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Hey all! New to this forum, looking forward to getting to know like-minded people and having common discussions! :)

So, I know feeling attraction for your spouse is a common discussion as well as finding ways to connect etc. My problems, to sum it up in to words, would I guess fall under those categories.

My issue is, and has been for a long time, trying to curb feelings of hatred and resentment towards my spouse.
I'll tell you the wonderful qualities he has first: he's a good father to our 3 children, he works hard (at work), he has great friends, enjoys having fun, is not judgmental or pretentious and everybody loves him. He's a goofy, down to earth guy's guy. That's what initially attracted me to him and I appreciate his fun loving side very much still.

Now for the bad: I hate to make him look like an ass, but I guess if i want advice I need to be honest. To sum it up in as few words as possible (or i could probably spew on and write a novel) He is a complete SLOB!!! I've been with him for 16 years, married for 14. The entire duration of our marriage he has been an unbelievable slob. When I first met him, his house was the party shack. There were always empty cans and bottles all over, moldy food on the counter and in the fridge (if there was any food), dishes everywhere (under his bed, on the washing machine, bathroom counter etc etc...like, just ridiculous). I did look past that and loved the person he was. (To sum up his upbringing: he was raised by total slobs, divorced, broken home etc. Mother suffers depression, on welfare, bunch of kids from different dads... you get the point.)

So the hard work began and I cleaned his place up, became his maid more or less. We built a new house, jumped onto a green branch, started all over etc.

Our new house got absolutely trashed by him. He didn't treat it any differently than his old house. he got used to me being his maid, not because i accepted being such, but that I couldn't stand his filth and mess so just automatically cleaned up after him. Couple years pass, we sell our house and buy a farm that needed a lot of clean up and work, but because of our love for the country lifestyle we jumped in with both feet and were willing to make it our own wonderful heaven. WELL! if you live with a slob DO NOT allow him to buy a huge chunk of land with SO MANY PLACES TO PILE SH*T!! It has been an unbelievable challenge, i have left him a couple times because of his messiness, with sincere promises to change and get better.
I work from home so I am always here for our kids and to keep up with yard and housework. It is an insanely huge job. (just mowing the grass takes 7 hours on a ride on mower). i am fussy so I like it to look and feel a certain way, so I work my a$$ off to keep up with it. (when he gets complimented on having a nice yard I nearly lose it, especially when he takes credit for all the hard work, he really has no idea).
He will throw beer cans on the ground wherever he stands, he will bring junk home from wherever he finds it (the dump, old abandoned farmsteads, auctions etc) and dump it on the ground in front of the house "for now" (his famous words) and it stays there until I get sick of tripping on it and finally force him to clean an area up in his shop to put it.
He hunts, and insisted for awhile that he'd like to put the carcass, after meat has been cut off, right near the house so he can shoot coyotes off it... (which means, dead animal skeleton 50 yards from my house and him shooting off the deck)

I could go on and on. He is an enormous red neck, complete slob. (I was raised by very neat and tidy people, it was a complete shock to get to know how bad he really is)

Stupid story, but kindof shows what he's like:
Yesterday, after weeks of me nagging, he cleaned out the pig barn....kindof. (He insisted we get pigs, and there's no way I'm cleaning up after them) He shoveled piles of sh*t out of the stalls and replaced with fresh bedding.
Comes up to the house after and I was making supper. He told me he'd grill the steaks and for me to pass them to him. I had one smell of him and nearly passed away. (if you've ever smelled pigs, you know what I mean) I asked him to please wash his hands before grilling, but he didn't want to take his rubber boots off (because they are SO hard to get off....) to come in the house to wash his hands. I gave him insane stink-eye and he finally slipped off his boots and came in and washed his hands. Later on, after supper and kids to bed etc, he goes and crawls into bed (I just washed the sheets) without having a shower. So I slept on the couch, furious and disgusted with him. (He asked why I slept on the couch in the morning and I explained that his odor was burning my eyes)

Anyway, i don't know what to do anymore. It's been years and years of complaining, nagging, begging.... i resent him and am grossed out by him. He is a young and pretty attractive guy when he cleans up, but his standard of living is insane. (He would go a week without showering if i didn't make him)
I'm ready to call it quits for good. I've started to even hate myself because it seems I've become a complete b*tch to him.
Any advice, feedback, pity would make me feel better!
 

