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Husband is tribal [Updated!]


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Old 4th February 2019, 4:57 PM   #1
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Husband is tribal [Updated!]

Hello,
My husband an me have been married for seven years and we have children. Let me first tell you that he is a good husband and I am happy with him. But there are things that (I fear) are unusual in our relationship... but I might be wrong. I would like to hear your opinion about it. Maybe they are more common than I think.
My husband does a lot around the house. He cleans, irons, does the laundry, can sew on buttons, polishes our shoes. Stuff like this.
He also works full time. I am a SAHM and have young children to care for.
He had his IQ, reaction times and so on tested several times for job related reasons. He always scored above average. I just mention this because sometimes he acts like a person who is a little slow.

1. My husband do parts of the grocery shopping. But currently he cannot do it without phoning me several times and asking questions like “Which brand of noodles am I supposed to buy?“, “should I buy the cheaper tomatoes or the organic ones?“ and so on. I encouraged him to make his own decisions but he doesn’t
2. He cannot watch the kids without phoning me several times asking question like “Are the children allowed to watch that series on TV?“, “When you say bedtime is 6 pm would 6.10 still be okay?“
3. My husband is a skilled cook. He cooked for us on mother’s day, Valentin’s day and so on. I am looking forward to Valentin’s day because he planned a menu again. We love to cook together... but when he comes home from work and I am not there to serve him dinner he just grabs a bag of nachos. I always put some healthy precooked food in the fridge. He just needs to reheat it... but he doesn’t do that. He just waits and waits until I come along and then he waits for me to reheat the food and serve it to him and only then he starts eating it. Sometimes he waits for several hours and eats only nachos and popcorn.
4. He has severe insomnia and nightmares. For a while he could not sleep in a bed at all. I think he is a bit afraid of going to bed.Currently he is doing progressive muscle relaxation... and he waits for me to tell him that it is time to go to bed and to watch him while he does it. While he does the muscle relaxation he feels vulnerable, so he asked me to watch the surroundings. The problem: when I am not there he waits for me to come and tell him it is time to go to bed... and if it is three o‘clock in the night and he has to get up at six o‘clock the next evening. He tells me that he doesn’t need much sleep.

I discussed this with him. He seems to believe that in a lot of marriages the wife establishes a bed time for her husband, reheats everything for him in the microwave and so on.
I am afraid that it will lead to an unhealthy dynamic in our marriage.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:09 PM   #2
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It sounds like there is something deeper here which he should addressed with a therapist, is he resistant to going or is he already?
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:12 PM   #3
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It sounds like there is something deeper here which he should addressed with a therapist, is he resistant to going or is he already?
Actually there is a reason he is seeing a therapist but I want to post about relationship here and I think it would be good to let mental health out of it.

Actually I think that while he has mental health issues he is quite sane. He knows he has mental health issues, he sought help for it. He is not crazy.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:15 PM   #4
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how's your sex life?
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:16 PM   #5
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It sounds as though he has anxiety or perhaps is on the autistic spectrum and needs to have a routine that he adheres to.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:16 PM   #6
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I discussed this with him. He seems to believe that in a lot of marriages the wife establishes a bed time for her husband, reheats everything for him in the microwave and so on.
That's not the role of the wife, that's the role of a mother. And, you are not his mother.

While some of the things you have described sound like typical marriage stuff (ie. wanting to check in when grocery shopping and choosing to occasionally eat nachos or popcorn rather than cook for himself)... Other things most definitely do not. Has your husband seen doctors and psychologists for his anxiety and sleep issues?

Your story reminds me of a friend, who's mother has recently had surgery and is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. During her recovery, my friend took pre-cooked meals to put in the freezer for her father (knowing full well that her mother did all the cooking and hoping that it would allow her mother the ability to rest easy during her recovery). Her father could not even be bothered to re-heat the food, he survived on toast for days and left his dirty dishes on a counter. Needless to say, her mother was back in the kitchen before she should have been - cleaning his dirty dishes and cooking his meals, yet again... Why they both enable that kind of behavior is beyond me... Needless to say, I don't think it gets more lazy or entitled then that.

It sounds like you have a similar dynamic happening in your home. You are both wife, and mother... It changes the dynamic of the relationship. I suppose the question you are asking us, that you should really be asking your husband, is why he insists on creating this dynamic?

Is it possible that your husband is on the autism spectrum? Or has some other mental health issues like OCD? Just curious...
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:17 PM   #7
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Is he very rigid about rules because you have penalized him in the past for not doing things to your specifications?
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:19 PM   #8
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Is he very rigid about rules because you have penalized him in the past for not doing things to your specifications?
That was my other thought. Have you possibly created this parent-child dynamic because you are typically the one who makes all the decisions, does all the parenting, and manages everything related to the home? Have you criticized his effort to participate in the past?

I have another friend who does this... her husband literally has to run everything by her, or he gets himself into trouble...
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:19 PM   #9
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Is he very rigid about rules because you have penalized him in the past for not doing things to your specifications?
No, I never did that.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:21 PM   #10
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I have another friend who does this... her husband literally has to run everything by her, or he gets himself into trouble...
if she was my wife I would tell her to buzz off
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:22 PM   #11
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Actually there is a reason he is seeing a therapist but I want to post about relationship here and I think it would be good to let mental health out of it.

Actually I think that while he has mental health issues he is quite sane. He knows he has mental health issues, he sought help for it. He is not crazy.
Nobody is suggesting that he is crazy. But, sometimes it's not possible to understand a relationship without considering the mental health of the people involved in the relationship. Surely, you can appreciate how one could affect the other...
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:23 PM   #12
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I did not mean to imply at all that 'he was crazy'. I see a therapist weekly and am much the better for it.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:23 PM   #13
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if she was my wife I would tell her to buzz off
So would I!
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:25 PM   #14
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That was my other thought. Have you possibly created this parent-child dynamic because you are typically the one who makes all the decisions, does all the parenting, and manages everything related to the home? Have you criticized his effort to participate in the past?

I have another friend who does this... her husband literally has to run everything by her, or he gets himself into trouble...
I make a lot of decisions in our home. In the past my husband was away from home because of his job a lot and I sometimes felt nearly like a single mum. He does not work in that job anymore but still works in a job that requires a lot of traveling (and by the way when he travels he often does not sleep right but keeps himself awake it’s energy drinks).
When he was/is away from home I make all of the decisions at home. He makes most of the other decisions and the decisions about money.

My husband says he is very happy he has a place to call home and a family and I encouraged him to make decisions in the home.
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Old 4th February 2019, 5:33 PM   #15
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Maybe it would be helpful to try to frame some of your requests as needs.

Q:"Which type of tomatoes should I buy?"
A:"What I need from you dear, is to decide what kind and buy them."
Followup: Make do with whatever tomatoes, even if they are the 'wrong' kind, don't mention it.

Also, if there is such a thing as the wrong kind, don't make trouble where there needn't be.
Q:"What kind of tomatoes should I buy?"
A:"Any kind which is diced and in a can." (This is the assumption he just needs help filling in the blank and will remember once told).

Another thought occurs - could it be criticism from the kids which he is trying to avoid? Something like: "Dad, you always get the wrong foods!" or kids that are otherwise difficult ('picky eaters', etc)?
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