My husband thinks I spend too much time on our children

I’ve been married 23 years. We’ve had our ups and downs and I thought we were dealing with alcohol problems (he is a functioning alcoholic).

While I thought I was trying to make our marriage better by keeping the kids (teenagers) involved in activities it turned out to be the exact opposite.

The girls each have activities that require commitment. Youngest in cheer 4x a week, middle in band/dance 4x a week, and oldest and I are attending college.

Then there are the high school football games that must be attended (band).

We’ve tried inviting husband to these events and it’s always the same "I hate these things so no."

Well, I went to a baby shower with the girls and when I came home he was leaving. We are separating for "six months until I can get our schedule under control to include him."

Now, I understand his need for attention. However, I AM a mom! His biggest beef is that these activities fall into the weekends... and I can’t help that! I wish I could, but I can’t. The cheer meets (competitions) are on Saturdays, the dance performances...well, you get the idea...

I told him this is what I did with the oldest too, but he never had to worry about the time away because he was always gone on deployment. As the younger two are so close in age, it IS like a double whammy of activities. But, I don’t think it’s fair for him to leave us because of it. And I don’t think it’s fair for me to cancel their activities because he doesn’t "like" them.

That’s where my question comes in. AM I being selfish thinking I’m a good mom and not spending enough time with him, even though he could always go with us? Or is he justified in wanting his weekends? I just don’t know. I’m trying to be fair about everything and instead feel like I’m going crazy.

We are supposed to do counseling after we both move to our separate apartments. His mom (who I thought was our friend & family) has told him to file...just file and get it over with. She has left degrading message on my phone and has told him to cover his arse before I wipe him clean... How are we supposed to solve anything this way? 25 years I have known this family and this is what they say.. He keeps telling me "I haven’t done anything yet, it’s up to you... fix the schedule or else." I’ve spent the last ten years dealing with his alcohol, trying to make this work, and I get "or else.." When I bring that up to him I get "I quit for you, I’ve gone over half way for you.." (he still has a beer occasionally as he’s never able to go more than 2 weeks without one, so his ‘quitting’ is very very recent).

Okay. There it is. I posted this question in the hopes that someone out there can help me not feel crazy anymore. Please Please advise... I will be receptive to any feedback. I tried to keep this fair on both sides to get fair responses back... I just really need help.


Romantic relationships are difficult to maintain regardless of the situation, but when you throw kids into the mix, it adds a considerable amount of stress.

Relationships require constant work. Couples have to treat each other with respect, make each other feel understood, keep things positive, and do things together (see healthy relationships).

When couples have kids, there is simply not enough time for people to focus on each other. Having children puts incredible strain on a relationship—people begin to feel overwhelmed, underappreciated, and the idea of having fun together becomes outlandish.

Unfortunately, women feel this stress more than men. Despite gains in equality, women are still expected to put in more effort on the home front, especially when it comes to raising children.

So, it makes perfect sense that you are feeling so overwhelmed. You are taking on too many roles—that of mother and wife. Your husband is feeling neglected because you are spending too much time on the kids. But, if you shift your focus to your husband, your kids will probably start to feel neglected.

To make matters worse, it does not sound like your husband has much interest in your children’s activities.

For your relationship to work, you are going to have to spend more time doing things with your husband. You are going to have to set aside time for you and your husband to do things that you both enjoy doing. What types of things did you do with your husband before you had kids?

With that said, it would be very helpful if your husband showed more interest in helping you with the kids. In short, for your marriage to work, both of you are going to have to make some changes. This won’t be easy, so bringing in a third party (a counselor) to work through this is the best thing to do.

Ultimately, couples have to decide if their relationship is worth saving or if moving on is the best thing do to (see is my relationship worth saving).

We wish you the best of luck.

  | troubled relationship | worth saving

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