It’s Hard To Drag Someone Through Life

The purpose of marriage is not to save someone, but to have a functional, productive and happy life.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post Husband Won’t Look For Work: Likes Sex, Sandwiches…
Wow, and double wow.
This is such a sad story and one I know all too well. I lived it. When my son was almost two and my daughter 4 my x walked out on me taking all but $.15 out of our joint accounts. Very painful. The attorney I talked to said I was screwed. I couldn’t expect child support as my x was unemployed. In fact since I had been supporting him for a while I would more than likely end up paying him spousal support. Of course I took him back. Financially I couldn’t afford not to.
A few years later he left again. Again I took him back, about a week after that he enlightened me as to how much he loved his first wife more than me and ten years of marriage meant nothing to him. He also brought back my 9 year old child in tears during his short sojourn who rushed to her room in tears to break open her piggy bank because as he told her he couldn’t afford to buy a quart of milk. At that time he was employed and did hold that job for 15 years.
I held my marriage together for 27 years until my children were grown. I told my x that once our children no longer lived at home if he ever walked out again that the door would be shut. At the end of my marriage I felt horribly used and abused. Did we have sex? Yes we had sex, but we did not make love. Love is not an emotion that I think my x is capable of. A man should show he cares by providing for his family. Even when he played Mr. Mom so to speak he did not do all the housely chores. He didn’t cook, or do dishes basically he sat around the house watching TV and complaining that he didn’t have the money to do things.
You learn to tune it out but it doesn’t create an atmosphere of love. I was never over weight at 56 I weigh the same as I did at 20. My husband always found fault in me , I didn’t wipe the ketchup bottle off before I put it in the refrigerator… little things everything. It is just the way they operate to shift the blame on to you.
Anyways you are doing far too much, making way more excuses for him than you should and trying to give a man who doesn’t want direction, direction.
To make a long story short, I lost sexual desire for the man long ago, even though I still had sex with him. Why? because everything in life that was special to me was wrapped up with my marriage. Would I loose the house I built next to my daughter and her husband? Would I be able to find another place to live , where I could keep all my horses and dogs, cats… goats etc? I operated on auto pilot. He had told me that if he left he would leave me the house, because before we got married I owned my own house….
He has worked only off and on in the last four years. He has moved from family member to family member and has used up his welcome. He is now living with our son and his wife and after quitting two jobs he is working for minimum wage at the local thrifty store. This has been horrible on his children, grown adults that they are. If he had gone through this stage while the kids were in middle or high school it would have had drastic effects on the children.
Either resign yourself to a marriage in which you live for your children and their well being, or get out. If he is a man you do not have to drag him through life, he will willingly embrace it and shoulder the responsibilities. If he is less than a man he will put the blame on you, or society and be a miserable life partner. No one knows what could have been, only what is. Life is full of should of would of’s, but in the end you are dealt your own hand and you can play the game only once.
Good luck no matter what path you take we all need a little luck.
As an update, Paulette from the original post has had more downs than ups since that post was written. She’s moved into Phase Five when I last heard from her several weeks back.


  1. Very sad story that's unfortunately probably common.

    I'm curious: Is this the type of marriage in which an affair is permissible/appropriate? If you're living in a loveless, miserable marriage in which you stay because of your children, shouldn't you at least find a few moments of adult happiness/joy with someone, even if that someone is a partner outside of your marriage?

  2. whine whine whine whine. Ohhhhh, everything is wrong with him.

    BUT I STAYED FOR 27 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!

    Please, stop already. Either fix the problem or STFU about it

  3. I mean her not Athol

  4. Sad? Yes. But also a victim? I'm just not sure.

    Unfortunately, we can't rewind the clock 27 years. We can't see a play-by-play video of their original dating situation. Nevertheless, I have a hard time believing that the woman here was completely and utterly duped by this bastard. I have a hard time believing he was an upstanding, caring, well-employed man prior to their marriage with no warning signs–and then turned into a lazy-ass bastard beginning on day #2.

    Perhaps she was originally enamored by his alphaness? His ease or social proof around other women? Was she convinced she could "change" a bad boy? Was he a hunk to look at and did he give her the tingle? Did this then lead her to conveniently ignore his other, less positive qualities? Was she desperate for a provider? Was he the first man to walk by and take a (perceived) interest in her? Or was she >30 years old and, after a youth spent riding the carousel, belatedly feeling the need for a family? Did this lead her to ignore the warning signs and needed critical thinking that would've alerted her to a probable bad outcome?

