Wife wants to become a stay at home mom - I'm not comfortable

I understand. That’s how a marriage should work. But the OP’s wife made no decision “together”. She gave an ultimatum.

Did you have premarital financial discussions? I’m all for premarital sex so there are no surprises, but premarital budgeting is probably more important.
My wife and I have almost identical financial instincts, mostly not spending anything until we have it. The only argument I remember in over 40 years was when I thought we couldn’t afford to install central air and she did. (She was right.)
As for the non-stay-at-home partner being controlling, I wonder what would happen if the stay-at-home partner said that they were getting a job and the other person could figure out what to do about childcare and keeping up the house. That would be interesting.

I was responding to your post about inevitability of so-called veto power based on who has the greater income and explaining that my marriage certainly doesn’t act that way. It wasn’t a commentary on the OP.

Clearly the OP’s marriage doesn’t have a team mindset, but it’s not inevitable that should she give up her income he’d then have veto power rights.

Why are you laying down the law in any circumstance, really?

Counseling is a very good idea so you both can develop better communication and decision making patterns.

The same way she does. By telling them I don’t want them doing this or that. Some times my voice gets elevated. My wife’s voice gets elevated more than mine but I’ll give her that she sees them into the car off to day care more than I do (I’ve made changes to my own way of doing things by making damn sure I’m up with the wife to put the kids in the car unless I’m on the road before her).

Used to be damn near everything… As years have gone by she has drifted. She is not the same person I married I don’t believe. The same sweet young girl that would apologize to me for walking in on her before she had her pants on (was never necessary) will now not apologize for anything, even if she’s being a complete narcissist bitch. I just keep my head down and move on.

I AM NOT PERFECT. But I think in my own eyes I’m the same person she married although that dude may need some (and will gladly take to preserve happiness) fine tuning.

Because kids need discipline…

“Because kids need discipline…”
Sounds like you two don’t agree what that means?

See my reply to ThelmaLou

I have no say it seems at times.

I ask because that was a point of friction for me and wife. Inability to present a united front, which is plain bad parenting and (more to the point) bad partnering. If you can’t respect each other when it comes to the kids, there’s a lot to unpack there.

I suspect you’ve both changed. Life does that.

I do not know how to picture or interpret this scenario…

I should hope she’s not the same person you married, just as I hope you’re not the same person she married. It’d be creepy if your bodies were aging, but your minds hadn’t matured despite all the experiences you’ve been through.

Please, don’t hold back.

Have you two ever really communicated? You both seem to have long-standing simmering resentment toward each other.

Was there a time or an event about which you can say, “Yeah…before that, we seemed to be okay and on the same page… and then after <fill in the blank>, there was some tension. I figured we’d get past it, but it has only gotten worse.”

I’m thinking…

  • birth of first or second child
  • a move
  • losing a job (either of you) or getting a new job
  • death of parent(s) or other significant family member(s)
  • big event where either of your parents overstepped (according to the one of you that was offended)
  • something happened to her/you at work - abuse, harassment, passed over for raise/promotion
  • a big expense that one of you went ahead with even though you lacked the other’s wholehearted support. (You have a big tractor rig?)

I’ve been married (twice, and in a couple of multi-year live-ins), so I know these things happen gradually (frog in pot of water, etc.). But sometimes you can look back and say, “There was that big argument we had about money/her mother/my mother/whatever, and there was a change in the air after that.”

I’m not looking to blame either of you singly (in fact, I blame EACH of you), but it’s like when you get lost. You get out the map and try to trace that wrong turn that sent you into the wilderness.

If you two get on board and work through this, you could come out better than ever. But one of you has to be the grownup and show some kind, compassionate, humble leadership. If she had posted here, we’d be telling her she was the one. But you’re here, so guess what? It’s you. You can do it. :+1:t4:

Maybe not. We just do things and the other person goes with the flow.

I think i can answer that last question. Because this was about setting boundaries for kids.

But I’m also curious how you are “laying down the law”. My father, who, as a doctor, was the authority in the household on what damages bodies, conveyed to us a set of rules we had to stay within when we fought. The “why” was understandable to small children. We were allowed to hurt each other, but not to actually damage each other. I mean, my mother also split us up and sent us to our own rooms when we fought (that was before “time outs”, but basically that’s what it was) because we also weren’t supposed to fight. But we all knew that fighting was a minor sin, and our parents expected us to fight from time to time. Whereas damaging each other was really strictly forbidden.

That law was “laid down” verbally, in advance of it coming up. And i think we all stuck to it. I don’t think any of us ever broke it, because we understood it was important.

“No fighting with sticks, or other weapons that could seriously harm your sibling” strikes me as a completely reasonable rule. Not one that you retrospectively wallop you kids for, but one that you proactively explain to them.

One specific event - I’m thinking no.

-Could be the issues we have with our son at daycare.
-Could be our daughter starting preschool.
-Could be all the influence she’s gotten from her bible study group.
-Could be my job that sometimes requires me to be gone for a week at a time (we discussed that that was where I wanted my career to go around the time we got married, I suppose that doesn’t negate the fact that attitudes can change over time.)

What I am going to do Sunday evening before bed is as a few of you have suggested and tell her this:
-We are going to counseling.
-I am looking up a child psychologist/therapist for our son.
-I support you, but I do not support pyramid schemes. Not sure if I’d share what potential consequences we would face if she moved forward with participating in it full time.

You hit the nail on the head with how I’d like things to be with the kids. She admonishes me when I do this. As I said I was rather offended when I told them to drop the long pointy objects and she told me not to worry about it. Not worry about someone getting impaled? Running around chasing each other is one thing but with weapons is another.

May i suggest you word that differently. Perhaps, “I’d like us to see a marriage counselor.”

I don’t think ultimatums are very helpful in rebuilding a connection.

No, don’t go there at this time. The counselor/help for kid/hesitance about pyramid schemes is ENOUGH for one download.

I suggest a mild, low-key approach along the lines of, “Let’s take a breather and look at some things. I deeply want both of us to be satisfied and content with our life together.” And emphasize again that you support her and want her to be successful.

A plus: if she’s into a women’s bible group, those types (pardon the expression) are usually okay with the husband taking charge with some gentle leadership. Not browbeating domination-- but Good Shepherd stuff.

One of my favorite quotations:
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.” (St. John of the Cross)

To me, this is the essence of masculinity. And yeah, I think men and women are different.

ETA: Notice how in your own mind (whether you say it out loud or not) you contradict her at every turn. To wit:

Yeah, you’re right, but geez Louise, it sounds like a court summation. “These are all the ways she is wrong, Your Honor!”

So very much what puzzlegal just said.

I’ve been watching this thread, your situation is distressingly similiar to mine leading up to my divorce a few years ago.

Something I’ll add, it doesn’t seem that you’ve done from what you’ve posted, sit down with her and let her talk. Tell her you want to hear what’s brought her to this point. Don’t have any agenda beyond LISTENING and perhaps asking a few questions to clarify or bring out more information. DO NOT go into this with the intention of convincing her, that would miss the point entirely.

This shows you care, you’re supportive, and you’re actively trying to understand and help her be her best so she can be her best in support of your family and home.

I’m not the best person to take advice from, having been married twice, but that part I just said helped a lot all the same and I still try to live in my relationships with people using that as one of my rules for myself today.