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09-15-2008, 02:23 PM   #1
Colt
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I was wrong about optomism for marriage

I came home this morning after work and was jumped on by my wife and then her mother jumped in too. I'm posting from a library basically because it's now the only place I'm allowed to post from. Apparently I'm disgusting lazy scum who doesn't do anything but make messes for other people to clean up.

I got the ultimatum of 'do more' or I'll be kicked out of my home and divorced. I'm in the beautiful situation where I'm completely helpless to defend myself or voice any opinions. I have been for a while really. My wife's mother pretty much has complete power and authority over me and complete control over my wife. Since I work night shift and I'm always sleeping, working, or running errands my wife and her mother and law spend all their time alone together with plenty of time for blaming me for everything while I can't defend myself. They spend a bunch of times together and they're mother-daughter so I'm really the perfect target out of the 3 of us. So basically my wife hates me now too. I've become the scapegoat for everything difficult about our situation.

What it really boils down to is that my mother in law was put in charge of day care so that I could go to work, my wife can go to school, I can sleep, and my wife can study. This was the big advantage of living together that we were fed. But.. my mother in law lived off of her husband's work and still does. When she left him and moved to the states where we are she tried to work and soon quit each job. Then we moved. Now she lives off a combination of me and her ex-husband. She gets half of his royalty checks (he's a writer) and I pay her bills and buy the large majority of the food and other neccesities. The deal was that she would take her half of the money from selling their old house, pay the down payment on a house for the 4 of us in columbia, I'd pay the bills, and she'd work in the form of child care. Sounds fair enough right?

So we get here in later spring before my wife goes to school and very quickly instead of it being a home shared by the 4 of us it's her house and we are being supported by her because we live in it. Ignore the fact that I pay for almost everything. She spent her last 20 years playing gardener and bird watcher. Once she's free of those pesky 3 months of trying to find and work a job she returns to that. She has no real interest in babysitting while we try go out for a couple hours once or twice a week for some couple time. We have to strategically catch her between trips. Frankly it seemed like she was just staying out of the house to avoid the babysitting.

Apparently she's not good with babies. We were kind of surprised. She just could never console my son. If he started crying she couldn't for the life of her figure out how to get him to stop. So she just resorted to shoving a pacifier in his mouth and stuff. That became a bit of a battle trying to get her to treat our child the way we would like without offending her majesty. Now that he's 5 months old she won't hold him for anything. Sometimes when he's wailing like crazy but if she can put him down somewhere she does. That's about opposite of what my wife has been pushing as the policy of care for our child. It's really frustrating because I have to get up and console him for her all the time while I'm sleeping. The sad part is that usually all he wants is to go outside and look at the trees and the cars and things. Step out the door and the crying stops like you flipped a switch. She just refuses to do that. She makes up so many silly excuses it's ridiculous. Instead she cleans (regardless of if it's needed) and watches sports and such.

Anyway, she's furious because she thought it our little arrangement was going to be an easy life playing with a happy giggly baby for a few hours a day. It's not easy though. Why she didn't understand that I don't know. Regardless, she's pissed. REALLY pissed. She doesn't want to take care of him. We've absolutely ruined her life of leisure. She only gets to go to maybe 1 movie or concert a week. It's terrible.

Back to me though.. my wife and her mother have now decided that all their hard work and the difficulties of caring for the baby are my fault. I'm scum for leaving an empty soda bottle on the table over night when I rush out of the house for work. I'm scum for not scrubbing the toilet, mopping and vaccuming all the floors each week, etc. I'm especially scum because I spend an hour or maybe 2 on this forum before bed. I'm supposed to be taking care of my son literally every moment that I'm home and not asleep. That's in addition to all this cleaning and all these errands that I'm supposed to be doing. Somehow it works out in their heads that I can do all of it and take away all their problems. Forget the fact that I support 4 people on a single salary and the very day I get threatened with being divorced and made homeless I was in the middle of trying to arrange things and prepare for a job interview so that I can help aleviate my wife's recent panic over our lack of money.

Just forget everything I do because literally according to my wife and her mother all I do is make messes for them to clean up with my damn 1 or 2 dishes per day (and if I get some fries on my way to work to avoid the dishes I'm even worse for wasting money). They want me to 'do more' when there's no more I can do damn it. I'm already at my limit.

Basically you can expect my posts here to practically stop because if I'm for a single moment caught using the computer or generally not having a baby in one hand and a mop in the other I'm going to be divorced, have my child kept from me, made homeless, forced to pay alamony, pay child support, have no vehicle to get to work with, and probably have my bank account emptied too. Of course I'll get no warning of this. It'll just be sprung on me a month or so from now when the judgement is made on if I'm worthy.

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Current Stage of Grief: Anger
09-15-2008, 02:47 PM   #2
teeny5
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I am so sorry that is all happening to you. I hope things get better. Your mother in law really doesn't sound like help at all.

