How much is enough?

  • I would be grateful for some advice, whether psychic or not, from anyone who has advice to give. I do not know what a normal relationship is. I know that no relationship is plain sailing and that both parties have to input for it to work. But how far does that go? My husband made the decision 6 years ago to become self-employed and I supported this decision because he swore it would make him happy and free. 6 years later he is strugglig to keep the compay above water while holdig down a really well paid consulting position, which funds flow in to the company. We as a family have taken a lot of knocks and made a lot of sacrifices, the main one being his continued absence. If I question that then I am immediately told I am emotionally blackmailing him and if he did't do it we would have no food and no house over our head. The company takes priority number 1. MY husband works away from home all week and comes home on a Friday night, and has to work on his company at the weekend, and we, me and our 4 girls, have to make do with an afternoon of his time. I do not kow what is normal any more. IS this normal? Does anyone know about sites or forums for other women or indeed men in the same boat? How much of this do I take? I made arrangements for us all for Saturday morning and just as we were getting ready to go out his phone rang and he had forgotten about an appointment and so off he went to that and left us watching the trail of dust with open mouths. Is that normal? Does business always have to come first? I have lost my sense of reality. Am I being unfair to him? Does he deserve to use all this time to make something work (and when will it work)? I swear, I was 2 steps away from pulling the plug this weekend, on several occasions.

    If anyone has advice or tips for how to deal with a continually absent husband I would be glad to hear them.

    THX, Paddi

  • I do know that it takes a lot of time and effort for a business to take off. But He needs to find balance he is burning the candle at both ends & he has forgotten his support system You & the Girls. He needs to give up or cut his ours at the consulting job. 6 years is a long time trying to keep his biz afloat and maintain family time - something has to give tell hime he needs to make a decision about his job or his biz and he needs to make family time

  • I agree. Of course you need money to survive, but I honestly think you need your family more. Is his personal business a financial need? If not, I say it is time to let it go. BC instead, he is losing his family.

  • No it is not a financial need, well he says it will be one day when he has no consulting work and that then I will be glad he didn't give it up. I do not know how much of this "it is all for you that I am working so hard" stuff I am supposed to accept. Where is the normal stop level? How much praise for earning enough to keep your family alive can you expect? And why do I have to just accept it because this is the way it is? Where is the line between what to be thankful for and when to start pulling the brakes?Are all business owners the same and how do their wives cope? Or do they run? Am i being unfair?


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  • Iagree about the wakeup call, just wonder when it will come. I so know I am not alone with this, maybe I should start a forum myself

  • My dad owns his own company. He has evening meetings and works 6 days a week. But his wife and us are a priority. More so his wife, which is understandable, since we are all grown. There day is Sundays. They go to church, go out to dinner, then a movie. Sometimes, if it's nice, they go for a drive.

    When my kids or the other grandkids have something going on, they always try to be there. Sometimes he can and sometimes he can't.

    But here is where I think the difference lies, the effort. The knowledge that working and making money is not the end all be all of his being. That it is his wife, children and grandkids that give him the greatest joys out of life.

  • Yeah T7 but is that really making an effort? Working night and day 6 days a week and then one day for the family? And then, at least in our case, not even a whole day if you count getting up around 10am and having a bath for at least an hour and then being stuck to the computer for hours. How does your Dad's wife cope? Being married to someone who really is never there and having to make do with the compensation prize - oh I make one day free for you aren't you a lucky person, don't complain it is emotional blackmail? How do you sustain a marriage with someone who is never present? It is like a long distance relationship.

