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Single Parent in a Marriage

Old 03-22-2011, 07:59 AM
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Single Parent in a Marriage

Jayscott's "Difficult Day" post got me thinking...being a single parent in a marriage...and it triggered me like nothing has in a while, especially upon arriving home late (from having to do someone else's job all afternoon) to be met with a flurry of "I need's" which comprised of a variety of forms and money. On top of that, both the girls' PC's sound like they are dying. It was overwhelming. By bedtime, I was in tears and feeling emotionally exhausted, not to mention physically.

I've wondered lately...what is the point...why did I get married? I didn't need this, and obviously don't get any of the support I thought I would. My RAH has in the past and still comments today on the fear of being "screwed over" by me. For a long time I ignored that...thought it was juvenile BS...and it hit me last night that the person really short-changed in this relationship is me and the girls. He still has his house and all of his things, his job, his car (that he turned over to my 17 yr old to drive when she turned 16...I had to replace that when I left) and his life. What has he given up to be married? It wasn't alcohol, that's for sure. It may be now, and that's just peachy, but what about me? I have to now go replace everything I gave up to be married. He doesn't have to do that. And it made me so flippin angry that I couldn't fall asleep for a long time.

Like jayscott describes, we are left to take care of everything, make it all better, be responsible, clean it all up, and make life livable for our children. And some days that just doesn't seem fair. Some days I wish I could be the irresponsible one.

It's been about a month since I felt that angry...guess it is still alive and well inside me and just needed a good reason to rear its ugly head. And I guess I am destined to be a single parent...that's just my lot in life. And some days, that just really sucks.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:16 AM
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Well said! Some days I feel sorry for him and I am really trying to not let that feeling override the past events and the things he has done to his family. Material things can be replaced, I tell him I don't care if I don't keep the house..you have it! Along with everything else! I just want the reliable vehicle to keep my kids safe and a place to live and food to eat. I know God has a plan- I always think "You can't bring a U-haul to heaven"
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:16 AM
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*hugs* to you. I remember this feeling. In my case it was single parent to an infant child who was still nursing a million times a day and night, step mom to a very confused tween, and surrogate mommy/enabler to a 4 year old in a 30 year old's body...sucking me dry of energy and patience.

It didn't hit me until *after* I'd left XAH that being a single mom was way easier when I didn't have to coddle a grown man.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:18 AM
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I am right there with you some days. It's funny...I read an article on CNN a couple of days ago where a woman was talking about this very thing...being a single parent in a marriage...her husband was a restaurant owner, not an alcoholic, but she was bemoaning all the parenting falling on her shoulders due to his long hours. Then all the truly single moms came along with follow-up posts saying they were offended that the author would act like her situation was anything like being a single mom. All the posters were arguing back and forth...it was ridiculous. I kept thinking...it is NOT a contest. Mourning single parenting, married or not, is understandable. The main difference, in my opinion, is that when you're married, there is the EXPECTATION of some sort of help/support/communication. So I guess it all comes back to our expectations. In my situation, I don't even really mind to do most or all of the work...I just want him to be engaged in the present moment every once in a freaking while, you know?
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:34 AM
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The thought running though my head at the moment is " wow complete strangers know exactly how I feel ". Comforting in an odd way. Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:05 AM
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I am really struggling with expectations as I redefine what marriage to this man looks like today. You all know - the old reality check thing - which also sucks. Argh!

I married a 15 yr old! ARGH!!! No, not literally...

And now I have two teenagers and a teenager-ish acting man. Throw in two old dogs, bills, a new mortgage to fret over, a job that is not going particularly well at the moment...

"High Expectations Breeds Resentment" will be my mantra for the day.

Maybe its the full moon? I am just angry today. At everyone. ARGH!

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Old 03-22-2011, 09:15 AM
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I feel exactly the same way

I left my husband one month ago - after he had kept me awake four nights in a row. See, I had to work, he didn't, so he'd be up at night and want... company. Anyway, the last of my savings got cleared away and I realized I was just too damned exhausted to go out finding more ways to support him and his habits. I'm penniless, living in my parents' home (my dad is an all-drinker, too) and he has our apartment, that was paid for and furnished by me, with my dog that I loved and cared for, but I think I was just too tired of fighting to take. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones - not having kids and all - just hard to not get hit in the head with the indignity of it all.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:59 AM
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Yes, yes a thousand times yes. I am not only the primary parental figure for 3 kids, AH is also the "fourth" child. I have to clean up after him(because god forbid he get up and walk the 6 feet from his video games to the garbage closet to put the empties in the recycle bin) heck, I have to flush the toilet for him(yes, absolutely disgusting)

If I ask for even minor help, like putting his own clothes away(that are folded, and in a basket) I get the glare of death. Ask him to pick me up a can of pop while he's out getting himself something, nope, he always forgets. Or buys the wrong kind.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:19 AM
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Sorry for triggering these sorts of feelings, Tuffgirl. Definitely not my intention. Probably goes without saying though that I can definitely empathize. More than anything else, the whole weekend felt exactly like the title of your post -- being a single parent in a marriage. And frankly, I think it all would have been easier and less stressful to have been a single parent not in a marriage. When AW is in the house, as irrational as it is on my part, there is some small expectation on my part that every once in a while she will contribute to the care and nurturing of our child. Pick him up. Change a diaper. Make a bottle. Play with him for five minutes so I can go to the bathroom.

But what happens instead is, in the middle of a binge, she fails those expectations. And if I didn't have any of those expectations rattling around in my head I would get on with the business of figuring out how to live life as a single parent, all the little details of the new daily routine, and be able to start settling into it and get comfortable with my new normal.

