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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok folks, I need some help. I'm not normally the type of person to put this stuff online, but I'm feeling a little boxed in and I need some outside opinions. Bit of a long story but here goes. I'm going to try to make these points as concise as possible so you don't have to read a novel. :)

I'm 35, married for 6 years with a 2 1/2 year old daughter. Our marriage has been tested from day 1. We had bought a house at the height of the market at the max of our affordability range RIGHT before the bottom fell out of the market (yes, we made lots of mistakes, lessons learned). We struggled for four years as we tried to hang on to our house. In the end, we walked away from it.

A few things about my wife:

1) She is obsessed with horses. She's been riding for over 25 years and feels that it totally defines her. Living without them (and on our own property) would be tantamount to admitting that the rest of her life is going to be empty and meaningless and would be "giving up everything that means something to her". I only mention this because horses are EXPENSIVE and I absolutely have to provide her with a working horse property or life just sucks.

2) Somewhere in her childhood a severe aversion to renting a house was drilled into her. Since we left our home, we've had to rent (horse properties, of course). However, renting is absolutely killing her.

3) She's not qualified to work to help with finances. She won't get a job because I earn too much to make her spending that much time at work pointless (something I kind of agree with). Her degree (bachelors) doesn't afford her any job opportunities.

Also, we live in California where any kind of horse property is just....expensive.

A couple of things about me:

1) I enjoyed the horses when we got married. Part of why she fell in love with me is because we shared that.

2) A number of things over the last several years have really soured my taste for the animals. I like that she likes them, but my interest in them is nothing like hers.

I've been trying for 6 years to make her happy but no matter what, something gets in the way. I earn well into the six figure range (working two full time jobs -- although I do work from home) and have saved up almost $100,000 in a little over a year and a half to help us buy a house again once the waiting period is over because that's so important to her. Of course, that's meant sacrificing fun, vacations, new cars, etc.

She gets depressed/angry because:

1) We're renting. And she can't take it anymore. We HAVE TO buy a house the day we become eligible again. But it has to be a horse property. Within an hour of San Diego. Or life sucks.

2) She realizes we can't necessarily afford all that she's asking for. So she thinks she may have to give up her horses and live in a suburban home (which she loathes the idea of -- I could care less). So life really sucks.

No matter which way you slice it, life is just going to suck for her. I'm getting frustrated with being asked to provide so much and because I'm a really happy, optimistic person and living with someone who is constantly depressed about life is starting to take its toll. I have thoughts of leaving more often lately. But a few things get in the way:

1) We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter.

2) My wife is already depressed and feeling like life just sucks. Leaving would just add to that.

3) My wife doesn't have any job skills she could use on her own.

4) I really do love her. I just can't seem to provide her with the kind of life that's going to make her happy.

So if I leave, I take my generous salary, my daughter (because I wouldn't live a day without her and she can't provide for her) and she spins even further into depression because she has no family, no job skills, no income and owning a home/horses are now even further out of reach for her.

I've even thought of giving her the entire $100k just so she can leave and not be up a creek without a paddle.

I want to work this out...I do, but she's stubborn as all hell (I can be too) and no matter what she gives on, nothing will be right in the world unless she owns some unattainable property for her horses. She even puts our daughter off to go take care of the horses sometimes and that really gets to me but there's no way I'd tell her that.

Having said all of this, I certainly have my faults too. I'm often unavailable because I work so much. I get frustrated when she gets depressed because it's been happening so much and I'm not a sad/depressed person. She has a hobby that demands a lot of physical labor which she would prefer we do ourselves to save money but I'm the kind of person who would rather pay someone for hours of demanding physical labor. I think that bothers her a lot.

If it were up to me, I'd be happy just buying a little suburban home and raising my daughter there. We have more than enough cash to do that comfortably and to be honest, I'm getting tired of working two jobs just to meet her life's expectations.

I should add that I feel like bringing this up to her would crush her and just deepen the depression...

I just don't know what to do anymore. I love this woman, but the life her demands have carved out for us are making this marriage more trouble than its worth. I don't know how to stay and I don't know how to leave...

Anyone been through something like this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've tried to suggest that she go talk to someone. She won't do it. She says unless they can pony up the cash to buy her a house, they can't help her. I've suggested it repeatedly but I've stopped because it's a lost cause. She's the kind of person who won't accept help from anyone.
 

