Husband spends no quality time with wife and child
01/10/2010 at 11:11 AM

My husband and I have been married for 12yrs. We have one child..a daughter who is 6yrs old. My problem is he is an absent husband and father. He was married twice before and has a child from each marriage. He is estranged from both children...long story. I do talk to his other daughter who lived with us for awhile however her mom was always causing problems. My frustration is I thought my husband would appreciate us because he led me to beleive he wanted the same things I did. He thinks because he goes to work, doesn't hang out in bars and does some house cleaning he is husband of the year. We have tried coundeling numerous times but it falls on deaf ears. I am so tired and resentful these days because I am lonely and feel like I am sophocating. I spend all my time at home with my daughter. He finds every reason to be away from us and when he is here he might as well not be. I have asked him to take our daughter away for the day so I can get things done and have some time for me but he can't seem to do it. He gets upset because I don't want to be intimate with him...he doesnn't get it. He is very laid back and expects me to take care of everything but yet he is all gung ho when it comes to doing things for other people. He asks why I have so much contempt torward him and I basically say nothing anymore because it does no good. He doesn't do anything with me and our daughter but he expects us to do what he likes. We can't have a normal converstaion because it always turns into a fight. For the most part I keep my mouth shut to avoid a conflict because I don't want our daughter to have to hear it. I work full time and I am tired..he says he is tired of hearing I am tired. Before we were married he would jump for me and told me I worked to hard and now it is like he married me to take care of him. He does nothing special for me. He wants me to be intimate but I can't because it just feels like sex to me and that isn't what I want and nothing changes anyway. He knows how I feel about divorce and I think he takes advantage of my belief. I do resent him for treating me this way, I hate that he makes everything about him and that he doesn't appreciate me and all I do. I sometimes think it would be better for all of us if I left with my daughter because I honestly feel like we are a convenience and inconvenience for him. He complains about everything...the traffic, the public, the roads etc..we can't go anywhere without him focusing on the negative. It has gotten to the point where I don't want to go anywhere with him. I try to talk to him about it but he takes everything like a personal attack and makes it all about him. Has anyone ever dealt with this kind of person...He is like Jekyl and Hide. I am at my witts end. I don't feel like it is ever gonna change and I am worried about staying and my daughter having to live like this and I am worried about it affecting her if we leave. I try to tell him that we are starving for his love and attention but it just seems like he is lazy when it comes to us. His other wives for unfaithful...sometimes I wonder if it was because they were lonely also in the marriage. I got married for companionship and someone to share my life with...I am so lonely and I am feeling it physically. I feel so tired and depressed all the time. I don't expect things to be perfect but this is ridiculous. Thanks for listening.

Sorry, had to go for a minute. I don't understand why it is so hard for him to spend quality time with his wife and child. We joined the YMCA months ago and we were going until we were in an accident. I have asked him to take our daughter up swimmming but he can't seem to do anything unless I go with him. He goes hunting every saturday for 12 weeks in a row and comes home when ever he feel like it, usually 8pm and then on sundays he has to catch up on what he wasn't able to do saturdays. He seems to have the attitude he is entitled to do what he wants cause he did it before we were married and he works hard. I work full time, take care of all the finances, grocery shopping, medical appointments etc..and our daughter has Asthma. Every day I can count on hearing one thing from him "What's for dinner" A few years ago I was sick and begged him to stay home with me instead of hunting and he chose to hunt and I had to have family come over and help with my daughter...What kind of husband does this? Ever since then I look at him and I am disgusted. I have stood by him through every event in his life, he didn't have to ask me too..yet it seems I have to beg him for everything. I do all the christmas shopping, birthdays, holidays etc..while he sits back and reaps the harvest. I am tired of being taken for granted...don't I deserve to be treated like a human being. I feel all I do is work and take care of the home. I don't even know who I am anymore. Everyone tells me I need to take time for myself...How am I suppose to do this when he is absent all the time. I feel guilty leaving our daughter with him because he doesn't have alot of patience. He has a fit if she leaves her toys out..she is only six and he expects her to act like an adult. I just don't know what to do anymore. I don't like how I feel and I don't want our daughter to think it is ok to be treated this way. He has a temper and we both have seen it and then he blames me for his actions. In January he broke his hand because he got pissed of and punched a cabinet and when we went to the hospital instead of the Medical Personell which were men talking to him about it they made light of it like oh yeah they have done that it was no big deal. I never saw my father act like that. It makes me ashamed when he acts the way he does. I feel unloved and uncared about and I don't know what to do...I don't think he will ever change or see what he is doing to us.


