26 May
Does Marriage Suck or What?

Guess what?   Kristine of Wait in the Van is back to give us more advice.   We’re lucky to have her and her wisdom!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have been married almost 19 years and every month or so I wonder if I should get the hell out. My hubby is rarely home because of his work. I do all of the parenting and I am a stay at home mom. My hubby, a firefighter, can make so much more money than I can with overtime and cash shifts. So there is no big draw to going back to work.

When he is home he does little but organize the garage or basement (pack rat). On the bright side I never have to worry about money, am the parent I always wanted to be and guess I just have to figure out what I want to do to keep myself happy now that the kids are older.

Sex life is near dead. Am I wasting my life or do many other stay at home wives feel similarly frustrated? Does it get better?

Signed,

Frustrated and Confused in Canada

______________________________________

Dear Frustrated and Confused in Canada,

What you described, my friend, is like an ideal marriage for many Americans: sex optional, money secured, and husband occupied. (So I’ll try to keep in mind that you’re actually Canadian, and that maybe Americans are sometimes delusional.) Your description is also giving me flashbacks to my own therapy sessions from several years back, so if you’ll just excuse me for a moment…

*chews Xanax*

Ahem.

The short answer here is that, OMFG, YES, this sounds completely normal. I mean, hell, it took me a few years to realize that I wasn’t actually supposed to HATE my husband, because holy crap, I could use some help wiping asses around here, but NO. You just LAY AROUND on the motherfu–

I’m sorry.

*chews another Xanax*

Based on what you’re telling me, I’m guessing your husband is just as bummed about your current situation as you are. (Mostly because of the sex thing.) My advice to you is to find something that makes you happy, whether that be working from home, scrap-booking, or blogging in your pajamas even though you’d rather watch TV, but someone left the remote in the kitchen, and YOU JUST SAT DOWN.

If you’re happy, your husband will be happy. And by “happy,” I mean, excited that he might be finally getting laid tonight. Because remember all those annoying Debbie-Downers that would bitch about how hard marriage can be? Well, they were talking about you staying at home, silently hating your husband, who is hiding in the garage among his boxes of shit. Go talk to him. Naked, maybe. I bet you’re better company than the garage. Especially if you’re naked.

The bottom line is that marriage is ridiculously hard work, and typically involves thinking about divorce with startling frequency during your kids’ earlier years. You know, my therapist would often say, “You have two young children! THIS IS THE WORST TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You’re SUPPOSED to be depressed!”

Which…you know…does that help?

Good luck,

Kristine, Guest TMH

20 Responses to “Does Marriage Suck or What?”

05.26.11#1

Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

1. Spot on, K.

2. Why is it always reduced to sex? It totally is. If they’re laid, they’re happy.

3. I love the way K managed to get her swears in without actually swearing. That’s a cursing master.

4. I didn’t know Mouthy reruns exist? Hello, I had to talk about motherfu — (see, K?) CAMELTOE!

5. Oh, and lastly, honey, this is my life too. I believe it will improve.

alicia the asshole Reply:

my husband turns sex down all the time, but never turns down work – it’s his escape

05.26.11#2

Comment by Rusty Hoe.

Oh the times I’ve lain awake wondering if I could smother my snoring husband in his sleep, good times. 20 yrs down the track and I whilst I frequently think of homicide, I also kinda enjoy his company, this is the joy of marriage. Whilst, I probably shouldn’t encourage death by Tontine, I would suggest that shaving off one of his eyebrows whilst he sleeps may also help alleviate some of your frustration.

05.26.11#3

Comment by bitsy.

I’ve got a great book for you: Red Hot Monogamy. No, I am not kidding. Read that book and it will get better. Lots better.

05.26.11#4

Comment by Diane.

You forgot to mention – the hard work is totally worth it. Of course every day is not a picnic – no one ever promised that it would be. The vows usually say – for better or for worse. And if things are not as great as they can be – then do something about it! Date night is an old cliche but the idea is sound. Think back to when you got married (I know, it was a long way back) and you did enjoy each other’s company doing .. something. And do that again. But keep at it – your marriage is worth the effort.

05.26.11#5

Comment by Miami Olivia.

Laughing till the tears flowed, lots of tears cuz I’m on my second marriage that this is happening. Except this time around (being American) it seems like bliss! I run down to our Miami apt a lot and write in solitude that, for me is golden, while Mr. Cranky stays home and let’s himself feel important cuz he’s in charge. Lots of these issues would go away if we somehow remembered and reminded ourselves that love is constant, not convenient. But no one said you have to be unhappy. The trick is to find things that are fun and do them. He may jealously grumble but if he wants “dinner” he will eventually join you. Just remember Mouthy’s words and meet him halfway. The give and take part is crutial if you want to make it. Life is way too precious to be bored. And I never wanted “help” raising kids, cooking, dishes, etc. anyway, they never do it right. It’s certainly not a rose garden.

