Author Topic: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)  (Read 9485 times)

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LeeLee88

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Sigh.  Okay, a while ago, I came here about my husband generally not helping out around the house.  We had a talk about it wherein he sort of cut me off a bit because he was starting to feel really bad, but the talk worked... for a little while.  Sure enough, I didn't stay on top of the situation, and we were back at the same place again.  So we have another talk, this time very emotional for me because I was feeling a bit burnt out at that point.  He tried to cut me off because he was feeling bad again, and I told him, "No, I need to say this, and I need you actually hear me this time."  (thanks, folks!) So I told him that I was tired of working 50-60 hour weeks only to have to do everything around the house because he simply won't.  He seemed to get the message, only now, we are yet again back in the same place because I did not sit on him to make him do things.

I have discovered that the primary issue is that DH is a big gamer.  I have no issue with video games, and like to watch them being played (I can't play myself) but I begin to have a big problem with them when they render my husband utterly useless because he won't. stop. playing them.  I talked to him about this before too, and he said it's his only way of relaxing, and after being in the office all day, he just really needs to relax.  He then agreed to cut down, and we worked it out that chores would come first, and then video games.  Guess what, that arrangement also fell through.  So DH will come home from work at about 8:30 and get on one of his game consoles and just play.  Any time I ask him to do something, it's "Hang on, let me finish this" or something like that, and then I lose patience and just do what needs to be done because the cats can't feed themselves, and I honestly can't trust him to remember because he gets caught up in these GD games.  

I am preparing myself for yet another talk with him this evening.  I would like some input on exactly what points I should make in this conversation, and how I should phrase it.  I'm very close to telling him that I'm neither his maid nor his mother, and if I wanted to care for a child, I would have one.  But I don't know if I should say exactly that.  

Also, I'm thinking of telling him absolutely no more video games.  That is very drastic, I know, but he and I have been over this time and time again, and it keeps reverting back to him letting video games take everything over.  So I've concluded that the thing which keeps doing this must go.  Should I give him an ultimatum instead?  I don't want to take the games away, but he's not really giving me a choice here.  It seems DH is immune to e-hell approved advice  :P

Finally, I would like to try to make this the last time I have to have this conversation with him.  I refuse to tell him he's useless, but I sort of want to convey to him that if he doesn't get his act together he'll be having far more serious problems than just not having his video games.  Don't know if it makes a difference, but he's 30 years old, and he wasn't like this at all in the years we were first together and married (so it's not like I expected him to change or something).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 07:47:14 PM by LeeLee88 »

ShadesOfGrey

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If you figure out a solution, let me know.  Good luck!
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

BettyDraper

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Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the relationship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly.  

Linley

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Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the rel@tionship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly. 

I have to agree. I'm afraid I think it is time for you to think hard about your whole relationship. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call if he realizes that his inability/unwillingness to participate in the upkeep of your shared home is not just upsetting you, it is threatening your ability to continue to be with him.


I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
Sometimes gets me in trouble too
But the truth is I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make them all come true.

-Cry, Cry, Cry- "The Kid"

LeeLee88

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Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the rel@tionship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly. 

I have to agree. I'm afraid I think it is time for you to think hard about your whole rel@tionship. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call if he realizes that his inability/unwillingness to participate in the upkeep of your shared home is not just upsetting you, it is threatening your ability to continue to be with him.

And folks, you have hit the nail on the head.  I don't feel that I should have to keep on him.  And I don't like that we have to keep doing this.  I'm afraid of having to tell him that I honestly can't take it anymore.  I love him deeply, and I know he loves me, but I'm constantly responsible for him, and that's just not right.  It probably doesn't help that I've been listening to Damien Rice's "Rootless Tree" on a loop, does it? 

I was hoping that talking to him would be enough, but I think you're right; he most likely needs a good, jarring dose of reality concerning this whole situation.  This is going to suck, isn't it?

LeeLee88

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Oh, and thank you all for the fast responses, I really do appreciate it very much.

BettyDraper

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Well, you could drastically change your approach to housework/maintenance issues:  Use a portion of your joint income to hire someone to clean & do chores; downsize or reduce belongings to streamline work, separate your living quarters i.e. find a place with separate bathrooms (or even bedrooms) so you don't have to worry about the state he leaves his in, get rid of pets that need to be fed, etc.  Change the overall expectation level.

To be honest though, if someone told me the only way he could relax when he got home from work was to rush to his game console instead of chatting or otherwise interacting with me, his spouse, I'd be taking a (regrettable) clue.  I like to decompress when I get home too and don't necessarily feel like engaging right away -- but hours on a computer? 

goblue2539

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Make sure you decide what you can live with, what you can't live with, and how far you're willing to go to get it before you speak to him.  If you need to give an ultimatum, make it one you can follow through on. 

All easier said than done.  Good luck!

PaddedPaws

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Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

LeeLee88

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Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

Holy jeez, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  Wow.  I feel really bad about that somehow.  And while we can afford to hire help, I get really antsy about it.  It's primarily that I've had very few experiences where housekeepers didn't take something (we have a lot of valuables in the house) and I would feel bad for the housekeeper because I'd end up just standing there watching him/her.  And that's not fair at all.  In an effort to keep my paranoia from afflicting some unfortunate soul I've hired to do the job for me, I feel it is wiser to avoid doing it until such a time where it would be feasible for me to be home a lot.