Was it last year he broke his hand, or last week?


Actually it was last January that he broke his hand...however it isn't easy to forget these things because their have been numerous times he has acted out in this manner over the course of our marriage. He thinks I should be able to just forget this stuff but it stays with you...everytime I forget about it he does something else.


my husband is 6 years older then me had a child from a previous relationship that is proud and joy but yet it seems that he cant care less. our son is 19mo. younger and runt of the family. my husabd works a 10 hour shit 4 night a week other then that he sleeps about 8-10 hours a day and for some add reason thinks that since in home all day wit the kids i get my lazy time and all he dose is work work work. i have told him meny times he needs to put the remot down and play with children or help me out doing something..i have gone as far as telling his he selfabsored and a child. i thought during out non married relatioship. we had everything. we wanted the same and put the same amount of effort in when it came to our kids abd home. well in relatiy its all my work and all he has to do id bring home the pay check from one mim. wage job. if he really thinks that his job he better be getting another job for his aff time casue im not gonna take care of 3 children


That is how I I am a single mom with two kids and he just can't seem to get it cause he is self absorbed it seems. I don't know what more I can do...I am tired of being tired and feeling unappreciated. If I tell him I need his help...he reminds me of the few things he does do and doesn't take into account the dozens of things I do in the day and it doesn't help that I have to spell every little detail out if I do need him to do anything. You would think after 12 yrs of marriage he would know what needs to be done but he just counts on me being the responsible one. It has gotten to the point that I almost don't care about any of it anymore. I don't know why things have to be so unequal...if we share the load it makes it easier on the whole family.


Do you want to just be able to complain, or do you want things to improve? Just asking.

You can't change your husband by complaining to him or about him. You can change how you feel. Would you rather be angry or happy?

If you want to be angry, just keep on keepin on.

If you want to be happy, do a few things differently.

1. When you look in the mirror in the morning, smile for 30 seconds. It will pump endorphins into your system.
2. Start a gratitude journal, like Oprah says.
3. Realize that the things you pay attention to are the things that grow. If you want to be angry, be sure to mention the things that make you angry. If you want to be happy, don't mention the things that make you angry, mention the things that make you happy.
4. Get your heart pumping for a few minutes every day. Jumping rope, dancing to the radio, bedroom athletics. Pick one.

None of this will change your husband, but it will change you, and changing your part of the marriage will change your marriage.

By the way, this is a scary thing to do. Although it seems simple, you are going to be ticked off that I suggested it. You are going to think that I am mean and judgmental. If you are like most people, you are going to be mad about what I said, and you are not going to try it. Because you are afraid that things will change, and change is scary.


Well I have to disagree with you..what you are telling me to do is what I do everyday and what I ask my husband to do. I put a smile on my face every morning and thank God for all the blessings in my family, my job, my home and yes too my husband. The problem is here is that my husband doesn't seem grateful for any of it. He is never satisfied and doesn't see the good in his life..only what he doesn't have...I see the cup half full and he sees it half empty. He is quick to critisize me when he acts badly and blame me for his actions instead of taking responsibliliy for his actions. I am not angry..I feel I am just emotionally done and that is what is scaring me. I have forgiven him so many times and honestly I am tired. I am a giver and he is a taker. Before we were married he treated me differently and I trusted him more than I ever trusted anyone with my emotions and feelings...I gave more of myself to him than I have ever given to anyone else physically and mentally. He wanted to be married, wanted a family, wanted a home, wanted a pet and yet he feels no obligation to nurture and take care of any of us/it. All the responsibillity falls on me. He will do everything he can to please his freinds and co-workers and anything to do with his family is an inconvenience to him. I married him for companionship and partnership not to be his caretaker and please his every desire. I feel I am a good wife and mother and homemaker who also works a fulltime job and my husband does everything he can to bring me down. Putting a smile on my face and counting my blessings is what keeps me going and hanging in there but honestly I am very lonely in my marriage...very tired in my marriage and very unfullfilled and I can't honestly take the blame for that. I don't feel I can do anything to improve our marriage/relationship because I am in it alone. I appreciate your advice.


