Marriage, Blended-Family, Special-Needs Kids, Farming (UPDATE)

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by MyKidLuvsGreenEgz, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Confidentially from me to you, my marriage is in trouble. We had our first counseling session last night and I'm stunned at the conclusions the therapist said at the end. So ... I need your input.

    First some background: I'm almost 50, have a 14 year old, and have been married for 4 years. I was a single mom for 10 years, struggling but making it on my own. My son is homeschooled and is special-needs: ADHD, OCD, has a math learning disability, is autistic and epilepsy. We have 2 acres, 4 adult goats, 4 newborn goat babies, and about 60 chicks/chickens. Soon to get a seizure response dog.

    Question: who's needs are number one in your family: your spouse or your child(ren).

    Question: when a spouse comes into a ready-made family, should that new spouse (who's never had any parenting or long-term relationship experience) be expected to step in and be a 50% co-parent?

    Question: when a spouse is away from the home, for the job, 5 days out of 7, is that considered a separation?

    Question: when you have a small farm with a garden, chickens and goats, and that spouse comes home on the weekend, is it ok for that spouse to expect 2 days of rest and relaxation and NOT do chores, maintenance or other farm-related things?

    Question: when there is more than one adult living on a farm/farmette, are the adults supposed to know what to do or is there a chore-list-maker? Shouldn't the adults just step up and do what needs to be done?

    Question for you women who have hit menopause: when you have no desire because there's no hormones going and your husband acts like a petulant child, do you say "no sex" or just do it to avoid the inevitable argument?

    I'm sure I have more questions but this'll do for now.

    Thank you.


    ETA: Thought I'd change the title to more reflect what this topic has morphed to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  2. kimntep

    kimntep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Ocala, Florida
    Quote:My children have always and will always come first. I have two step-children, grown now, and they still come first as well.

    If you marry someone with children, yes, you are obligated to contribute in some way. You may not have all of the answers if you have no parenting experience, but if you are present, you are in it, and should be an active member of the family, which does not exclude the children.

    If the words "separation" have not been pinned down, if the MIA parent is still technically living in the residence, I would not call that a separation per se.

    I'd love a vacation from children, home and farm chores! If only for a few hours! My husband would probably wake up dead if he thought he could come home from work and have no responsibilities toward OUR home, farm and family.

    Yes, anyone who calls themselves a husband, wife, mother or father should absolutely have some idea of how that role is defined and what is expected. Chore lists are primarily for children and/or to serve as reminders for anyone, but normal functioning adults should need no more than a heads up if something needs to be done that they are unaware of. I handle just about everything regarding normal, daily stuff..other than things that require large tools, too heavy lifting, or if something dead is involved..those are no-brainers and are for him!

    I am 42, perimenopausal, and almost totally disinterested in sex, mostly due to sheer exhaustion, and I avoid the issue! Fortunately, he's usually tired enough that he's alright with it..we catch up every few months if we're lucky.

    I hope this is helpful!
     
  3. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Quote:Kids. I trust DH to be smart enough to not manage to kill himself on accident. My children, not so much.

    Question: when a spouse is away from the home, for the job, 5 days out of 7, is that considered a separation?

    I'm used to DH being deployed for months at a time. He's gone for 5 days and comes home, that's nothing to us.

    Question: when you have a small farm with a garden, chickens and goats, and that spouse comes home on the weekend, is it ok for that spouse to expect 2 days of rest and relaxation and NOT do chores, maintenance or other farm-related things?

    For us, and us only - DH doesn't act like the 5 days gone is any different than normal life, so he keeps up with his chores and helps around the house/farm. But when he comes back from a 5-13 month deployment, I am going to give him a break, let him catch up with the kids who are more important, and either keep making the older kids do the chores or ask the neighbors for more help for a little bit to let DH reconnect with home.

    Question: when there is more than one adult living on a farm/farmette, are the adults supposed to know what to do or is there a chore-list-maker? Shouldn't the adults just step up and do what needs to be done?

    For day to day things - Iffy. If DH is home every day, he knows what needs to be done. If he's gone for a week, he may know the normal chores, but anything more than normal, he'll need to be told usually. If he's deployed - oh boy, he's got to have a list to get back in the swing of normal life. His tasks while deployed are radically different than what they are at home. He's happier, which makes me happier, which makes the kids happier, which makes life easier all around if I just write down a list of what I'd like him to get done. Give him a few weeks, he's back in the swing of daily life, and I don't have to worry about a list.

