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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been married 12 years. For those 12 years, I have spent each week living in a home close to work. I drive 75 minutes one way to work, so it is generally cheaper and easier in many ways for me to do this, typically making only one round trip per week. However, it is terrible for our marriage. For several years now, I have just been sick of the drive and living in two places. I want to be settled. I have expressed this to my wife many times. I have offered the most obvious solution, which is moving, but she will not do it. She drives 30 minutes on the same route to her work as I do to my work, so moving to the town where she works would eliminate her drive and significantly reduce mine to the point I would be willing to drive home every day. But she says our current primary residence is convenient to her work and to her best friend who lives nearby. I have to work this job for another 5 years to reach full benefits on my pension. She says I should be willing to make this sacrifice for our marriage, but she wants to sacrifice nothing. I make really good money at my job and I really like my place of work. Due to my seniority and where I work, I can't make close to what I make now anywhere else, so we cannot afford for me to take another job closer to home if there was even one to to be had. She's constantly fighting me about coming home. She'd have me drive every single day, but I just can't spend 2.5 hours of my day, 4 or 5 days a week driving for work.

There are also serious money issues. I have no idea where most of her money goes. She refuses to show me any of her finances. I do know she has racked up serious credit card debt behind my back, opened accounts without my knowledge, and is still carrying significant debt after several years. I even paid off her $12K car loan recently to help her pay off her other debt, but from what she's told me recently, she's apparently paid nothing down. I think I only enabled her to be more reckless. All she has to pay are utilities for the marital home, plus some of the food for the home and whatever personal things she needs. I pay everything else, including everything for my secondary home. One thing that burns me up is her pot smoking. It's literally daily, for hours each day. I just know several hundreds of dollars must be going to that each month. I don't use pot or even alcohol. Her place of work does random drug testing, so that's another fear.

There's plenty more problems I won't go into, but these are the big ones. Basically, I want to know if I'm crazy for putting up with this. Am I just being too nice? I know she's using me. Everyone knows that. Even our marital counselor told me that a couple of years ago. I love my wife, and I don't want to make a mistake divorcing her. I'm 52 years old and she's ruining my financial and other goals. I'm running out of time to recover. I've considered divorce for many years. It's hard to throw in the towel.
 

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What you bring up makes complete sense to me. I think you need to address these with her in a serious manner; commute / home location and financial transparency.... she needs to know these have become deal breakers and you have to be ready to lose the relationship to fix these. If not, she won't take you seriously.

Are you sure there aren't other reasons why she doesn't want to move? Like another man involved? You spend a lot of time away from her and all that lost money is questionable.
 

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My wife and I have been married 12 years. For those 12 years, I have spent each week living in a home close to work. I drive 75 minutes one way to work, so it is generally cheaper and easier in many ways for me to do this, typically making only one round trip per week. However, it is terrible for our marriage. For several years now, I have just been sick of the drive and living in two places. I want to be settled. I have expressed this to my wife many times. I have offered the most obvious solution, which is moving, but she will not do it. She drives 30 minutes on the same route to her work as I do to my work, so moving to the town where she works would eliminate her drive and significantly reduce mine to the point I would be willing to drive home every day. But she says our current primary residence is convenient to her work and to her best friend who lives nearby. I have to work this job for another 5 years to reach full benefits on my pension. She says I should be willing to make this sacrifice for our marriage, but she wants to sacrifice nothing. I make really good money at my job and I really like my place of work. Due to my seniority and where I work, I can't make close to what I make now anywhere else, so we cannot afford for me to take another job closer to home if there was even one to to be had. She's constantly fighting me about coming home. She'd have me drive every single day, but I just can't spend 2.5 hours of my day, 4 or 5 days a week driving for work.

