Separate or wait to see if things get better?
May 19, 2013 1:54 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I have been together for 9 years, married for the last 3. We met when I was 19, and him 21. Recently I have been feeling like I might want out. I still love him, but I am not sure that he is going to change in ways which I would prefer him to. Should I tell him I want to separate or wait to see if things get better?

He is a performer and although for a short while, was able to make enough money to get by on, he has mainly lived off of money that I have earned or saved by the last few years. For a long time I was angry with him and persisted at him to find work. The only point where he managed to find a job, was when we had depleted our savings so far that we had to move to another city in order to still afford to get by. So he was unable to take on the position he was offered, and has failed to look for work since.

After a few years of doing very little other than his own practice, which did not yield much if any money, I encouraged him to go back to school. Over the past 8 months he has been doing a Masters in his field, and has excelled at this.

Over time I have seen our interests change and diverge from one another. He is quite heavily into fan culture for a couple of TV shows, and learning about analogue technology related to his practice. My own interests are art & theory, travel, food, discussion, politics. I have begun to spend a lot of time with (mainly maie) friends to support these interests.

At home I manage anything organisational - cooking, planning the grocery shop, finances, trips away, etc. He cleans, and that is about it.

We used to have a lot of plans and dreams together for the future, but as time passes I see my husband settle for what he has in front of him. I still want the things we talked about when we met - to make enough money that we can travel, afford to run a car and have pets, and eventually a child.

For the first few years of our marriage we had sex once a month on average. It was often unsatisfying, and at points I was so stressed and upset with him that I'd reject his advances even on these rare occasions.

More recently we have had better sex. I feel that this was strongly linked to my airing my dissatisfaction with our relationship and threatening to kick him out a few months ago after a fight. Since that point I have failed to feel angry at him any more, and generally just have let things go. He is in psychotherapy at his school just now, but doesn't seem sure if it is working well for him or not.

At this point in time I am a postgrad research student, and so we live in a very small flat to accommodate us both living off of my stipend. It upsets me to see my colleagues afford to go on research trips and buy equipment they need, things I cannot readily afford due to the fact that everything pays for me and my husband together.

For the whole time we have been together, I have had crushes on other people during periods where things have not been good in our relationship. I have fantasies about leaving him and sleeping with other people. I know I could act on this but the thought of destroying our relationship hurts me.

The things which make me stay are loyalty to my husband, and a hope that things can be better. He is kind natured but leans towards ADHD (he was tested, but not deemed to be affected enough to receive treatment). I don't want to throw this away after being together for 1/3 of my life, but at the same time I am not sure if things will change when my husband finishes up school.

Selfishly, I feel that money is one of the biggest issues between us, and I know he may inherit in the next few years. If he did, it would likely be enough to buy a home outright. This would allow us to stay in another country, have a child and do some of the other things that we dreamed about early in our relationship. So, part of me feels I should hang in there and see if things get better.

It would be great if anyone who had a difficult early marriage which got better could weigh in I would greatly appreciate it.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Don't count on inheriting, people change their minds and people come out of the woodwork and contest wills.

You don't fix problems by waiting them out. You need couples counselling.

And people recover from difficult years of marriage all the time, but people divorce all the time too. You and your husband are the best barometer of your own marriage longevity. We can't tell you what will happen. Either scenario is common.
posted by taff at 2:11 PM on May 19, 2013 [9 favorites]

I really doubt that he's going to improve. If he inherits a truly big amount, you might not have to worry about money so much, but otherwise--he's used to you picking up the slack. Unless you stop supporting him--financially and care-taking--he's going to cruise along just like he is now. Why should he change?
If you buy a house, you'll be taking care of the repairs, all the maintenance, all the decorating, gardening, plumbing, electrical work--if you long to become an expert on this stuff, this might be great for you.
Once he gets his MA, does he plan to do anything with it? Or will he be an unemployed but educated actor/director/musician?
Not to be harsh, but if you really want to spend your life being the sole breadwinner, with no breaks, no respite, even when you have kids--you might try to work it out. Me? I'd DTMFA.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:16 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

If I were in your shoes, I would separate and tell him to move out and support himself while you both enter therapy and consider if you will continue the relationship. The relationship sounds stagnant and rooted in resentment, and it's very hard to get perspective when you can never get away from the person you're having problems with. Take a break, look after yourself, see if he is capable of carrying his weight, and figure out what it is that will make you happy.

Long ago, I was married to a mooch. His problems were so all consuming, I never had time to think of my own needs. It wasn't until we were separated by circumstances that I felt the enormous relief that came with being free of all the weight he piled on me. It took a while to completely disengage after that, but I was truly shocked at what I had not known about my feelings until this moment.

