Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dear Maxy ,
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 ?
Caught Up
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 .

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