“I feel like I’m a single mom, although I’m married,” a mother recently emailed me.
She is not the first married mom to come to us to confess that she, too, feels like a single mom (FLASM). Can you relate to this dilemma?
“My husband and I both work full-time jobs and then he decided after our first child was born that he wanted to start a business,” she explains about her husband of twelve years. “Now I am raising two kids pretty much by myself. I still work full-time, and he is working full-time—and part-time—in his workshop. I feel like I have no control over my life or kids.”
Although her husband is at home every night, she says that he’s not really there mentally or emotionally. “He never plays with the kids—he only jumps in to discipline. I feel like my kids think, ‘Daddy is always upset with me’ because when he is in the house, they fight for his attention and he fights them for mine.”
“I’d like to think we can work this out, but I don’t know if I have the energy anymore. I just want to only have to worry about myself and the kids. I have already detached myself from him emotionally … do you have any suggestions?”
Yes, we do! Here’s what Dr. Leah Klungness, a.k.a. The Sanity Fairy, says:
It’s tempting to look at this married mom’s situation and conclude that her circumstances may be relatively enviable. At least she gets financial support. Their marriage is simply vacant—rather than abusive or filled with anger and fighting. And she’s got somebody to back her up when the kids get rowdy, right?
But I don’t agree.
This married mom feels no control over her life—and that’s scary. Feeling detached emotionally is a painful feeling, especially when you’re ostensibly sharing your life “till death do us part.”
And how about love? It appears to be missing from her relationship, which is rather tragic and telling, don’t you think?
We’re curious: Do you relate to this married mom’s situation?
Originally published on SingleMommyHood