How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him

wife puts children ahead of husband - Adobe StockHow does it make a man feel when his wife puts their children ahead of him? We posed that question to a group of men. Their most common answers are listed below:

1. Insignificant and disrespected

Most replied that they felt a deep lack of respect from not only their wives, but from their children. “Respect is important to a man, and he doesn’t feel that when the children consistently come first,” said one man.

2. Unloved

Most men, unlike most women, associate love with actions instead of with feelings. When a woman places her children above her husband, her actions say to him that she loves the children more than she loves him. Though not as vocal about it as women, men desire to be deeply loved by their wives. It is difficult for a man to see his wife cherish the children, but treat him in a cool or casual manner.

3. Lonely

One of the man’s greatest needs is companionship, and he usually expects to find this in his relationship with his wife. “As my wife pours more and more of her life into being a mother, she pours less and less of it into being my wife,” said one man. “The friend I once had in my wife is now a friend to our children, but a stranger to me.” The lonelier a man becomes, the more vulnerable he is to outside temptation. Is your husband lonely because of the time you spend with your children? Are you in any way making him more vulnerable to the attentions of other women?

4. Unappreciated

Men appreciate being appreciated! Many men feel that their wives show greater appreciation to their children than they do to them. “If our daughter goes to a friend’s for the night, my wife misses her terribly,” said one husband. “When she comes home the next morning, my wife is ecstatic to see her and acts as if she’s been gone forever. I can be gone for days on a business trip, and my wife acts like I never left. Sometimes she even seems to resent my return home.” Does your husband know how important he is to you and how much you value him? Are you an appreciative wife?

5. Resentful and Angry

Though not a majority, some men stated that when their wives put their children first, they felt a sense of resentment and anger; some felt this way toward their children, others toward their wives. “My fifteen-year-old son walks through the door and my wife immediately asks abut his day or rubs his back if he’s tired. She pampers him constantly. I find myself resenting him, even though I know it isn’t his fault.” Is your husband frustrated or even jealous of your relationship with your children? Could it be that he feels left out or overlooked?

IDEAS TO CONSIDER:

Maybe you’re sensing that you need a major overhaul in this area, or perhaps just some fine-tuning. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider:

1. Think positive thoughts.

For every positive thought you have of your children, think of two for your husband. Begin noticing the many things he does. Perhaps he sees to it that the house is locked up every night or helps you replace light bulbs. Men enjoy praise!

2. Give him the benefit of the doubt.

Often this comes easily with our children, but is more difficult with our husbands. Grant him the same gracious generosity that you so readily give your kids.

3. Be spontaneous.

Surprise him once a week with a random act of kindness. One woman recently discovered that her husband liked a slushy drink from a local convenience store. She began buying them for him. “He loves it when I do this. It’s such a simple thing to do, and lets him know I’m thinking about him.”

4. Invest in his stock.

Share with your children things you admire about their father. This lets them see how important your marriage is to you. Though it’s been said dozens of times, the way Mom sees Dad is the greatest influencer of how the children see him. Do this with others as well. Many women excel at communicating their children’s strengths, but not their husband’s.

One woman pointed out that often friends will talk about their children in glowing terms, but when they talk about their husbands, they tend to talk about their weaknesses and inabilities. If you do this, stop! Commit to sharing with others only those things that build your husband up. Words are infectious and should be chosen wisely.

5. Make your bedroom a haven.

Too often this is the catchall room. Make an effort to keep it clean, organized, and inviting. One woman bought a small love seat and placed it in the master bedroom. This is where she and her husband spend a few moments together once they’ve gotten in the door at the end of the day. It shows their children that they value each other’s company as well. Burn a fragrant candle so that the room smells inviting and warm.

6. Cater to his quirks.

Many times we think our children’s quirks are cute but our husband’s are obnoxious. One woman discovered that her husband liked his sheets changed often, yet she preferred going longer between changings. “I fought this for years,” she said. “I thought he was being too obsessive. One day my daughter asked why I ignored her father’s request for clean sheets but always changed hers whenever she asked. I was shocked. This was something I didn’t even realize I was doing. I suddenly saw that I was not only dismissing one of my husband’s rare requests, but I was also modeling wrong priorities for my daughter.”

