My husband and I have had a strained marriage for some time. It all started around my young son’s birthday, when we got into a huge fight.
He called me names, followed me around screaming in my face, until a relative came and removed him from the house.
I filed for divorce and he became mean and rude to me and my children.
Two years later, we’ve recently reconnected but all we did was talk about how to fix our marriage. Neither one of us acted on it.
We discussed counseling but he never tried to find a therapist that we both agreed on.
I’ve tried to move past the mean things he said, but he’s still mean and makes inappropriate comments, like accusing me of dressing nicer because there were workmen near our house.
I hate that he makes comments like that and have asked him repeatedly to stop. But I don't think that he understands that words hurt.
I love him but not the way I did before that first fight. What should I do?
Lonely and Hurt
His burst of anger from a seemingly small disagreement about a child’s birthday, cries out for anger management therapy.
Add his mean putdowns of you and, frankly, it sounds worrisome for you to accept him back unless he’s pursuing a commitment to change through professional help.
Do the research yourself and find an anger management specialist as well as a couple’s counsellor.
If he refuses both, there’s too big a risk that this is a relationship that will cause you more pain.
If he attends, stay with the counselling until you feel certain you can give him another chance.
Remember: Loneliness is a situation you can change over time. Abuse is a crime that can seriously and permanently harm you and your children.
I was married to a wonderful man for 27 years. He was 17-years older than me, with an adult son and daughter.
In his later years he told me, “You’re not responsible for my children.”
When he was dying ten years ago, he told his son that he was leaving the house and money to me.
His son was unhappy, and we parted ways. I took him out of my will.
I still have my stepdaughter and two grandchildren in my will.
Three years after my husband’s passing, I started a new relationship. He moved in with me two years ago and shares expenses.
He’s concerned that if I pre-decease him, he’d be put out of the house (we’re mid-to-late 70s).
I’m contemplating a codicil to my will that says he can stay here, should I die, for as long as he needs.
Some people say, “He has the means to move on if he has to.” But don’t we owe each other something?
And, how much do I have to be responsible for my husband’s kids and our grandkids?
You don’t “owe him” on behalf of this still-short late-life relationship, and shouldn’t feel pressured, especially since he can afford to relocate when necessary.
You don’t “owe” children and grandchildren money, but they’re your family of 27 years for your stepdaughter and grandchildren now likely young adults.
Consideration for your current partner can be covered by adding permission for him to stay in the house for a set period – say, three years – after your passing, or until he has another partner.
Talk to your lawyer about that possible approach.
I’m wondering how to cut off a friend whom I no longer like.
For years, I’ve heard her repeated stories about how she’s always been right and her ex-boyfriends always wrong, twisting facts to make her look good, and others “stupid,” etc.
Yet she’s very caring about me (she’s the type who brings soup when she hears you’re sick), and she’s been a friend since college days.
How do I handle this?
Dump a Friend?
Distance gently. The soup deliveries show her valuing you in her life. You don’t want to be mean (or you wouldn’t have written).
When you next meet in person, interrupt an old story. Tell her that it’s time to move on; no one wants to hear past woes any more. If she can’t get over the past, she needs professional counselling.
You’d be doing her a favour. It could even improve the friendship if counselling helps her.
Tip of the day:
Don’t accept repeated angry outbursts and meanness from a partner. Insist on him/her getting anger management therapy or leaving.