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Thread: Family vs. Sun? Which would you choose?

  1. #1
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    Family vs. Sun? Which would you choose?

    Seeking some advice on my marriage because I honestly canít tell if its salvageable anymore. Iíll try to keep it brief but like most of us, thereís a lot to itÖ
    Married for 10 years, 3 kids (5,7,9), but about 3 years ago my wife began to change, becoming angry easily, being aggressive when we disagreed (by aggressive I mean screaming, stomping, pounding furniture with her fists, slamming doors and cabinets, etc). We began to fight a lot and about everything, my family (whom she doesnít like although she has never said that and mostly tries to get along). In particular one of my brothers, who I cosigned student loans for. He dropped out, defaulted, and didnít repay them. I had to fix them so we could buy a house, which I did with some money left by my grandfather. I was pissed at him for a while, but heís my brother and I forgave him. She did not. He has apologized, even sent her a letter (she demanded it) to apologize. But I still cannot bring him up without making her angry. When we have family get togethers (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) she gets mad if he is involved. She skipped out on his wedding because of a work trip, while I took the kids myself.
    We also fought about private school, which I think is an unnecessary expense. After many fights and her explaining that education was the most important thing to her, I relented. The school is great but soooo expensive. So money is tight.
    After the school was settled, things returned to normal for a while but her mood went downhill again. She was angry a lot and easily. She said she felt unsettled and that we needed to buy a house and put down roots. So we did.
    After we bought a house, things returned to normal for a while (about 6 months) and then she became worried about everythingÖNorth Korea had nukes, Donald Trump got elected, we didnít have enough money to go on long vacations overseas that she craved, so on and so on. About 2 years after buying the house she announced that we should sell everything and travel the world for a year. I said that I donít want to do that for a number of reasons, but we could go to some part of the world for a couple weeks every year (or every other year as our money is tight) to show the kids the world. She gave me an ultimatum that either we travel the world for a year or move to Hawaii.
    We live near DC, and our entire family lives within a dayís drive, mostly in the NY/NJ/PA area. Sheís an only child and her parents live in NYC. They are in their 90ís. My parents are in their 70s. I believe strongly in family am close to my brothers and sister and my parents, and it is more important to me to live near them, than to live in a particular place. I offered to draw a circle around where her folks live that would be a five hour drive and we could move anywhere in that circle.
    She has convinced herself that Hawaii with its sun and laid back life style is the only thing that can help her feel better. Her health had deteriorated as well especially in the last year. Nothing serious. At one point she told me she thought she might die in the next year, and she wanted to spend her last days in Hawaii. She says, lets move to Hawaii for a couple of years and see how it goes. Then we can discuss moving someplace else. But I donít want to move every couple years and I definitely donít want that for the kids, who have friends in their expensive private school. Its not fair to them.
    I think she has anxiety and/or depression but she wonít see anyone for it. She says a sunny climate will fix everything. I am very stoic and not easily angered by things, even when she is yelling and screaming. I tried to get her to couple counseling but she gets angry and refuses. I went to therapy myself for a while and my therapist helped me see that she was manipulative and verbally abusive. Well, you get the gistÖ.am I not giving my marriage everything if I donít move to Hawaii? I hate the idea of my kids growing up in a divorced home, and being unprotected from her anger and depression (which I fear will be focused on them if I am not here to absorb it.)

    I fear if I give in and move with her, that things will not change, and we will end up divorced in a place far from our family and friends where I will be forced to live to split time with the kids. If I divorce now, I at least stand a better chance of having that support network around. Ideally, she would get mental health help and we could find a place to live that we both wanted. What am I to do?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Have you and she actually gone to Hawaii to see if you both like it there? A vacation there might show her that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

    She does sound restless, depressed and anxious. If she won't go to therapy, then you should go as your kids are more important than where you live.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    OP, to be truthful she sounds rather unhinged.

    "my wife began to change, becoming angry easily, being aggressive when we disagreed (by aggressive I mean screaming, stomping, pounding furniture with her fists, slamming doors and cabinets, etc)."

    This makes for sad reading:

    "I hate the idea of my kids growing up in a divorced home, and being unprotected from her anger and depression (which I fear will be focused on them if I am not here to absorb it.)"



    Don't even contemplate knuckling down under her bullying ways, and most certainly do not move to Hawaii or anywhere else.

    And this is pure emotional blackmail:

    " At one point she told me she thought she might die in the next year, "

    Of course she won't visit a psychiatrist or psychologist for her serious issues, because she knows full well what she is going to hear. It is easier to bully you.

    This is not looking good, OP.

    I hesitate to ask, but surely there were signs before you married of what is now, essentially, the real her?

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    Thanks. No doubt there were signs but I did not see them. I think she hid them well and her issues were perhaps not as strong then. Or she just controlled them better.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Matty.

    You ask:

    "What am I to do?"

    And I can only reply:

    "What are you going to do?"

    No sunny climate will fix her, and I feel you know this.

    There is a saying:

    "Wherever you go, there you are".