7. Check your attitude.

Said one woman, “I was stunned one night when my husband told me that he wished I had the same attitude toward him that I had toward the kids. From his perspective, I bent over backward for them. I ran all over town to find my daughter the right dress or my son the right tennis shoes. But he said that if he asked me to stop at the hardware store and pick up a gallon of paint, I balked.” Our attitudes speak volumes to our husbands.

8. Pray for your husband.

This tip could go in every chapter. There is nothing like prayer to soften your heart and sharpen your focus.

9. Reintroduce pet names into your relationship.

Refrain from calling him “Dad” or Daddy.” Choose instead to call him by a name that shows your love and high regard for him as a husband.

Your husband may or may not respond as you re-prioritize your relationships. It really isn’t an issue, though, if you are doing it to honor God. Certainly it’s nice for him to notice and appreciate your efforts, but it isn’t necessary. God notices.

This article comes from the book, The Politically Incorrect Wife: God’s Plan for Marriage Still Works Today, written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, published by Multnomah. This is a real down-to-earth book which is both inspiring yet practical. It gives the reader to have a clearer understanding of God’s design for the married woman. The authors explain how, between the both of them, they bought into more than 40 years of modern day thinking. Eventually they realized how it was sabotaging their marital relationships.

Excerpted from The Politically Incorrect Wife © 2000-2002 by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

— ADDITIONALLY —

We strongly recommend that you read the following linked article, written by Gary Thomas. Gary brings up some issues, related to this one, that you may never have thought of previously. Please read:

THE DANGER (TO OUR KIDS) OF A DISTANT MARRIAGE

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Filed under: Childrens Effect on Marriage For Married Women

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Comments

544 responses to “How Husband Feels When Wife Puts Children Ahead of Him

  1. I said number 7 to my wife and her immediate response was “Oh you want me to treat you like a toddler?” It was a very nasty remark and it’s indicative of the cavalier attitude my wife has about our marriage.

  2. This sounds a lot like my life. My wife is loving, kind, caring to me when we are getting along. It has been this way for really our whole marriage of 33 years. Our first daughter who came about one year into our marriage (we had a honeymoon daughter). From that time to now, it has been this way. Years later, now with our grandsons she treats me the same as always but with our grandsons also.

    I truly don’t understand why she acts this way. I love her very much, and I try hard to make sure she know this by showing her just how much. I send flowers to her while she’s at work. At home I clean, cook supper and clean up after we eat. I rub her back, feet, legs. I also tell her a lot by words just how much I love her; I send card’s. So I know she knows that I love her. But she never or mostly never shows me anything at all not even a little gesture of loving me.

    I know this is a Christian on line, but we have not done anything like (sex) for over three years. This whole statement is true, I would give just about anything to make it not to be true. My wife does love me, I know that, and I love her. My wife grew up in a family that had no emotions or would not show any kind of loving emotions whatsoever.

    1. No kind of loving emotions whatsoever, fairly common. My wife’s family is sorta like that. Most of her siblings are like that. She shows some more affection than the others. Maybe you should not do ‘everything’ around the house. Work on the car, do some yard work, help the neighbor instead of rubbing her feet. Embark on some big project, landscaping project, refinish a piece of furniture, hang out in the den, watch basketball, nothing that would make her suspect an affair. Show her you are the man, not just a roommate.

      1. JT and Bob…You are right, JT, this is a Christian web site, so I will answer you (and Bob) from a Biblical perspective that I see.

        JT, as most men would read your post it would be easy to agree with Bob’s reply and approach to what has been going on in your marriage for the past 33 years. It has been grossly unfair that your wife has put children, grandchildren (or anything else) ahead of you and your physical and emotional relationship. And from what you have described how you have responded, it seems even more unfair.