05.26.11#6

Comment by Ida.

So true on the not wanting help because they never do it right anyway. I got exponentially happier when I DIVORCED my husband and figured out that I could do A LOT better parenting on my own, despite all the workload which was now solely upon me. It always was all along because he would do things half-a**ed anyway. Why am I writing this again? It appears I have no helpful advice to give other than this: take solace in the fact that frustration is a natural part of marriage. Unhappiness doesn’t have to be. Make yourself happy in your current situation or move on along…

05.26.11#7

Comment by Chunky Mama.

Thank you for making me feel normal. I have 3 kids aged 3 and under, and I ponder divorce at least once a week. My Hubby is pretty great, but I STILL can’t stand him sometimes because I get tired of him never being around and rarely helping with the kids when he is.

That whole “young kids = worst time of your life” quote is both brilliant and reassuring. Your therapist was obviously a genius.

alicia the asshole Reply:

my ex spent his time at the strip club while i stayed home drunk with young children – you women are way better than me

05.26.11#8

Comment by Wendi.

You’re complaining about being married to A FIREFIGHTER?!? Like the ones from THE CALENDARS?!?

05.26.11#9

Comment by Anne.

I love it… REAL Housewives! By real I mean it.. non of that BS stuff but woman who tell it like it really is! Not the Patty Perfects that live in my town. Perky, happy, nothing wrong.. my a**! I think the key is to find what makes YOU happy and do that.

05.26.11#10

Comment by Erin@MommyontheSpot.

Great answer! My favorite is the quote from your therapist.

05.26.11#11

Comment by Yuliya.

you nailed it “sex optional, money secured, and husband occupied” this woman is living the dream!
fantastic advice!

05.27.11#12

Comment by Diane.

So all this was funny and completely normal marriage ups and downs – it just makes me sad that some day a me-first woman might be writing the same about my son (only 10 now, but soon will be a man). For all of you women that are ticked off because their husbands ‘do a half-ass job’ or ‘do it completely wrong’, are you teaching your sons how to ‘do it right’ when they are men and fathers? Respectfully asking.

05.28.11#13

Comment by Snow Wife.

I found this to be a brilliant take on marriage and funny to boot!
I agree that words need to be spoken and if you let it fester it will be a fight to get back to why you first loved each other because stubborness takes over.

Here is my problem with this…”doing it right” ok so who gets to define what is the “right” way? I think it is major compromise and everyone know no one will do it “your” way. Maybe you like to scrub the tiles in the bathroom with a toothbrush and he is happy with a sponge.
Acceptance is key.
If he asked you to clean the garage, I am sure it wouldnt be “his” way but he would be thankful maybe?
Just accept certain things and be thankful. Ask for help when needed.
It’s a partnership and I only found all of this in my second marriage because now I knew what I wanted and deserved.

05.31.11#14

Comment by Dawn.

OMG- hysterical! and oh so nice to see honest conversation and not the sugar caoted version you hear around town (PS- Anne, you must live nearby cause you are getting the same earful of ‘perfection’ I hear! hahaha). Early on I read this book called Love is a Decision- changed my total way of thinking…and overall usually, as many of the others have mentioned, the unhappiness you feel often comes from within- not from hubby- so just work on being the happiest you you can be and the rest should fall into place…talking to him naked in the garage never hurts either! (but then again I call that a win-win!)..Now get back to the laundry, dishes, toys…etc etc… 🙂

05.31.11#15

Comment by Danielle.

Sex isn’t all men think about. I swear sometimes I feel like I’m molesting my husband. He’d be very happy with a sex optional situation I think.

06.07.11#16

Comment by Ace.

It helped me to get a job. I didn’t need one, really. It’s a dumb job, not fulfilling my potential. I was scared because, although we have been together 6 years, he is really depressed, and we are trying to have a baby. If I’m going to NOT be using birth control, I wanted to make sure that I could get a job and keep it, even if it sucks, if I have to. In the meantime, it’s given us something new to talk about, given me an income that I can use without feeling guilty. At all. Ever. And it makes me feel better about myself. I was always an idealist, and thought that the romantic fantasy could last forever, if I just found the right guy. I DID find the right guy, but it’s not effortless. Marriage IS hard work. I want to be the woman who works her ass off and gives younger couples something worth admiring.

04.01.14#17

Comment by Janikk.

DAFUQ ? My husband chased me for years now ? He has no interest – I gently try to encourage sex. The ahole has gained a bunch of weight not me!!!! Nothing ! He says he’s to tired goes to bed snores like a hog and here am I nothing ! I got guys begging to get together and I say no – I am dedicate wtf? Not sure what to do I’ve tried everything – nothing ? Not sure what to do…. Just hanging in here

06.26.14#18

Comment by layls.

Please dont use swear words about God’s name in your acronyms that is very offensive

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