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You have my pity, if you don't mind my tears of laughter too!

You need to write a book!

So your loving husband didn't make it to the classes about hygiene. You say talking and nagging hasn't worked. Can you hire a lawn care service just to mow?

Why did you let him get in bed when you knew he hadn't showed? Why didn't you say, "don't not even consider putting thy foul self on these clean sheets. Shower now!"

When he tosses a beer can, don't allow it. Tell him to go pick it up now.

And yeah, why the hell would you buy a farm when you knew this guy wasn't likely to keep the place neat.
 

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My Opinion:

It sounds like your husband isn't comfortable in a clean & tidy environment. Some people just aren't - my sister's like that, and is actually really unproductive (she's an artist) when she isn't surrounded by all her tools, and a good deal of associated clutter.

I think it's a psychological comfort thing. If he came from a difficult situation, then the areas he was most comfortable and felt safest in were probably messy places. That's a pretty tough thing to get past. It's possible that counselling would help, but convincing him he needs counselling might be just as difficult as convincing him to clean up. :p

Something I might suggest: Have designated areas where he CAN be messy. Is there a barn or shed that he can have as his space? Can he hang his carcasses on the other side of it so they are out of view of the house? You're asking him to respect your aesthetic wishes, but you can respect his as well by making sure he does have an allowed space for his own comfort zone. If you can make it work in such a way that you don't have to see it regularly, then that might work really well for both of you. I'd recommend making it as comfortable for him as possible - he should have places to work on things, sit around... maybe a mini fridge for his beer, and so on. Mind you, you might see less of your husband if he spends lots of time in his area...
 

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I'm your husband, including the pigs. We don't have a lawn though because we live in a log cabin in the woods.

But I married a wife that grew up with tolerance for it. This is one of those things were you walked into it seeing what a pig he was and have expected him to change.

I'm just not going to change. I wouldn't have married a girl that needed me to. At this point if you really are about to leave him over it then you have to negotiate clear conditions and write them down so that there is no argument about what you agreed to. You owe it to him in saying that you are going to leave him if the conditions are not met and they need to be very exact - like no junk on the lawn, no boots in the house, etc. Personally I'd have fired you for nagging.
 

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I want to make an addition regarding hygiene:

It's possible that if you give your man his own space (and make it clear that he's only allowed to be messy there - but work with him to make it a place he likes and can feel at home in), that he'll find it easier to "give in" on other things, like hygiene. But if not...

It's really about compromising. Maybe you can get him to shower most days, but he doesn't have to shave. Or something. I don't think you can expect him to make a complete switch-over; it doesn't give him any leeway.

It's not respectful of you, for him to climb under the freshly-washed sheets with a couple days of sweat on him. In my opinion, he should be the one sleeping on the couch in that scenario. Nice things like beds are supposed to be treated nicely! But, I'm not sure how he hasn't gotten the idea that he's more likely to get some action if he smells fresh & clean... maybe you could try a bit of seduction when he DOES clean himself up? You know... incentive.
 

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Ohhhhh boy. My dear, I know EXACTLY where you're coming from.

My husband and I have lived together for nearly 7 years now. As a kid...I was a HUGE slob. Never picked up after myself, never noticed a mess, absolutely never cared. However, I did have chores as a kid (dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc.) but my bedroom especially was an absolute pit.
When I got out of college and paid rent for the first time, I realized "Holy sh*t!! I'm forking over tons of cash to live here! I should take care of it!" and I became an absolute OCD neatfreak.
Then...my husband (then bf) moved in with me...

