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Divorce after over 30 years of marriage?


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40 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

 whenever I ask him how he feels about our marriage he says 'It's fine.  As far as I'm concerned, I don't see that there's anything that needs to change, apart from perhaps taking your mother out of the picture'. 

Ok, fine. Then stop nagging him. He's told you he's fine and doesn't want to deal with your family issues or hear about them. 

You need to get out more.  Are you retired/bored all day? 

Maybe he works because it keeps him busy, maybe he needs to get out of the house, etc.

 You need to do the same.  Volunteer and find more elevated things to do and think about than tearing him a new one  all the time. Maybe your complaining is contagious?

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4 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

He'd need to pull himself together.  I think you said your mother was 81. She'll be out of the picture soon enough.  

Where are his parents in all this?

 

Both of his parents have passed away.   His brother doesn't have much to do with anyone but his sister and her family are pleasant enough.

Yes, my mum is 81 now.  That's why I can't understand what difference it would make if he agreed to at least attend family events where she'll be.  I know that it's his choice whether to go or not, but it's hard for me to feel affection for him when he displays such anger and resentment. 

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7 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

He's told you he's fine and doesn't want to deal with your family issues or hear about them. 

Sorry you've lost me.  I don't have any family issues that he needs to hear about.

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11 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

I can't understand what difference it would make if he agreed to at least attend family events where she'll be.  

Stop dragging him along to these. It's causing too much friction. With respect, you seem quite obstinate about this point when the solution is very easy: let him stay home and get a breather from you.

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Thanks for your help and advice everyone.  I appreciate it.

I'd like to ask a final question to get some opinions on something that is fast approaching.  

(Background- I'm British but I live in Greece with my Greek husband)

My grand daughter is having a birthday party here in Greece.  No invitations are actually sent out but obviously every family member is welcome to go.  Her great grandmother (my mum) will be over here in Greece at the time.  She doesn't speak Greek and so always hears about family events like this through me.  My husband has said that he doesn't want to be around her.  She'll definitely want to go to the party but unless I tell her about it and drive her there she might not hear about it until afterwards. 

The answer might be obvious to some people but I'm really not sure what I should do here. 

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When it comes to your 81 year old mother, I'd put my foot down with hubby and demand basic civility. As we say here in the US, have the come to Jesus kind of a conversation with him along the lines of you don't care how much he hates her or how much his feelings are hurt by whatever, he WILL 100% respect his elders, especially your elderly mother and that's that. If he can't do that, he will be excluded from family gatherings and that's on him.

It's one thing to be briefly sympathetic to his whining episodes so you can cut that short, but it's quite another to tolerate boorish behavior toward important elder family members. Especially your mother who won't be around much longer.

There are times when you need to step back and be sympathetic, but that needs to be balanced with times where you need to be strong and put him in his place without question. Whining about cousin Bob is OK. Being a jerk to your mother is not. Draw some lines and be clear on what's what. It's called having boundaries. If that upsets him and makes him stay home and sulk, that's too bad.

It may also be a good idea to open your mouth and tell him the naked truth - his boorish behavior is driving you so far up the wall that you are ready to leave him. It sounds like you've danced around that, but never quite come out and said it so bluntly. Once you've tried everything else, consider that the naked truth is all you have left...along with boundaries that you communicate clearly and bluntly as well.

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Well people can't really change so yeah unfortunately I don't think he'll change. I guess the big question is how to make it work. I would recommend not asking him to go to too many family functions if he doesn't want to go. If you know it becomes an issue then why pressure him.

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10 hours ago, Meg1969 said:

My husband has said that he doesn't want to be around. 

Why create yet another battle about this? If he doesn't want to go, fine, let him stay home..

Invitations are not subpoenas and you need to get this through your head.

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11 hours ago, Meg1969 said:

Thanks for your help and advice everyone.  I appreciate it.

I'd like to ask a final question to get some opinions on something that is fast approaching.  

(Background- I'm British but I live in Greece with my Greek husband)

My grand daughter is having a birthday party here in Greece.  No invitations are actually sent out but obviously every family member is welcome to go.  Her great grandmother (my mum) will be over here in Greece at the time.  She doesn't speak Greek and so always hears about family events like this through me.  My husband has said that he doesn't want to be around her.  She'll definitely want to go to the party but unless I tell her about it and drive her there she might not hear about it until afterwards. 

