My husband and I haven’t been getting along for years. I’m choosing to stay for the children’s sake, but am unsure why he’s staying.
I have a graduate degree in social work, so I know the pros and cons of splitting or remaining together as it relates to the overall well being of the children, as well as for him and me.
We had counselling, but, to be effective, both parties must believe in it.
Now, my husband’s latest criticism is the last straw. He accused me of “benefiting from his parents’ wealth.” I’ve always espoused to a simple life, with minimal personal possession. I tried to explain to my husband that I was merely participating in the worldwide tradition of gift giving at birthdays and Christmas.
I’m now considering asking my in-laws to refrain from giving me gifts in future. I wouldn’t implicate my husband in the explanation, as my goal is to preserve their relationship with their son.
I’d be doing this to avoid any further misunderstandings of me by him, but mostly I’d be doing it to uphold my PRIDE.
Remember the old adage about pride going before “a fall”? In this case, the “fall” would occur in your own relationship with your in-laws, who’d likely not understand and even be hurt by your request.
It’s unkind and unnecessary to drag them into this bitter union you and your husband maintain. If you often deal with each other in this manner – his gratuitous criticisms, your overreactions, and mutual pettiness – surely the household tension is NOT contributing to the well being of your children or anyone else.
Since you know that counselling can be beneficial, I recommend you go on your own and get professional help to re-think why you’re staying together, and how to handle it better or change course.
Recently, I was a member of a psychotherapy support group for people suffering from depression along with another chronic medical condition. We met weekly over ten weeks; everyone agreed to share contact information, including e-mail address and telephone number. I’ve kept in social contact with one member, since.
Regarding another member, I felt we have some things in common, and also was genuinely concerned about him because he spoke about some acute health problems. I sent him a cheerful email, and, since we live close to each other, I proposed that we could go for a drink sometime at a local tavern. The response was polite, but unenthusiastic.
He didn’t respond to my last message so I let contact lapse. But, by complete coincidence, I frequently bump into him on the street. I believe that I should acknowledge him in some way.
Recently, I greeted him and exchanged simple pleasantries, but deliberately kept our interaction short.
What’s the proper etiquette for how I should handle these incidents?
Be polite, but not pushy. It would be rude to ignore this person, and there’s no reason to do so. But coincidental contact doesn’t suggest familiarity either, so a short, pleasant exchange is the best way to go.
Support groups are often very effective and helpful during the therapy process; however, they don’t automatically imply friendship. Some people feel that the revelations in-group are too intimate for a later relationship.
Also, the nature of the shared conditions – depression and a chronic health problem – are highly personal, and this person may wish privacy.
Don’t consider it a personal rejection.
None of our father's family plan attending my sister’s wedding.
Since Dad died four years ago, there’s been little family contact, unless initiated by us. We’ve felt hurt - Dad was devoted to his parents and generous to his siblings.
The groom has a large family coming from all over; keen to meet my sister's family. How do we explain that our relatives, who live nearby, are too busy or disinterested?
Should I speak to my grandmother or aunts and uncles beforehand?
- Matron of Honour
Your role in the wedding party gives you the acceptable opportunity to “check in” on the family - especially your grandmother - and inquire personally if they’re attending.
Without blaming them for past lax contact, say how important it is to you and your sister to have them present, representing Dad.
But if they still hold back, join the groom’s family in celebrating the marriage heartily.
Tip of the day:
Living together in conflict and tension is often counter-productive to the goal of family unity.