I’m 33, my wife’s 30. We have two beautiful girls - a five-year-old and a nine-month-old baby. My wife has another daughter, 13, from before we met (six years ago).
We didn't take long before moving in together, so didn’t know very much about each other.
She kept a secret from me despite my inquiring about her academic qualifications. I have a diploma and am working.
After we married two years ago, she revealed to me that she didn't complete high school.
Since then, things have never been the same for me and between us.
I asked her why she’d lied to me all that time and she said she was afraid I’d leave her.
Recently, I discovered through a mutual friend that she’s bought a piece of land somewhere, despite the fact she's a stay-at-home mom.
The lies are escalating, and I feel we won’t end up well.
What should I do?
Upset by Lies
Her first “lie” to you was actually a withholding of information more than untruth. It came from embarrassment and fear.
By questioning her education, you stressed your own diploma accomplishment and similar expectation of her.
Meanwhile, she’d moved in with you bringing a child, and got pregnant in that first year. It’s no surprise that she feared confessing a truth about which she knew you’d disapprove.
Now, she’s at home raising a flourishing family of daughters - which takes a lot of work!!
So, why does her fear that she’ll lose you still loom so large? Perhaps because you still “blame her” for her choice to leave school years ago... when maybe she had no other choice.
The property purchase is far more disturbing, but also more a matter of secrecy rather than a lie.
There’s the question of where the money came from... her family? A savings account from working before she had three children?
If there’s a source you just didn’t know about, consider again whether she’s bought the land for security in case you leave her.
Your situation sounds more complicated than it need be, if you can try to talk beyond just asking questions and labelling her a liar.
If you have any regard for her, and want your family to stay together, especially during these harder times of a pandemic, forget the “education” issue.
Tell her you’re concerned about her buying land and need to know the reason and where the money came from. If she says she felt you’d leave her, reassure her that wasn’t your plan (or was it?).
There’s been too much unsaid between you two, and it’s escalated a situation where she’s afraid to tell you things, and you suspect the worst.
You can do better as a couple and family, if you listen and try to understand each other.
I’m late 60’s, female. My valued male friend of 35-plus years is early-70’s and a “collector.”
I’ve asked him repeatedly to discontinue gifting me with “stuff” that he now wants rid of (he knows I’ve been purging my own stuff). But he continues.
I now feel bullied/stressed because he so blatantly disregards /disrespects my wishes. Yet I fear his predictable indignation and shunning. Please help.
Compliment your “friend” on his collectibles and say you fully identify with the need for paring down. That’s why you’re donating your joint items to a charitable bazaar which will hopefully occur in the spring and raise money for people in need.
Any further bullying or indignation would indicate he’s no longer a true “friend.”
Recently, a friend forwarded to me yet another helpful email about recovering from grief.
While appreciating his gesture, I’m getting angry about the content.
My wife died the day before COVID-19 restrictions went into effect. Nine months later, I'm still getting advice, from places like a webpage from Harvard Medical School, saying that I shouldn’t sit at home moping.
I should get out. Visit old friends. Make new friends. Go out for dinner. Join a badminton club/a fitness gym. Start a hobby I can practice with friends. Join a church or a choir. Go dancing....
All activities currently prohibited under pandemic lockdowns.
It’s worse than useless to send even well-intentioned advice that cannot be followed.
Your friends care about you. They’ll see you when they can but encourage you now to anticipate an active life again.
Your wish to actually engage with people is healthy. That time is coming... stay positive.
Tip of the day:
Couples need to talk together - not interrogate, suspect, and label.