The answer might be obvious to some people but I'm really not sure what I should do here. 

Let me add something to this.

My husband obviously gets to decide whether he does or doesn't want to go somewhere.  I've no intention of dragging him anywhere.   Please don't miss the point that he actually DOES want to attend these family events. Apart from my mum, everyone there is a member of HIS family.  In the past, all three of us (me, my husband and my mum) would go together.  But now each time there is one of these events (which could be quite often during the summer) I sort of have to decide whether or not I take my mum to them, knowing that if I do he will not attend even though he wants to.  Do I take her to all of them?  Some of them?  I want to be fair to everyone.  

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I would not put up with this BS.  Your mom is 81 and is your mom, and, you will only ever have one. The husband can be replaced.  I am of a similar age, Meg and have lots of friends married for as long as you.  One thing that could possibly improve things is if one of you became very ill.  I have witnessed couples who have had to deal with breast cancer or an organ transplant and it actually brought them closer together.  With the cancer example the husband really stepped up to the plate and after the wife's heath was restored, they really just appreciated being alive and had a “better” marriage until he died about 10 years later.

With the organ transplant example, the marriage improved and the couple had similar sentiments to above example for about 5 years after the transplant. On the other hand, most couples I know that have been married for 20-30 years, there is at least one of the two that is cheating.  I find it a bit shocking to have more married girlfriends cheating on their husbands (organ transplant/caregiver wife 5 years post transplant) than husbands cheating on wives. Oddly, cheating has kept couples I know together.  The cheater just gets what they need though someone outside the marriage. They stay married because they are fulfilled with someone else.

Of course you don’t wish an illness on yourself or am I suggesting you cheat. I simply observe what can restore a broken, long term marriage.

If I were you I would leave.  I would not want to spend the rest of my life with a miserable man who hates my mother. I also don’t believe in cheating. Life is short. Become your best self and do what is best for you. Women have a much greater age range of potential suitors since the last time you were dating, so don’t be afraid of being 50 and single.

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My father in law treated me badly/rudely in the years after my mother in law passed away -so this was for about 2 years.  But I wanted him to spend time with my son - they got along beautifully -an amazing relationship to watch (my son was only 7 when FIL passed away).  So when he came I'd leave - and it was fine - I'd have my "me time" so it didn't look like I was particularly avoiding him.  So your husband can do something similar -say a cordial hello to his mother in law then avoid interacting with her as much as possible.  Yes I get that he cannot leave entirely but maybe he can step outside for a walk ,etc to get some air if it gets too much.  Why does he have to interact with her much at all at these larger events?

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16 hours ago, Meg1969 said:

 She'll definitely want to go to the party but unless I tell her about it and drive her there she might not hear about it until afterwards. 

The answer might be obvious to some people but I'm really not sure what I should do here. 

Look, Meg. It is all relatively simple.  Let your husband stay at home. And I am well aware that you are not "dragging" your husband anywhere.  Indeed he sounds problematic, indeed paranoid re your mother, but that's another matter.

Keep it simple, Meg. Tell your husband that you understand he doesn't want to attend given that your mother (as she is perfectly entitled to do) will be attending the child's party.  So you go alone, or with whatever other members of his family as are going.

 

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Just now, LaHermes said:

It is all relatively simple.  Let your husband stay at home.

Agree. That would solve 50% of your marital problems. When people force families on each other or together it leads to friction. Just stop doing that.

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16 hours ago, DancingFool said:

he WILL 100% respect his elders, especially your elderly mother and that's that. If he can't do that, he will be excluded from family gatherings and that's on him.

It's one thing to be briefly sympathetic to his whining episodes so you can cut that short, but it's quite another to tolerate boorish behavior toward important elder family members. Especially your mother who won't be around much longer.

Take DF's advice .  All of it. He's behaving like a sulky child because he's getting away with it. 

You mentioned that the only people at such gatherings are all his relatives (your sole relative is your mother).  So, what do his relatives have to say about his behaviour?  His son? What does he say? Are none of them capable of telling him to stop being childish?   He seems besides totally devoid of humour. 

I take it your mother is aware of his (unfounded) animosity towards her? 

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9 hours ago, Meg1969 said:

I want to be fair to everyone.  