Give yourself a chance to be you.
posted by Scram at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2013 [7 favorites]

Whoo. This is a hard one. I too married young, and we wound up getting divorced. A lot of things you say were true of me — underwhelming sex, fantasizing about other people, hanging out with lots of male "friends". I was the fannish one in the relationship, and also the financially dependent one. He and I both thought I was a mess, that I needed help, that there must be something wrong with me, etc. Of course, I was just unhappy, and my husband didn't respect me at all, so I kinda believed that I couldn't do better for myself.

I don't think this will get better on its own. Either come clean with him (about everything, including money concerns, his inheritance, your hopes for the future, and your fantasies about other people) and seek counseling together, or start thinking about whether you'd be happier without this relationship.

IMHO, the way you talk about him doesn't sound promising. You seem disenfranchised, not very trusting of him, and like you feel you are more mature than he is. This is completely okay for you to feel, but he probably picks up on it and it can be hard to break out of that kind of cycle of reinforcing low expectations.
posted by annekate at 2:23 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

A relationship that ends does not in any way detract from its success and general value. If you are feeling like you've grown out of this relationship then you certainly are allowed to want to leave. I would not stick around for an inheritance because that doesn't really address the issue of him having the motivation to contribute to your family vs. being accommodated without effort.

Start talking to your husband. Is there a place where you can be more collaborative about what to do next vs. "threatening"? Let him know how serious you are about having your needs met, whatever those are. If you two can't figure out how to make it workable in the marriage then that is a perfectly reasonable reason to end up leaving it.

That said, my parents have made their relationship work for about 30 years. There was a decade in there that was extremely rough, and they talked about divorcing for quite a while. It took a ton of effort on both of their parts to get through it, but they are dedicated to each other and content with the life they've made. There is definitely hope if you are both willing to invest in the relationship.
posted by skrozidile at 2:45 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is one truth about relationships: there is no perfect one.

When people divorce and marry again, the new spouse does not have the negatives of the previous, but has other negatives. That's because imperfection is human. However, those 2ND marriages usually survive pretty well. Why is that? Because part of divorcing is you learn how terrible a breakup is on a person, and your new wisdom seeks to keep the 2nd marriage in tactic all the more. You find "wait, my new husband has faults as well..." When that reality sets in, you focus on navigating these new found faults, while keeping on the larger picture of maintaining the marriage. The energy spent on saving a marriage that is salvageable is much less than divorcing, searching, finding, and qualifying a new one.

In other words, the grass may be greener on the other side for you, but perhaps only in different parts. Does your husband have qualities that can keep you happy, once you properly air your full set of grievances? This is why marital therapy exists - sign up for it as a 1st step before considering moving on.
posted by Kruger5 at 2:51 PM on May 19, 2013 [8 favorites]

Only speaking to the possible inheritance piece, this was my experience: for a long time towards the end of my marriage, my ex didn't work, enrolled in school but didn't go and just lay around.

And then he inherited several million dollars after his dad died.

He used the money to buy himself toys and as an excuse to lie around and do nothing.

A while later when I divorced him, he was entitled to keep 100% of all of the money he inherited because I had no legal right to the money as it wasn't considered a "marital asset."

So even if he does inherit, consider my story: it's possible he'll waste the money, use it as an excuse to become less responsible, and worse, you won't be legally entitled to any of it if you split.
posted by kinetic at 2:54 PM on May 19, 2013 [13 favorites]

DON'T even consider his possible inheritance while considering whether or not to stay married. Wow. Could you even imagine how horrible you'd feel if you found out that that your money is why your husband stayed with you? You'd feel pretty bad, right? And angry.

Since your husband doesn't have money, you really have no way of knowing what he'd do if he suddenly did have money. Sure, you've probably talked about it, but talking about theoretical money is different than real money that could be foolishly spent now. Maybe he'd deposit the money into a joint account and the two of you would plan to spend it wisely. Maybe he'd do something crazy and impulsive with it in order to take another shot at whatever his performance art is. Since the money is only a concept right now, there's no way to know for sure.
posted by 2oh1 at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2013

Here are the two most important factors I consider when deciding if I should stay in a relationship:

1) Do I respect him?
2) Do I like him?