There are also serious money issues. I have no idea where most of her money goes. She refuses to show me any of her finances. I do know she has racked up serious credit card debt behind my back, opened accounts without my knowledge, and is still carrying significant debt after several years. I even paid off her $12K car loan recently to help her pay off her other debt, but from what she's told me recently, she's apparently paid nothing down. I think I only enabled her to be more reckless. All she has to pay are utilities for the marital home, plus some of the food for the home and whatever personal things she needs. I pay everything else, including everything for my secondary home. One thing that burns me up is her pot smoking. It's literally daily, for hours each day. I just know several hundreds of dollars must be going to that each month. I don't use pot or even alcohol. Her place of work does random drug testing, so that's another fear.

There's plenty more problems I won't go into, but these are the big ones. Basically, I want to know if I'm crazy for putting up with this. Am I just being too nice? I know she's using me. Everyone knows that. Even our marital counselor told me that a couple of years ago. I love my wife, and I don't want to make a mistake divorcing her. I'm 52 years old and she's ruining my financial and other goals. I'm running out of time to recover. I've considered divorce for many years. It's hard to throw in the towel.
Is she being reckless, or is she saving towards an exit from the marriage?
If her cards are in both your names, you're on the hook if she books it.

Otherwise, I suspect she is gambling her money away.
 

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I want to be settled. I have expressed this to my wife many times. I have offered the most obvious solution, which is moving, but she will not do it. ... But she says our current primary residence is convenient to her work and to her best friend who lives nearby. ... She says I should be willing to make this sacrifice for our marriage, but she wants to sacrifice nothing. ... She's constantly fighting me about coming home. ... I have no idea where most of her money goes. She refuses to show me any of her finances. I do know she has racked up serious credit card debt behind my back, opened accounts without my knowledge, and is still carrying significant debt after several years. I even paid off her $12K car loan recently to help her pay off her other debt, but from what she's told me recently, she's apparently paid nothing down. ... One thing that burns me up is her pot smoking. It's literally daily, for hours each day. I just know several hundreds of dollars must be going to that each month. ... Basically, I want to know if I'm crazy for putting up with this. Am I just being too nice? I know she's using me. Everyone knows that. Even our marital counselor told me that a couple of years ago. I love my wife, and I don't want to make a mistake divorcing her.
I chose specific parts of your post, which I hope will clarify your thinking on this situation. Yes, you are "crazy" for putting up with this woman. But for every taker/user/manipulator out there, there is a giver/enabler/doormat. Guess which category you are.

You don't love this woman. C'mon man ... From what you describe she's a user, everyone (including you) knows she's a user, and she's a pot head to boot. Wow. Sounds like a real peach of a gal.

I fail to see why divorcing this woman would be a mistake. Please enlighten me as to why you think this could possibly be a "mistake." Are you afraid to be alone? Is this woman better than no woman at all? Because, from where I'm sitting, this sounds like a no-brainer. Seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I fail to see why divorcing this woman would be a mistake. Please enlighten me as to why you think this could possibly be a "mistake." Are you afraid to be alone? Is this woman better than no woman at all? Because, from where I'm sitting, this sounds like a no-brainer. Seriously.
Thank you for the response. It could be a mistake, because I really do love her. I care about her very much, and we've been together for over 15 years now. I adopted her son to make both of them happy, although I knew it was a major financial risk for me at the time. I even supported her through four years of unemployment and paid for a new college degree for her to pursue something that would make her happier. However, I've lost hope she'll ever have my back. While I know she's using me, and I am enabling it, I'm pretty sure she loves me. I know that probably sounds unbelievable given the circumstances. I used to worry about being alone at my age, but not now. It's not even a factor.
 

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My wife and I have been married 12 years. For those 12 years, I have spent each week living in a home close to work. I drive 75 minutes one way to work, so it is generally cheaper and easier in many ways for me to do this, typically making only one round trip per week. However, it is terrible for our marriage. For several years now, I have just been sick of the drive and living in two places. I want to be settled. I have expressed this to my wife many times. I have offered the most obvious solution, which is moving, but she will not do it. She drives 30 minutes on the same route to her work as I do to my work, so moving to the town where she works would eliminate her drive and significantly reduce mine to the point I would be willing to drive home every day. But she says our current primary residence is convenient to her work and to her best friend who lives nearby.
I would say that she LIKES that fact that you are not around all the time -- she can live the single life without YOUR interference.