        But as a Christian husband I have to frame this through scripture. First, when we say were are “Christians” it literally means we are to be “Christ-Like.” And if I am going to be “like Christ” I have to be willing to lay down my wants, my needs, my desires for ANYTHING in order to reflect Jesus and bring glory to God. That’s what He did for me when He went to the cross, so that’s the least I can do for Him. Have I always been successful at this? Sadly, no. But after 45 years of marriage I’ve gotten a lot better and I strive to do this every day.

        JT, you didn’t come right out and say you were a Christ-follower, but you certainly have emulated Christ by sacrificing your wants, needs and desires to show love for your wife even though she doesn’t reciprocate. To me this is the mark of a true Man of God.

        Then, the Apostle Paul gave us husbands the admonition /reminder of what God expects of us in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

        To me, this doesn’t give us license to stop doing the things sacrificially that show our wives how much we love them like Christ (whether they respond positively or not) in order to try and get their attention or “wake them up” to start doing things differently.

        In other words, it’s our responsibility to live our lives and do what God shows us and tells us to do through His word; and it’s His responsibility to try and get through to your wife. But she will also always have free-will and can say, “no” to God’s promptings.

        Those are my thoughts, JT. I hope you will continue to seek wisdom from the Lord no matter what happens.

  3. This article is funny to me. I’ve got it the next step worse. My wife has organized her life around our grandchildren. She was a helicopter mom and now she’s a helicopter grandmother. I have brought up several of the ideas in this article in the past and it’s pointless because they would detract from her attention to the grandchildren. I wish she would just leave.

    1. Really sorry to hear that. Pointless to say it may have came from childhood issues, etc. Don’t fight it; it does not do any good. Makes it worse. Like I have told others, find a good time consuming hobby, golf, cycling, big motorcycle, some of these guys doing these hobbies are neglected by their wives too.

  4. Ok. This is kinda rough for me. I am not even sure anyone will read this, but what the heck.

    I very recently saw a therapist. He said I have anxiety, depression, and a touch of OCD (not something they can’t actually diagnose). So I started some medication. I think it is starting to help. I feel a little better and I “feel” like I am seeing things more positively and clearly. I have an issue where I always blame myself for everything that is not perfect and even blame myself for things other people do.

    I grew up in an abusive home. Drugs, alcohol, mental and physical abuse. Because of that I tend to not like confontations. Sometimes I am afraid of how mean I could be if that were to happen. In almost 20 years of marriage I have never pushed, or shoved my wife. I yelled at her to leave me the F-alone. Once…once, and she will never let me forget it. I bet my children have been spanked less than 5 times between the two of them.

    I guess I am saying I am FAR from perfect.

    My issue is, I see how my wife always puts my children first. And it hurts, it upsets me, it makes me mad.

    Just a couple days ago I mentioned to my wife about a nice LED camping lantern I was going to get, its $51. First thing she tells me is “you will need to wait till we get our tax money back, we just can’t afford that.” I was upset, but said nothing because at the time I didnt think It was a big deal. A couple hours later I find out we have her grandmothers 80th (its a big deal) birthday party to “plan” for. So we spend almost $300 on stuff for it. We spend all this money and 60 grandchildren show up and no one else contributes. This is not a big deal (at the time) because it is grandma’s party and I like grandma too. Today my wife goes to get her hair done. She deaerves it, she works hard. She comea back and decides her and my daughter are going to get their nails done. So that will almost be $100 between the two of them. So I decided now to go and look at the bank account. I notice my wife had given my son permission to get a $60 xbox game, and my daughter went out to lunch wither her friends for $45. All these things have happened AFTER I looked at buying a camping latern. What the heck! Now all the other “not a big deal” stuff bothers me. And as I sit and think about it……this is how she treats me ALL THE TIME. I am not sure how she doesnt see what she is doing.

    Sorry, just needed to vent.

    1. Sorry Mark, sounds typical of a women putting children first. Sometimes women’s opinion of men/husband is bad. I have been thru that too. It does not take much to have their opinion to turn south. This is not uncommon. Sorry about your other issues. You need a good time consuming hobby. Golf, big motorcycle, you will be around other guys who have the same issues.