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I've tried to suggest that she go talk to someone. She won't do it. She says unless they can pony up the cash to buy her a house, they can't help her. I've suggested it repeatedly but I've stopped because it's a lost cause. She's the kind of person who won't accept help from anyone.
Okay, well if she is clinically depressed, you can't fix her as you know. If she is depressed (dxed by a doctor) then nothing will change until she gets help.

If she is not depressed:

My, my she seems quite "entitled." She wants the "big horse house" or she will never be happy.

Times are tough as you know & not everybody gets what they want but most don't piss & moan about. One would think that a nice (I assume) husband who makes good money, a child & getting to stay home to take care of the family would be a lovely life.

Would she agree to marriage counseling?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
My, my she seems quite "entitled." She wants the "big horse house" or she will never be happy.

Times are tough as you know & not everybody gets what they want but most don't piss & moan about. One would think that a nice (I assume) husband who makes good money, a child & getting to stay home to take care of the family would be a lovely life.

Would she agree to marriage counseling?
To be fair to her, she doesn't need a "big" house or even a nice one, it just has to have all of the horse stuff. Of course, if it's just acreage, I'm responsible for paying to build a barn, an arena, etc. She probably is depressed (stays up until 2AM because it's her only quiet time, sleeps until 11AM-12PM even if our daughter is up at 7AM), just views each day as one more day she doesn't have to go through, can't wait until she goes to be so the day is over, can't see happiness anywhere, etc.

I've tried the "you should consider us lucky to be in the position we're in so soon after a foreclosure" track...doesn't work. We've tried marriage counseling once before (for other reasons when we first got married) but I don't think she'd go for it. Again, if the counselor can't give her cash for a house, what good are they (her words)?

I'd go so far as to say it SOUNDS like she has an entitlement mentality, and to a certain extent she does, but it's more like these things (horses and houses) are somehow ingrained in her DNA and unless she has both, life is just going to be upside down. She tries to be fair about it and sometimes acknowledges that she's asking a lot, but in the same breath she says either option just means life sucks for her. I just don't know how much longer I can hold on...and of course, I don't want to deprive my daughter of growing up without her mother, nor do I want to take the risk during a divorce that I wouldn't get full custody. My daughter is everything to me. I just don't know what to do.

If it came to this (and I hope it doesn't), I just don't know how to leave someone because my life is being dragged down, who is depressed to begin with and has no means for supporting themselves. Do I stick it out because I made a vow to this woman or is making the most of my one go-around in life worth leaving for?

Even right now, I'm trying to push her away (making her pissed off at me outside taking care of the horses by herself when she asked for my help and I said no) because I feel like it would be easier if I gave her a reason to leave ME so that she feels empowered by it and not victimized...argh.
 

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I'm with Emerald... she has quite the sense of entitlement!

I don't see anything in your post that implies a depression. Anger, yes. Dissatisfaction, yep. But loss of interest, poor concentration, changed appetite, sleep disturbances, feelings of hopelessness? Neeieiiiggghhh!

Now maybe those are there and you didn't mention them, but the core issue seems to be that you're tired of feeling pressured and criticized because she isn't getting her way and wants to throw tantrums about it.

Man up and recognize that she's got the same britches to get glad in. Her ingratitude is HER problem. And she's seeing what it's doing to her life - it sucks! But it's not within your power to change how she perceives the world. Heck, if I wasn't madly in love with the hottest and greatest guy in the world, I'd offer to marry your generous, happy self. Oh wait no I wouldn't... you're taken. But you get the idea. (I hope.)

I hope this isn't coming off as flippant. I don't mean to be. I do get annoyed when I see opportunistic women, and in a way I think she's being opportunistic. And even with "just" a bachelor's degree, she is more than capable of supporting herself, though not perhaps in the style you've both grown accustomed to. I went from a household with about $250k a year income to less than $12k... it is survivable.

But I had an idea just now, so I'm editing to add:

You said that she has an "ism" about renting, but must be with horses. Have the two of you brainstormed some temporary steps to alleviate the tension? Some ideas that come to mind...