Frankly, if you don't respect or like your partner, you can't be happy with him. You could try to learn to through therapy and effort, however I have found that respect and liking are usually big incompatibilities that you can't force to go away no matter how much you try to brainwash yourself.
posted by Shouraku at 3:18 PM on May 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

There is nothing selfish about being concerned with money - financial compatibility is one of most important elements in a relationship. You deserve a better relationship, one where you share dreams and goals. I am sorry that you are at this point, but you can't make up the time spent with him by staying longer.
posted by florencetnoa at 3:47 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Listen to kinetic. If he inherits, HE inherits. It won't be your money.
posted by winna at 3:48 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

A thirty year old man that refuses to work is most likely not going to change unless he wants to. (Yes he is in school right now but I did my masters full-time while working one full-time job, a second part-time job and raising three children - he has no excuse not to support himself).

It sounds like he has decided that instead of a partnership he has lucked into someone who will be his mother AND father and free him from responsibility. And I agree with those that remind you the inheritance may not happen and even if it does he may bank or waste that money and continue to live off you.

It IS positive that he is seeing a pyschotherapist and he appears to be making an effort but I think you need to be a lot clearer in your expectations to him and let him know that if your expectations aren't met then you will ask him to leave. So telling him you need to divide chores fairly immediately, he needs to be working in six weeks time and contributing 50% to joint expenses and putting $$ each month into joint savings in three months would be something you can have a conversation about. This is where having a third party like a couple's counsellor would be helpful - someone he trusts that will tell him that yes, adults are expected to support themselves and be full partners in a marriage.

Meanwhile, get your own financial house in order and start saving for the research trips and equipment you need by economising. You should also have someone you trust to bounce your thoughts off of during this difficult transition period. Seeing a lawyer/financial advisor would also be a good idea so you are fully informed of all your options. Good luck.
posted by saucysault at 4:06 PM on May 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

Do you love each other. Are you both prepared to put each others happiness on an equal footing with your own. Are you both happy. If the answer to any of these questions is no then you need to move on.
posted by BenPens at 4:11 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

However, those 2ND marriages usually survive pretty well.

Most statistics show that the divorce rate for 2nd marriages is higher than the divorce rate for 1st marriages.
posted by htid at 5:01 PM on May 19, 2013 [7 favorites]

Most statistics show that the divorce rate for 2nd marriages is higher than the divorce rate for 1st marriages.

It's like 60% I think? And I think the divorce rate for first marriages is like 40%.

My advice would be to wait -- you sound really frustrated, but you are both students, and it's possible that in a year or so, when you've graduated and have options for work in your field, that things will be better. Grad school is miserable.

Something I would try would be to...

1. Make a list of individual one and 5 year goals
--->include the short-term steps necessary to bring them to fruition

2. Make a list of SHARED one and 5 yr goals, with short term steps

3. Make shared internal to the relationship deadlines for accomplishing those steps.

If he lets those deadlines go wizzing by, even after you have had a conversation about shared goals, then that's when I would let him know I was thinking about divorce, and that's when I would start shopping for a lawyer.
posted by spunweb at 5:35 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

it is not uncommon for someone who has been stuck for a long time to not change their behavior unless they are forced to. your situation sounds a lot like a cousin's of mine with my cousin being the unemployed one. he and his wife were married 10+ years and have a child and his wife had to support them because he couldn't hold down a job and was mostly unemployed all that time. his wife was very resentful and miserable in the marriage even though she really is a nice person in a bad spot. i think she was hanging on for the inheritance he will get some day--that is what i heard. well, my cousin finally decided to divorce her when she stopped having sex with him. boy, she didn't see that coming although i think she is happier now. my cousin moved back in with his parents for a bit and lo and behold now has a great job that he hopefully won't sabotage. i don't think he will actually because he's living on his own now. so, i wouldn't wait around hoping the situation will get better. be proactive. get some marital therapy and tell him to at least get a part-time job. see what happens in therapy and take it from there.
posted by wildflower at 5:56 PM on May 19, 2013

This is an extremely complicated question with no clear cut answers. If you didn't love him, you couldn't be encouraging him to do all these things, like get a masters. But you can never, ever change someone who doesn't want to be changed. You can not. Therapy will not change him. The threat of separation might change him, but might not. The inheritance will not change him, etc. I don't know exactly what is in his head, because for me, work is important, but I have known at close hand many couples in which the woman was the breadwinner and the man refused and refused and refused to work, and this seems to be a common theme: not being able to change someone who doesn't want to be changed.

You may well say it's worth funding his artistic endeavors. I guess every parent has to do that for their children, and people sometimes give away their earnings to good causes. To some extent, I think that's a valid life choice. What is hard for the couples I've seen in this position (though granted they were in their 40s and 50s, and divorce was less of an option) is that the woman never agreed to support the man-- she found herself in that position and it led to resentment. I think if you can willingly say, "I am going to tend that garden, I don't need to travel or whatever, because my husband is happy," and mean it, then that's something. That doesn't seem to be necessarily the case.

