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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 53, and was born in India. My wife is 48, also from India. We have been married for 19 years, We have a daughter who is 17. I work in the IT industry, and my wife is a home maker.

We have had a very rocky relationship, but have stayed married like many do. Ours was an arranged marriage, and we knew each other only for a few weeks before we got married.

We are both very different, in our tastes, though we share common qualities like compassion, charity, and kindness. We are from different backgrounds, but we have made adjustments, learned to like each other's tastes, and find a common thread in them.

Fundamentally we have had a big disagreement about where to live. I came to Canada 13 years back, in search of a better life, and moved to the US 3 years back. All these years, my wife had constantly accused me of "not caring about her feelings", or "being insensitive", because I want to live here. She on other hand, wants to go back to India, where I see no future for me. To make matters worse, her mother (my mother in law) who is 75, had been giving her guilt trips about "neglecting her at her age". She has accused me of " taking her daughter away " to the west against her wishes - which is absolutely untrue.

Coming back to this disagreement about where to live, I have time and again told my wife to go back and live with her mother. She won't do this, but constantly gripes, complains and picks up a fight with me over this, frequently. My daughter who is 17 has been a witness to this disagreement (we have not had an argument in her presence, but she knows because my wife has constantly complained to her about this issue). My daughter has been tortured between living here and going back to India. Every time she talks about going to college and staying back, her mother gives her the guilt trip - the same thing that her mother does to her.

The problem is this. My wife won't go back to India, neither will reconcile to the idea of living here. She is in constant touch with her mom who reminds her about "what a bad husband I am for separating her from mother. Life is more of less a living hell, except for a few spells of normalcy. This has affected my ability to lead a loving, caring, normal life. I feel sorry for my daughter who is caught up in all of this. There are times I have felt that it is hopeless and my death would be my liberation from all these troubles

We haven't had sex for over 15 months - partially because she is nearing menopause and has no interest in sex, and also because she is constantly upset about "what I have done to her".

In the past (about 5-7 years ago), my wife talked about divorce, but won't talk about it anymore


I know I have rambled on - so please forgive me. I thought I would share my misery with you, and see if you see a solution that I don't.

Thank you so much for your time, and your advice
 

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What I do not see in your post is whether YOU want a divorce if the situation cannot be resolved. It sounds like you are willing to let her go. If you are, what would a divorce do to you and your family if you do it in the U.S. or in India?

Certainly there are better options for you than dying! If you want a divorce, she doesn't have to agree to one in order for you to obtain one. But it will be important to figure out what she thinks her needs are and be prepared to satisfy them. She wants to be in India? Ok, go... how much will you need for support for the first three years until you can support yourself?

It might be time for you to be VERY clear and put out an ultimatum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I do not see in your post is whether YOU want a divorce if the situation cannot be resolved. It sounds like you are willing to let her go. If you are, what would a divorce do to you and your family if you do it in the U.S. or in India?

A divorce, whether in India would do nothing to my family. Iit is me who has to face the prospect of being single, being away from his daughter (whom my wife would take away to India). I do not know - maybe this is why I have not insisted on a divorce, in recent times? I may not have been rational in my thinking, though there is no justification for that).

Certainly there are better options for you than dying! If you want a divorce, she doesn't have to agree to one in order for you to obtain one. But it will be important to figure out what she thinks her needs are and be prepared to satisfy them. She wants to be in India? Ok, go... how much will you need for support for the first three years until you can support yourself?


Sorry I am not clear about this question. Could you please clarify?.
 

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We have had a very rocky relationship....Fundamentally we have had a big disagreement about where to live.
Really, Knight? You really believe that, if only you could resolve the diagreement over where to live, your "fundamental" problem would be gone?