  • Paddifluff you are going to have to decided the boundries and lay it out for him. He cant keep burning the candles at both ends. usually a business takes off or fails in the first 2 years& this will be harmful to his health

    He can make contacts & retain them for future consulting jobs, he just needs to keep them at home. He is not giving 100% at his other job and it is not going to be pretty when they find out so he either needs to quit that job & devote his attention to his family and his business or

    temporly shut down his self employment for awhile and concentrate on the job & you and your children he has to make a choice

  • How does he treat you? Does he still treat you with respect and love and all that? If he isnt cheating and is truly keeping the business afloat then support him! Offer ways to help the bussiness or find something to do to stop harrassing him. Get your own bussiness find support for raising the kids and get on with it. Depends on if he really keeping the business afloat or using that as an excuse to hide the real issues of whats actually going on between you both. Also dont bring the kids into it coz they will already understand whats going on. Do your own thing if he cant go with you away for family, you and your kids are family and if he can join then welcome him if not then do it anyway. Its diffuclt to have business that comes first but it does so you either have to make the most of it, plan for retirement stuff like that so its obvious that he not away. Your lucky hes working to support you and the kids but its also hard for you to not have him around but yeh you dont so either, plan together to get the business back to top so you both feel you are in it together and see if that works?

  • Is there anything you can do to help the business stay afloat? Hes under too much pressure so dont start harrassing him to be with you. If you need help with the kids get help if you can, see it as a start to help him so he knows your not there to harrass for more time, he'll get grumpy and work more jsut to get away from you and the issue of not beig there but try to see from his point of view that you both are working hard to get toward someting make that both your focus and so you not fighting with each other. Its hard to keep a business and ppl must work very hard to maintain and all too often relationships breakdown coz of the misunderstanding of what it takes to keep a business going, if both ppl realise this it wouldnt be hard. Now that being said if you feel that its not the business keeping him away but the relationship between yourselves then sit down and talk it out and get it sorted or leave. Make sure you know which it is before you do anything. If a person is working hard to make something of themselves or to support family or themselves then if you cant handle leave dont make them feel like they are doing anything wrong coz that wrong itself. Look at yourself and maybe find ways of helping or get your own job or doing something. Either that or find someone who does fuck all and then you will understand how wonderful you have really got it, you have someone that will work to, alot of people dont and you know what it really depends on you and what you want. Stop harrassing your hubby and get on with your life. Sort yourself out!

  • I understand that we need to work for survival especially in this economy. However, your husbands career is interfering with your marriage and family. work is important but having a support system there for you is also vital. a healthy marriage is about teamwork and companionship. but if you are raising your family and running the whole household yourself, then you arent getting either of those. You may be married but it must feel like you are a single mom? no? You shouldnt have to feel alone in a marriage, thats why you wanted to be married in the first place. If you havnt done so already, you need to sit down with your husband and explain to him that this arrangement is no longer working for you and that you deserve and want more. and that your children need and want their father. the only memories they will have of him is that brings home the money. but what about quality time with the kids? children learn what they live, even thought its important to instill responsibility and good work ethic into your kids its also vital that they learn good family values and how to have a healthy balance in life.

  • Paddi - One solid week every week after week, after week committed to her, is absolutely wonderful. They get up every AM at 4. Whatever time he comes home, they have coffee together. If I call and he has just gotten home, I simply say...hey dad, call me after while, bc I respect their time. Now, keep this in mind, there are no children at home, it's just them. My step mom has a very busy fullfilling life of her own. She keeps all the books for dad's company, yet pursues her own interests.

    They make it work and accept it, simply bc they love one another.

  • I had to come back to make sure you didn't take what said the wrong way. I know you both love one another, but it seems like your husband is just not making the effort for his family's emotionally well being. He could do that everyday simply by calling and REALLY talking to each of you every night while he is away.

    I think what I am trying to say is this, if you knew deep down that he was just as committed to the family's well being as he was to his work, I don't think it would matter as much to you. Does that make sense?

    Is there anyway you could help him with his personal business to free up some of his time?