      1. Bob, I got a hobby to fill my time because I felt like my wife was also always putting the kids before me. We have 5 kids so there’s NO time for me anymore. The problem I found out with this was the wife noticed that I was finding interest in something else and then, got upset. She now says she feels I put my hobby (fishing) in front of her. I feel like I’m just there to pay the bills. My love is a wonderful woman, can be very loving also, but after 5 kids, I feel like she doesn’t have any more love to give. It make me angry and it makes me resent my own kids. It’s tough.

    2. Mark,

      She DOES see it.

      She doesn’t view your wants/desires/wishes as “worthy,” or at least not on par with hers and your children’s.

      She has just shown you quite clearly where you rank on her priorities list.

        1. Nope, sorry; won’t work. At least not in my experience. You’re assuming (wrongly in my case) that I don’t help out already. I do. All that does is free up more time for her activities that don’t involve you.

          1. Alan, There are always exceptions in any piece of advice that is ever given out (except if it comes directly from scripture). Please know that in the majority of marriages, what this author proposes DOES work. We know… we’ve seen it time and time again. I’m so sorry that you haven’t experienced it.

        2. And just so you know, Llw, I don’t have “kids” at home; I have a twenty-year old who lives 5 hours away. We’re not newlyweds still learning about each other-I am 51 and she’s 45. We’ve been married nearly 25 years. I “helped out” around the house then just as I do now; if anything I do more now than I did then, since she has become involved in so many outside activities. And as far as my daughter, I was the one that got her up in the morning, fixed her lunch every day, drove her to school and attended her school functions. But go ahead and tell me, “well, that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do;” I can just hear you now. So next time, think before you give out such “easy” advice; did it not occur to you that most of the husbands (and wives for that matter) who post on here have heard all that before?

  5. I was reading your suggestions. They are terrific, however, I have tried them all and with no success. I am not sure where to go from here. My husband wants me to himself as he has no male friends and hobbies outside of our house. Suggestions?

    1. Barb, All you can do is the best you can do. I suggest that you keep repeating step #8… praying for your husband. If he has no (healthy) male friends, and wants you to himself alone, excluding taking care of the kids needs (within reason), then he has additional problems. We believe it’s important to NOT to build a child-centered marriage. You need to put good balance on their ever pressing needs (to the degree that you can). But they do have needs. They are real. And if you are giving him time and attention, and you are earnestly trying to build your marriage as you tend to the needs of your children, then you are putting the right priorities into place. All you can do is the best you can do.

      Pray for your husband’s neediness, and pray for the needs of your children, plus your own needs. Look for ways that God shows you to tend to all of these areas of your life together. I’ve seen God turn this type of situation around… so it is possible. Keep praying, believing, and looking for guidance on how to keep all of this balanced the best way that it is possible, given the circumstances. I pray for you as you pray for your husband. May he get a clue as to how rich your life could be if he only puts more balance into his efforts!

    2. Hi, from a guy, a man’s glory or treasure is his wife. The Bible calls a wife ‘a good thing’ But, you would like your space. But you may be ‘all’ your husband has. You will need to find another couple to hang with, especially where the guy has similar interests as your husband. Same football team, likes basketball, car racing, eating pizza, etc.

  6. My wife now wants to move where our daughter (my step-daughter) plans to move to. Our daughter wants to move to be where her boyfriend plans on moving to. So, in essence, my wife is going to follow our daughter’s boyfriend. Looks like we’ll be renting a two, one-bedroom apartments soon.

  7. I could check off every box of ‘feelings’ men feel in this article. My problem is, when I bring these points up to my wife, I get either a cold response, no response or upstaging me (“..well I wouldnt do that if only you would _______”….or….” I did this because you make me feel ______”. Sadly, I just accept the fact that it us what it is; hope and pray for better days and live with her how Christ wants me to. He is my Salvation, not her.

