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Is my husband making a mountain out of a molehill by complaining about these things?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 June 2007) 6 Answers - (Newest, 13 June 2007)
A female United States age 51-59, *ARIASEC writes:

Been married for 5 years together for 7, I have a 19 1/2 year old son and a 171/2 year old daughter, their real dad (a lowlife but they love him) only lives 20 minutes away. My current husband, I feel targets my 20 year old constantly with tedious issues. For instance, he is obsessed with anything in the sink. On a daily basis he says there is stuff in the sink, ususally silverware a few forks, maybe a glass and a bowl. There might be his baseball hat on the counter and maybe a shirt on the sofa. He does clean up throughout the day but leaves stuff. My husband feels there should not be anything except once in a while (he determines when) When I get home from a 12 hour work day, he complains about it, we fight, he calls me names, tells me to shut up, grits his teeth when yelling and expects me to run to my son and correct what ever he is complaining about to his satisfaction. Whatever I do do, isn't good enough for him, he thinks I should take his car keys, ground him, whatever, for long periods of time. The fighting is loud and brutal. If I don't satisfy him, we might not talk for weeks. My house is clean (very) more than most, my son graduated from high school, doesnt drink or do drugs, nor get in trouble ever! He graduated from the police acadamey and is submitting apps for a police officer. Example, Friday my son pulled his ATV out of the garage and I told him don't ride accross the grass, when leaving, he road over the grass at the corn of the sidewalk (my husband says) he flips out, insists my son does what he wants, wants me to do something, he's yelling in the street in a towel, then gets dressed and leaves before dinner, drives around for a couple of hours, comes home and I am visual able to see he was drinking, he tells me tough, I don't like it too bad. We now have not talked because of the ATV thing for 5 days. We walk past each other dont say hello or good bye or good night or tell each other what we are doing. My husband says it is justified to behave like this cause it mounts up, between the dishes, not doing what he is told, the clothes or hat or maybe sneakers seen day in and day out builds and he snaps. To me, these little things are not issues, I am lucky to have a great kid with no serious problems and for me to pick up a few things and wash a dish here or ther might take 3 to 5 minutes. Should I be brow beaten day in a day out and be my husbands general and make my son do the things that bother my husband. Should I wake him from bed a 10 at night to wash a dish? Should I leave the dishes like my husband says for the entire day till he comes home and make him wash them? Should I flip out because he didnt roll up the hose or left the light on in the garage? Are these problems or is he crazy? My neighbors have drug attic kids, disrespectful, been in jail, drink and drive, drop outs from school, steal from stores, curse their parents out, open their house up while their parents arent home to huge drug parties....those, to me are problems! Am I right?

View related questions: drugs, in jail, period

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A female reader, LauraE United Kingdom +, writes (13 June 2007):

His attitude is way over the top. I mean, shouting in the street in a bath towel – that’s a man that has totally lost it – and over what?! Saying that “stuff has built up” is no excuse. Niggles happen in families – it’s called normal life. And like you say, with all the ways in which kids can really go wrong, he should be glad to have such a stepson. It’s odd how all the problems seem to be with your son. Surely your daughter isn’t completely perfect? Maybe he is jealous of your son. He is obviously used to getting his way using temper tantrums and sulks – rather like a toddler in fact. No doubt he has been doing this all his life from when he actually was a toddler and nobody stopped him. Now, he’s so used to it that he is totally unable to see that his behaviour is irrational. So anyway you’re the one that’s stuck with this, and what to do? Well I agree with the other person who responded to you – he needs professional help. You won’t be able to change him on your own because this will be too deep-rooted. Bottom line is this - don’t let him spoil your relationship with your children. If he won’t get help, you shouldn’t be putting up with this kind of aggressive behaviour for the rest of your life. Best of luck – you’ll need it.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 June 2007):

This is absolutely crazy and it is certainly not a marriage. Your husband is very unreasonable and yes a total control freak,why should you have't to put up with that. He acts like a sulking child walking around the house for five days not talking to you, its pathetic it really is. Are you sure there is no other issues that haven't come to the surface yet?because to me this really isn't normal and isn't the sound of a healthy marriage. I think you need to sit town and talk to him, this needs to be sorted.