Sharnita

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The idea of counseling seems good.  I think video games can be addictive, though I don't know if he is personally addicted or not.  He would probably benefit from discussing his gaming with somebody qualified to help him if it is an addiction.

demarco

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The question for you is, can you live with this for the rest of your life?  He's not going to change.   

Don't ask me how I know   >:(


LEMon

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Agree with pps that you don't want to become the game police.  You resent him right now.  Become the game police - you will resent him and he will resent you, plus nothing will be solved.

You need to lay this on the line.  How you feel?  What does he want from the relationship?  What are the consequenses of this long term?  

things to think about:  How much time do you two spend together in general?  How much do you two talk about important things - especially any stresses on his plate?  What has he done in the last week/month to make you feel loved?  What consequenses are you willing to implement - is this the final dealbreaker?  something that could be worked around?  part of a patern?

I agree with those who asked why does he unwind with games rather than you, but I also know how easy to get addicted to them it is (all four of us in my family struggle with it).  Games are easy to win.  You can advance/succeed in them.  They take little work on your part.  It is so much easier than real life which makes it very easy to escape into the void, and leave the worries, things to do, and people behind.

Dindrane

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I agree with the suggestion for marriage counseling.  I also think you may want to consider the possibility that your DH is addicted to video games, and perhaps look into counseling for just him.

See, it's totally normal to go through periods of time where you don't want to talk to each other or otherwise interact.  It's totally normal for those times to primarily happen right when you get home from work.  I think lots of people do that.

But spending all of your free time doing something which prevents you from actually taking care of yourself and living your life is truly a problem.  Video games can be incredibly engrossing, and I do think people can become addicted to them.  My DF has struggled for years to not get sucked into playing games he doesn't even enjoy anymore, and the only thing that's improved the situation is sheer self discipline.

Ultimately, when the two of you are working out an issue, you should expect that you will need to regularly discuss it.  That by itself isn't really a bad thing - situations change, people slip back into old habits, whatever.  The problem that you're facing is not that you have to keep talking about it - it's that you have to keep talking about it because there has been no net improvement.

To share an example, I really hate housework.  I can be kind of lazy about it, too.  Because of the way our current jobs work out, DF and I agreed a long time ago that he would do the bulk of the housework (because I work longer hours than he does).  However, there were things I was doing that both failed to hold up my end of the bargain, and made it harder for DF to hold up his.  That was a problem.  I'll be honest - it's still sometimes a problem, because I still hate housework and I'm still tired when I get home from work.

But the reason why it's not a big problem in our relationship (just a minor annoyance we sometimes have to deal with) is because I never slip completely back into my original habits.  I have created some new habits that are more in line with a fair division of household labor.  And I also recognize, fairly immediately, when something I'm doing is just not fair to my DF.

For instance, when we moved in together, he seriously spent like maybe 1/3 of the day actually doing work.  I worked full time.  So it made perfect sense for him to do pretty much all the cooking and regular clean-up, and for me to only pitch in on household chores on the weekends.  Now, however, DF spends maybe 3/4 of the working day actually doing work, and I'm still working full time.  So he probably works about 30 hours a week to my 40.  It is no longer fair for me to expect him to take on as much of the housework as he used to, so I've been gradually picking up more of it.

So maybe I have a week or two where I leave all my dishes in the sink for DF to take care of later, but most of the time, I clean up after myself and do some of the necessary household work.  A temporary neglect of household work does not, for me, mean that I'm not doing any at all, or that I won't self-correct when I've got more time or more energy.

That, I think, is the goal that you should be working for -- the normal state of affairs in your house should be that your husband does X amount of housework without your having to stand over him and make him.  He should only be skipping that housework when there are unusual circumstances in play (like a stressful period of time at work or something).  But when those unusual circumstances occur, you shouldn't necessarily be taking over those duties -- ideally, you'd work out between the two of you which were non-essential, and you'd still do the same proportion of essential household tasks.


BettyDraper

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Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

Holy jeez, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  Wow.  I feel really bad about that somehow.  And while we can afford to hire help, I get really antsy about it.  It's primarily that I've had very few experiences where housekeepers didn't take something (we have a lot of valuables in the house) and I would feel bad for the housekeeper because I'd end up just standing there watching him/her.  And that's not fair at all.  In an effort to keep my paranoia from afflicting some unfortunate soul I've hired to do the job for me, I feel it is wiser to avoid doing it until such a time where it would be feasible for me to be home a lot.

That's what I meant about changing your life, though.  Take the valuables to a safe deposit box or self-storage unit, lock them up and and otherwise make your dwelling such that a maid service can do the work.   

Would I do that for someone who would rather play WoW than have a glass of wine with me, or work in the garden, or take a shower together, or go for a walk to unwind?  No.  (And playing the games occasionally wouldn't bother me one bit; I like solitary pursuits too and hate clinginess -- but every day?) It's offered as a suggestion to counter the argument made here sometimes (with good reason) that we armchair analysts are too quick to tell people to ditch their relationships.

I would accept as the PP above said that this is it,this is his preference, and decide if I can live with that.   Or as others have said get counseling.  In any event this is beyond a manners or etiquette question, that's for sure.