    1. Sorry John, it happens to a lot of us guys. Some of these issues are from our own treatment of our wives early in a marriage. Wives opinions of their husbands are generally less than great usually because of some actions or bad decisions we made early. You not having a high-paying job, wife sees other women not working. I know mine does. Mothers will baby their children far into adulthood and ‘kick’ husbands aside. Especially if you have a son. Then grandchildren will come along. Starts all over again. Then in the middle of all of this is menopause. How do I know?Easy, Experience. Don’t fight it. YOU CANT WIN. They don’t ‘see’ it. Like I have said earlier, get a good time consuming hobby.

      1. Thank you so much Bob, all these are fruits of the bad decisions and men act out on their wives in the early years of marriage. In the early years the wives cry out for attention and to be connected to their husbands but what do the men do? They focus all their attention on their careers, friends and hobbies. After awhile the wives get frustrated and move their attention to their kids to be able to survive their frustrations. As a result years pass by and old age creeps in and the men lose interest in their career or must have reached the peak of their career only to find out that being up there can be lonely. Finally they start drifting to their wives who have moved on without them.

        1. This. What Okonkwo A from Gabon says is true. I remember begging for love, time, attention from my husband. After years of being “annoying” and “needy”? I hate him. I hate the sight of him. I hate the way he treats me and I hate the way he treats the kids. My kids have saved me from crushing loneliness. Unfortunately, they and the fact I don’t have money or support to just go on my own (largely due to continued financial abuse…I work but when I get anything he causes situations where it’s gone almost before I receive it).

          He wants affection. He drives me nuts, runs my account into the ground, humiliates me/my oldest son in front if others. With the ages of our kids and the state of my credit/savings I’m not sure I can reasonably expect to leave him other than in death. I have some kind of problem right now. I’m 99% sure it’s a cancer given the signs/symptoms and results from recent appointments. I stopped answering my doctor’s calls and cancelled all further appointments. I’ve decided to let it take me. I hate life with him “that much.” The only people I ever loved or showed me love? My kids. My husband is a cruel, vain, self-serving manchild. He thinks I’m frigid and give too much time to the kids and church. I didn’t used to be. I used to bend over backwards for him. And now? Years of hurt and feeling abandoned? C’mon cancer, for the win, baby…I want off this ride… But for what I have left?

  8. Thank you so much for this article. I feel like it was written for me. I am in every single comment. I have tried several different ways to discuss each of these subjects to no avail. I have asked to seek out counseling and even found two female counselors so she would not feel ganged up on. She refuses to see anyone. I have begged her to allow us to seek outside help. I plead that this is not something we can fix ourselves and I notice we are exhibiting passive aggressive behavior toward each other. She works for my firm and the employees bring up to me when she is not around how she walks all over me in front of them and they see me trying but then I start making nasty comments back. I think this marriage is over and it is sad because she is my dream girl.

    1. Dave, so sorry you find yourself in this untenable situation. At this point I would say because you have tried multiple ways and times to convince your wife to go to counseling together, but to no avail, then you should try getting counseling for yourself. It may be the only way for you to hold your marriage together for the sake of your kids. Sometimes when the wife sees her husband is desperate enough to go to counseling alone it wakes her up. We pray this may be so for your wife.

  9. I am married for the first time; my husband is divorced with 4 (in their 40s now) kids. He told me his children would always come first with him. I said, “All right then, go marry your kids.” I think God meant for us to marry only once. Second marriages are unholy messes. God did not approve them. I guess I am catching what I threw.

    1. Hey Tuxedo, I guess it was hurtful when he said children 1st? You say where do I fit in? Sometimes 2nd marriages can be a mess. Things like this should be discussed before any commitments be made. Main thing is to be observant, anybody can ‘say’ anything.

  10. This is a good article. I have not viewed all the topics, but by far this topic has 5 times the pages as any other article has. This is a real issue that the other spouse (wife & husbands) denies. Then the grandchildren come along. Starts all over again. Spending every vacation and holiday with children & grandchildren.