I would hate if my kid wasn't being taken care of the way I like.
09-15-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
ladyB
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I am in your wife/mom-in-laws shoes, more or less.
My hubby is healthy and 3rd shift.
We have 3 kids 5yrs, 2yrs, 1yrs
Your wife/m-i-l may not get the 1-2 hrs on the computer with out a little one.
They may not be able to leave stuff around, because the little one is too grabby.
If you don't clean the soda bottle off the table, and your 5 month old gets a hold of it(as we know little ones seem to get a hold of everything)how bad would you feelif the top came off and it was in his mouth?
I'm not trying to be mean or nasty, I'm just letting you in on the discussions that HAVE gone on in my house.
09-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
butt-eze
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I think your wife is very wrong in this situation. I learned a valuable lesson from a boyfriend I had in college. When we first starting dating he said that his most important rule with me is that if I had an issue that I address with him. He followed that with if I'm bad mouthing him or complaining to my friends it doesn't help our relationship. I've held on to this with my husband and it has helped a lot. There are times that I get mad at my husband but I don't try to resolve it by venting to other people. I tell him straight forward to his face how I feel. I am very close to my mom too. However, I never talk badly about my husband to her. It doesn't create for a healthy relationship.

I don't think you should wait a month to see if your wife and her horrid mother determine your worthiness. You need to resolve things with her right now. Clear the air. Take her to dinner, on a picnic. Somewhere where you can have a long heart-to-heart discussion. She married you, not your mother. She is supposed to be your partner. Teaming up with her mom to go against you is the worst thing she could do to you.

I hate that she even threatens divorce. Why do people do that. That would only make you resent her for feeling forced to do more work than you can handle.

The solution is not to do what she and her mom demand. The solution is to seek help and resolve things between the two of you. It sounds like it might be a good idea for you two to move out. That is unless you don't want to stay married. Then that's a completely different situation.

Parents cause so much trouble in relationships. Don't allow her mother to be a part of destroying yours. Escape from her, if you can.

Your wife needs a talking to. GRRRRRRR!!!!!

Amy
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09-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #5
katiesue1506
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I don't know your particular situation, but I do know that if you and your wife are relying too much on your mother-in-law to take care of your son so you can have "alone time" its going to get old real quick. Especially if the time that she watches him is extended past her normal babysitting hours.

Many mothers who have already had kids and raised them feel that they shouldn't have to take care of another kid (kinda the "I did my time" bit). And really she shouldn't. I would say that a way to fix this is to hire a babysitting for a couple hours... if you can't afford it, then you guys just gotta stay in. I know its not the same situation, but when my boyfriend and I first got our puppy, we still wanted "couple time"... but I knew that we couldn't just pawn her off on my mom or his parents... we just had to suck it up and find ways to be together with the puppy [go on walks (which you could do with the baby) train her (you guys could spend time together playing with the baby and teaching him new things) and just generally become a team together to take care of the puppy]. I mean ultimately, it was our choice to get a dog, and we have to be responsible for her... its not a commitment that includes my mom or his parents, just us.

I think that the best thing would be for you and your wife to become more of a team... instead of competing for who does more around the house or who doesn't do what... help each other out... do the dishes together... cook together.

Living with her mother is not a good idea at all. Its poison for a marriage. There's no reason that her mother needs to be in your guys' business. So I think a separation would help there.

Although you are more mad at her mom for making her think you are lazy... it sounds like there really may be some fundamental problems. She may be feeling these things on her own... most women don't just listen to someone and believe what they believe. She must be feeling hurt or taken advantage of in some way. Maybe you guys should sit down and talk about everything.

In these sorts of situations it really benefits you both to see where the other person is coming from. Try to see her side of things. It'll help you to understand why you were given this ultimatum. I realize that you are sick and battling a flare... however just because you are always sick doesn't mean she has to take care of everything. I know when I'm not feeling well that I still gotta help around the house and do dishes and such... because he can't do it all on his own, and I don't expect him to. I know that its not fair you were given Crohn's... but ya gotta work with what you got and overcome your obstacles... sure it means working harder than the next person, but it makes you a better and stronger person too.

I know my opinion probably doesn't make you very happy... but I just wanted to help you to see the other side... so that you can calm down a bit and make logical decisions. Do you have a right to feel upset? yes. Do you have a right to feel ganged up on? Yes... but you can only control your reactions... and having poor reactions probably won't help you in your situation.
09-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #6
Colt
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First off we haven't gone out since spring. My mother-in-law pretty much refused to watch him unless we forced her to and it was for something like grocery shopping.

My wife absolutely refuses to even consider daycare or a babysitter other than her mother. She's afraid they would do an even worse job.. and it would offend her mother by acknowledging that we don't trust her to do it.

We can't move out because my wife wants to be here so that we have on-call daycare. She wants my mother-in-law to be able to take him for a couple minutes while she goes to the bathroom and such. Besides, I pay my mother in law's bills and she probably couldn't sustain herself. Her only expense is $250 per month in house payment which she can get back whenever she sells the house like she says she wants to. Pretty much everything else is me. No one talks about it, and the official word is that she's supporting us by letting us live in her house, but if I wasn't supporting her all hell would break loose. Her self-esteem would tank as she was exposed as not sustaining herself and she'd go ballistic on my wife for 'putting her in this situation'.

