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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I really appreciate the space to vent, because I recognize that I am in a pattern that is really not working well for me, but I have no idea how to change it and I am not ready to walk away just yet. I know the internet reaction to complaining about your partner is pretty much always to DTMFA, but so generally its a bad idea to complain about your partner online, but I have appreciated the space and support I have found in the Playground around this - I think many of us are dealing with similar issues. And when I post something nice B has done, its not to defend him its just to give some context. I am not looking for anyone to fix my relationship.

LB, you used to post about your troubles with Nate pretty frequently and also posted about the nice things he would do, not to defend him, but to remind yourself that he is an awesome partner even though you didn't always experience that. I think I am doing something similar now. It gives me a lot of hope that you and N have now come to a place where your marriage is really strong and you have worked out a system that works for you, Nate and Grey. I hope that Brett and I can follow in your footsteps and do the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Whoa, you flipped that shiitake!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:33 pm 
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I was being sincere - I really appreciate hearing about couples who struggle while their babies are young and hearing how they work it through to find a solution that works, because it gives me a lot of hope that things won't be hard forever. Relationships can be so frustrating but they can also be so wonderful, often at the same time.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:45 pm 
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i hope the takeaway is that you are aware of the pattern you're in (on the ppk, not at home) and maybe that you'll change it, because littlebear is not the only one who's troubled by it. i'm sure you don't mean it to be, but cycling back and forth between venting (pretty harshly, or at least about circumstances that are really harsh) and praising your partner tugs on people in a way that might be considered manipulative. with that said, i think we all hope you can find something that does work for you and your family.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:14 pm 
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Hey tofulish, the fact that your husband is sober is - to me - like the missing piece in the story. Any time I read your posts, I think, "that guy sounds like an alcoholic." Why would I think this? Because I'm also married to someone with long term sobriety but because of the work I've done on myself I understand that an addict/alcoholic's reactions to stress and trauma are different than a normal person, especially if they're disconnected from their community and trying to white knuckle grown-up living. This in no way excuses abusive behavior. I really suggest you check out Al-Anon. It might seem crazy because he's been sober for so long, but the pattern you're in of having such a laser focus on his deficiencies is so deeply familiar to me. I imagine lots of people here have a hell-no reaction about the higher power thing, but there's no requirement that you believe in the capital-G guy with a white beard, just that you are willing to admit that there may be something larger than you that can work on your troubles...that could be the group, the universe, nature, Odin, whatevs. At the very least it's free therapy and you can check it out and see what you think.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:17 pm 
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That is really interesting, and thank you. I have no issue with the higher power thing, and I am a huge fan of AA and Al-Anon, I just hadn't thought of it for me because my partner has been sober for such a long time (and I am really proud of him for that). I am going to PM you a few questions, ok?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Absolutely, please do!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:53 am 
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calcuhater wrote:
i hope the takeaway is that you are aware of the pattern you're in (on the ppk, not at home) and maybe that you'll change it, because littlebear is not the only one who's troubled by it. i'm sure you don't mean it to be, but cycling back and forth between venting (pretty harshly, or at least about circumstances that are really harsh) and praising your partner tugs on people in a way that might be considered manipulative. with that said, i think we all hope you can find something that does work for you and your family.



I think we're all wishing the best for Tofulish, but I can't comprehend why anyone would think her posts are manipulative.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:43 pm 
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annak wrote:
calcuhater wrote:
i hope the takeaway is that you are aware of the pattern you're in (on the ppk, not at home) and maybe that you'll change it, because littlebear is not the only one who's troubled by it. i'm sure you don't mean it to be, but cycling back and forth between venting (pretty harshly, or at least about circumstances that are really harsh) and praising your partner tugs on people in a way that might be considered manipulative. with that said, i think we all hope you can find something that does work for you and your family.



I think we're all wishing the best for Tofulish, but I can't comprehend why anyone would think her posts are manipulative.