    Yes, stuff happens. Husbands and wives can change after marriage. But the longer I'm married, the more I realize the seeds of bad marital behavior exist long before the marriage. In addition, there's a strong symbiotic or collusive ingredient in causing spousal change–both for the positive and negative.

    Yes, there are sometimes "victims." But there seem to be many more who are better described as "volunteers".

  5. ironchefoklahoma says:

    Yikes! How sad for the children in this story–they're the victims.

    There are three enormous red flags for me in anonymous' comments:

    * I held my marriage together for 27 years until my children were grown
    Which means they were married long after the children were out of the house or that they waited a long, long time to have kids. Long enough to get a good idea of what long-term married life was going to mean.

    * A man should show he cares by providing for his family.
    Around these parts we call that a mercenary attitude.

    * Would I be able to find another place to live , where I could keep all my horses and dogs, cats… goats etc?
    Horses and pets are expensive. Horses especially. And horses and goats take a lot of time to care for.

    No, a marriage is not a commandment for one partner to drag the other along. But good grief. Be someone worth following!

  6. TrophyWife says:

    "'A man should show he cares by providing for his family.'
    Around these parts we call that a mercenary attitude."

    Around these parts, it seems a woman is expected to put out whenever her husband asks. (I don't have a problem with that.)

    In addition, around these parts, if the woman is a SAHM, she is supposed to cheerfully cook, clean, take care of the kids, have a talent, and do whatever else it takes to keep her husband jolly, her household healthy, and her kids happy. (I don't have a problem with that, either.)

    But in return, I think it is the man's job to provide for his family to show he cares. I don't see it as mercernary. It's an even trade, as far as I'm concerned.

    It's an unspoken agreement between my husband and me that as long as I fulfill my duties as a wife (staying as attractive as I can, taking care of the kids, and managing the household), he will fulfill his duties for keeping us safe both financially and physically.

    When I provide so many positive things in his life, I don't think it's "mercenary" to expect him to provide for us financially.

  7. "Is this the type of marriage in which an affair is permissible/appropriate?"

    There is no such marriage.

    Jennifer 6

  8. TrophyWife says:

    Jennifer 6: I used to say the exact same thing. Then I had kids. Although my husband and I are happy and I suspect we always will be, I can imagine a scenario in which neither of us love each other any more. And I could also see us staying together "for the kids" (assuming there is no major strife in our household and there's still mutual respect between us). And in that case, he would probably have my blessing for a discrete affair, and I might get his blessing, too.

    Maybe. I'm not 100% sure, it's just within the realm of possibility. I could be entirely wrong. But, as I see it, it's not an IMPOSSIBLE scenario.

    After years of marriage and a couple of kids, I've learned that everything for me… even my beliefs… are fluid.

  9. Having been raised in a one parent household I never wanted the same for my own children. My Mother was an extremely bad parent, and bounced us children in and out of various relationships. My father was killed in a plane crash when I was five.

    When my x brought my daughter home in tears and she was frantically trying to open her piggy bank, I saw the writing on the wall. I saw the future effect his poor pity me would have on my children.

    At some of the lowest times in my marriage I would go down to my barn and curry my trusty old stead Woodrow and tell him and myself, you are worth every minute of it.

    My x always said if he left again he would leave me intact financially. I think it was something he promised his father, when his father was dying.

    I was a fairly young woman when I married him or maybe just ignorant. It never dawned on me that any man would not want a secure job or shoulder the responsibilities in life. One time when I was really stressed out over bills and what not and he was of course unemployed, he said "Now you know how it feels to be a man." Is that love or what?

    In retrospect did I make the right decision? My children are 28 and 30. My husband has whined to my son repeatedly how I wouldn't go to counseling. After the divorce was final and he had been unemployed for several months he asked if I wouldn't consider going to counseling. Are you for real?

    It was after I relayed this info to my daughter that she told me how she had walked in on him once and over heard his conversation with his brother on how he was getting ready to divorce the little woman. She acted like she hadn't heard and went home later in tears.

    It was sad for my children but whether I divorced him or remained married to him he would have still been their father. It was almost a year ago when he decided to move back to this area, I contacted a mutual friend at work and found him a good job. It was also my son-in-laws cousin who hired my x. It was a good paying job with good benefits. Four days later he quit. My son in law was furious.

    I was pregnant when I got married. My son wanted to move away and go to college. After graduating high school he lived at home for several years to put away enough money to move out on his own. I think it was three or four years after he left that my husband and I went our separate ways.

