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NotSureWhatImDoing's avatar

Does anyone have some friendly relationship advice?

Asked by NotSureWhatImDoing (5points) December 15th, 2010

Married, no kids. My partner doesn’t provide me with everything I need in a partner. I tried talking to them about it, suggested counseling, and it seems they are unwilling to try to work on things.

Logically, it seems easy to say move on, no sense in not having your needs met, but I believe marriage should be permanent, and have a little fear of turning into a serial spouse.

Since the beginning of my marriage, I haven’t dealt with financial responsibility. I hand over (most of) my paycheck, the bills get paid. I found out recently that we are in a TON of debt, and I feel resentful of that. I wonder if I do end things now, how I can make ends meet.

To make things even more dramatic, I met someone else. We aren’t physically involved, but I think it could go somewhere. (I know full well that leaving one person to be with another is always a bad idea, but the notion that someone out there is as multifaceted as I am was not something I could have imagined.)

The thought of splitting up my life is terrifying. Facing the world as a divorcee is something I thought I would never do. I don’t see myself as ever going to be happy if I stay, though.

Does anyone have words of advice? I’ll take encouragement at this point, too.

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14 Answers

Trillian's avatar

You already know what to do. Make it happen.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Life is short. Get yourself free. That doesn’t mean the person you met is your out. They are a sign that you need more than what you are getting. Divorce is scary, but I would think that being unhappy the rest of your life should scare you more. Good luck.

Seaofclouds's avatar

You can’t fix the issues in your marriage on your own. If your spouse isn’t willing to work on them with you, then it won’t get better. Perhaps you could get some counseling for yourself to help you get through this. If you really believe you won’t be happy in your marriage, why stay and settle for unhappiness? I hope things get better for you and work out for the best. Good luck!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Divorce is scary but if there’s respect and love then there should also be a willingness to work on the relationship. Maybe you’ve got one of those spouses who’s also “met someone” and that’s why they’ve run up debt and no longer care about the relationship? Have you asked directly what they want out the relationship with you for the next year, the next two, the next 5, etc?

wundayatta's avatar

Seems like a lawyer would help. You don’t want to be saddled with all the debt (or even half of it) if you can avoid it. It can’t hurt to talk to someone to get the lay of the land.

All kinds of issues—custody, who stays in house, and many many more. Plan for that.

That can cut down some of your fear of divorce if you have a plan. There are probably other resources to help you—maybe women’s centers. I don’t know. I’ve never done this.

You need to start paying attention to the accounts and find out where there is money, if there is any. He may get nasty and hide the money from you. Again, a lawyer can help with these things.

I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories from women in divorces about how their soon-to-be exes drag their feet and don’t sign the papers. Women will often want to make it an amicable divorce and it seems that men get angry and try to make things bad and just get as much out of the woman as they can.

I know so many women who try to do it amicably and then they get all surprised when their guy refuses to budge on anything. So again, my advice is to lawyer up ASAP, so you can know what you need to do to keep his cooperation.

Hopefully, he will be cooperative for the sake of the kids. Unfortunately, not all guys are like that.

Well, that’s all I got for now.

BarnacleBill's avatar

First, welcome to Fluther. Take back your check and hand over only part of it. Take over the bills. Sit down with an accountant and figure out exactly what it will take to get things squared away, and start working towards that. Cut up credit cards. Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace program.

If you divorce now, you will take half the assets and half the debt.

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds like you rather stay with him. I think that if you want a chance, you have to get him into counseling with you. First thing to do is to go to your own therapist and figure out how to get him into therapy. When I made my first try at couples counseling with my wife, he said that all I had to do was tell her we had problems, and she’d come.

She did, but she didn’t like it that he was my counselor. So I think a couples counselor can not be anyone who saw one person first. My wife sees our counselor alone sometimes, but thats after we built a relationship with him.

You’re going to split. If he doesn’t want to go to counseling, that means he doesn’t want to fix the marriage. That’s fine, unless the reason why he doesn’t want to work on it is because he is depressed. Anyone would be depressed if they were responsible for a lot of debt and their spouse wanted out. If he doesn’t have a job or there are other issues in his life, or if he is genetically disposed towards mental illness, he is almost certainly depressed. If that is the case, then you have to think that maybe he isn’t the person you fell in love with, and you may want to try to deal with that before you split.

But, if that’s not the case, then it seems like time for a choice. Work on the relationships seriously or split.

Does he give reasons why he doesn’t want therapy?

NotSureWhatImDoing's avatar

In his culture, it’s frowned upon.

wundayatta's avatar

Ah. Well, does anyone else have to know he goes? And if it’s what will save the relationship, isn’t that worth going against some uneducated cultural superstition? Hmmm. Which is frowned upon more? Seeing a counselor or having your wife kick you out?

I’m sorry. His culture, whatever it is, is superstitious. If he’s going to let that keep him from making an effort at saving his marriage, then how committed can he be?

It’s ok to have help. It’s worth it to save the marriage. If he won’t go, then that’s a big sign pointing to the door.

Fairylover78's avatar

I guess my first question would be, have you come right out and told him that your not happy and that you feel there is something missing in your relationship? One thing that I would suggest as well, if he’s unwilling to go to counseling with you, is using some counseling techniques on your own, such as sitting down and having a conversation with him… Do you want to still be married to him? Is it worth the effort for you to try and make things work? If the answer is yes, I suggest swallowing your pride and embarrasement and tell him how you feel and that you want to try a little experiment to see if it help, both of you write down the pros and cons of your relationship, what you love about eachother and what irrates you about the other, what makes you happy and unhappy ect….then trade papers and spend a while alone examing what the other wrote… There may be issues on both sides that neither of you considered before, and sometimes its easier to put into words on paper then trying to say them out loud. This should even address the debt worries as well, all things that are putting a strain on the relationship should.Then, each of you write questions or notes addressing all of the issues and trade back again, at this point perhaps having that to go on will help open up communication and you both will feel more comfortable talking, or you can continue going back and forth with the paper thing until you are or at least until all issues have been gone over. If neither of you are willing to atleast try it will never work and you will both be unhappy. Try to think about the reasons you married him to begin with, do you look back on those times with a smile, are you willing to work on getting that man back? I wish you all the luck and hope things work out for the best either way.

john65pennington's avatar

My answer is short and to the point. you thought you knew this person and you now realize that you do not know this person, at all. be thankful you two do not have children. its easy to see that you are not happy, since you have been looking “out of the marriage” for someone else. i hate the word divorce, but no since in being unhappy any longer.

Next time, you pay the bills. this way, at least you will not have this worry again.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s not always bad to leave one person to be with another and life is too short to worry about how you come off as a divorcee. People will judge you less than you think, there are red flags in your relationship.

AshlynM's avatar

If your partner is not willing to work with you to make things right, then there’s no point in staying in the relationship, no matter how much you wish that other person will change. If it’s not working out, then free yourself and just take time off to find yourself and meet people. There’s no need to rush into marriage. You can have a happy life with kids and a man without the hassle of marriage. The only drawbacks to marriage is a divorce on your records.

Shippy's avatar

You call your partner “them” and they? I was a bit confused. Anyway all marriages hit hard spots and no partner on earth can provide you with all you need. Also I think shared responsibility is required in a marriage, i.e. handing over your pay check. Or at least to check if the person you are handing it to, is doing a good job. It sounds to me like you have already made up your mind, and if your partner doesnt want to work on it then there is no point? But ultimately I agree with @Trillian you know what to do. It wont be easy but you will get through it.

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