Another possibility is that your wife is mistakenly convinced she is "The Victim" and she sorely needs a string of infractions to blame on you -- thereby "validating" her false self image. If so, eliminating one supposed problem (e.g., living in the USA) would only result in her replacing it with another imagined problem. I therefore ask what were the nature of the many problems occurring earlier on in your 19-year "very rocky relationship"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Really, Knight? You really believe that, if only you could resolve the diagreement over where to live, your "fundamental" problem would be gone?

Another possibility is that your wife is mistakenly convinced she is "The Victim" and she sorely needs a string of infractions to blame on you -- thereby "validating" her false self image. If so, eliminating one supposed problem (e.g., living in the USA) would only result in her replacing it with another imagined problem. I therefore ask what were the nature of the many problems occurring earlier on in your 19-year "very rocky relationship"?
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Well we have had disagreements like any other couple does. none of them have been serious. She in the distant past ( about 10 years back) accused me of being "too proud" (read "arrogant"), but for the last few years, she says I have changed, become "humble". We have really not had serious arguments about anything except my "separating her from her mommy". She has never openly admired me or appreciated the good things (which everyone does have) about me.

In the bedroom, our sex life hasn't been great. She has been the "passive participant". She just lies around and "let me do it". I don't expect a "porn star experience" from her, but some kind of participation on her part. We haven't had sex for 15 months now - she is pre menopausal and is often grumpy. Now what I have described has been going on for many years and has nothing to do with our lack of sex.

What do you mean by "validating" her false self image? I do agree with the other part that she could replace her current problem with another and continue to blame me.

Thanks for writing. Do you see a solution other than separation or divorce?
 

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The problem is this. My wife won't go back to India, neither will reconcile to the idea of living here. She is in constant touch with her mom who reminds her about "what a bad husband I am for separating her from mother. Life is more of less a living hell, except for a few spells of normalcy. This has affected my ability to lead a loving, caring, normal life. I feel sorry for my daughter who is caught up in all of this. There are times I have felt that it is hopeless and my death would be my liberation from all these troubles

We haven't had sex for over 15 months - partially because she is nearing menopause and has no interest in sex, and also because she is constantly upset about "what I have done to her".

Here is one suggestion

Get another place to live for a short time. Move in to that dwelling and have NO CONTACT with your wife. However, leave her a surprise note (no talks before) to her telling her EXACALLY why you left. Also tell her that she is poisoning your daughter’s attitude and giving her stress. Also discuss anything you need to with your daughter before you leave.

Your daughter is old enough to decide if she wants to live with you or her mother, with or without a divorce. Your wife cannot stop your daughter from seeing you.

I know this is a difficult plan for you to do and you will have to suffer some. However, it seems to me that your suffering now is much more! If you get to see your daughter what are you losing? A woman that makes you want to die and not have sex for 15 months is not much of a loss is it?

In your note you can tell her that you would be willing to come back and live with her but she is going to have to change her attitude and actions. Also tell her that she will have to do a lot more than just tell you she is going to change she has to demonstrate it for a length of time so that you are convinced. Your wife may need a very strong jolt to blast her out of her ways (bitterness?). You seem like you are at a critical stage in our marriage and drastic actions have to be taken.

Do not be vengeful in anything you do with your wife, be kind but be determined and ready to carry on with your life no mater want she does.


Blunt
 

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What do you mean by "validating" her false self image? I do agree with the other part that she could replace her current problem with another and continue to blame me.
An important issue is whether you are describing dysfunctional traits that originated in her childhood and resulted in strong traits of a personality disorder (PD). If so, it is extremely unlikely the problem will go away. Yet, if she has strong traits of a PD, they would not disappear for years at a time. I therefore was asking how far back her fighting started and what you meant by "a very rocky marriage."

