Troubled marriage. Considering divorce or separation
I'm having a lot of issues with my husband...
Before we were married, I lived on my own and supported myself, debt free, with two horses. I have and still do make more money than he does. He moved in with me and brought a lot of student debt and a car payment into the marriage. I wasn't worried about the money because we loved each other and I was happy to work with him to get out of debt. What's getting to me now is his attitude.
I stopped taking riding lessons, stopped going to shows, and for three years, I kept the horses on my grandfathers farm in exchange for labor instead of money. We didn't pay a dime towards the horses for 3 of our 5 years together. We paid off almost half of his student debt and bought a house together. Now they are boarded on low cost pasture board and I still do work on my grandfathers farm to offset most of the cost, in addition to my full time job.
He does occasionally help on my grandfather's farm but only when he feels he has to, like if I have to work late at my other job and can't make it to the farm at a reasonable time to get chores done. He doesn't take initiative to put in any hours on his own.
He eats a lot of food and likes to eat out expensively, like going for sushi. He argues with me a lot about having to watch our food expenses. After he moved in with me my grocery costs tripled and he's made very little effort to remedy it. I've been eating only 1 meal a day for months to cut back on grocery costs.
I feel like I've made a lot of sacrifices to get ahead financially since we've been married. I'm happy to do it, but my husband seems ungrateful and unwilling to make sacrifices of his own. He has been asking me to sell my horses (but not stop working 2 jobs) because he wants to start going on bigger vacations. We already go to the beach every year and stay with family, but this isn't enough for him. I've assured him that in time we'll be able to go on bigger vacations without selling my horses, but he's not happy with that.
He doesn't pull his weight around the house either. He moved in with me after living with his mom. He never did his own laundry, ran a vacuum cleaner, cooked for himself, or did his own dishes. It's been a struggle to get him to clean up after himself. He mows the lawn now and will occasionally load the dishwasher, cook something simple, or run a load of wash. He usually wont do anything without being specifically asked and when he does do things he complains and does a rushed job. Every time he does something simple, he acts like he's done me this huge favor, as if all the housework is my sole responsibility. I'd be okay with this if I didn't work outside the home, but I can't work 2 jobs and take care of everything else without getting stressed. I have very little free time.
Then sex is an issue. We only have sex maybe once per week and I'm so tired all the time it feels like another chore to me. He complains we don't have enough sex. He wants it at least 3x per week, and he complains I don't pay him enough attention or make him feel "loved". I told him why I'm tired and don't have time, and made suggestions on what he can do to help, but his behavior hasn't changed.
I've confronted my husband on all of this. I've told him how I feel, and he might make an effort for a few days but then fall back into the same groove where he sits at his computer complaining about money or the fact that I don't spend enough time with him, but making no effort to improve the situation himself.
We don't have any kids, but a little while ago I had a miscarriage. He didn't help at all afterwards. I had to cook clean and care for myself when I was supposed to be bed ridden. I ended up bleeding out, and having to have surgery to remove a massive blood clot. I even drove myself to the doctor.
We've seen a counselor and he's going to therapy now, but it doesn't seem to be making a permanent difference. I can tell he's trying, but I don't know if he'll ever really change and I can't keep living like this.
I guess what I'm looking for is advice on what to do next. Our finances are very tangled. Both of our names are on nearly everything, including the house. We share bank accounts. We are in so much debt that we can't afford a lawyer or to refinance the house. I've hinted at it but I haven't told him I'm seriously considering divorce.
When it's all said and done, if you marry a guy who shares your values and standards then you're half way there to a successful relationship. When you marry a guy who doesn't respect you and basically uses you and your marriage together to 'get ahead', then it's time for you to sit back and review your reasons for being with him. You will never succeed with changing him and his therapy will only work for him if he has the need for it to work for him.
He either works with you and willingly contributes daily to your marriage without being asked or you find someone who will respect you the way you deserve to be. Easy to say, and going by your post, near impossible for you to do.
Well said, Manalone!
Ursula? He sounds like a Grade A Narcissist (aka parasite aka emotional vampire). *GRADE A*...
...(Deliberately) unreasonable to point of illogical, neglectful (and not just emotionally),, constantly sponges off you (notably increasingly), sacrifices nothing whilst expecting you to sacrifice everything (increasingly), anywhere between coercive and passive-aggressively bullying, unkind, insulting, uncaring (all mouth, no action), irresponsible, over-entitled, no sense of gratitude or personal/gender-role/status obligation, "me, me, me and s*d you, you're just my slave, you don't have rights or privileges"... I could go on.
Please google or youtube 'Male Narcissistic Personality Disordered, types of'.
Has he ever been physically or verbally intimidating, aggressive, violent or cruel/relationship-threatening towards you if ever he's 'in a bad mood and loses control' due to the fact you're trying to lodge a valid concern/complaint and basically stand up for yourself?
You shouldn't *have* to stand up for yourself against your own husband and soulmate, should you. That's supposed to be *his* job. So case closed in that regard at least.
However, the above is just my opinion, not a diagnosis. That's your call. Refer to said googling/youtube-ing and please feel free to report back.
Meanwhile... Perhaps it's that the arrangement for counselling came that bit too late, meaning, by now you don't even feel like waiting to see whether he can improve and by how much?
To be fair - some can. It all depends on to what degree he's 'afflicted'.
What about a separation while he's undergoing this treatment? Is there anyone he could stay with for a good (cough!) "only 3 or so" weeks? I'm just thinking about how to convert that 'near impossible' to 'possible'.