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Question
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-11-22

Divorce?

Dear Cybershrink
I am 32 years old and my husband is 41. We are both professional people and have two small children (1 and 3).
About a month ago I went to see an attorney to start divorce procedures. Being a friend of my husband, the attorney convinced me to wait with the suppoena on the condition that we go for counselling.
The three reasons I want a divorce are as follows:
1. We cannot communicate. I want to talk and sort matters out, but my husband lives with the firm belief that if you ignore something long enough, it will go away. This only causes issues to fester and cause resentment. I am always the one initaiting any form of communication whereas he prefers to walk away, ignore me, give me the silent treatment and create such a negative atmosphere with his atttitude that I think my children and I are better off away from him. I react to this by getting overly emotional, which brings me to the following problem:
2. Our method for handling conflict is a mess. Again, he ignores and just does NOTHING. This frustrates me so much that I attack in resentment and anger. He can never address the issue, but responds with remarks such as: " Yes, I am such an asshole"  and other snotty remarks not pertinent to the issue, but only meant to aggravate me further. I feel that he can only break things down, but never contribute to rebuilding or repairing anything.
3. Financial worries. In 2001 he chose to invest in a family enterprise with his father and brothers. This " investment"  is our family' s biggest (by far) monthly expense, yet it does not meet or fullfil any of our needs as a family. Shitty investment that has not yielded a single dividend in 8 years! It is a dead loss and has only cost vast amounts of money, but my husband refuses to tell his brothers and father that he wants to dissolve the partnership. The business provides each of them with FREE very luxurious homes. We are the only family that has NO benefit whatsoever. I used to earn a big salary and simply made up for the shortfall in our family out of my earnings. My job required me to travel alot and with our young babies, I had to resign. I am now building my own practice whilst trying to run the household and care for my childrend. The pressure is IMMENSE. I am worried that the first seven years of my childrens'  lives will pass under these stressful circumstances, but my hnusband prefers to work long hours to subsidise the households of his father and brother. My childrens'  nephews and nieces are reaping the rewards that are rightfully theirs. All this can change in an instant, but my husband refuses to leave the family business that puts us in this position. In my opinion it clearly shows his priorities and that us, his family, and our needs are not important to him. I resent him for this as I warned him when they bought the business.

Anyway, as I said the above are the reasons I wanted a divorce. He promised we could go for councelling, but guess what? I made the first appointment and that was it - he did nothing, not another appointment, did not sit for a good talk as the counsellor advised - as always he sits back and waits for me to do something.

I exploded today after a luch with his parents and brother about something (perhaps) mundane. I am just so sick and tired and full of anger and resentment that I can spontanteously combust!!!! He reacts to this by being his passive self and hiding in the childrens'  company to avoid discussing the problem. He just puts on his " unhappy face"  and walks around not talking and creating an unbearable atmosphere at home. I hate this! I want a happy home where we can talk to each other and build a future together. I am sick of this childish passive agressive behaviour (I don' t get angry, I get even attitude). May I add that his parents'  marriage is a farce and that 2.5 out of his 3 siblings are divorced? ... ...
Is there any hope? Or should I leave as soon as possible?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Were you NEVER able to communicate as a couple, or did you lose thism skill ? COuples counselling could help to regain it. If he wants to improve things, he coul;d improve the way he handles the issues you mention. You can jointly learn better ways of handling conflicts and challenges.
the investment thing sounds very dodgy especially if the others are drawing profits out of the deal, but not your family. Your husband surely should not be working to subsidize others in the family while his own family suffers.
There should be hope, but only if he takes the issues seriously, and sincerely works with you and the counsellor to find and implement and continue, potential solutions. Otherwise, maybe divorce would suit you better, if he's not brave enough to face solving the problems.

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Our users say:
Posted by: March | 2009-11-23

I think if he feels obligated into giving at his wife and children' s expense, he is not thinking straight. Of course his family knows his weaknesses and are using it to their advantage. You should find a strategy that is more meaningful than theirs and perhaps tone from being being confrontational to matter-of-fact. Also, at family get togethers you can participate to establish how they operate and ask questions, with a lovely smile to them (in front of him)..perhaps they dont realise the damage they are causing.

I have made peace with the fact that my husband will never change, he is not bad or stupid, just smart but laidback personality type who I have to manipulate sometimes for the greater good of our family and his own good. I am always one step ahead and unfortunately that requires a lot of effort. I dont want to cope alone with my kids and risk a stepdad, face rebellion and childhood difficulites alone AND earn a living.

However, if your husband is being spiteful, then you have a big decision to make, but if its just a personality issue, perhaps a professional can also help.

Reply to March
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-11-23

Thanks to all for your advice and encouragement. I have made an appointment to see a psychologist this afternoon. Unfortunately, it will again be just me... ...
I am very frightened and worried about how I will cope alone and how a divorce will affect the children.
I agree that it is differences in personality type.
It is uber frustrating that he cannot foresee any of the problems we are heading for. At the moment I am the one making the biggest mistakes. Before I can stop and think, I catch myself acting like a real witch. I regret this.
Problem is that my family is far and his is unbearably close. He has all the support and I am alone. At family get togethers they sit and talk and reinforce their " groupthink"  en twisted norms.
I hope and pray that we can make this and sort the issues out. My husband is a very intelligent person - I just wish he did not use his talents to be mean, but rather to rebuild.
Thanks again girls.
Please let me know how things are now working for you? Does it help to " frighten him into reality"  March? How are you doing on your own CJT, better?

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: March | 2009-11-23

I have a husband like that, and we have been through all the stuff you mention, i got aggro, screamed shouted, even broke a plate or two, left him, he cried begged me to come back, I threatened divorce, etc. The problem is they dont see what you see, and you have to find a strategy that works. With mine I have learnt to convince him by giving him examples of worst case scenarios and paint them as probable realities. I always exaggerate and this seems to shock him into doing what I need him to do. Please dont take this the wrong way, but I find this happens in marriages where the one is a bit smarter than the other one (you are in this case). especially women, who have strong intuition, are logical and are able to see a problem before it lands in their lap. The problem is if you stay married you have to explain things in detail with some shock factors built into your conversation.
Alternatively, if you divorce, will you cope alone with such small children? Have you got family and friends who are RELIABLE to help without fail?
Only you can decide if its worth all the trouble.

I think it is a personality type.

Reply to March
Posted by: CJT | 2009-11-23

Amazing, I left my Fiance and 2 kids a month ago for the exact same reasons, SO annoying when someone does not have the skill to work through a problem with adult conversation and without being childish or manipulative.

Good luck to you girl

Reply to CJT
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009-11-22

Were you NEVER able to communicate as a couple, or did you lose thism skill ? COuples counselling could help to regain it. If he wants to improve things, he coul;d improve the way he handles the issues you mention. You can jointly learn better ways of handling conflicts and challenges.
the investment thing sounds very dodgy especially if the others are drawing profits out of the deal, but not your family. Your husband surely should not be working to subsidize others in the family while his own family suffers.
There should be hope, but only if he takes the issues seriously, and sincerely works with you and the counsellor to find and implement and continue, potential solutions. Otherwise, maybe divorce would suit you better, if he's not brave enough to face solving the problems.

Reply to cybershrink

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