  • maybe your husband needs to take a more pragmatic approach. Is there any way he can afford to hire someone to manage the business while he focuses on the consulting? that way he's still in charge of the business but can step back and delegate the bulk of the work, this may give him more time with you and your children. At the end of the day though, work is a means to allow you to live but it shouldnt be your life

  • Crazycap, first off I am not harrassing my husband. Secondly, let me tell you what I do and have been doing for the past 6 years of his self employed life. I have given birth to and am rearing, single handedly, 4 girls, aged now between 3 and 9. I have my own business as a freelance translator, and I do this work in the evenings after my children are in bed, to earn extra money. I started doing it to have extra money for nice things but it quickly became necesary to survive. During the day, along with managing my children and a house, I do light administration work for the company and run the complete administration of a household of 6 people. My husband does not help me with any of this work. Never has. He runs a business. That is all he does. With one employee. So believe me I know how hard it is to start up and run a business because I have been doing it myself for so long, alongside keeping my children very happy. Tell me, is it harassment to ask your husband, father of your children, to take his children for an afternoon so that you can go to the swimming pool on your own, or go in to town to buy yourself some clothes or to even just sit and have a coffee on your own? And do you know how difficult it is to get him to say yes without having another appointment? So not only do I run the family solely, I also earn money to take the pressure off my husband, and believe me that money has kept us away from the poverty line on more occassions than I wish to remember, and help him with his administration. Do you call that still harassment? I find your onslaught a bit hard to swallow.

    T7 I know exactly what you mean. I think deep down he does care an awful lot about us all and feels terribly guilty about not spending more time with us, but when he does free up time he uses it for other things.

    Roseydaisy I love your name, yes my husband has hired someone to take over the footwork on a freelance basis as of this week, but more because the doctor ordered him to change his work life than because he has no time with us, because he keeps finding other ways to spend his time.

    So yes, maybe the problem is with our relationship crazycap. In fact i am pretty sure it is. Happy now?


  • Sheelagh - don't do that!! Don't give in to the negativity!! You know as well as I do, that when we succumb to that, we become weak, powerless and despondent!! I am here for you!! i am her day and night to listen and offer support and advice when needed. I know what it is like to be alone, to feel alone when you are married! i do It is not a pleasant feeling. It wreaks havoc on a woman's emotions.

    When you have to be strong, day after day after day, when sometimes, you just need to be weak or take a break, to trust and lean on your partner and yet your partner is not allowing himself to be available to your needs.....that is not a good place.

    You vent, you cry, you scream, you yell.......and I my dear friend will listen!!

    I love you!! I felt connected to you, Mags and RC from the beginning. You know that.........let us be what your husband cannot be for right now...maybe all of us joined together can bring about change!

  • I just re-read crazy-caps comments, although I agree in part that we should always help and encourage loved ones to be the best they can be, i disagree that doing so should be unconditional. You have to consider what sucess really is, becuase status and money without loved ones to share it means very little. Yes you should be happy and proud of your work but if it is damaging other aspects of your life or in this case it damging someone else life i.e. Paddifluff and her children it might not be the best thing. Marriage is about sacrificing for your partner but that works both ways.

    Paddifluf T7 is right try not to give in to negativity. Is your husband aware you feel this way? maybe being faced with the threat of losing his family might make him wake up to reality. all is not lost

  • Paddifluff is your husband a workaholic? Every thing you describe points to him being a work- aholic. Now that the doctor told him can you schedile a day for a family outing don't tell him and just drag him along. Start small and hopefully that will jar his memory about why you are married and that you have kids. He also might wanna talk to a counselor as to why he works so much maybe something happen in his past or that it was what he learned from his father or mother to hide behind work

    saying prayers & blessing for you don't give up hope but do stand your ground and try to do something outside of the home for just you (I learned that the hard way :))

  • Shadowmist, yes he is a workaholic at least I think so but he says no way he is not one. And yes it was what he learned from him father and mother to hide behind. He has an aversion to counsellors unfortunately. He does not let anyone help him nor does he listen to good advice. It is definitely a challenge lol. But hey a learning process.

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