My wife of 22 years was 15 when we met. Years ago I wanted a divorce for many reasons, including her absent sex drive.
She then revealed that she’d been extensively sexually active with neighbourhood boys throughout her childhood, including her brother, and when she stopped (age 12 – 14) she blamed herself. She’s been in therapy since and learned this was a form of abuse. The boys were young so it apparently doesn't meet the clinical definition.
I stayed to support her. But her old habits returned: extreme disorganization, overeating, physically neglecting herself, no libido. Therapy has cost us thousands.
Our teenage children act out because they know she won’t stand up to them; I’m left to be the "bad guy.” I want to leave, since I cannot see being happy together in the near future. Yet I hate the idea of divorce, the financial impact will be devastating, she’s very nice and well-intentioned.
Plus, I feel responsibility since her family abandoned her over her dealing with her past. I've seen a therapist who asks why I’m there if I’m unhappy.
Therapists ask questions so that you can think about the answers, the options and the compromises. It was NOT a prod for you to leave, but to think about what being “happy together” may require, how to work towards that goal, and when to decide it is or isn’t possible.
Your wife dug deep when she thought you might leave. She’s learned a lot since, but hasn’t gained the confidence to change old patterns. Insist on marital counselling together for at least six months.
Despite her past abuse, she can change her present and future — with or without you — if she recognizes that she’s the one still making herself the victim by her own withdrawal.
If you do eventually leave, your teenagers will need extensive support too, as they’ll push even harder against both of you. You need to be strong and certain of your choice.
My father’s on the home computer a lot for work. But I noticed he shuts off the screen if I enter the room. This occurred even when we were away on a family vacation, and any time of day.
Once, he forgot, and I saw a program for a video chat. His account stated he’s 45 (he’s 55). There was a long list of his "contacts” and a history log showed frequent use. I didn’t have time to see the conversations.
He’s a wonderful person, father and husband, married to my mother for 35 years.
Should I say something to him? Or to my mom? Or say nothing and hope he stops or gets found out? I know he's under stress from work, finances and family issues. I know he loves my mom but maybe there's problems in their relationship; they never take time for themselves.
The conversations may be more innocent than you suspect - or not – but this is not your “secret” to out. Your parents’ relationship is their business.
However, Dad might be as stressed as you say and appreciate a kind word.
If you can handle this discreetly, you could mention that you’ve noticed that he’s online a lot at home, and wonder if he’s working too hard and would maybe relax more if he and Mom took a break sometime.
It could be the reality check that helps him find other distractions than his computer. BUT, do NOT cross the line into accusations, suspicions or further snooping.
I’m 51, and met my husband of 28 years when I was 16. Two years ago he had a fling with a co-worker. Last summer we tried to work things out, but when she was back in the picture, he changed. I divorced him but still love him. So this decision to let him know what his new girlfriend is up to, is difficult. He’s talking about buying her a ring.
She’s booked a flight back to her old boy friend in a couple of weeks, and this is the third time she’s done this to my ex.
Should I warn him?
- Still Loving
Be careful what you wish for: You might save him the ring’s cost, and achieve revenge against her, BUT, your ex may forever resent you for the intrusion and embarrassment.
Learning this on his own is what may change his attitude toward her, instead of blaming you.
Tip of the day:
Divorce is never an easy fix.