    My suggestions: If your spouse is consumed with children and grandchildren, don’t fight it. It makes it worse. Find some nice hobby to distract your thoughts and time. Try to find quality time with spouse. When on a date and he or she starts consuming about children, don’t over react. Show interest, Just slowly talk about something else. Leave cell phones in the car. Adult/teen children will survive for 1 or 2 hours without contact with parent.

  11. All those suggestions can’t help the family when a husband is disrespectful, abusing words toward kids, name tags on children, Comparing children, inconsiderate, Immature, and talk with anger with ever issue around children. Anger doesn’t earn respect.

    1. That’s a totally different situation. You still need to be respectful (strong, yet not disrespectful) in how you respond, even though that spouse isn’t acting in a respectful manner; but when one spouse is acting in abusive ways you need to address the abuse.

  12. 30 years married and starting to realize that a wife can be very selfish in a socially acceptable way. Her indulgence in our adult children and now grandchildren is OK; it is not all sacrifice, she really enjoys it, will even reduce her work commitments to fit in with her lifestyle desires. Yet as a husband if I took up interests with another women for companionship, it would be asked “how could he?” Or if I cut back on work to have a more enjoyable lifestyle, it would be questioned. One selfishness is OK, one is seen as ???

    1. Sorry, us guys lose coming & going. We are usually the blame or bad guy for any issue. In this situation it’s best not to fight it, you will NEVER win. Don’t do anything wrong like an affair. Enjoy your own life with a couple of other guys, golf, cycling, fishing, motorcycles,

      1. Bob is right; there is NOTHING a man can do. My dream was to get the kids out of the house and then find each other and live like before they arrived. My Dad tried to tell me the way it is before he passed, but I did not listen. The time you had with her was before the children came along it will NEVER be like that again EVER. That is Gods plan but he did not tell us men. Believe me, I spent years trying; they were all wasted when I could have found a hobby like Bob said.

        I am 52 and have been married 32 years; do not get me wrong I have enjoyed a blessed life thanks to God. When women have Children it is for life, they are her number one priority for life as well as the Grandchildren – Period. You are somewhat of a sperm donor because having children doesn’t change men the way it changes women, again Gods design.

        You have to find your own life in a Godly way and STOP the pursuit of your Wife, it only makes things worse (like Bob said). Find yourself without your Wife and enjoy the limited time she has for you. God commanded us to provide for our wife so continue to do that, or you will be in trouble with him. Remember there is nothing a man can do to change it – NOTHING. Go get a good hobby and enjoy the rest of your life.

        1. Michael, I’m so sad for you. I’m happy that you have a blessed life in other ways, but sad that your wife doesn’t understand that you don’t just marry to have children. You start your life together because of love, and you continue that love for the rest of your life together. You can love your spouse AND your children. There’s room for all.

          Keep praying Michael. I’ve seen wives wake up sometimes in the empty nest season of marriage. It DOES happen. And don’t lose hope… put your hope in God and it could surprise you what can happen. Try to romance her, show her that you love her, and the children… and keep walking with your eyes upon the hope that God can give you. What your wife is doing today does not always determine what she will do tomorrow. You never know what can happen when you let God lead in this type of situation. I pray for you Michael, just as I pray for Bob, and for others who are in this place. Please know that there are people praying for you because we care.

          1. I am 19. Reading these near unanimous complaints is depressing. I don’t want to get married. I know life is far from perfect but I cant picture being married to someone who won’t show me love. You lose no matter what. 😔

          2. I can well understand why you would find these complaints depressing. But please know that this doesn’t happen in all marriages. Just the fact that you are reading articles like this one concerning marriage shows you are headed in a good direction. It’s important to study marriage. And it’s important to talk and keep talking to each other about these types of issues. You need to work on partnering together in every aspect of married life. This IS do-able! We see it all the time. But you need to keep lines of communication open with each other and work with intentionality to continually keep your love and care for each other alive and vital. Yes, you’ll still go through tough times, but you can overcome and plow through those tough times to get to a better place.