I feel the same. Sometimes we're angry and sometimes we're happy and appreciative. How is that to be considered manipulative?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Ditto.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:08 pm 
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annak wrote:
I think we're all wishing the best for Tofulish, but I can't comprehend why anyone would think her posts are manipulative.

i'm not going to belabor the point, because i think the message was received. it's come up for moderation in the past but we certainly don't expect that everyone has the same perspective.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:11 am 
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And you never will.
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I've avoided posting in this thread because I don't think it would have been healthy for me to do so, but I'm feeling encouraged so I thought I would share.

Yesterday mr. poopie and I had a fight. We don't usually fight like that so it was pretty bizarre that we had such a HUGE one. Anyway, after we both cooled down and I did some cleaning (it's my outlet for negative energy), we talked - and I swear it was like he was listening to me for the first time. I basically told him that aside from being twice as busy with my baking than I usually am, nothing was different while he was gone. If I'd had a babysitter to take poopieboy for a few hours on a couple of days, it would have been pretty much exactly like he was their, except one less person to clean up after. I explained that I wasn't trying to be cruel, but I forgot he was gone most of the time. I changed exactly as many nappies, washed exactly as many dishes, ran as many loads of laundry etc. When he is here and helps out by taking poopieboy for a while, I have to make sure he has enough nappies, pack snacks, change of clothes... and I feel like I'm getting him ready for a babysitter. That's all he's been, a glorified babysitter a couple of days a week. He gets to do the fun stuff, and I do everything else.

I made a list of all the household chores (including tasks to do with taking care of poopieboy) that happen daily or weekly and read them to mr. poopie. Out of about 20 things, he does 2 (mow the lawn, which only happens in warm weather anyway, and bathe poopieboy, which he loves doing). I told him that I've felt abandoned and betrayed and like I've been forced to sacrifice myself and the person I used to be to become essentially a nanny, cook and maid. That he only helps when I ASK him for help, which makes me feel like shiitake because it implies that whatever I've asked for help with is MY JOB and he's doing me some fantastic favor by doing it one time. He then feels he deserves accolades and a Free Pass for 'helping' me once with something I do every day.

For the first time ever I feel like he heard what I was saying, and instead of defending himself he apologized, and said he'd never realized what I did or how I felt. In the past he's always turned it around and accused me of not 'letting' him help when we were first married (I just did everything because I didn't know better, and he didn't offer, so everything became 'my job') so now he's afraid to help (even though I've explained that I need his help over and over). BUT he unloaded the dishwasher last night, without me asking. I don't remember the last time he unloaded the dishwasher (maybe a couple of years ago?) and it's never happened without me asking. I know it could easily just go back to the way it was, but I have hope that things will change.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:19 am 
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Yay, PB! Big arguments suck but it's so, so nice when something good comes out of them. I hope it sticks!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:20 am 
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PB, I'm glad your husband's stepping up a little. I agree that it sucks to have to ask.

This doesn't exactly fit here but I need to post a ventlet. A lot of our boat wives are posting about all the great emails they're getting from their husbands. I haven't gotten any for a while. I mean, it's fine, it just means that hubby is really really busy, but why do people have to post that stuff when it just makes those of us who haven't gotten any email lately feel bad? It's hard enough not to communicate with somebody for weeks at a time without being reminded that you're alone. Feh.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:38 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I've avoided posting in this thread because I don't think it would have been healthy for me to do so, but I'm feeling encouraged so I thought I would share.

Yesterday mr. poopie and I had a fight. We don't usually fight like that so it was pretty bizarre that we had such a HUGE one. Anyway, after we both cooled down and I did some cleaning (it's my outlet for negative energy), we talked - and I swear it was like he was listening to me for the first time. I basically told him that aside from being twice as busy with my baking than I usually am, nothing was different while he was gone. If I'd had a babysitter to take poopieboy for a few hours on a couple of days, it would have been pretty much exactly like he was their, except one less person to clean up after. I explained that I wasn't trying to be cruel, but I forgot he was gone most of the time. I changed exactly as many nappies, washed exactly as many dishes, ran as many loads of laundry etc. When he is here and helps out by taking poopieboy for a while, I have to make sure he has enough nappies, pack snacks, change of clothes... and I feel like I'm getting him ready for a babysitter. That's all he's been, a glorified babysitter a couple of days a week. He gets to do the fun stuff, and I do everything else.

