My husband won’t work on our marriage, but I don’t want to leave him.

It doesn’t sound like much of a marriage to me, says our elder.

Dear EWC

My husband has the worst luck with jobs. For the longest time, he was unemployed and could not find a job himself. He was in a deep depression over it. Through connections, I got him one. It is a job that he hates. Slowly his behavior changed to always be angry. As much as I try to help him, he does not take my advice and my life slumps further and further into misery each day. He complains that he hates his job and his life, but any solution that is not an easy one he refuses to take. I suggested looking for new jobs countrywide and despite the fact that we have no financial obligations and I can cover the costs of moving, he said no. I suggested getting more education, he said no. He complains about his lack of free time, despite having a good three to four hours every evening and being free two days a week. He is not required to do anything around the house, so that is his time and his time alone. Money is a constant problem, but he does not want me to be working. I am trying to get some sort of job regardless. Often times he complains that he can’t get everything that he wants that month and I am made to feel guilty for having a household budget, despite setting it to bare minimum and having to try really hard to juggle it (he pays the bills, I set food and household items expenses to £50 a week, which is really hard to work on, so I’m skipping every meal that’s not dinner). He complains about my food and will often refuse to eat it for hours until hunger kicks in, in the end. I tell him that I plan out dinners every Friday and he could just tell me what he wants to eat that week. He refuses. At best of times, when I spend three hours in the kitchen, I get a, “This is OK I guess”.

He would not visit a marriage counselor for me, nor a psychologist for me. I am certain that even if I stated my intent to leave he would refuse to work on this marriage, despite getting suicidal over me doing so. This is a funny point, but I know that he loves me. Yet his refusal to work with me on our issues makes me think, “Do I really want to be in this hell for decades if nothing is going to change?”. I’m also worried about having children with him as I don’t think that he would be a kind of understanding father. The man that he was would have been, the man that he is, no. I told myself that I will not be my mother. That I will not break up a family, yet my will to fight and my will to get out of bed reduces day today. I don’t know who to turn to, as I have no-one, so I came here.

PicklesMarie replies
My question is how can you know he really loves you?
He won’t work a job or around the house. He won’t work on the marriage. He doesn’t try at all. He seems to take advantage of you… and treat you poorly for what you do. Meals are not appreciated. Your efforts are not appreciated. He moans about his job. He seems both immature and put out by working.
If you mention a split, he threatens suicide… rather than becoming a better version of himself. I fail to see anything lovable from what you describe. A suicide threat is not akin to a statement of love. He seems dependent on your ‘services’ around the house but doesn’t seem to grant you any praise.
In an effort to change his ‘woe is me’ song, try praising his work efforts, and anything else about him that you can. I say this because it seems your existence together has become really really negative. He can’t or won’t change, so it may behoove you to try to change the atmosphere.
If the opportunity to see someone yourself presents itself, do so. It may be that you have no cost or low-cost clinics. If that is not possible, a cleric or a wise elder maybe someone to talk to about this issue.
You should not have children with this man. He wouldn’t be a good father. And, I fear, he’d be worse because of his own childishness.
Consider whether you can get him more engaged at home. He doesn’t like your cooking so, perhaps, he could do the cooking? Or you could just have sandwich makings and chips on hand so he can fix his own food?
You feel your mother broke up a family. As I see this arrangement, it isn’t much of a family. You two don’t work well together.
While you attempt to hold this together, also take steps to prepare to end this marriage… if necessary. Do get yourself both an education, if necessary, and a job. Be prepared, however, he may just use this as an excuse to take more advantage of you — letting you do all the work at home and outside the house too. Look into procedures there to divorce. Get some good advice. You need to know what to do and what not to do.
I’d suggest you give things three to six months to get more positive. If, within any time you decide upon, the marriage doesn’t improve, prepare (after you have a job) to move out and divorce. Brace yourself, during this time when you’re pulling away, he may pull out all the stops by becoming dramatic or demanding.
I am glad you came here. Our elders have gone through similar things. Know that whatever you do you can come out okay in the end.
I hope I’ve helped. If so, don’t hesitate to contact me again. If not, don’t hesitate to contact someone else at EWC again. Either way, I wish you well!

Letter #: 439246
Category: Marriage

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