Thursday, January 16, 2014
I'm a divorced woman who was married to a self centered man for 30 years . He often told me that if I thought there was something better out there to not let the door hit me on my way out. I finally took him up on it and it turned out to be the best advice he ever gave me .
For the past three years, I've been dating "Ted", also divorced . He is smart and successful, and we are perfect together in every way. here is the problem: Ted is not ready to marry. He told me his marriage ended because there was no passion . He fears if we live together, the physical attraction we feel for each other will die .
Ted and I spend weekends together and travel often, but then he goes home to his house . I don't want to live alone for the rest of my life. But if Ted isn't ready after three years, I doubt he ever will be . Is it time for me to walk ?
Thought I Found The One
Dear Thought ,
Ted may be skittish about commitment but that is his issue and he is making it yours .Some women are perfectly content with a no-strings relationship with someone they find compatible . But if you are looking for marriage, you will have to set Ted free and look elsewhere . I realize you put a lot of effort, energy and emotion into this relationship but if the end results makes you unhappy and anxious, Ted is not the right person for you .
Dear Maxy ,
I must reply to all the mother-in-laws who write to you and can't understand why they are treated so unfairly . My mother-in-law has been incredibly mean to me from the first time I met her . She does not include me in many family functions . She promises my children outings and never follows through .
This has gone on for years now and I would rather not have any contact with her . My husband feels I should be the "better person" and just ignore her behavior. But Maxy, I can only do this for so long before the better course is to simply walk away .
The Other Side of The Story
Dear Other Side ,
Has your husband stood up for you with his family ? Does he say, "My wife must be invited to these family functions or I will not attend ?" Does he tell his mother that the children no longer believe her promises and it hurts her relationship with them ? If he thinks sweeping Mom's behavior under the rug will make things better, he is mistaken . It is cowardly . Mom will learn to respect you as a member of her family if her son makes it clear to her that this is not optional and there are clear consequences . I cannot guarantee that she will change her tune , but I can absolutely assure you that if your husband does not do these things, nothing will ever improve and you are right to limit contact .
Dear Maxy ,
My husband and I have been arguring nonstop for months . We tried counseling for a while, but it didn't seem to do any good for us . I realize that if we can't figure out a way to communicate better with each other, we are destined to be miserable forever or split. What's worse is that we have two young children who have taken to arguing a lot with each other and with us . We are a horrible example for them . Everything seems to set my husband and me off . Still, I don't want to get a divorce . I want the arguing to end . Ideas ?
Dear Caught Up ,
You may want to consider going back to the therapist or finding another one that you both feel more comfortable working with . If you belong to a spiritual community, consider marital counseling through that vehicle .
The point is for you to get professional support to help the two of you learn how to deal with your issues in a way that is less hostile .
Right now, you can schedule a time to talk with your husband . Make an appointment that you both agree to honor . Tell your husband how you feel about your marriage these days . Ask him if he is willing to try again to get support to work on your challenges . Pledge to do your best to be kinder to him . Whenever you notice that you are being harsh, stop yourself . You can even say to your husband that you realize you fell into an old pattern . Learn to laugh when you notice yourself going down the wrong path . This can help you both restart without feeling angry or guilty .