Creating an identity outside of marriage and fatherhood. Need help with steps to achieve this. Help me?
I met my wife when I was 19. Unlike most kids my age, I wasn’t a fully developed person. My mother was a "helicopter mom" who controlled everything I was doing because rather than getting me help for my anxiety issues, she thought being more strict and trying to "break my will" was a more effective way to deal with the problems she had with my behavior. It doesn’t help that my parents are conservative and religious and I grew up liberal and free thinking.
So the entire time I’ve been with my wife, I have been trying to develop my personal identity. The problem with this is I chose to identify too much with my wife and kids and I am still just a hollow shell as a person.
The more I think about the problems I have in my marriage and in my parenting style, the more I realize that the reason things are the way they are is because I have been insincere with who I am as a person. I dedicate and devote too much of my time to my wife and not enough with my kids. This has created a codependency on my wife and I have never established a healthy independence.
I have made a few attempts to develop a personal life, but after having SO much attention on my wife (who constantly called me smothering) go down to limited amounts, my wife does these things to draw me back in to codependency on her. She might start and argument, or guilt trip me (something my parents did to control me), or she might just give me a silent treatment and call me names so I have to apologize for something I didnt do.
I have been asking lots of questions on here for about a year now trying to figure out what to do to start taking care of myself but so far I haven’t received advice that works. I have tried therapy, marriage counseling, adhd research, anxiety reducing herbs, and self help books; none of these things work.
I currently have no job, no friends, no car, no hobbies, and I am not allowed to spend my wife’s money on leisure. We have two kids together, they are grade school aged. Help?
Pearl All the things I said I don’t have in the last paragraph are things that my wife feels is important for me to have. The only thing that really matters to me in that paragraph is the no friends and no hobbies part. Everything else is an inconvenience but I am a stay at home dad so it all comes with the job.
I’m planning on going to college but my wife won’t allow me to go on campus because then she would have to give up her routine (that she’s happy with) and she said that as long as my "changes" don’t affect her life then I am allowed to do whatever I want with my life…
It is very clear that you moved from your mother to your wife, who are identical personalities. You were drawn to your wife because she is just like your mother. Often people feel safe with what they know, so your wife was an easy choice for you. She is domineering and controlling, like your mother was/is.
You need to get out of the house, even if it is for a part time job. You need to pursue some of your interests. Even just volunteering would get you out and give you some independence and to meet people. Take an adult education class in something you are interested in. Just for your enjoyment. Your wife is not going to help you with any of that because she likes keeping you under her thumb and you are too weak to fight her for your freedom. So, you are going to have to begin doing things for yourself and assert yourself. Just do it without her input.
Your wife is going to have a fit when she sees you being your own person but this is the only way to break the cycle and begin living your life. You need to get your behind out of that house and stop depending on your wife for every single thing.
Begin by cooking and doing things on your own and for and with your children. Wake up early on Saturday and make your kids pancakes. Create a dessert night where they get to make their own ice cream sundaes. Take them to the park. Take the initiative and just do it without "permission" from your domineering wife.
You really seem intelligent and I give you tons of credit for isolating your problems and realizing something has to be done. That is half of the battle.