    For bigger projects - I've got to have a list if I want to get it done myself!​
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    WOW, you very definitely have a LOT of issues. Can your marriage be saved? That is up to the two of you, but you need to compromise on many of the issues. The best compromise is where everyone is equally happy/unhappy with the final result.

    The FAMILY is the most important part of the relationship. Note that I said neither spouse not child. Each family member will have competing needs and wants. Ideally you have to sort out which are needs and which are wants. Just because there is a stronger desire for something, does not mean it is a need. Not attending to a need can have lasting detrimental consequences. Not attending to a want may make one angry or feel unappreciated. They all have to be balanced.

    Yes, you have a prior committment to your children, and when you married, your spouse should have acknowledged and accepted it. That does not mean, however, that the child takes precedence over the spouse--just that the child is an equal member of the family--as much as if he were the child of both of you.

    A new spouse with no parenting skills/experience cannot co-parent equally. THey also SHOULD not--until they have built a relationship with the child, and worked through any parenting disagreements with their spouse. That does not mean that the new spouse is a perpetual guest or has no rights towards family decisions--just that learning to parent, and building the relationship takes time and effort. The new spouse has as much a right as the parent to determine how the household works: rules, schedules, tidiness, chores, etc. But parents work TOGETHER to find common ground and compromises that will work for all family members.

    Working away from home is not a separation. Many people have to travel for their work--doesn't mean they are separated. Separation is more of a mindset than geography. Does being physically separated because of work make a relationship difficult? It can, but it does not have to.

    Farm chores--well, does your spouse provide financially for your family? Is the farm a working (income) farm, or a hobby farm (interest, not income)? Was the farm acquired before or after marriage, and has its scope changed since marriage? Is the farm your dream, or that of you both? How much work do you expect from him on weekends? Do you allow for any resting and relaxation time in your expectations? Do you ask for help, or simply expect it? He is not your child, so assigning him chores is demeaning. Having a list of chores that need to be done, and asking his help in accomplishing them is not--but you have to take into account HIS interests and input as well as your own. Stepping up and doing what needs to be done assumes that he knows what needs to be done, how to accomplish the job, and is willing to spend his time doing them.

    I think the issue about sex is more related to your anger at him than to menopause.
     
  5. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2011
    Crossville, Tennessee
    Like every life challenge, the answers depend on your situation.

    My kids (both biological and step) almost always come first. There are times my husband comes first though. Like when a grown kid is doing things that causes horrible stress to his/her parent. Even though that is my child and I would do so much for him, my husband comes first. Medical, special treats and things like that--our kids come first, then my husband and then me. Hubby has to work (I am mostly a housewife) and if he needs medical attention-it is important he gets it. Our kid at home (4) will always come first in areas like that. Kids are growing and need special attention, all that jazz.

    Now, when I know my kids have all the excess they need, I am more than willing to put my husband's wants over my son's wants.

    As far as the lovey-dovey part, I wouldn't deny my husband too often just because I love him so much. I am not menopausal though. That is a two way street, ya know? You shouldn't be expected to drop and do it whenever commanded to, lol. Just don't let the well dry up!

    And when hubby has a job, I do most of the work/chores around here. He mows and fixes the cars and does the heavy stuff. I'm pretty small and unskilled in things like that, LOL. A person's life of work doesn't stop just because they clock out. Sometimes the other person needs help with lifting/fixing and medicating--etc..

    YES. When you marry a parent, you marry the kids too. The new spouse should treat all the kids as his/her own. There is no sense in marrying a single parent and then try and not parent the kids. I parented my husband's teenager from day one. The little stinker! [​IMG]

    I'm not sure what you mean about separation. You're separate but you are still married. If hubby ever goes to work on the road, we would be apart for about 9 months at a time. We'd be separate but still happily married.

    We don't do chore lists. I just tell hubby what to do and he conveniently forgets to do more than half of what I said, lol. [​IMG]


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Oh boy, lots of questions!

    Here are some opinions for you from me.

    I have two sons, and also a step son and a step daughter. I watch alot of Dr. Phil, and it really helped me and my husband Dave with our parenting. I handle my kids, and he handles his. We try to be fair and keep the rules the same for all the kids. Being a step parent isn't easy AT ALL. We didn't raise his kids at first. He had them on weekends, and during summers, and then when they became of age when they could choose, they decided to live with their dad (and me of course).

    There are definitely things that you can do together united with a blended family, but discipline has to be handles by the blood parent because the step does not have the bonding with the children as the true parent does, unless they are babies when you marry.