Good luck xx

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A female reader, Beckto United States +, writes (13 June 2007):

Beckto agony auntIt seems like you already answered all your questions.

When it comes to raising kids, in general, there is no real wrong or right (within reason, of course). As long as you do your best, care for them and support them, they will turn out how they were destined to turn out. You are your children’s' mother, he is not your children’s' father. How you decide to raise them is your prerogative, not his. As long as they are not directly disrespecting him (like calling him names, destroying his property, etc) then your husband has no right to tell you how to raise them. YOU are the parent. He is the husband to the parent. From what you describe, it sounds like you have lost any control that you should have (for you and your son's sake!).

19 years old is an adult anyway. Put yourself in your son's shoes: If you were 19, done with school, looking for a job, a good kid -- an adult... And your mom's husband is trying to tell you how to live in your own house when you are being quite reasonable. I would be bitter if I were him. I might even act out.

I bet your husband feels he's loosing control of himself, and rather than addressing the real issue, he's directing his frustration and anger at you and your son. It's much easier to be mad at someone else than at yourself.

My suggestion: Get yourself into counseling, STAT. Try and get your husband to go with you, but if he won't, then go by yourself. A counselor will help you gain the control of your life and your family that has been siphoned away from you. If you can afford it, get your sons into counseling too. Or ask him to come with you.

The most powerful thing you can do as a parent (with young or older children) is to better yourself.

GOOD LUCK! And Get Better!

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (13 June 2007):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou are totally right. Your husband is a control freak. He may even have an obsessive compulsive disorder. Whatever it is, he is making your life miserable. Has he always been like this? If he however doesn't recognize that his behavior is over the top then you won't be able to convince him to get some counseling but that is exactly what he needs. I hope your son will be able to move out soon and get some peace of mind. Does your husband ever yell at your daughter about these petty things? He might be a tad jealous of your close relationship with your son as well. Sit him down and calmly address these issues with him. Don't be accusatory but he needs to know how miserable you are with this behavior. I hope he will be willing to get help. Good luck and keep us posted.

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A female reader, rachal  United States +, writes (13 June 2007):

rachal  agony auntyes youre right there are worse problems that your son could be getting himself into. i think your husband is an ass for taking out thing like that on you. accidents happen. and if he is on everyone else's case then that is just showing that he has problems with himself. just give him space but if he ever tries to hit you or anything while hes been drinking then GET OUT,NOW!!!

xoxo rachal

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 June 2007):

Hi hunny,

Yes you are right, your son is a good lad by the sounds of things and doing so well you should see my sons room you cant see the floor!!! I dont worry about this as he works hard in a bank and plays alot of sport, i did put the vacuum in there one day with a little note on it saying (HI MY NAME IS HENRIETTA IF YOU WANT TO TURN ME ON!!!! IVE GOT A LITTLE RED BUTTON ON THE SIDE) But all jokes aside love your having a rough time and this cant be doing you or your son any good, You say your husband doesnt talk to you for days then drives of comes back a little drunk, this to me (and i dont want to sound rude) is just childish behaviour from an adult. Ive just had to throw out my eldest son as he is an alcoholic, now this was a situation that was affecting the rest of my family, and as a mother it was a hard decision as i still love my son and feel for his problem but as a mother with more than one child i have to of course think about my other two.

And as a mother thats what you are doing now, you are also working long hours and you really dont need to come home to this, it must be very stressfull..

So i would say if you can talk with your husband about going to a counsellor to talk about these issues to hopefully save your marriage as by the sounds of things love you cant deal with this much longer i do hope you can sort something out and it all works out for you, but one thing i can say is you should be very proud to have soch a fab son all my love and luck to you all xxxxx

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