The thing I am suggesting that you do is to drop the burden of responsibility that you feel for your husband. To give up the "they two shall be one flesh" notion, to become independent. Not to leave the marriage, but to become independent within the marriage.

Don't ask your husband to smile.

You, yourself, take thirty actual by the clock seconds and smile at yourself in the mirror.

You, yourself write down in a bound book the things you are grateful for.

You, yourself, replace the negative scripts in your head with talking out loud about the things that you want to increase in your life.

You, yourself, without your husband or your mother, or anyone, dance. Dance to three songs on the radio.

Things might change. It is scary. Be brave. Things will change and it will be scary but it will be OK.


Twenty years ago I was in a situation very similar to yours, minus the 2 previous relationships and 2 children. After years of feeling very much like you state, I gave up. My ex found another woman who was willing to deal with him and he left me for her. Little did I know that feeling like mother and father both and feeling like I was doing everything and raising an additional child was very different than actually doing it all on my own. Being young and optimistic, 3 years later I remarried a man with 3 children after being reassured that he wanted the same kind of life I was yearning for. About a year into that marriage, the realization set in that he too was basically a child and was looking for a mother not only for himself but for his girls. I stuck it out for 6 years and once again, was on my own with my 2 children.
After 12 years of struggling on my own and with my children raised and on their own, I fell in love with a man who told me the other 2 guys were unworthy of me and he wanted nothing more than to care for me, we married 2 years ago. Your statement that your husband said you work too hard and etc must be in some kind of a manual that guys who just want to be taken care of all read. About 7 months into this marriage, I realized what he really wanted was for me to take care of him, and he also began to pressure me into us trying to get custody of his 2 younger boys. He takes little responsibility for anything. Ok, so, is it nearly all men? Or, is it that men who just want to be taken care of are available? Either way, I made the decision that I do not want to be divorced again and began the process that acitez suggested to you, doing it on a daily basis.

The only one who can change is YOU!!! Taking your daughter and leaving is an option but you are going to have to be committed to raising her on your own, which is very difficult. There is no "better man". As I learned the hard way, getting remarried when you have a child is not the answer to your problems. You can become recommitted to your marriage and to your child and try to do whatever you have to do to make your marriage work. My current husband will do almost nothing without me. He sits in the house waiting for me to come home to make his life complete. I would LOVE for him to go places without me so I could have some peace and quiet and some "me time". He has just recently started to see his boys occasionally without me and that took over a year of prodding. Be careful what you wish for and begin to see the good in your marriage. He has a job and interests that occupy some of his time. Arrange playdates for your daughter or time with a relative so you can get things done if you need to. You can make this marriage work for the sake of your daughter and your family. Change your outlook. Wish I had changed mine when I was married to my children's father. You will be amazed how much your changing how you treat your husband will change him. It can be done!!


I appreciate your response and agree with you. My husband knows how I feel about divorce. I do not want to raise our child on my own, nor do I want her to be shared or handed off every other weekend. What keeps me hanging in is my Faith and our daughter. She doesn't deserve the fall out of divorce. I count our Blessings daily. I know I can not change my husband but I feel he has changed me. I have always been a positive person and these days I really feel alot of anger torwards him because he doesn't appreciate us, takes us for granted. He asks me what is wrong and I tell him and then he gets mad at me and it ends up in a big fight so it's gotten to the point where I internalize it. Myself and our daughter are starving for attention. I get upset that he doesn't see how blessed he is. He isn't the "Family Guy" he led me to beleive he was. He shows no interest in us but expects us to support him in his interest and I did for the first 10 yrs of our marriage. I don't feel I should have to ask to be treated with dignity and respect...I honestly don't think he knows what Love is and he always plays the victim. He takes no responsibility for his 2 failed marriages or for the problems in ours. I think he just didn't want to be alone and knew I would take care of things. I will survive...I always do. Thank you again for your advice.



I dare you !

I double dog dare you !


How are things going? Did you try acitez's advice yet?


As I understand Acitez advice, it would not change his behavior or attitude. did I read it wrong?