There are also serious money issues. I have no idea where most of her money goes. She refuses to show me any of her finances. I do know she has racked up serious credit card debt behind my back, opened accounts without my knowledge, and is still carrying significant debt after several years. I even paid off her $12K car loan recently to help her pay off her other debt, but from what she's told me recently, she's apparently paid nothing down. I think I only enabled her to be more reckless. All she has to pay are utilities for the marital home, plus some of the food for the home and whatever personal things she needs. I pay everything else, including everything for my secondary home.
So, you need to change the financial game here. Tell her since she doesn't want to move, YOU need her to foot 1/2 of ALL bills that you both deal with. Check to make sure that YOU are not on ANY credit card that she has/uses. Also, STOP paying HER debts. Let her take care of that, and if she doesn't, tough. That is on her. Just make sure that YOU are not on the hook for her debts (check with a lawyer on this...).

One thing that burns me up is her pot smoking. It's literally daily, for hours each day. I just know several hundreds of dollars must be going to that each month. I don't use pot or even alcohol. Her place of work does random drug testing, so that's another fear.

There's plenty more problems I won't go into, but these are the big ones. Basically, I want to know if I'm crazy for putting up with this. Am I just being too nice? I know she's using me. Everyone knows that. Even our marital counselor told me that a couple of years ago. I love my wife, and I don't want to make a mistake divorcing her. I'm 52 years old and she's ruining my financial and other goals. I'm running out of time to recover. I've considered divorce for many years. It's hard to throw in the towel.
Only YOU are allowing her to USE you. STOP DOING that. As I suggested, get her off the teat and let her work her own $$ but only AFTER she pays 1/2 of everything INCLUDING the home you have to stay at for work since she won't move.

Do this, get marriage counseling, and if none of that works, you have to at least get with a lawyer to see what D would look like for you.

Sorry you are going through this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What you bring up makes complete sense to me. I think you need to address these with her in a serious manner; commute / home location and financial transparency.... she needs to know these have become deal breakers and you have to be ready to lose the relationship to fix these. If not, she won't take you seriously.

Are you sure there aren't other reasons why she doesn't want to move? Like another man involved? You spend a lot of time away from her and all that lost money is questionable.
Thank you for responding. I actually had that conversation last night, about these things being deal breakers. So today, in her regular fashion, she's being completely passive aggressive and giving me the (mostly) silent treatment. She also knows I've consulted with divorce attorneys. She says she has as well. We've been working on saving the marriage, but I'm running out of time. She's 9 years younger, so she has more time to recover from a divorce than I do. Actually, she'll make out like a bandit in a divorce.

I don't suspect another man at all. I would be shocked if that was the case.
 

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... I've lost hope she'll ever have my back. While I know she's using me, and I am enabling it, I'm pretty sure she loves me. I know that probably sounds unbelievable
No, it doesn't sound "unbelievable." Sad, but not unbelievable. Here's the thing: You've been told by friends, family, and even a counselor that this woman is using you. Yet you proclaim you love her. And, you go even further, and claim she loves you.

Uh, no ... and that's a hard no from my corner of the room. You don't know what love is. My guess is you think kissing her ass and giving her what she wants is "love." Nope. It's you trying to MAKE her love you. She sees your usefulness. She doesn't love you. I'm a woman. I know how women operate. This isn't how they show love. Doesn't have your back. Has no empathy for you. Takes but doesn't give. Again, just .... no. Sorry..
 