    We have a wonderful little saddle club here in my hometown and my fiance is thrilled with the lifestyle of horses and country living. Am I selfish for keeping my horses? I've owned Woodrow for 21 years, he was the horse my daughter rode in 4-H, I can go out and curry him and he'll look at me with his large brown eyes and wrap himself around me. I can lay on his back as he grazes quietly and he will listen to me, as he has done for 20+ years. Then of course he will enter the arena with a loud whinny and run his heart out around the barrels, dance through the poles as if they were nothing and be upset if we have to leave before the last event.

    This is getting long, but one last comment. I made my choice to stick my marriage out, it wasn't an easy choice. I dreamed of having a lot better marriage than I did. I would not diminish myself or the value I put on the state of matrimony by having an affair. I would never of wanted to loose the respect of my children by doing such either.

    I have moved on, I am planning to get married this Feb. Together my fiance and I have 8 grandchildren. I would like to set a good example for them.

    Life is full of choices and sometimes the choices aren't one is good the other bad. Sometimes choices have to be made and neither of them are what you want.

  10. It's not my call, Anon, but I'd say you most definitely made the right choice. He left before you, long before, and hasn't taken one iota of responsibility. He would have continued dragging your kids through the pitying muck and blaming you for matters. Your relationship with your horses sounds beautiful and adorable.

    That's the problem with fluid beliefs, Trophy.

    Jennifer 6

  11. Trophy wife you are such a sweetie.

    I tried to answer some of the whys. Hopefully I have.

    I always carried my weight in my marriage and then some by providing financially My house is clean, so is my barn. I cook a lot. I always helped my kids with their homework, and was there for them.

    I also own a 357 so I can defend harth and home if necessary. The alpha male has just ordered a bigger gun, I don't know if it is to keep his alpha standing or a little 22 against a 300+ lb bear sacred the crap out of him.

    Thought you would appreciate that Alton

    Sometimes when you are living just putting one foot in front of the other is all you manage to do. Trophy wife you are so right on with the comment about being fluid. Hopes and dreams sometimes fade when reality comes into play.

  12. " I made my choice to stick my marriage out, it wasn't an easy choice. I dreamed of having a lot better marriage than I did. I would not diminish myself or the value I put on the state of matrimony by having an affair. I would never of wanted to loose the respect of my children by doing such either. "

    I didn't walk in your shoes so I can't fathom what your life was like, but I greatly respect your decision to stick it out. I was taught that marriage is for life. You are in it through thick and thin, rich/poor, good times/bad. Seems like you had a boatload of the bad.

    I hope you and your fiance have a wonderful life together and enjoy your many grandchildren and animals.


  13. "Trophy wife you are so right on with the comment about being fluid"

    When all beliefs become fluid, morality becomes relative and everything can be compromised.

  14. Morality IS relative.

    For example, let's take the (hopefully) common moral value that stealing is wrong.

    Then let's put the world in a state of chaos–call it global economic crisis, nuclear war, zombie attacks, whatever you want. Your kid is going to die unless you can get your hands on a particular medication. But pharmacies are closed and money isn't worth jack anyway. The only way to obtain this medication is by stealing it.

    Do you steal it, even though stealing is wrong? Or do you let your child die because of your moral principle that stealing is wrong?

    I don't know what you guys would do, but I'd give up my moral belief that stealing is wrong in favor of saving my kid's life, and I'd be breaking into that pharmacy.

    But maybe that's just me.

  15. Morality as a general rule should not be relative; that's my point. Having affairs, esp. if both spouses know about it and are allowing it instead of having sex with each other, makes a sham of a marriage.

  16. TrophyWife says:

    "Having affairs, esp. if both spouses know about it and are allowing it instead of having sex with each other, makes a sham of a marriage."

    Well, yeah, of course it does. That's the point. The marriage is ALREADY a sham. It's not the affairs that made it a sham… it was a sham in the first place.

  17. Then why bother?

  18. To TrophyWife and about moral relativism…

    The story you cite (about stealing a drug to save a life) doesn't demonstrate that morality is relative. Just the opposite. The particular story you cite is known as "Heinz dilemma" and was popularlarized by the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. The story doesn't make the case for moral relativism. Rather, it demonstrates how, the more advanced one's moral reasoning, the better one sees different moral objectives in relation to one another. Those who would choose to steal the drug demonstrate they place the moral value of "save human life" over the moral value of "do not steal". Human life trumps property rights. That's not moral relativism. It's not an assertion that property rights are now less necessary for a functioning society. It's simply more advanced moral reasoning.

Speak Your Mind