Turns out, my husband was also a huge slob when he was a kid. And teenager. And adult. After several months of living together, I found out he NEVER was asked to or expected to clean ANYTHING when he was growing up. When we started dating in our early 20's...he had never done a load of laundry or washed a dish. And he was never taught to take any pride in the state of his surroundings.

I did the exact song and dance you described for YEARS. I wanted everything to be spotless and I made sure it was. Despite him heaping clothes all over the floor, leaving an overflowing sinkful of dirty dishes that he just magically got washed (by me), never ever ever doing laundry...Good lord, I would get FURIOUS! And it IS maddening because it's SO disrespectful!!

I spent a lot of time telling him how much his sloppiness bothered me. It absolutely builds resentment; and many of us women get into this vicious cycle: 1) Tell/ask husband to do a chore. 2) Husband does not act quickly enough or does it "wrong" 3) Wife jumps in to complete the task believing husband will put it off or screw it up. 4) Wife resents having to do "everything."

It's a cycle I've lived for years. But...things are finally better these days. And ya wanna know what's worked for us? (Well, there are a couple things...) but 1) lowering MY standards. I know, I know, that sounds kind of lame, but in truth...I started asking myself "OK...does it REALLY matter if the dishes sit in the sink an extra day?" "Is it a deal breaker that he'll never do a load of laundry of his own volition?" "Does my house have to be absolutely spotless?"

The answer to all those questions, to me, I finally realized, was "No." We both work full time, and while our house isn't constantly in a state of spotless glory, it is now in a state that it takes about 30 minutes to get everything looking great. So what if it's not CONSTANTLY **** and span? Most of the time, it is (we both have chores and we both clean/tidy about twice a week.)

Now...that's only one tiny component of the whole issue. Because...what to do to make a sloppy guy GET the fact that this is important? (Because it IS important! A guy that ignores the hard work it takes to keep a clean, happy home doesn't get how disrespected he makes his wife feel.) Your situation sounds tough because for crying out loud, you've LEFT him over this and not much has changed. It may take something crazy to get his attention.

But...have you ever told him EXACTLY WHY his grossness bugs you so much? For us, it honestly took years for my husband to understand "When you ignore every chore and expect me to do it all, you are taking me for granted and you're making me feel like sh*t. Keep it up and it will turn into resentment." It also took a long time for me to understand that I don't HAVE to control certain things and I need to give him the chance to succeed at this stuff, instead of just jumping in, doing it for him because I believe he'll fail.

Thing is...most guys (not all) but most guys don't give a rip about cleaning up. And these guys also don't get the underlying reasons or "real issues" that make it so frustrating for us ladies who like a clean house. In my opinion, it really boils down to respect.

A man who goes to bed reeking of pig sh*t is not being respectful. And I guarantee you he doesn't understand that. I also COMPLETELY understand why you wouldn't sleep with him! But...did you ask him to shower and he didn't?

Another problem we women have is that we expect our men to read our minds. If you asked him to shower and he was like "Um, no." then, that's extremely mean. BUT...if you just walked away...how was he supposed to know he was stinky and gross if you didn't just say "Babe...seriously...shower for me, please." I know, I know "Why can't he just KNOW he's gross? I'm not his mom! He's a grown a** man, he should be able to take care of himself!" Sometimes they need some nudging.

OK, this is getting super long-winded, but in particular, I'd like to point one more thing out:

You said "It's been years and years of complaining, nagging, begging.... i resent him and am grossed out by him." Firstly...quit the complaining, nagging and begging and start the talking, communicating and discussing. Your hubs probably doesn't even realize his actions are so horriffic to you (and quite honestly they do sound extremely gross...) and he won't get it till you tell him exactly what it's doing to you.

Maybe it's just time to be brutally honest with him and say the things you've just said on here. It won't be easy, it'll probably hurt, but you obviously cannot go on like this. I'd also suggest marriage counseling.

I hope this helps a tiny bit, and at the very least, know you're NOT alone and change is possible. It's going to be a hard habit to break after so many years, but if you're both committed to making your marriage work, you absolutely can.

