I’m 48, divorced, in a second marriage with a man I love. We dated online for six months, met in person twice, met each other’s families (we both have adult children), and started our life together.
He moved here two years ago. I sold my former home and we bought a condo in a suburban community we both love.
Our only difficulties come from our different backgrounds.
He held a very responsible job, and was “head” of his extended family. His brothers, nephews, even friends, all sought his advice.
I’d grown up with an older sister and brother who protected me, and made me feel capable at whatever I tried.
Our problem is that my husband believes that as “the man of the house,” his opinions hold more weight than mine.
Example: Recently, I replaced our dishwasher because the one that came with the condo had already been in use for 10 years and broke down twice. Repairs were expensive.
When I told my husband I’d ordered a new dishwasher, he got angry, asking prices and where else I’d looked. I said I’d send it back, he could wash the dishes himself.
He cooled down, I apologized, but it’s left an uneasy feeling between us. How do I end the “cold war” over a dishwasher?
Our Marriage Standoff
Make love, not war. The dishwasher isn’t worth the battle.
You already understand your different responses. And you can both expect other areas of opposite views. So, discuss, not argue potential solutions to a problem. Then agree on the least problematic answer.
Now, look for a new dishwasher together at several appliance stores, then decide as a team. Crisis resolved. Love wins.
My husband and his older brother (three years) are in their 70s. The brother hadn’t visited us from America in 12 years, then arrived for a week.
Despite my husband’s health issues, we assured our home was cozy and well-stocked. We planned mini road trips, went out for lunch and dinner, had good meals at home.
However, when I went out shopping alone, the two had a terrible argument. Both apologized. Two days later, another argument and apologies.
I felt my brother-in-law has serious animosity toward my husband, who’s had two cancers plus other health issues. His brother’s told me that those issues are all “in his head.”
Also, he kept texting his ex-wife and, again privately told only me to stay in touch with him and his ex-wife via email and phone.
I found this suspicious. They’ve previously had little to do with me.
I felt this may be part of a strategy to arm-chair bully my husband. After the first argument, my husband’s posture/demeanour changed. He said little, sitting with his shoulders slumped.
He said that his brother has lashed out/undermined him repeatedly in his life. We’ve had no contact with his brother since. We’re at a loss about what to do.
Hurtful Older Brother
It’s very sad for you and your husband to have discovered that long-ago bullying has reappeared between these aging brothers. After a 12-year lapsed connection, the sudden outbursts during a visit clearly frightened your husband.
Your suspicion about the brother and his ex-wife may be warranted.
Focus on your own needs to enjoy the life you have together. Your protective instincts are important in overriding his brother’s temper. And, whatever else that he and his ex may have in mind.
Readers Commentary Regarding the question asked last August, of “Where does Allure Come From?”
“Allure is based on self -confidence. It’s the subtle message which a person sends out, that conveys both words and meaning: “I don’t NEED you in my life but I would warmly welcome you there, if you want to come along on MY life journey.”
“I think that it comes from an independent mindset and a ton of self-confidence.
“It’s also the spark that makes a relationship interesting and fun, and that also constantly challenges each other to grow or be left behind.
“I believe that is the deeper meaning of ‘allure’ and that it has little to do with someone’s looks, figure or personal history.
“It’s heady stuff, and shows up in the oddest places, which surely makes for some strange couples.”
Ellie - Whether a powerful attraction, or a fascination with someone’s mysterious appeal, “allure” exists in the eyes of the beholder.
Tip of the day:
New relationships involving changed locations/backgrounds/family life require time and compromises to maintain their loving connection.