1. Get her a membership in a riding club until you can again afford to purchase a horse property.

2. Purchase a cabin with horse stuff & acreage where she could take a weekend a month and visit. That $100k you've saved would go a LOOONGG way in some areas, and a few hundred dollars once a month so she could visit.

3. She could get involved in a horse rescue. There are plenty of them all around the country.

4. She could volunteer at someone else's horse property in exchange for riding privileges. You two aren't the only people enduring financial challenges over the last few years. I bet there are others struggling to hold on to their own properties and horses right now.
 

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I can relate.

I've ALWAYS wanted a helper monkey!

Since I was a kid this has been my dream. I thought life sucked without my helper monkey and then...

I grew up.



You wife may well be depressed but she also sounds incredibly immature... I'm gathering the word 'sucks' is her term not yours???

I also find it difficult to believe that her working (with a degree and all) that she wouldn't be contributing to HER dream and making it more affordable.

BTW jason75...what are your dreams? What would you like to be doing with your time, energy, $$$ ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I also find it difficult to believe that her working (with a degree and all) that she wouldn't be contributing to HER dream and making it more affordable.

BTW jason75...what are your dreams? What would you like to be doing with your time, energy, $$$ ?
Well, she has an art degree and no real world work experience for the last 7 years. She can't teach without a master's degree and an art degree gets you nothing. I don't want this to be a "wife bashing" thread by any means, she's a WONDERFUL woman when she's happy, it's just that those times when she's happy are fewer and fewer all the time and she needs things I'm getting tired of having to provide in order to BE happy...frustrating.

Anyways, if it was just me, all I want is a little house with some good friends in our lives. Oh and a boat. :)

The thing is, if I was on my own, I could have all of that and that's going through my head more and more often. Or even if she'd be happy with just having a small house and a family, we could have it together! I just can't take the pressure of having to provide this horsey-life for her anymore. I even told her we COULD have that property, but we may have to rent for a few more years while I save more money (and of course, keep our life on hold so we can save as much as possible -- which makes me shudder).

Instead of going down this path together, I feel like we both want different things to make us happy. In her defense, when we met, I told her I wanted acreage and some horses, etc. I just didn't know how difficult it was to attain or how absolutely integral it was to her well-being. I thought we were just talking about our future desires...Now that I've said I want it, it's sort of like i can't backtrack on it.

Ah well, such is life i guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You said that she has an "ism" about renting, but must be with horses. Have the two of you brainstormed some temporary steps to alleviate the tension? Some ideas that come to mind...

1. Get her a membership in a riding club until you can again afford to purchase a horse property.

2. Purchase a cabin with horse stuff & acreage where she could take a weekend a month and visit. That $100k you've saved would go a LOOONGG way in some areas, and a few hundred dollars once a month so she could visit.

3. She could get involved in a horse rescue. There are plenty of them all around the country.

4. She could volunteer at someone else's horse property in exchange for riding privileges. You two aren't the only people enduring financial challenges over the last few years. I bet there are others struggling to hold on to their own properties and horses right now.
Great suggestions (and thanks for them!), but they wouldn't work. She has to have the horses on her property, taken care of the way a "show horse" should be taken care of. She doesn't just want to be around horses, they have to be hers, on her property.

If life doesn't fit that mold, she won't be happy. All I want is for her to be happy with what we have in life and to not keep waiting on some future financial goal to enjoy life...
 

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Well yes....back tracking now isn't a good look. She is probably feeling the same as you...that you want different things in life. Have the two of you discussed that? How do you both see your lives 5, 10 or 20 years from now?

Nevertheless.. in the grown up world we rarely get everything we want. We learn we have to compromise...be flexible. There must be someway she can have her horsey fix while you save.

And you need to stop trying to 'make her happy'. That's not your job. We all have to take responsibility for our own happiness.

Hope you get that boat!
 

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Compromise is the big word there, isn't it?

If she won't, then I'd encourage you to let her be unhappy since she is consciously making the choice to be unhappy instead of accepting alternatives.

"Some of something is better than all of nothin'," as they say.
 

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Jason, there are wants and there are needs. It sounds like for your wife they are one and the same. It simply comes down to the fact that in life there are certain things that may be unobtainable at particular points in time. Does she know how all this makes you feel? Have you shared with her the things you have written here? In the times we are living in now where some people have some truly dire financial needs what you and your family have going for you other people would love to have. I think she needs to get some perspective on what it's like to really have a life that sucks.....cuz I think her's aint so bad. I hope she can somehow be made to see that. All the best........
 