I made a list of all the household chores (including tasks to do with taking care of poopieboy) that happen daily or weekly and read them to mr. poopie. Out of about 20 things, he does 2 (mow the lawn, which only happens in warm weather anyway, and bathe poopieboy, which he loves doing). I told him that I've felt abandoned and betrayed and like I've been forced to sacrifice myself and the person I used to be to become essentially a nanny, cook and maid. That he only helps when I ASK him for help, which makes me feel like shiitake because it implies that whatever I've asked for help with is MY JOB and he's doing me some fantastic favor by doing it one time. He then feels he deserves accolades and a Free Pass for 'helping' me once with something I do every day.

For the first time ever I feel like he heard what I was saying, and instead of defending himself he apologized, and said he'd never realized what I did or how I felt. In the past he's always turned it around and accused me of not 'letting' him help when we were first married (I just did everything because I didn't know better, and he didn't offer, so everything became 'my job') so now he's afraid to help (even though I've explained that I need his help over and over). BUT he unloaded the dishwasher last night, without me asking. I don't remember the last time he unloaded the dishwasher (maybe a couple of years ago?) and it's never happened without me asking. I know it could easily just go back to the way it was, but I have hope that things will change.


How about posting a check off list on the fridge for daily/weekly chores? If he isn't used to doing those things, they might not occur to him, so a list would make it nice and concrete, and it also makes the division of labor really obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:07 am 
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That's a really good idea, lw - thanks! I know he probably doesn't see a lot of things that need to be done, so a neutral reminder would be really helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:57 am 
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Poopie, that's so cool that your husband might start helping you out more! I would love to have a breakthrough like that with my husband.

I've had very similar discussions with Mr Crabby and his answer is that, yes, it is my job to do all those things and that anything he does is a favour to me, even watching the kids. His chores: pay bills, take out trash, take laundry to/from dryer (the dryer is outside our apartment, while the washer is in our kitchen), give the kids baths, mow lawn, do grocery shopping, earn money. My chores: everything else.
What really gets me is that he acts like his time is so precious, but then goes out all day (hiking or something--and grabs groceries on the way home), all by himself, pretty much once a week--something I have only done *once* since having kids and that was because I had a dental appointment and it's 7-hours round trip because of public transport.

I figure after he graduates (he already has a degree, but as it's a third, it's useless, so he decided to go for another one), even if he just gets a crappy job, but doesn't have to work from home any more, I feel like it would be easier on me and make running the household more efficient.

/rant

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:49 am 
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And you never will.
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
What really gets me is that he acts like his time is so precious, but then goes out all day (hiking or something--and grabs groceries on the way home), all by himself, pretty much once a week--something I have only done *once* since having kids and that was because I had a dental appointment and it's 7-hours round trip because of public transport.

Oh yes! We had a talk about that, too. He actually said "I guess me taking my computer to work alone at Starbucks for a few hours is like gold dust to you" and I was like YES YOU FINALLY GET IT. I earn about 25% of our income through my business, and while I'm really glad to be able to contribute to the finances again, the housework has been even more disproportionate since I started baking again.

I really hope Mr. Crabby gets it one of these days, because no one should be made to feel like they are less valuable or their time less important. I think you are super-woman, Crabby <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:55 am 
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And you never will.
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
even if he just gets a crappy job, but doesn't have to work from home any more, I feel like it would be easier on me and make running the household more efficient.

And I forgot to comment on this, too. My husband works from home also, and we had a talk about how a lot of things were actually easier for me when he wasn't here because a lot of times he keeps me from being able to keep poopieboy on a schedule or gets upset when he's being loud etc. I think people think that having both parents in the home is so wonderful, but in my experience it is terrible. He's never NOT at work, and I'm pretty sure he's used projects as an excuse to hole up in his office and get out of helping me before. I would kill to have a husband who is available to me predictably - like, I don't have to have nights and weekends, but if I just knew ahead of time that he'd be off X day or he'll be gone between Y and Z on these days, I could plan life so much better. As it is I feel like I'm just living life on a non-schedule and it's extra stressful.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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poopiebitch wrote:
I really hope Mr. Crabby gets it one of these days, because no one should be made to feel like they are less valuable or their time less important. I think you are super-woman, Crabby <3