Your response to my question indicates that most of the 19 years of marriage had "no serious arguments," which seems to rule out her having strong PD traits. Granted, she has not been supportive of you and has been "grumpy" from per-menopausal changes, as you say. That behavior, however, does not indicate PD traits are strong. It therefore is very unclear why you're feeling so awful that you sometimes think about dying to escape. "Grumpy" is not an awful thing to deal with. Like Blunt, I am left wondering what it is that you find so intolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
An important issue is whether you are describing dysfunctional traits that originated in her childhood and resulted in strong traits of a personality disorder (PD). If so, it is extremely unlikely the problem will go away. Yet, if she has strong traits of a PD, they would not disappear for years at a time. I therefore was asking how far back her fighting started and what you meant by "a very rocky marriage."



Your response to my question indicates that most of the 19 years of marriage had "no serious arguments," which seems to rule out her having strong PD traits. Granted, she has not been supportive of you and has been "grumpy" from per-menopausal changes, as you say. That behavior, however, does not indicate PD traits are strong. It therefore is very unclear why you're feeling so awful that you sometimes think about dying to escape. "Grumpy" is not an awful thing to deal with. Like Blunt, I am left wondering what it is that you find so intolerable.
I think I was not as detailed as I should be - primarily because I thought my original post was very long and winding. I have not had any empathy, feeling of love from my wife. She has never expressed love either in word or deed. Honestly I feel that she married me, but never got to love me (quite the reverse of what happens here - you fall in love and then marry someone. I am a practical person, and don't expect a love story on the lines of a Hollywood movie. That said, an expression of love, appreciation and regard would have been nice - something that has not happened all these years.

On the other hand, she lives within this marriage, not leaving me, not asking for a divorce either. Essentially this is a "loveless marriage, if I may say so. I feel unwanted, and worthless .

I could easily ask for a divorce, but, would I be precipitating a situation that could be avoided. Seeking help with a marriage counselor would not happen - she would never agree to that. In her mind, there is nothing wrong with this relationship

If I sound like a coward or a confused person - I may be both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You cannot ever change anyone else. The only person you can change is yourself. You're in a tough situation. Your wife is projecting her feelings of guilt to you and blaming you for the separation from her mother. Her mother sounds like a toxic person. With relatives like that who needs enemies?

You are absolutely right

The choices before you are 1) stay in the marriage, 2) formally separate, 3) divorce.

What would be the difference between formally separate and divorce, in real and legal terms?


What would your daughter do in India given that she was raised in the US and Canada? Wouldn't it be a huge change for her to go back to your home country? It seems to me your wife isn't thinking about what an adjustment it will be for your daughter to make such a transition.

It would impact my daughter's future in a big way, especially because she is close to finishing high school. It will definitely affect her future in a lot of ways. My wife is just selfish - couldn't care less about me or our daughter. I know this sounds weird, but nevertheless the truth.

My mother in law has a son who lives in India, in the same city as she does, That being said, she claims to "miss her daughter", and the feeling is mutual. As for being in touch, my wife is in touch with her mom every day Her mom gives her the guilt trip as often as possible about my wife deserting her in her sunset years". My mother in law is partially to blame, but my wife bears a big responsibility for this fiasco too.

As for my wife visiting her mom - she does it each year, which is quite expensive, given that the trip costs me 6-7 grand.
 

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Knight from India,
can I suggest that your MIL comes and spends half a year with you and your wife and half a year with her son in India?
I recently lost my father and my mother who is 67 is going to come and stay with us for some time and also go to my brother because she does not want to be alone.
I understand your culture where the children are expected to look after their parents in old age, but your wife needs to understand that her mother is not the centre of the universe and that the wishes of other family members should be respected.

You are comfortable in the West, your daughter's education and future are in the USA and all your wife thinks is 'looking after mommy'. Well, if 'mommy' wants to be looked after, she should stay some time with you and some time with her son and not influence your lives and future.
We have good friends, a couple( he is African American, she is Indian). They have lived in many countries in the world due to their jobs and her mother( in her seventies) chose to live with them and helped raise their children. She is very traditional, always dressed in a sari, a fantastic lady who has travelled with them and helped them with the kids.