    Unless she addresses her considerable issues, and it looks like she doesn't want to do so, then you may find you have to start addressing the practicalities of a divorce.

    "Or she just controlled them better."

    No, OP, she just hid them better.
    Last edited by LaHermes; 09-04-2020 at 09:42 AM.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Your therapist is correct that she is manipulative and abusive. If she is going so far as to hit things like furniture, I hate to tell you this, but it's only a matter of time before she hits you as well.

    Your children aren't oblivious to her abuse and as much as you think you are shielding them, the real shield would be divorce and full custody. So please talk to a very good lawyer or two on how to go about that. You will need documentation about her rages and even recordings of it to convince the courts. Do not tell her you want a divorce until you have all your ducks in a row. Get the best professional guidance on that you can get. Your children are already living in a toxic broken home. Divorce would actually make it less toxic.

    You already know from experience that appeasing her only works for a few months before she starts demanding something else. Her "happiness" is a moving target and because it is always moving, you can never succeed. Btw, that's also part of abuse - constantly moving targets so you can never succeed at whatever the abuser is demanding and thus giving them reason to continue to abuse and put blame on you for it. Neat little psychological trick. Bottom line is that abusers never change - they will pretend, even go to therapy for a bit, but the deeply rooted entitlement cannot be erased. These people can't be fixed because deep down they don't believe they are wrong, they think they are entitled to do whatever they wish.

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    She sounds bipolar. Running between wanting roots put down, expensive schooling for kids, to insisting on moving away from family to Hawaii?

    Do NOT do it!

    Instead, she needs to get evaluated for a mood disorder by a professional.

    And, you need to protect yourself and your family from her rages.

    If she draws a line in the said over this, then let her cross it.

    Prepare yourself for what is coming.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Flagging DF's post. Please read and re-read it OP.

    "Your therapist is correct that she is manipulative and abusive. If she is going so far as to hit things like furniture, I hate to tell you this, but it's only a matter of time before she hits you as well.

    Your children aren't oblivious to her abuse and as much as you think you are shielding them, the real shield would be divorce and full custody. So please talk to a very good lawyer or two on how to go about that. You will need documentation about her rages and even recordings of it to convince the courts. Do not tell her you want a divorce until you have all your ducks in a row. Get the best professional guidance on that you can get. Your children are already living in a toxic broken home. Divorce would actually make it less toxic.

    You already know from experience that appeasing her only works for a few months before she starts demanding something else. Her "happiness" is a moving target and because it is always moving, you can never succeed. Btw, that's also part of abuse - constantly moving targets so you can never succeed at whatever the abuser is demanding and thus giving them reason to continue to abuse and put blame on you for it. Neat little psychological trick. Bottom line is that abusers never change - they will pretend, even go to therapy for a bit, but the deeply rooted entitlement cannot be erased. These people can't be fixed because deep down they don't believe they are wrong, they think they are entitled to do whatever they wish."


    And I second what Jim says too.

  10. #9
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    Bi-Polar Symptoms usually start in your late 20's early 30's and, I normally never say this, but she is not well mentally. Her impulsivity, her lack of regard for her kids and you...it's all about her. Please note each time she makes irrational demands with dates.

    Do not be afraid of divorce. Kids thrive in consistent environments - not ones that changes every few months. And you have no idea what she is saying or doing to them when you are at work or away from the house.

    Bi-Polar is not like manic depression where you are up and down. You could be up for months with Bi-Polar and down for months or more. And don't think you need to fix her. If she doesn't believe in help, then it doesn't matter how much you carry her - she needs to be able to get herself treatment and stay on it.

    Do not lay there and think it will get better. It's progressively getting worse. I would not move (period). Tell her she can visit for a few weeks on her own, and see what parts she likes. And while she's away, talk to a lawyer. This is not a call for couples therapy. She's unwell. So even if you gave her everything and anything, she will still find a way to soon hate it and blame you all for it.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Your wife is beyond flighty and unreasonable.

    You've answered your own dilemma regarding divorcing now and at least standing a better chance of having a support network. Do that if you've exhausted all other avenues.

    I've heard a lot of firsthand insider information from friends regarding Hawaii and I've traveled to Hawaii numerous times.

    If you live in Hawaii and you're not from the islands, it takes approximately 10+ years before you're fully accepted in their community. Hawaiians are wary and not fond of "outsiders" or "mainland-ers" until you've resided there for a number of years.

    Also, it's very expensive to live in Hawaii.

    Their produce at grocery stores always look awful because everything is shipped or flown from the mainland. Fruit and veggies look rough by the time it reaches Hawaii. Food is expensive in Hawaii.

    Even though it's sunny in Hawaii, it rains a lot and the weather is HUMID so be prepared for tropical, sticky, hot, sweaty, wet weather.

    Hawaii is wonderful if you're on vacation and live at a high end hotel resort.

    My friend's in-laws live in Hawaii and they always have a chronic mildew and mold problem in their house due to year round HUMID weather despite constant housecleaning.

    People who don't live in Hawaii don't have this insider first account information.

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