This morning, I went back and forth between being angry at her for all of these things and feeling sorry for her because our son was only comforted when I held him...she hadn't paid any attention to him for nearly 5 days, and their bond was different. But I stopped feeling sorry for her the second she started sounding resentful towards him for hurting her feelings. Tuffgirl, it's not fair; but when has life been fair? We're just doing the best we can. Just remember at some point in the future (albeit far less frequently) you'll have an opportunity to relax and be slightly irresponsible. Enjoy and embrace those moments.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:28 AM
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That's the thing...

...in a marriage with an alcoholic you are alone-- more alone than if you were alone. My entire marriage, until 8 months ago, was the loneliest 10 years of my life.

Also, and I've noticed this over and over again, you are right that it isn't a marriage at all. It seems to me that more often that not, the alcoholic is looking for a parent, and the codie is looking for an adult they can parent or fix. Usually, I think, a dude looking for a mommy, and some pseudo-Cinderella looking for prince charming (or a man she can make into prince charming).

It can be the other way around, too. I was looking for a woman that would cook, clean, sew, and generally take care of me while I brought home the bacon. Even better, I was going to "save" her from the imperfect life she had before me, Prince Charming, came along to slay her dragons.

She was looking for a relatively stable dude she could mold into her perfect man. We both failed at this, and would have even if I weren't a codie controller, and even if she wasn't an alcoholic codie controller. Why? Because I'm a grown-ass flawed and real man and she's a grown-ass flawed and real woman.

I won't be controlled. Neither will she. It didn't stop either of us from trying for 13 ****ing years!!! We were a match made in heaven.

Good God.

Take what you want and leave the rest,

Cyranoak
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:29 AM
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Oh, I forgot. Just this morning, AH was awake, in the living room. I asked him to PLEASE watch his son while I went and locked myself upstairs in the attic to do more cleaning/decluttering. I lasted 20 minutes up there, and I had to leave once because a vehicle alarm was going off(and AH wasn't doing anything about it) I stopped what I was doing because he just HAD to go buy some more energy drinks.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:32 AM
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Jay, in a couple years I'll be moaning about how much I miss them now that they are grown and gone...unlike you I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on full-time parenting. It goes by fast...enjoy your little man...won't be long before you are teaching him how to drive and wondering where the time went!

Letting go of unrealistic expectations is difficult. Most days I am ok, but some days I just go mad over the ridiculousness of it all. You didn't trigger me, Jay. I did that by having a lousy afternoon topped with needy teenage girls and broken computers and my super-tight budget is straining to accommodate it all. Then it hit me that nothing in my life has changed with getting married. It actually has been worse than before. I think you're right - it was easier to single parent after my divorce than single parent in a marriage.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:00 PM
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I attended a funeral on Sunday. The deceased was an addict of both booze and drugs. He was a nice person but he's gone.
The final message of service gave me pause.

It went something along the lines of, Things like this can and will happen. Be careful not to fall into the trap of bitterness and resentment.

My contribution to the "things a normie wouldn't know" thread was, A normal person will never know how strong they are. If I end up in your shoes, I hope I don't forget what I shared with everyone. I hope I can live life knowing that I'm strong and I hope you'll remember what it took to make the moves you did.

Sounds like you had a rough day and that is okay. I know you've been busy so take it easy on yourself. Get some fresh air. Go catch some salmon or do some other stereotypical, Alaskan thing.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:48 PM
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I can relate 100%. I have 3 kiddos - the oldest 6 years-old with special needs and the youngest turning 1 this week. I have had to be completely responsible to every aspect of their lives. I can occassionally get him to make a bottle or change a diaper. I have no outside support and since I am a SAHM our finances are too tight to hire any help. It is exhausting. Not to mention being caregiver to my AH.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
Sounds like you had a rough day and that is okay. I know you've been busy so take it easy on yourself. Get some fresh air. Go catch some salmon or do some other stereotypical, Alaskan thing.
LOL! :rotfxko

You are so hilarious with your stereotype of Alaska! Have you been watching that Sarah Palin's Alaska show? Or maybe the Alaska State Troopers show? I would have to say the Troopers show is far more reality than Sarah Palin's Alaska. That is not MY reality; not even close.

Thanks for the laugh, though! I needed that! And I am un-clenching a little...had a great talk with my boss which was much needed, and RAH came over to service the PC's (all on his own, I didn't even ASK, imagine that). So I have backed off from being totally irritated to mildly annoyed. Maybe be tomorrow I will be back to pleasantly optimistic.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:18 AM
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Yes. I watched both those shows. What really got me going was Goldrush Alaska.

Anyway, how long does it take you to hook up your sled and mush to work?
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:11 AM
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Oh, I don't do dog-sledding, too much work to maintain.

I hop in my float plane from my remote cabin and fly into the "big city", landing just a block from the office where I can walk from the dock. Then on the way home, I stop at a local lake to throw in a line and catch dinner. Then I wrestle a bear who wants to take my fish, skin the carcass so I can keep the hide for my new winter coat that I am sewing from twine I made from intestines. After dinner, I'll pan for gold at the stream next to my cabin to augment my paycheck and PFD so I can continue to afford to live in Alaska.

Does that sound more like the Alaska on TV?

My reality is far more boring....
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Then I wrestle a bear who wants to take my fish, skin the carcass so I can keep the hide for my new winter coat that I am sewing from twine I made from intestines.
ok, but do you CHEW the intestines *yourself* for that real Alaskan-y feel???

FTR, a lot of Americans still think that people in Quebec get to work by dog sledding
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:48 AM
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A lot of people still think that in ND, we actually talk like they do in the movie Fargo, or that we're a part of Canada.

Wow..we kinda took the thread off topic huh? LOL
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:01 AM
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It sounds like you forgot to check your trap-line!
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