I met the love of my life 15 years ago. There were instant fireworks. We’ve been together ever since.
I was going through a divorce; he’d been separated for several years.
When my divorce was final, he said he’d start working on his. He still hasn’t.
I’m sad that he can’t give me this respect.
We both have adult children and grandchildren. I’m now 65. What happens in the event of one of our deaths as he has no will?
Whenever I ask him to get his divorce, he shuts down and won’t talk.
We see his family and wife at all the grandchildren festivities and they’re mutually respectful.
It’s driving a wedge into our great relationship.
He’s Still Married
The two most common reasons why someone refuses to divorce a separated spouse are religious beliefs, and guilt.
The pressure of a belief system that considers divorce a sin, isn’t easy to overcome.
Equally emotional is the guilt some people feel after exchanging marriage vows and raising children together, then breaking those bonds when they separate.
You likely know whether religion or guilt plays a part here.
But without a will, he’s casting both of you adrift without important legal rights.
According to divorce laws in some legal jurisdictions, his wife would be the natural inheritor of all that he owns.
Also, his wife, not you, could hold sway on decisions about his health and medical treatment choices should he become mentally incompetent and/or physically incapacitated.
I suggest you insist that you both see a lawyer together to discuss the effects of his remaining without a will, and without power of attorney over property and health.
If he refuses, go yourself, learn the facts that apply where you two live, and tell him what it all means to each of you.
Once he knows the consequences of his doing nothing, you’ll know whether he can adjust his thinking about divorce OR wills.
If you then can’t accept his inertia, the wedge between you two isn’t going to go away.
Readers’ Commentary “I’m disappointed in the advice you give to people in abusive relationships.
“Cheating is abuse. Period. Yet your tip of the day on December 16, was "Distrusting your spouse ultimately destroys the relationship."
“I disagree. Cheating, lying and gaslighting destroys the relationship. Distrust is a natural instinct for survival. This woman wrote to you because she senses ongoing reasons to distrust.
“Those lied to by their partners and spouses waste years trying to fix the unfixable. Finding that your fiancé has arranged a hookup is strong evidence of a cheater.
“His saying that he didn’t go through with it is gaslighting. Cheaters carry on cheating because they feel entitled to do so.”
Ellie - Regular readers know that I don’t shy away from critical comments. But I do argue a point when its needed.
The letter-writer has since strongly warned her husband that even talking to another woman would end their relationship.
We don’t know if he cheated or not. But from my years of experience in this field: NOT everyone who’s cheated once, is “always a cheater.”
The wife’s expecting their first child. I suggested that, for now, she focus on that important event, and then, if still uncertain, get couples’ counselling.
That’s where she’ll either discover the truth or find that she cannot trust him again, whatever he says.
My “tip of the day” signalled that if she cannot trust him, the marriage will end.
FEEDBACK Regarding students being distracted by others when in class:
“As a teacher I see this all the time. School boards provide free high-speed access and parents give their children the phone. There’s little I can do to stop it.
“My own daughter sometimes can't extricate herself from the clutches of other kids on social media.
“I have one technique that works not just with cellphones, but also with disruptive desk-partners who’ll react negatively if the student terminates the contact or moves desks to a less distracting location.
“I talk to the student and have them deliberately get caught so I can put on a ruse like this: "That’s it, I already talked to your parents and you were warned.
“Now, I want you up at the front of the classroom, and please take your cellphone to your locker now!”
“This gets the kid out of the social jam and transfers the blame to me.”
Tip of the day:
When a partner refuses to divorce his/her past spouse, serious legal problems can arise.