Regarding lack of love and empathy, I am afraid there is not much you can do. She does not love you and possibly despises you for not giving in about moving to India, hence using no sex as a punishment. If you want to be loved, then divorce her and move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tiberius and all those who have responded to my post:

I can not thank you enough for taking the trouble of giving me your take on this complicated situation, I think there are only 2 choices.

1) I could just move to another city, another job and just forget that I was ever married to this senseless, selfish person, who has neither love, feelings or even gratitude for being the provider all these years. As someone suggested, I could cut off all contact, but just provide for her upkeep.

2) Alternately, I could divorce her, and move on.

Tiberius - the mom (monster) in law won't move here, or even travel for a visit. That is as selfish and manipulative as she can get. I have suggested that but that won't work.

I know that each of you has spent time and mental energy to respond. I would urge others to respond too, and maybe I will have clarity on the matter.

Thanks again.
 

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I can not thank you enough for taking the trouble of giving me your take on this complicated situation, I think there are only 2 choices.

1) I could just move to another city, another job and just forget that I was ever married to this senseless, selfish person, who has neither love, feelings or even gratitude for being the provider all these years. As someone suggested, I could cut off all contact, but just provide for her upkeep.

2) Alternately, I could divorce her, and move on.

Tiberius - the mom (monster) in law won't move here, or even travel for a visit. That is as selfish and manipulative as she can get. I have suggested that but that won't work.

I know that each of you has spent time and mental energy to respond. I would urge others to respond too, and maybe I will have clarity on the matter.

Thanks again.
To: KnightfromIndia

I gave you a suggestion option that maybe could improve your marriage in my previous post. . You gave your two options above and number one seems to be close to being part of my suggestion. I would still encourage you to leave her a note telling her EXACALLY why you left. Also tell her that she is poisoning your daughter’s attitude and giving her stress.

If you want to try and save the relationship you could tell her that you will consider, no guarantee, you coming back together with her only if she proves with actions for a period of time that she has a new and acceptable attitude. Being separated without contact can jolt some people into seeing a completely different view and changing.

I think that this option will serve at least two purposes. One it will help you get some emotional healing. Two, it will help you both get a better view (Clarity) on the situation.

Also, if you do this you will know for sure that you gave it a 100% chance to keep the family together.

If you are at your limit, do not want to try anymore, and want nothing more to do with this woman, then the loss of your wife is inevitable. If that is the case then you have answered my previous question to you below


A woman that makes you want to die and not have sex for 15 months is not much of a loss is it?[/QUOTE]
 

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I think you should consider Mr Blunt's suggestion before taking a permanent step.
Leave her a note and go away for awhile. This will do you a lot of good and give her some space to decide on what she really wants. Be firm in your note about your going away being a trial separation of some sort.
Be sure to leave your daughter a note too or better still, tell your daughter you need to go away for awhile.
Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To: KnightfromIndia

I gave you a suggestion option that maybe could improve your marriage in my previous post. . You gave your two options above and number one seems to be close to being part of my suggestion. I would still encourage you to leave her a note telling her EXACALLY why you left. Also tell her that she is poisoning your daughter’s attitude and giving her stress.

If you want to try and save the relationship you could tell her that you will consider, no guarantee, you coming back together with her only if she proves with actions for a period of time that she has a new and acceptable attitude. Being separated without contact can jolt some people into seeing a completely different view and changing.

I think that this option will serve at least two purposes. One it will help you get some emotional healing. Two, it will help you both get a better view (Clarity) on the situation.

Also, if you do this you will know for sure that you gave it a 100% chance to keep the family together.

If you are at your limit, do not want to try anymore, and want nothing more to do with this woman, then the loss of your wife is inevitable. If that is the case then you have answered my previous question to you below


A woman that makes you want to die and not have sex for 15 months is not much of a loss is it?[/QUOTE]
Thank you blunt........... wonderful piece of advice!
 