    As far as the helping goes, A husband has to be a husband when he gets home. If his job keeps him away all week (as in a long distance truck driver), he needs to "plug in" to the family as a husband and father when he gets home. Alot of husbands don't realize that a stay-at-home mom is working 24-7, especially with a disabled child. If roles were reversed, and he was cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of farm animals, gardening, raising children, he would understand this. You do need help when he gets home. He may need a little rest, but then he can't sit on the couch all day and drink beer and watch sports or whatever......A role reversal game might help, you get out of the house and let him handle everything just for one day. That can help him understand why you need help.

    As far as a chore list, my husband would never put up with that. He DOES NOT like to be bossed around. We discuss things around the house alot that need done, and he will do them when he can. He's home all week, but he works 12 hour shifts on his feet, so he can't always jump right up and get things done. His back and feet hurt, so he does need to take it easy for a bit, but then he's gotta get up and get moving....(But I don't tell him to, he would become a MULE and refuse to do anything...)

    Sweet talk goes a long way with the fellows......He'll feel more loved if you pay some attention to him in the bedroom.......Trust me, it does mean alot in a marriage, but it shouldn't mean EVERYTHING. The friendship is way more important, in my humble opinion. But as a woman who doesnt' get as much "action" as I would like, I have to say I do feel less loved and a bit dejected sometimes, so my advice is to humor him and it's a small thing really.......LOL

    I hope that this helps you a little....you might not agree, and that's OK. I wish you the best of luck,
    Sharon
     
  7. Chickenberry

    Chickenberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Question: who's needs are number one in your family: your spouse or your child(ren).

    This is a hard question to answer. I am Christian, so I have to turn to what the Bible says. I know many will thumb their noses at this, but that's okay. God ordained our relationship to be with him first, our spouse second and thirdly our children. That's not saying that we don't love our children madly and give to them of everything we have~ because we do. Needs.. when I see that word I know of course that hubby can take care of most of his own, while when my children were younger they couldn't. (I have a 21-year-old son that we have had issues with ADHD and Aspergers.)

    Question: when a spouse comes into a ready-made family, should that new spouse (who's never had any parenting or long-term relationship experience) be expected to step in and be a 50% co-parent?

    First let me say, I have not been in this place. But, I do have dear friends and family who have been and are. I believe that included in marriage should be the agreement that the spouses are both going to give 100% and 100% ~ no 50-50. I think that they should be willing (because they love you and that child) to learn all they can about parenting and do their very best.

    Question: when a spouse is away from the home, for the job, 5 days out of 7, is that considered a separation?

    I probably wouldn't' consider this separation, although I'm sure it feels like it when you are solely responsible for everything!

    Question: when you have a small farm with a garden, chickens and goats, and that spouse comes home on the weekend, is it ok for that spouse to expect 2 days of rest and relaxation and NOT do chores, maintenance or other farm-related things?

    I would say no. I understand them wanting to rest, but there are responsibilities to take care of. Maybe there can be a happy medium of resting in the evening and working in the day?

    Question: when there is more than one adult living on a farm/farmette, are the adults supposed to know what to do or is there a chore-list-maker? Shouldn't the adults just step up and do what needs to be done?

    When our children were at home we made chore lists and put them on the refrigerator. Now that we are empty-nested of course it's gone. We have never set who does what. He feeds, I mess in the garden, we both clean the house. Maybe though, in your situation it would make it easier to spilt some tasks out. To talk about them and see who would be willing to do what. For my hubby and I we work equally whether inside the house or outside. But some men won't want to clean/work inside and some women won't want to work outside. Just see what works for you.

    Question for you women who have hit menopause: when you have no desire because there's no hormones going and your husband acts like a petulant child, do you say "no sex" or just do it to avoid the inevitable argument?

    I'm with you on this one. Although, I think I will answer this by PM to save us both face! LOL...
     
  8. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Quote:
     
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:
     
  10. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    These questions you post are all about the symptoms, not the illness.

    People need to approach marriage not as a 50/50 venture but as a 100%/100% venture. Chores are things you do to love your family, not burdens to be "shared" equally. Everyone loves each other to the best of their ability that day. Some days are easier. Some days are harder.

    If somebody is keeping tabs or a tally of who is doing what, we're already in trouble.

    Stick to "I feel when you" statements.




    The sex issue is a serious one for most couples. Women suffer through a significant loss of desire and men take the loss of interest very personally. The only solution here is intense and honest communication as well as some compromises. Good Luck.
     

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