Best of luck!

Oh, a quick addendum. When I say "change is possible" I don't mean changing your husband as a person. I mean the changing of habits...both yours and his. If you can lower your standards a bit and he can step it up a bit, you'll meet in the middle.
 

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You married a man who's a slob, and expect him to change to meet your standards. Good luck with that! Marrying anyone expecting them to change themselves is a fool's game. You could try counselling and work on the "worst" behaviors first, but I think you're in for a long battle.

C
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I would make him a list of chores, yes just like a child, things he has to do everyday. The first and last item on list has to be SHOWER, you can put dishes, laundry, carpet (vacuum), in between. Tell him these are the changes you need or your done taking care of him and the house. He gets all chores for one month, if you both make it thru the month, then you'll start helping, but for now he needs to see what you've been dealing with all these years.

All is fair in love and war. Its your turn to become GENERAL. Take charge. Good luck
 

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Stupid story, but kindof shows what he's like:
Yesterday, after weeks of me nagging, he cleaned out the pig barn....kindof. (He insisted we get pigs, and there's no way I'm cleaning up after them) He shoveled piles of sh*t out of the stalls and replaced with fresh bedding.
Comes up to the house after and I was making supper. He told me he'd grill the steaks and for me to pass them to him. I had one smell of him and nearly passed away. (if you've ever smelled pigs, you know what I mean) I asked him to please wash his hands before grilling, but he didn't want to take his rubber boots off (because they are SO hard to get off....) to come in the house to wash his hands. I gave him insane stink-eye and he finally slipped off his boots and came in and washed his hands. Later on, after supper and kids to bed etc, he goes and crawls into bed (I just washed the sheets) without having a shower. So I slept on the couch, furious and disgusted with him. (He asked why I slept on the couch in the morning and I explained that his odor was burning my eyes)
Ugh, this gave me flashbacks to my first husband! Things were not going great between us anyway, and he got to the point where he used to come to bed all grungy. He worked in machine shop, and would be covered in black grit, wouldnt shower, and came to bed in the shorts and shirt he had worked in that day! Talk about disgusting! Add to that that he smoked so he reeked of smoke on top of the stink of dirty metal and sweat....UGH. Oh, and he had a tendency to drink to much, so add beer smell to that as well. Gee, who wouldnt want to have sex with that?? I was lucky though that his nastiness was pretty much limited to his person.
 

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Wow, this is horible...... would he see a counselor? I can't help but think that someone who is this filthy must have mental issues and perhaps a counselor can help him figure out what is going on.

Plasmasunn has some good advice. I know you left twice, but I commend you for sticking it out this long. If you try what Plasmasunn suggests and things don't change you are really left with only two options. Live with it, or leave. In the mean time, try to get him some help.

BTW, we live in the country too and have raised pigs. I would have to throw out the matress.
 

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You are far from being alone, trust me on this one. I was born and raised in WY and oh boy, seems filth was the "norm" to be manly there.

I sure understand your discomfort but I wonder if it is even possible for him to change? This is what he is comfortable with. You know what I mean? So what can you do?

My husband is over weight, something he was not when we met. We used to jog together, walk together. Once he retired from the military he started packing on the pounds and I have found it very hard to be attracted to the weight gain.

Have you ever heard of the moives, "Forks Over Knives" or "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"? I would encourage you to watch these with your husband. For my husband it was enough of a wake-up call about his health.
 

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I feel your pain!! Although my ex wasn't quite as bad as your husband...mine was a complete slob. Left the lawnmower out (his excuse was that he was waiting for it to cool off..)..cleaned out his dump of a car and van (he had his own business) and there were shoes..clothing..empty buckets..tools, and even moldy food, etc. all over our yard to the point of it looked like a junkyard.

It would often overflow into the house as he'd leave what I called his "schrapnell" all over my clean table (the dirty stuff he took out of his pockets) and although he had a garage to put things in...he'd be too lazy to put it where it belonged and our garage and yard become a junkyard of buckets...tools.....old clothes..shoes, etc.