As for us going somewhere and being relaxed and calm my wife refuses. She has decided to hunker down and go gung-ho. She intentionally avoids any form of relaxation because she thinks it would be morally wrong considering her duties. So, no matter how much I try to get her to relax she just winds up and winds up tighter and tighter. She snaps every once in a while and then winds back up.

My mother is mentally unstable. She's paranoid basically. I don't even speak to her anymore. I wouldn't trust her to care for my child.

I've tried to talk to my wife with my concerns, including the topics suggested. She ignores it, calls me a name, and threatens me or gives me an ultimatum.

BTW, we arranged it so that my mother-in-law gets paid by the government for taking care of him. It's only ~$5 an hour but still but child care workers get that amount and take care of 5 or 6 kids. Child care elsewhere would be pretty much free. Oh, and she's only responsible for him for 4 or 5 hours a day on weekdays while I'm sleeping and my wife it at school or doing homework.

Last edited by Colt; 09-16-2008 at 08:37 AM.
09-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #7
Babe123
 
gosh thats a tricky situation.

i have no experience of marriage but i would tell your mother in law that it isnt her marriage its yours and your wifes and she should stop interfereing.

you are the one supporting every one, you mother in law should be keeping her end of the bargain and doing the child care or she should move out to give you and your wife the space you need to make your marriage work

xx
09-16-2008, 12:25 PM   #8
rosie
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oh dear!! ((HUG)) for you!! i dont think your scum
dont forget to take out 5 to smile!!!!! you'll start missing the smaller things in life if you dont. x
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09-16-2008, 01:33 PM   #9
katiesue1506
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Well then all I can say is that you can give your wife an ultimatum... either you guys move out on your own and worry about your problems without your mother-in-law interfering... or you are out.

If there isn't anything you are able to fix... or anything that you are willing to fix, then you either have to suck it up and come to terms with your situation or get out.

If you are in a situation that you can't handle, you will do everything in your power to make it better (unless you are like my friend who would constantly complain, ask for advice, not follow that advice/complain about the advice given, and then come back and complain that she's still in the same situation she drove me insane!!! )

When it all comes down to it... you are your destiny. You choose where you end up, and you are responsible for yourself and yourself only (and your son)... I know its hard to see it... but there will be light at the end of the tunnel... there always is.
09-16-2008, 04:04 PM   #10
butt-eze
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Form what you are saying it doesn't sound like either of you are fighting for the marriage but about the issues that you are facing. Do you want this to work? Does she want this to work? Marriage isn't about forcing people to do things by threatening them. She is wrong and it wouldn't be right of you to threaten her either.
I agree with others that you cannot continue living with your MIL. I don't care how hard it is. It's not a healthy situation for you or your child. It won't be long until your son grows old enough to realize he is being fought over and/or ignored by your MIL.
This may not be the time for your wife to go to school. Clearly there is too much on both of your plates financially and emotionally.
Although her education is likely to improve your financial situation it could ruin the marriage. Why did she go to school with an infant? It doesn't seem like she planned things out very well. Although I think she should take a break I think it would only cause further tension by you suggesting she put it on hold. So, I guess I was just sharing my thoughts.
I understand the frustrations that come with being new parents. It's not easy. Ultimately, we can only provide you support because I think you already know what you want to come of this.

Amy
09-16-2008, 04:10 PM   #11
Agent X20
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It seems like you're in a unsustainable situation... you WILL have to act one way or another... or you'll blow a gasket. I've been there, but it seems like a lifetime ago now... things got to a point where putting up with the status quo was not an option.
It also is not healthy that your wife is talking so much to her mother, when she should really be talking to you... I've been there too.
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09-16-2008, 07:10 PM   #12
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I agree with what Amy said,
Either you two WANT to be married to each other and work together or you both are ready for separate addresses.
Ask your wife what she wants.
09-16-2008, 08:01 PM   #13
My Butt Hurts
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I don't know what to say, your situations sucks and you know it.
The only thing I'm thinking is that when my son was very small, my husband and I had a little bit of trouble with our marriage. Our son was a "hard baby", and didn't sleep real well. I was exhausted by the time my husband got home and would just burst into tears. The stress was enough to put a wedge inbetween us. This didn't last very long, but it sucked when it did.
I don't know if the stress of the baby is adding to your problems, and the older he gets it might get a bit better on its own.
A BIT better, considering the mother in law seems to be the biggest problem.
Unfortunately, living on your own might not be an option right now, financially, nor is paying child support.
All I can say is I'm sorry, and I hope you get things straightened out soon.
09-16-2008, 08:29 PM   #14
Jeff D.
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I'm so sorry Colt you and your family will be in my prayers. I wish you the best of luck. I really despise these kinds of stories. I hear them way to much. Good luck my friend
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