            Steve and I are closing in on being married 47 years (in less than a week from now). We’ve experienced good times and tough times together, but overall, it has been SO good… so very, very good. I hope the love and care we have for each other for you someday. It is such a blessing!

  13. Thank you for this article, it explains what has happened in my family. We have three sons, 26, 23 and 20 years old. As our children get older my importance has been crushed even deeper than I could ever imagined. I have been fighting depression, loneliness and at times apathy. I’m fighting against all this on a daily basis, trying to stay strong hasn’t been easy. I’m a fighter; I will stay strong, but in the end, I will be a divorced father.

    1. Larry, I am sorry to hear this. Seems like wives are even more attached to their sons. 1st. DON’T FIGHT IT. You can’t win, play with grands, find common threads with daughter-in-laws. They can be like daughters to you. Do things with your sons. Work on cars, shoot guns, paint the bedroom, plant some shrubs. Go get a big pizza & watch some football or baseball with them. I am not promoting or encouraging this; drink a beer with them. See the doctor, try a antidepressant, I am on Zoloft, it is OK. Like I tell other guys over & over, find a time consuming hobby like playing golf, paint a picture, big motorcycle, (talk about feeling of freedom feeling that big Harley Davidson run), learn to play guitar, fish.

    2. Hang in there Larry. It seems to me you are struggling to swallow the pill that you were not expecting to take. This article helped me to finish swallowing the pill also. I bet you keep asking yourself what happened and how can I change it now? I know I spent a lot of time doing the same thing. The one thing I have done since then is to focus on myself and what makes me happy besides my Wife.

      You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself trying to figure it out. Seems to me you have a family that needs you more than they realize. Dads in society today are pushed down and marginalized because of a change in basic culture; you are not a Mom. Trust me it is not you and there is nothing you can do except divorce, but that’s not a good answer either.

      I used to put a lot of time into my wife and trying to keep her happy now I use my time and energy with my new hobbies, children (32, 30 and 27). and grandchildren (10,5 and 2 weeks). Stay strong and refocus your energy.

      1. Michael, very good response, glad you have some hobbies. I’ve had to brush up on mine too. It is a tough pill to swallow, then when grandchildren come along, another pill has to go down! Best not to fight it.

  14. This is my life to a T. But mine is more complicated. Wife is adopted, functional alcoholic, and displays Narcissism, Sociopathic traits. It’s me, her and my 10 yr old daughter. I call her and my daughter “the club” and tell them that I ain’t in it (the club). I’ve secretly recorded them and they bad mouth me. My wife tells my D that I’m crazy and BPD (I tell her that it is her that is BPD, SPD, NPD (all Cluster B personality traits) and alcoholic, and that I’m ready to go get tested to see who’s the problem, and she immediately shuts up).

    They talk nasty about me all the time. My daughter tattles on me, but never says a thing about what her mother says about me in the shadows. I have a recording where she tells my daughter that she won’t file for divorce so that she won’t have to have weekend visitation with me. I’ve figure out, with all my searching, that my daughter is codependent and a flying monkey (Cluster B term for an enabler, etc). My wife uses me as a scapegoat while treating my daughter as the golden child. My wife tells me she loves me all the time, but doesn’t show it! She rarely spends time with me unless daughter is absent.

    Every night at 5 o’clock is drinking time and I walk on eggshells. When I try to discipline or correct my daughter for anything, my wife acts like I’m a dictator, intervenes, and usurps and undermines my authority. The recent thing that I’m grappling with being the last straw is we got into a fight, she just got out of shower and purposely, and maliciously trotted in front of the open full glass front door. She told me she’s not inclined to apologize for it, and said I was like a man trying to make her wear a burka. I’m furious and told her that I feel her actions are akin to infidelity and am considering divorce. All this and she professes to be such a pious Christian. She’ll say the nastiest things about me and then start singing Amazing Grace or start reading her Bible, but not in a repentant way, but just as if nothing ever happened.

    1. Sorry to hear this. Don’t fight it. Makes you the bad person. Sounds like a lot of issues going on here. I would suggest therapy for everyone.