It was disgusting and I was soo embarrassed.

Being a painter..he'd wash his heavy dropcloths in our washer (when I had asked him kindly not to as I knew it would ruin our washer..much less having to run two to three loads without any clothes in them to avoid all the paint chips)..eventually it DID ruin our washer as the heaviness of the dropcloth broke the belt...DUH!!

Again...along with him leaving his crap lay all over the place in the house..the yard was the worst. We finally got a notice from the city that we had to clean up all the junk. How embarrassing!!

In addition..he took our small fire pit and put it in the corner of our yard and decided to burn whatever he felt like in it to the point that it left burn marks all over the corner of our fence. We had several visits from the fire marshal on that warning us that is was too close to a wood structure, but he just wouldn't quit.

It was insane!!!

Although that wasn't the entire reason for our divorce..it was a part of it. I believe that there is a place for everything and everything its place while..if he couldn't find something..or if something got trashed out in the rain..he'd just go out and buy new while leaving the junk just lay in our yard.

In addition..knowing his horrible habits of leaving things lay outside like he did..I developed my own toolbox so if I needed a hammer, etc. I would be able to find it. Before too long he was hitting THAT up because he couldn't find his own tools. When I started hiding my personal tools...he'd get mad at me until I finally gave in and let him use my stuff. Those too I found laying out in the yard in the rain.

The yard went from bad to worse and I just couldn't keep up with it anymore..until...

We eventually got a letter from the city telling us that we had to clean the yard up immediately or be fined, as it was definitely beyond nasty!!

I can't tell you how embarrassed I was as he laughed about it, yet did nothing. Just kept piling crap up alongside the house...behind the garage..alongside the garage, etc. until I finally took it upon myself to clean it up to avoid a fine.

It was like he enjoyed breaking every rule possible as he put a metal fire pit in the corner of our wooden fenced in yard and started burning stuff. I walked back there one day and the fire he burned stuff in had actually burned several of our fence posts...yet he never stopped..even when the fire marshall came over and told us that we needed to be 50 feet from a wood structure.

Thing is...he would light a fire and then go and run errands. Seriously?? How crazy is THAT??? Don't know how many times I looked out our back window and saw the fire he started with gas almost as high as the tree over it.

Let's burn down the entire neighborhood ya idiot!! Eventually we had the fire marshall over (several times!!) as again..my ex blew off every single warning and just kept doing it. Rules weren't made for HIM but I sure as hell was embassassed about it as my ex would light the fire and just take off...

There I was with the hose and the fire marshall standing over me making sure the fire was out..again..embarrassed the hell outta me!!

Thank God I got rid of the loser!!
 

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So, the premise is that this grown man does not know that he should take a shower after shoveling sh!t all day?

That he does not know that throwing a beer can on the floor anywhere he happens to be is unacceptable?

And because he was like this before he was married, it's just the OP's lot in life to do ALL of the cleaning necessary to run the home while he goes behind her sabotaging her hard work? This is supposed to be okay?

I'm sorry, I couldn't live with a man who didn't know he needed to shower the feces off him before coming to bed unless Mommy told him and led him to the shower- but that's just me.

If that is really the case, he is a mentally ill hoarder and he needs intensive prolonged therapy.
 

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I feel so sorry for you. Nagging isn't going to do anything but waste energy. Men don't want to change unless they want to change. My husband is the same way. I stopped nagging years ago and just would clean without saying anything. I got pretty tired of it about a year ago and moved into a room of my own. Looovvee it:D. Next step is for me to turn the back of our home into an in-law suite for me and the kids, that way he can trash his area until it's piled high. At that point, I won't even care cause as long as I'm living the way I want to live without wasting my breath, he can do what he wants.
 