Aw, I love you, Poopie! ;D

The one good thing that comes out of all his hiking and day-trips is that he had to stop having a whinge about me actually paying to get my hair cut (I had cropped hair that I did myself from about 1999 until 2011, when I got my passport photo back and realised I was looking too old to look cute in an Eton crop (which used to be very flattering, if I do say so myself)) because he spends loads more on public transport/going out hiking/possible half-pint at the end of the day than I do on my tri-annual bus/haircut/tip.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:35 pm 
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And you never will.
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
The one good thing that comes out of all his hiking and day-trips is that he had to stop having a whinge about me actually paying to get my hair cut (I had cropped hair that I did myself from about 1999 until 2011, when I got my passport photo back and realised I was looking too old to look cute in an Eton crop (which used to be very flattering, if I do say so myself)) because he spends loads more on public transport/going out hiking/possible half-pint at the end of the day than I do on my tri-annual bus/haircut/tip.

I can't imagine you being anything less than adorable in any haircut, but I totally understand wanting a professional one! I get mine done tri-annually, too :)

Partners, amirite?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:56 pm 
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pb! what a good update. keep pushing down this path. it's worth it!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:26 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I can't imagine you being anything less than adorable in any haircut, but I totally understand wanting a professional one! I get mine done tri-annually, too :)
Partners, amirite?

I should try to see if I have an extra copy of my passport photo (IIRC there were 4 and I only sent in 2) because it is almost comically unflattering. Going to the salon is kind of awesome after all these years of stressing over doing my own hair. I'm kind of glad I can't give myself a bob. ;D

Partners!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 5:26 am 
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You guys are gonna love this....
Today, my husband asked if I thought I'd get more or less work done with a new crying baby vs "lying around all day being sick and doing nothing." And I was all, "OH, NO YOU DID NAE!" And he was all, "what?" And I was all, "Lying around all day? Do you have any idea what I did last week?" And he was all, "Uh...yeah, you did some cleaning last week, but you're lying in bed now." And I am all, "so are you!"

(For the record, my husband worked all day yesterday, so I had to watch the kids and I had some really horrible preggo-related gut rot going on after Reggie's wee birthday party (which lasted about 5 minutes--the party, not the indigestion), so I didn't get *too* much done yesterday, although I did eat a lot of cake and made a really nice Chana Dahl soup.)

I nipped that shiitake in the bud pretty quickly. I guess what he actually wanted to ask if I thought I'd get more or less done after the baby. I told him after the first month, after my body recovers, I can just pop the baby in a mei tei back carry and get chores and cooking and such done that way. Both my boys were really colicky and high needs, but if they were in a carrier, they were usually fine. But those first 2-4 weeks after having a baby—I am not planning on getting a lot done. ;D
It will be so nice not to waddle and not have to pee every 5 minutes! I'm not working at full-efficiency now and I won't be then, but I can still get a lot done after my body recovers from childbirth and I'm not all hemorrhoidy and monster-boobed and bleeding all over the place.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 5:29 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
even if he just gets a crappy job, but doesn't have to work from home any more, I feel like it would be easier on me and make running the household more efficient.

And I forgot to comment on this, too. My husband works from home also, and we had a talk about how a lot of things were actually easier for me when he wasn't here because a lot of times he keeps me from being able to keep poopieboy on a schedule or gets upset when he's being loud etc. I think people think that having both parents in the home is so wonderful, but in my experience it is terrible. He's never NOT at work, and I'm pretty sure he's used projects as an excuse to hole up in his office and get out of helping me before. I would kill to have a husband who is available to me predictably - like, I don't have to have nights and weekends, but if I just knew ahead of time that he'd be off X day or he'll be gone between Y and Z on these days, I could plan life so much better. As it is I feel like I'm just living life on a non-schedule and it's extra stressful.

How did I miss this before? But yes, YES! This exactly. Especially the "he is never not at work"-bit, which seems hard for some people to understand.

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