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Take Blunt's advice and leave your wife. Tell her exactly why you left. She either should accept you and want to make it work, or get the hell back to India. If your daughter is really close to being 18, I would wait for divorce until then. She would be in college then and would'nt have to make the transition to India. You would have to reassure your daughter that her mother is the one being selfish, not her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you, my dear friends for your wonderful advice and insight. I feel much confident about handling the situation, than before.

Just as an update, My wife has gone to India to visit her mother along with my daughter and will be returning during the last week of this month.

At this time, I live in the Dallas metroplex area, and , I am looking to find work elsewhere, away from here.. If my wife goes back to India, I will get a power of attorney from her, and sell my house, (which I recently purchased). Alternately I could lease the house, which is located in one of the exemplary school districts of Dallas.

In the event that my wife and daughter live in the US, they will live in this house, while I work elsewhere, away from them. My wife does not as much as drive a car or have the survival skills (though she speaks English).

I have some nagging questions:
a) How do I avoid any contact with her when out of town? (she mainly uses the phone to call me), and how difficult is it to do that?

b) How do I become unemotional, hard headed and unsympathetic - I must say that she has used me during l these years - I got nothing for the loving, caring, sympathy, help and assistance. In all these years, she has not once said those magical words "I love you". Now I am not becoming cinematic or cut off from reality, but it is nice to hear those words, once a while.


c) We have not had sex in 15 + months. When I was in a mood, she would complain of her health issues like her pre-menopausal symptoms. Even when we had sex, it was no fun. She hardly participated, and would just close her eyes,while I did it. I am not an authority on sex, but I didn't think it was normal.

As a side note, Lady Hillington wrote in her journal in 1912:
"When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, open my legs and think of England."

In my wife's case, she thought of her mother and India, in that order. Is it possible she was just expressing her hate, anger, and dislike for me by doing so?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just as a footnote to all that I wrote before:

My wife does not work and does not contribute anything to the family finances. I don'know if this is relevant at all, but thought it was worth mentioning.
 

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i think it's pretty clear that you should be getting a divorce. when you said that death would free you from this misery, that said it all. Divorce is the way more logical option than wishing for death.

Regarding your daughter, hopefully she will make this major decision on her own in deciding where to go to college. I'm guessing that her home country would be the best place to go, but this decision is up to her, though she may be guilted into a decision by her mother, but even then, she can change her mind and come back to the US after a year.

You can't stay in this marriage for a 17 year old kid. I've read about people staying in marriages with little kids, but you really have no excuse for hanging on with a near-woman as a child.

Free yourself from this misery. And free your wife from the misery of her misguided perceptions of you. It sounds like the only good thing she has given you is your daughter. She contributes nothing but complaining. You've probably given her a very nice life.

Let her go back to her mama and find the peace she's been waiting for her whole life. You really need to divorce her for both of you. Life is too short to wish for death when a divorce will give you the chance to find happiness in this life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
IsGirl3: Thank you so much for your advice.

Would you have some advice about the questions in my last post (where we separate, prior to a divorce)?
 

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b) How do I become unemotional, hard headed and unsympathetic - I must say that she has used me during l these years - I got nothing for the loving, caring, sympathy, help and assistance. In all these years, she has not once said those magical words "I love you". Now I am not becoming cinematic or cut off from reality, but it is nice to hear those words, once a while.
From your posts you sound like a man that has the capacity for caring and nurturing. Your wife, for what ever reason, does not; at least she has not shown you any respect or consideration. Your emoitions are going to bleed for a while. You must redirect your thoughts and actions in another direction. Is there something that you want to do for yourself that you have always wanted to do but just did no get around to it? If yes then pour yourself into that. Do something for yourself, build yourself up, and do not buy into false guilt; it is time for you to take care of ONLY you.

You will have to do the balancing act and that means that you are to protect yourself but not become unemotional and hard headed. If you need help doing that then do not hesitate to get help.


Blunt
 
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