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May I suggest that you do some research on Narcissism? It's more prevalent than you know. I was raised by one and once I read about it, it put a name to why my father was so horribly selfish and only HIS happiness mattered.

If she is narcissistic, there are some great videos on YouTube that can teach you how to communicate with a narcissist. I hope she is NOT one because most never change and your life will not get any better.

She sounds like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka (I WANT IT NOW!!!!). You guys should be partners but it sounds like she has you jumping through hoops to make sure her life doesn't suck. So instead, YOUR life sucks.

If you are still madly in love with this woman and really want to spend the rest of your life with her, you may need some help so you don't lose yourself or become resentful.

In my opinion, your idea about giving her 100k and walking away is an excellent one.
 

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When you have a horse property does it earn an income if run properly?
Lessons, boarding etc?

Ask her to draw up a business plan and show you how the horse property is going to eventually pay for itself and in the long term make money.

In this way you are involving her in the solution to her problem.
And you can take that business plan to lenders ( pardon my assumption that you'll need one ) in order to secure funds for the property.

A good business plan can take a while to do ( buys some time ) and get her started on the road to being proactive rather than reactive.

Do not under any circumstances do this for her. If she doesn't know how she can learn.
 

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Because she is a wonderful woman (your words), I doubt you would get full custody, so your choice is to stay married.

I'm sticking with untreated depression here.

So since marriage counseling, depression treatment, divorce are all of the table, re-shift your focus on your own & your child's happiness & come to terms that your wife may never be happy.

Good luck Jason.
 

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Some people need a wake-up call. If you think she's clinically depressed then book her an appointment with the doctor, drive her there and push her through the office door. If you think she's just a brat with and over-developed sense of entitlement tell her that to her face and also tell her that you're leaving with your daughter tomorrow if she doesn't snap out of it. You've spent years accomodating her, it's time for you to stop doing that and start to look after yourself instead.

I speak from experience here which either means that I'm right or that I'm projecting my situation onto yours. Sadly I can't know which!

Good luck whatever happens though, you sound like a nice guy being used, and that sucks whichever way you cut it.
 

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I think you need to do two things here.

First: get her to the doctors. Find out if she IS depressed. This way you know what you're dealing with.

Second: you need to get out of this dynamic where you are shouldering the responsibility for your future and shielding her from reality.

The fact is, she's a grown woman. You aren't in charge of her getting to be happy and I think somehow you think you bear that. I really think it would be a great idea to sit down with her and your finances, and, taking into consideration the things she says she wants, get her to get involved in the financial practicalities of achieving that. It might be the wake-up call she needs. The cold, hard facts in front of her might shake her out of it - either that or she might be motivated to go some way to contributing.

Is the working two full-time jobs your idea? Are you happy doing that?

I also think you need to be honest with her about how YOU feel. A lot of this - well pretty much ALL of this - is about what SHE wants and there doesn't seem to be an awful lot of talk about what she thinks of what YOU want.
 

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When you have a horse property does it earn an income if run properly?
Lessons, boarding etc?

Ask her to draw up a business plan and show you how the horse property is going to eventually pay for itself and in the long term make money.

In this way you are involving her in the solution to her problem.
And you can take that business plan to lenders ( pardon my assumption that you'll need one ) in order to secure funds for the property.

A good business plan can take a while to do ( buys some time ) and get her started on the road to being proactive rather than reactive.

Do not under any circumstances do this for her. If she doesn't know how she can learn.
:iagree:

That's exactly what I was thinking. If you can somehow work this into a career for her you could mitigate the costs and maybe even turn a profit. I know next to nothing about horses and such, but where I live I know people that pay pretty good money to stable their horses at someone's property.

Why does it need to be 1 hour from San Diego? I understand that you're working 2 full time jobs, but you also mentioned that you worked from home. So I assume that you are not commuting. You can get property much cheaper elsewhere.
 

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Something just occurred to me as I'm reading people telling you (again) to get her to a doctor. Her response of "unless they can provide a horse property" or whatever is baloney. She says this because she knows they will confront her about her behavior being unreasonable.
 
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