My marriage of seven years was mostly good in the beginning, then he started to be controlling. I told him that I loved him and him only and wouldn’t accept that behaviour.
He became more attentive and things were okay for a while.
However, he’s poor with managing his money, very untrustworthy (though hasn’t cheated), and lies about everything.
He’s impulsive, a poor communicator, poor provider, has a terrible temper, and has no patience.
I’d delude myself: "He's a sweet guy, loves me, has much potential."
I convinced him to sign a separation agreement, to get him to change.
He’s assured me that he would. No change.
I’m soon filing the separation agreement with the courts. In our State you must be one-year separated to get a divorce.
Should I use this year to see if he changes, or just move on?
Seven Year Itch
A seventh-year slump in marital happiness isn’t uncommon.
It’s the average time by which “real” life – e.g. finances, raising kids - has dented the romantic dream about marriage.
Since you don’t mention any children, this turning point is left between just you two.
But annoyance with your husband’s controls, lies, temper, etc. don’t fall into the restless “itch” category.
You have long-standing issues here and a husband who does nothing about them.
Yet you still wonder if you should delay “moving on” for a year.
I’d say yes only if he gets counselling about these negative behaviours. If he makes real change efforts, you can give the marriage another try.
Meanwhile, getting your own counselling will help you recognize whatever you may’ve contributed to the situation and/or whether you already need to end it.
My husband and I are extremely supportive and loving to each other and to our “blended family” adult sons/stepsons.
However, we disagree on whether it’s appropriate to encourage or push adult children to move forward in their careers.
We’re retired attorneys, who each put ourselves through undergrad and law school.
All four sons are now late 20’s and early 30’s. Two completed college, have solid jobs, and generally make sound financial decisions.
The other two dropped out of college, have been excellent, but underpaid bartenders for almost ten years (no benefits).
We never interfere with their decisions. Still, I feel strongly that my husband should sit down with these two (of his) sons and forcefully advise them to seek more solid employment opportunities, finish school, talk with a career counselor, etc.
He believes that only gentle prodding is appropriate and helpful, but would agree that if a financial problem arose, they’d probably ask us for assistance.
I’ve always talked more frankly with my own son, and I tend to be more outspoken with these two stepsons. Still, I’m not their mother and don’t wish to offend them.
He’s their father. No matter how close and supportive you are to these stepsons, it’s his decision how he deals with them.
“Forcefully” advising them is not in his nature or core beliefs. They’d know that the pressure is really coming from you.
Despite being a supportive, loving blended family, that push from you could create a breach between you and them, and also affect your marriage.
Will you ever need to help those sons with finances? Very possibly, but even successful adult kids sometimes have reverses and need help. Also, their father has a right to advance some of his resources, if he wishes.
My advice: Back off this divisive issue.
FEEDBACK Regarding the 65-year-old Democrat who’s “seething at Republicans” (June 4):
Reader – “If Dad feels the brunt of someone “seething,” he’s correct to leave the scene. Especially to avoid a silly, family political argument.
“If this senior-aged child can’t get a grip on the fact that all rightfully have their own political opinions, then he/she needs therapy for a reality check.
“The biggest problem today in politics isn’t the opposing opinions, which have always existed. It’s the lack of tolerance.
“I’m not registered with any political party, but am conservative and have voted for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents during my 70 years.”
Ellie – I wrote that my answer was about the relationship, not their political battle.
Yes, you’re correct that there’s growing intolerance in today’s political discussions. It was even evidenced in a reference, which I omitted in all feedbacks on this matter, because it continues to separate people, not resolve differences.
Tip of the day:
Barring physical or emotional abuse, marriage is worth the time/effort of counselling, until you’re certain it isn’t.