I'm fed up. I'm frustrated. I'm tired of feeling like the kids and I are not important to him. I have tried my damnedest to get us on track, to show him where he's going wrong with me and the kids. But, he refuses to take my advice, refuses to listen. Oh, things get better for a while right after he's on the receiving end of a major chew out, but as soon as he senses that I'm no longer mad at him, he goes right back to being inattentive, distant, and barely there. My son (12) tells me that he doesn't ask knight to do things with him anymore because most of the time knight's answer I "not right now." And the kid is right. The Aspie 14 yr old says he doesn't think his dad cares how he acts or what he does because "he never says anything." The 9 yr old girl? She's always complaining to me that "daddy forgot to........." whatever it was she asked him to do. Picking up the pieces and , soothing upset kids, making sure the things he "forgot" always falls on me.
Knight SAYS he cares, he tells me that he doesn't mean to forget things, or drop thing, he just gets overwhelmed and can't keep up. That's where the lists come in- an attempt to help him keep on track. Except that doesn't complete his daily task list just about as often as he does complete it.
Knight tells me the kids and I are his world, but when the 12 yr old wants knight to play Magic, or help him make Amtgard armor, or go in the backyard and swing swords, knight typically tells him, "not right now," unless I step in and tell knight to go play with the kid.
Knight tells me that nothing matters more to him than spending time with me. In the car on Sunday I asked him to call the babysitter to see if she was available for a few hours this coming Saturday. We don't need a babysitter for the 12 and 9 year olds, but the 14 yr old Aspie needs constant supervision and he refuses to listen to his 12 year old brother. Because of that, we can't go out alone unless we hire a sitter for the 14 yr old. I told knight to put "call the sitter" on his list for Monday. Today is Thursday. Knight hasn't called the sitter yet. He says he "got busy and forgot." My answer was that if it was important to him, he would have written it down like he was supposed to. This is the second time in a month that I asked him to call the sitter for the 14 yr old. The last time, he didn't bother either. I ended up leaving knight and the 14 yr old at home and taking the other two to the zoo for the day instead. This time, I'm going out, alone, and leaving him home with the 14 yr old.
Knight tells me that he wants to make things work - that he will do 'whatever it takes" to fix things between us. Yet, he doesn't talk to me, doesn't listen when I try to talk to him, doesn't seem interested in anything I want to do. Hell, a few days ago, I sent him a new article on Autism and asked him to read it. The article discussed a new herbal protocol, and I was thinking about trying it with the 14 yr old. Knight never bothered to read it. Told me he "didn't have time." Um.. it was about a study that might help his kid. I don't try new things on the 14 yr old without knight's okay. He is HIS kid, after all. So, while I'm stressed beyond my ability to cope from dealing with 14 yr old's current behavior issues, knight can't make time to read a 2 page article for me. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised. Knight doesn't take the time to do anything to help relieve the stress, either. I don't even bother asking for massage anymore. He spends all of 5 minutes and calls it done. I put household chores on his daily task list to give myself a break to do something else, and either the chore remains undone, and I have to do it myself the next day, or he does such a lousy job at the chore, that I have to redo it the next day. Either way, it's easier, less frustrating, and less hassle to just do it myself the first time.
Knight knows how I feel. He's known for a long time now. Remember, we started flr as an attempt to deal with these exact issues. It worked for a while. Things were good for a while. Hell, we had an entire year that was *really* good. And then he started acting like a rebellious teenager, and it all fell apart. I've told him recently how I feel. When he upsets or disappoints me, I tell him exactly what he did that disappointed me, and how he can avoid it in the future. He keeps doing the same things over and over again.
I often give him small opportunities to do something to please me, and he never takes them. Example? This Sunday, on our family trip. We were in the gift shop of the cave we toured with the kids. I found a pair of earrings made from a gem that I absolutely loved. I thought about buying them, but second guessed myself because they were almost $40. Six kids - one income. Not buying things for myself has become a habit, even though we now only have 3 kids at home, and we can afford for me to but things for my self occasionally now. My 9 yr old asked me to take her outside because the gift shop was loud and crowded and she was getting overloaded. Knight asked me if there was anything I wanted. I told him, I really loved those earrings, and if he wanted to get them for me, that would be okay. Then I took the 9 yr old outside. When knight and the boys came out, knight showed me what he bought. He bought me a cool pen, an amethyst necklace, a pair of hematite earrings, and a salt candle holder. The earrings I told him I wanted were not there. I was disappointed, but didn't say anything because the kids were there. Later, I told knight that I had given him the perfect opportunity to please me, and he hadn't even paid attention. He made excuses.
First he told me, "But, you said you they were too expensive."
I reminded him that before I left, I told him I had changed my mind, and it was okay if he bought them. Knight didn't say anything.
When I brought it up again last night, he told me that he had not heard me say it was okay if he bought the earrings. I reminded him that he answered me, so it was obvious that he had heard me.
This kind of thing happens frequently. I will ask knight to do something for me that's not house, kid or chore related to give him an opportunity to do something to please me. It might be simply like "set up candles, and put on romantic music" or "Those earrings would make a great Christmas gift", and he simply ignores me. I can't even remember the last time he complemented me.
It's really difficult to believe that he cares at all what happens to us or how I feel. He tells me that he cares, that I'm his world, the he wants us to work things out. But when it comes to doing thing to back that up, there's nothing. Then there is the night my back was hurting me so badly.
Knight tells me, "If I didn't want to be here, I would leave." That is not even close to the same thing as listening, doing small things, being considerate, helping out, and being there.
I feel like we're no more than 2 people raising kids together. That's it. I want more from my marriage. I need more from my marriage, and if he's unwilling to do the things that show care, concern and affection, then maybe it's time for me to admit defeat, and move on.
I haven't made any decisions yet. I really don't want to split up the kids. They think of each other as siblings, not "step-siblings". They're close, and being separated would add more hurt to a divorce than in necessary. For that reason, separation/divorce is not something I'll do lightly.
I don't expect things to change. We've been at this point frequently over the last year. Things change for a few weeks, and then he goes right back to breaking promises, leaving things undone and complaining and arguing when I correct him.
So... what am I going to do? Well, for starters, I'm going out alone on Saturday, and I'm going to have fun. I have no idea what I'm going to do, but it's probably not going to involve dinner and a movie (the only things he ever wants to do when we go out alone).