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Thank you for the response. It could be a mistake, because I really do love her. I care about her very much, and we've been together for over 15 years now. I adopted her son to make both of them happy, although I knew it was a major financial risk for me at the time. I even supported her through four years of unemployment and paid for a new college degree for her to pursue something that would make her happier. However, I've lost hope she'll ever have my back. While I know she's using me, and I am enabling it, I'm pretty sure she loves me. I know that probably sounds unbelievable given the circumstances. I used to worry about being alone at my age, but not now. It's not even a factor.
If you really love her, give her a chance to redeem herself independent of the marriage. She needs a hard fall to understand where she is at in her life. She is abusing you, because she thinks her new man will replace you.

Divorce her quickly and let her fail. If she demonstrates a newfound commitment, at that point, and with a few years of independent living and not relying on you. If she still expresses wanting to be with you then, then you can consider reconciling.

But she needs that hard fall to wake up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, you need to change the financial game here. Tell her since she doesn't want to move, YOU need her to foot 1/2 of ALL bills that you both deal with. Check to make sure that YOU are not on ANY credit card that she has/uses. Also, STOP paying HER debts. Let her take care of that, and if she doesn't, tough. That is on her. Just make sure that YOU are not on the hook for her debts (check with a lawyer on this...).

Only YOU are allowing her to USE you. STOP DOING that. As I suggested, get her off the teat and let her work her own $$ but only AFTER she pays 1/2 of everything INCLUDING the home you have to stay at for work since she won't move.

Do this, get marriage counseling, and if none of that works, you have to at least get with a lawyer to see what D would look like for you.

Sorry you are going through this.
I appreciate the input. I talked to her last night, and I'm going to again tonight. Basically that if we can't work things out, I'm done. I have spoken with local attorneys. It doesn't look great, but I'd rather be happy poor than rich and miserable.

In the past, when I've tried withholding funds to have her foot her fair share, she just racks up credit card debt to account for it. She even let a joint bank account bounce. I promptly closed that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Divorce her quickly and let her fail. If she demonstrates a newfound commitment, at that point, with a few years of independent living and not relying on you, if she still expresses wanting to be with you then, then you can consider reconciling.

But she needs that hardfall to wake up.
Thank you for the response. I've considered that. Telling her I want to divorce for financial reasons since I don't want to be responsible for her financial decisions, but maybe still trying to work on things. I don't know. I have so many things going through my head. We are complete opposites in some ways that are very important to me now. Most of them have revealed themselves during the marriage, but I should have heeded red flags before marriage.
 

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Thank you for the response. I've considered that. Telling her I want to divorce for financial reasons since I don't want to be responsible for her financial decisions, but maybe still trying to work on things. I don't know. I have so many things going through my head. We are complete opposites in some ways that are very important to me now. Most of them have revealed themselves during the marriage, but I should have heeded red flags before marriage.
Create some rules that are on your terms that will help protect you and you from being manipulated through sympathy.
You're very sympathetic and she's weaponized it against you.

You may need the help of an objective counselor to help create the rules that you need to live by.
 

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If she won't move to accommodate a significantly better commute for both you because she wants to be close to her friend, her priorities are wrong, unless it is based on the kid.

What is the kid's school situation? Would a move be tough on the kid? Has she brought this up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Create some rules that are on your terms that will help protect you and you from being manipulated through sympathy.
You're very sympathetic and she's weaponized it against you.

You may need the help of an objective counselor to help create the rules that you need to live by.
I've been trying to get her to agree to a post-nup, in which we would set rules about finances, but she isn't going for it. She thinks I'm trying to squeeze her out financially, when all I'm really trying to do is limit damage to me and create clear rules with consequences about her spending. She won't even talk about it so far, and I've brought it up multiple times as a rational, "hey let's do this to help our marriage" type of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If she won't move to accommodate a significantly better commute for both you because she wants to be close to her friend, her priorities are wrong, unless it is based on the kid.

What is the kid's school situation? Would a move be tough on the kid? Has she brought this up?
He's 21 now, so he's not a factor. Although, she wants him to move back in with us, which is another sticking point for me. He was 6 when we started dating, and he's been with us almost the entire time. Not great for the marriage.
 
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