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Stay or go, what's best for our son?

My husband is a workaholic who has admitted he does not have the "nurturing father" gene. If he's not at work, he's sitting on the couch watching TV, playing video games, or in his home office on his computer (where he chats on message boards and on Twitter with "fans" of what he works on). He's on his second week of forced vacation (forced because if they didn't kick him out of the office to take a break, he'd still be there) - and every morning, he grabs a cup of coffee and heads into his office. OK, occasionally he actually goes and changes our son's pull-up; but after that he's in his room.

He has joked that he loves his work more than his family. But I think we all know there is some truth to that.

I am clearly not happy, and stressed out as a SAHM to our crazy 3-year-old. His solution is to throw money at the problem. Often, I feel like he just tries to buy my happiness. Yes, it's nice that we don't have to worry about bills, but is that ultimately better for our son? A big reason I just don't complain about it (to him) is that, well, at least my son (and I) can live comfortably - no worries about bills, food, clothes, etc. If I ever left my husband, and end up with custody of our son, then he would surely be in daycare full time while I try to make ends meet. Either way, it's not like his father would be in the picture very much.

Do you suck it up, put your own depression on the back burner, because it's somehow the better option for your child?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:32 PM on Feb. 21, 2011 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • WOW...ummm I think you need to talk to him. I mean, this cant be an easy way of life. Yes, it must be wonderful to have a man who works and makes the kind of money that you don't have to worry about any want or need. I can't say that ive ever experienced that. But, was he always like this? Was there ever any love? I mean, he couldn't have became like this overnight. If you love him, talk to him. Explain to him what you feel, how you feel, why you feel like you do. MAKE HIM LISTEN. It will prolly be a difficult task, and will prolly take many conversations. But after all of this, and no change, no I wouldn't stay where I was unhappy. Yea your son may not need or want for anything material, but he will need and want his father's attention and approval, which as of right now, he cant recieve. And just because he has money doesnt mean that your husband would gain custody. Many judges see thru that these days. Many

    Answer by sissy4444 at 2:46 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • A "nurturing father gene" eh?

    I call bullshit on that.

    Let me ask you something, what would happen if you died tomorrow? Do you think he'd allow the kid to eat drywall and drink out of the toilet? No, he'd get his ass in gear and be a parent!

    It's time for the two of you to have a discussion about his role in your son's life and the family in general, not just now, but in the future. He's allowing you to shoulder the entire workload associated with raising a child because YOU LET HIM! You need to talk about what you need as a person and what your son needs in a role model other than demonstration of a great work ethic. The man sounds intelligent, he's bound to grasp the importance of being there for the kid, as a loving father. And you need to assert yourself a little here. You don't have to be rude or bossy, but encourage him to work with you as a team.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 1:57 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I sometimes I feel I am in the same boat. I take meds for depression, have a therapist to talk to and know that I like being a mother more than a wife and would have less time with my kids if I went at it alone.


    I feel for you, but only you know what is best for your kids and yourself.

    Answer by jamesonjustines at 1:41 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I think you need to talk to your husband and express how you feel. He needs to know it is not okay with you or your son for his excuse always to be his work. It is unfair to you and your son. Although it may be great to have money, that does not take away the emotional hurt your son may be feeling inside. While he may be a wonderul provider and you need to tell him that, he needs to just take some time and spend it with his family. Children grow up so fast, they don't stay little for long. He needs to cherish these special moments, instead of just letting them go by. Time is something one can never go back and get, so just remind him of all he is missing out on. Hopefully if you do talk to him, he will think long and hard about the difference he can make in his son's life now.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 2:07 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • To quickly answer Fistandantalus' question: what would he do if I died? He'd hire a nanny. Seriously. Again, he has "joked" that if we got divorced, he would definitely get custody because he's got all the money - I asked him how in the world he would take care of our kid, and he flat out said he'd hire someone to do it.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:29 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • cont- judges will not take a child from their mother unless there is a hard case of being unfit against her. True, your husband may make your life difficult, but you have enough proof right now that he's not had any contact with or limited contact with the raising of your child. If you're unhappy, your child will sense that, and that may make him lash out some too. I wish you the best of luck but you and your husband need to talk, maybe go to a councelor. If money is his way of love, I wouldn't want it, personally. Affection and attention are the best forms of showing love in my eyes.

    Answer by sissy4444 at 2:48 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I'm not judging your situation, because I don't live witih you and don't know what it's like on a daily basis. All I can say is that I have yet to meet ONE child of divorced parents who doesn't have some kind of issues. And I know TONS of them. I would suggest counseling. If he won't go with you, then you go on your own.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 5:54 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Yes, he's been like this for a while. (We've been together for almost 12 years, married for 7.) He gets engrossed or obsessed in something (work or hobby), and he retreats into doing whatever that is. I guess I didn't mind so much before we had a child, because that allowed me to go out and do my own thing too. I, wrongfully, thought it would change after we had our son.

    As for the "nurturing father" thing-his words, not mine. We were in the car, stopped at a light next to a park, where some fathers were out with their kids. That's when he commented that he didn't have the "nurturing father gene." I wanted to reply, "I wish you had more interest in doing things with your family/child." but didn't because it would feel like asking him to do something he didn't want to do.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:26 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I got curious about this, so I did some research and figuring and it would cost approximately $130,000 a year for him to hire everything done. Not really germane, just sharing.

    Other than blasting the song "Cat's In The Cradle" at every opportunity, if he's dead-set against participating in parenting there's not much you can do. If the relationship between the two of you is good other than this area, I agree with you that it would probably be worse for your son to spend the majority of his time in daycare rather than with you. I still think you should encourage your husband to participate, in an entirely positive fashion though. It could be that his views will change as your son gets older.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 7:26 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • This makes me sad for your son, because there is no doubt that he notices that Daddy has no interest in him, and as he grows up he will wonder what is wrong with him that his Daddy doesn't want to play with him, nurture him, love him. I think for your son's sake you need to speak to your husband. Just because he provides food, clothing and shelter for this child does not mean he is providing enough. The most influential person in a child's life is the same-sex parent, your son is learning from his father how to be a man. What kind of man is your son going to grow up to be? I'm sorry, I don't mean to come at you because obviously this is your husband's fault, but your son can't speak up so you need to do it on his behalf. Honestly, if I were you, I would tell your husband he needs to change and if he doesn't I would seek a divorce, full custody, and a nice child support payment. You'd probably be better off.

    Answer by MaryMW at 12:46 PM on Feb. 22, 2011