Don't even try Meg.  It can't be done and it isn't your job.  You are not a peace-keeping delegation or ambassador, nor should you try.

 

I ask again what I asked earlier. 

4 hours ago, LaHermes said:

So, what do his relatives have to say about his behaviour?  His son? What does he say? Are none of them capable of telling him to stop being childish?   He seems besides totally devoid of humour. 

I take it your mother is aware of his (unfounded) animosity towards her? 

 

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4 hours ago, LaHermes said:

Take DF's advice .  All of it. He's behaving like a sulky child because he's getting away with it. 

You mentioned that the only people at such gatherings are all his relatives (your sole relative is your mother).  So, what do his relatives have to say about his behaviour?  His son? What does he say? Are none of them capable of telling him to stop being childish?   He seems besides totally devoid of humour. 

I take it your mother is aware of his (unfounded) animosity towards her? 

His relatives haven't really got involved much. Those that have commented (including our son and daughter suggested that he take my mum's age into consideration and not hold such an extreme grudge. 

Yes my mum knows that he no longer wants any contact with her. I've told her that she'll just have to accept it, whether she likes it or not and that the only thing I could promise was that I wouldn't let it stop me from seeing her. She did suggest that she talk to him about things but I advised her against it. 

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3 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

His relatives haven't really got involved much. Those that have commented (including our son and daughter suggested that he take my mum's age into consideration and not hold such an extreme grudge. 

Yes my mum knows that he no longer wants any contact with her. I've told her that she'll just have to accept it, whether she likes it or not and that the only thing I could promise was that I wouldn't let it stop me from seeing her. She did suggest that she talk to him about things but I advised her against it. 

So who are your shielding?

Are you shielding your mom from a raging ahole of a husband or are you shielding your husband from having to face up to her and take some accountability for himself and the embarrassment of such?

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13 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

Those that have commented (including our son and daughter suggested that he take my mum's age into consideration and not hold such an extreme grudge. 

And what had he to say to that?

And I should jolly well hope that you would continue to see your 81 year old mother.  What is he?  Some kind of wannabe dictator?

13 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

the only thing I could promise was that I wouldn't let it stop me from seeing her

IMO decision time is approaching Meg. What's it going to be? 

Time to give up on being a branch of the UN Peacekeeping Force. 

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8 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

So who are your shielding?

Are you shielding your mom from a raging ahole of a husband or are you shielding your husband from having to face up to her and take some accountability for himself and the embarrassment of such?

So you think they should talk it out? 

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11 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

Those that have commented (including our son and daughter suggested that he take my mum's age into consideration and not hold such an extreme grudge. 

Yes my mum knows that he no longer wants any contact with her. I've told her that 

Why gang  up on anyone or hurt your mother? Why make excuses for anyone?

Just say "Joe couldn't make it" and skip the drama.

As long as you are at the center stirring the pot you'll have strive, but all the attention as a supposed peacemaker, ironically. 

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8 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

So you think they should talk it out? 

What do you think, Meg?  Should they?

You are quite categorical that he refuses to talk to her, ever since that perceived (non-existent) slight some time back re the house.

To be truthful I don't think this 81 year old woman should be expected to square up to a grown man who is liable to fly off the handle like a three year old.

What do YOU think?

 

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4 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Why gang  up on anyone or hurt your mother?

I thought that's what we'd already established. Husband has no contact if he doesn't wants it and my mum accepts that. End of story. 

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9 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

So you think they should talk it out? 

You just asked. Yet now you say:

1 minute ago, Meg1969 said:

Husband has no contact if he doesn't wants it and my mum accepts that. End of story. 

More importantly are you going to live forever in this dismal situation?

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Personally, I see my in-laws ONLY because I love my husband and truth be told he demands it as a sign of respect to him. I would never see them again if I did it my way. I am respectful to them as my elders and only respectful for my husband. But it has made  me despise him at times. 
I say leave your husband be. Everyone needs to be responsible their own behaviour and consequences. 

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7 minutes ago, Meg1969 said:

So you think they should talk it out? 

No. Your mother hasn't done anything wrong and it's not on her to try to apologize or beg for an attitude change from him.

I stand by what I said in an earlier post. He doesn't have to like her, but he needs to mind his manners and be civil. Why can't you speak up to him and put your foot down about that? It's called having boundaries.

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