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I feel so sorry for you. Nagging isn't going to do anything but waste energy. Men don't want to change unless they want to change. My husband is the same way. I stopped nagging years ago and just would clean without saying anything. I got pretty tired of it about a year ago and moved into a room of my own. Looovvee it:D. Next step is for me to turn the back of our home into an in-law suite for me and the kids, that way he can trash his area until it's piled high. At that point, I won't even care cause as long as I'm living the way I want to live without wasting my breath, he can do what he wants.
And this is the marriage you want your kids to think is proper? Just curious...

C
 

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I'd recommend making it as comfortable for him as possible
While I'm not one for wanting to drastically change someone after marriage - I think one thing that is being forgotten here - there are children involved in this. I'm not really sure that making this "comfortable as possible for him" is really the best example to be setting for them.

As much as it might be psychologically uncomfortable for him to address, and giving him his own space to carry on as normal might be the past of least resistance - this cycle needs to stop. The husband was raised by slobs - if the children grow up thinking that being a slob is normal -or will be excused or tolerated by other people are they going to follow suit? When they refuse to clean their room - "because Dad doesn't have to" - what's the response to that going to be?

As someone who grew up in the house of a hoarder slob, I can tell you its very embarrassing. When the kids don't want to have friends over at the house anymore because they embarrassed - is that really fair to them?

It's time to talk to a counselor about this - and figure out if there's a mental health basis to all of this.
 

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And this is the marriage you want your kids to think is proper? Just curious...

C
Sad yea I know,but what can you do? I would rather my kids see a mom that's happy than one that's mad about housework. He can't complain though cause I don't nag ever anymore about anything. Win win for all.
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Been there, done that.

Serenity prayer it. If he's got good qualities, go on those.
 

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While I'm not one for wanting to drastically change someone after marriage - I think one thing that is being forgotten here - there are children involved in this. I'm not really sure that making this "comfortable as possible for him" is really the best example to be setting for them.

As much as it might be psychologically uncomfortable for him to address, and giving him his own space to carry on as normal might be the past of least resistance - this cycle needs to stop. The husband was raised by slobs - if the children grow up thinking that being a slob is normal -or will be excused or tolerated by other people are they going to follow suit? When they refuse to clean their room - "because Dad doesn't have to" - what's the response to that going to be?

As someone who grew up in the house of a hoarder slob, I can tell you its very embarrassing. When the kids don't want to have friends over at the house anymore because they embarrassed - is that really fair to them?

It's time to talk to a counselor about this - and figure out if there's a mental health basis to all of this.
You took my quote completely out of context; I was not suggesting that the house or any part of the house be allowed to remain messy and dirty. I was suggesting that a shed or other outside area be set aside as a "retreat" of sorts for the messy husband.

My grandparents made this work very well. Although I don't think my grandpa was actually a hoarder, he needed his workspace (which was cluttered), and it was all kept contained in a shed some distance from the house. He had a friend who likes to spray-paint things, including a bunch of statues of geese, and my grandma made that work by finding some spots around the property for shiny gold geese. But besides that, things stayed contained.

The house itself was spotless, and it was very clear that there was to be nothing dirty, and nothing out of place in that house. I lived there for a while, and it really gave me an appreciation for cleanliness. It's probably formed how tidy I am today.

Assuming the kids live in the house, and not in the shed, I expect the same rules would apply to them. And why don't they get their own messy sheds? Because they're kids. They can go hang out in dad's shed if they want to be dirty; but when they come back in the house, they shower and pick up after themselves.
 

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Sad yea I know,but what can you do? I would rather my kids see a mom that's happy than one that's mad about housework. He can't complain though cause I don't nag ever anymore about anything. Win win for all.
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That might be the best option in your case; I don't know the whole story. But without any more info to go on:

It seems like this would teach kids to avoid their problems. As a kid in this situation, I would have learned to quietly do things in some less-than-ideal (and possibly selfish) way instead of meeting my problems head-on.

But, it's a trade-off. If you teach your kids to be strong and stand up for what's important to them, then you might end up teaching them to move on from a relationship that isn't working. If that goes outside your value system, I guess you wouldn't want to do that.

Best wishes.
 
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