up, eat dinner etc.
Now we're 6 weeks in to that 3 months, he's started telling us on Skype about these other projects the company has in Canada and another 2 in the US and I just know he's about to tell us that he'll be home for a couple of weeks at Easter and then he'll be going off on another project - and I'm readying my response, that "anything of yours that you don't take with you, I'll drop off at your mum & dad's, and could you ask them to let me have their door-keys whilst I'm there"
Or should I insist that its my turn to be a stay-at-home parent for 15-years and quit my job so that I have time to keep on top of all the house/kids/college/cats stuff properly, and still have some "me" time every now and then?


Karen W said...

Your answer depends on how much you want to be married to him. You wanted him to get a job. He did. Now he wants to travel. If you want to stay married, quit your job and go with him.

If you want independence, then divorce him. He appears to think he can either be a worker or a husband/father, but not both. I don't think I could live with that, but that's me.

Good luck.

Kelly said...

You're already a single parent... and appear to be doing quite well at it. It's time to stop beating yourself up for not wanting to have just one more responsibility (your husband) on your list of things to do. Have a very clear conversation with him as to what you need - and if he can't give it to you, then you need to decide if you're willing to let him go. It's great that he got a job, but that's not enough to sustain a marriage and family.
Best of luck to you...

Anonymous said...

It's good to get that off your chest, honestly. And don't feel bad about saying/feeling any part of that. You are married to, and have signed on to partner with a man who is not partnering with you. You are doing your job, and his job, and it's not fair. Rarely for women is it ever fair. There is no excuse for it - but now how do you deal with it? It sounds like you have a good grip, even though you are upset. You are not drinking curled up in the corner, kicking the cats, etc...and are making do. Will he ever step up? Probably not - but when he sees he is going to lose you, and the kids, maybe he will. I don't know. Divorce is hard, but no harder than what you are already doing. That hardest patr is laways looking for his help and support and beig disappointed. At least going forward you will KNOW that it really is now all up to you. And it will be OK. Trust me, I know.I've been a single parent for 16 yrs now. We've had zero contact with my son's father for 6 years, and it was initally hard, but we are OK. Better than OK. Life is good. Keep faith and hope and love alive and it will get better.

Katie said...

I vote for option 1 -- the "Get-your-stuff-while-you're-here" option. You don't have a marriage. He's not a husband. Someone who doesn't contribute financially for 15+ years then doesn't contribute physically and emotional from then out isn't a partner.

Anonymous said...

Um, let me get this straight. Your husband stayed home with your boys and obviously took care of the home and other aspects of your lifes for 16 years before you decided he needed to get a job. He did, one that requires him to travel and one in which he probably makes a very decent living for your family (just like you asked). Now he most likely gets slapped with a list of the ALL the things that are now on your plate now that he has said job. All probably things he took care of without comment or thanks from you before he got the job you insisted he get. I would be taking assignments half across the world too.

That being said. You need to make a decision as a couple instead of you deciding what needs to happen next and him making decisions as to how to execute said directive.

Anonymous said...

Um, if this is who I think it is--may I say in her defense to anonymous--he DID NOT take care of any of those things in 15 years he stayed at home and in fact the house looked like those of hoarders you see on T.V.
Your comments were pretty spiteful without knowing anything.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous #3 - In that case she should of divorced his ass or got some marital conseling forever ago.

I am sick of women bitching and moaning about their worthless husbands. Stop letting them be worthless or divorce them. You control your life and choose to be miserable or happy.

Anonymous said...

Bucking the trend - keep the husband but get rid of the cats.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world did you fix the air conditioning on your car if you're digging out of a snow storm? And for Pete's sake, what possessed you to sleep with this loser after all this?