My husband and I have been together 15 years; we’re both retired. This is a second marriage for both of us and we each have children from our previous marriages. We keep separate bank accounts and have always split expenses.
Recently, my husband received a very large inheritance. He split half between his children and invested the other half. He wants to buy a boat and expects me to pay for half. He wants to go to Australia for two months and expects me to pay for my share. I don't have that kind of money.
I am bitter and hurt that he won't share his inheritance, or at least some of it, with me. When I tried to talk to him about it, he said that money is for our future. We’re in our mid-60s. Am I being unreasonable to think he should share with me?
I am so unhappy now that I am thinking of leaving the marriage.
Hurt and confused
Fifteen years is a long relationship, with a strong base. This situation definitely calls for discussion between you and your husband.
His inheritance is money from his family, which he has every right to do with as he so pleases. I was happy to hear that he shared the wealth among his children, and he was smart to invest a large sum.
The question you have to ask him is, without the inheritance, would he still be buying the boat and going to Australia? If yes, then this is his bucket list and again, should be a discussion. And if you can’t afford to join him, or don’t want to join him, then he can go alone or with a friend.
If this purchase and trip came about thanks to the inheritance influx of cash, then he should just pay for you. Talk it all through with him before walking away from what you’ve created together.
I’m a dermatologist and earn a very good living. My husband is an electrician, specializing in theatres. The COVID pandemic was very tough on his business. After almost two years of no work, my husband fell from scaffolding, and broke his back. He’s been out of work since. I’m basically the main breadwinner.
I wouldn’t mind if he was helpful around the house, but he wasn’t before his back was broken and now, he physically can’t. He doesn’t even help with forms and permission slips for the children’s activities. He literally does nothing all day long!
It’s been a few months and now I’m convinced he’s depressed. He lies around all day, snacking on whatever’s in the house, never making a meal and balking whenever asked to do something. He’s well enough to take the dog for a walk, to do some light grocery shopping, some basic laundry and light tidying; however, he does none of the above.
I’ve been patient but I’m now exhausted. With kids back in school, programs in full swing, and back-to-back appointments, I am up at 6 a.m. and going strong until 11p.m. when I fall into my unmade bed.
I’m losing my mind. Help!
Balls to the Wall
You need to ask your husband for help, not me. And you need to lay it out for him, probably on paper. If he can’t work, he can’t work. But as you say, he can be useful. And by being useful, he’ll feel as though he has purpose. This might help with the depression.
But I also strongly suggest he seek help: medical for his back, and some form of therapy for his depression. In the meantime, lean on your family. Ask your parents and sibs for basic help, and lean on your friends.
Your husband will get better, it’ll just take time.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman uncomfortable with subtle racist comments (Aug. 30):
Reader – “The writer was seeking guidance as to how to be a good ally, mother and community member when confronted with subtle racism and racist micro-aggressions.
“Your response suggested she give herself a break for saying nothing, as everyone is sometimes faced with being in the middle of "something uncomfortable."
“The writer was asking advice on how to not engage in inevitably racist conversation that people start by saying, "I'm not a racist but..."
“A good response to offer would be holding up your hand with a laugh, and saying, ‘Then I'll stop you right there, as that's the only way you can achieve that right now....’ and change the subject, letting the would-be racist commenter know that you do not engage in subtle racism. The only thing racism needs is for good people to do nothing.”