It comes down to as above, do you have a shared sense of goals, and communication as a couple? These money issues can be very eroding of intimacy and frankly it sounds like with grad school and all these pressures, your own sense of what you want is somewhat fuzzy. Maybe focus on figuring that part out, both together and separately. My advice would be talk to your partner about this. Going to see a counsellor for yourself may be helpful too.
posted by kettleoffish at 6:24 PM on May 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

Take a break now, before you bring a kid into it. Agree to not sleep with anyone else while you are apart, just have a break to see if you miss one another and to give him a chance to learn how to support himself. He really shouldn't be married until he can at least do that. I get that he already is but really, he shouldn't be. Right now, with you supporting the two of you and making all the household decisions, it's become a parent/child relationship, and no woman wants to sleep with her kid. Once he learns how to man up, the sex should improve.
posted by myselfasme at 6:57 PM on May 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

You have a househusband for life. He doesn't want to change and as long as he's married, he doesn't have to. It already stresses you out being the breadwinner and it already sounds like you don't respect him or are that interested in him. If he inherits, he will probably blow the money anyway. I vote that you leave. If you aren't into him or OK with things as they are, do the both of you a favor and leave.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:12 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

OP, Kinetic and Taff have you're answer.

(Kinetic, I'm shocked at that story. Just shocked.)
posted by jbenben at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2013

Did you not promise to remain his wife for better or for worse? Sounds like right now is a bit of the valley (the worse). Waiting it out and hoping it will fix itself is unlikely to prove an effective strategy. You need to:

1. Consider couples counseling- see if he will go with you.
2. Honor your commitment that you freely made, unless he has done something truly heinous that is grounds for divorce such as abuse (physical or drug abuse), adultery, etc. Take divorce out of you vocabulary.
3. Nip temptation in the bud- close off those male friendships you've got going on and that you're letting yourself indulge as backburner possibilities.
4. Find a close female friend to confide in (preferably one who is good at keeping secrets, respects you, and won't use your confidences against you but will encourage you).
5. Do not ignore the problems, but refresh your mind on the dozens of little good things about your husband that made you fall in love with him. Think back over your happier memories and the joy you felt when you were planning your marriage.
6. Act outwardly as if he were, right now, behaving the way you would expect him to behave that would lead you to respect him. This does not always work of course to change a man's behavior but it often does. Let him see and know and believe that you do love him, you respect him, and you want to be his wife. He may take the bait and begin to act worthy of such care.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 9:21 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were you, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff like housework and making grocery lists. Sure that may be irritating, but you have much larger issues than who is more organized to keep track of household responsibilities. Save that for another day, far down the line. Although I feel that if your larger issues are taken care of, that may be a fight you don't need to have ever.

That having been said, I don't believe separating will bring the results you want. It seems you want to separate to "make him change" and realize that he has to fix himself to get you back. Am I wrong? That's how I'm reading it anyway. Or did you mean separate as in divorce?

If you separate from him, he sounds like the type of person who will do the bare minimum to get by, not live on the street, and get what he wants. I don't think he will change for you.

1) Set out the expectations. A counselor or mediator is good for this so expectations are fair. That can include a timeline for a job or other contribution for the couple and household.
Other's have said similar in the terms of goals.

2) If he does not meet those expectations to a reasonable level - determined by a mediator - you have a set of consequences. This will also be helpful to discuss with a mediator, but I would start with changing the wifi-password and other things that he is not paying for. If he wants internet, or extra snacks, or entertainment, or clothes, he has to buy them on his own. You are not his mother.

3) If after not meeting expectations, and the following consequences, he does not change or contribute, I say find a lawyer and get out of there.

If this were just an incident like he lost his job or walked out of a bad one, I would be more giving. But this seems like a lifestyle choice. He seems - from your post - to have been taking advantage of you the entire time because he wants this artistic and free spirited lifestyle where someone else foots the bill.

I think you need to tackle the quantifiable issues first, such as money and contribution to the relationship. If that gets worked out it seems like you still need to work out if your long term goals are compatible, however you can't have long term goals if you aren't working together in the present.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:39 PM on May 19, 2013

I was in a similar situation with an ex (although we were together for less time and not married) and I completely understand how resentful you are feeling.

One of the things that attracted me to my ex was his easy-going, laid-back nature and happy-go-lucky temperament. Unfortunately this came coupled with a lack of drive and ambition, and it seemed he was perfectly happy (and felt perfectly entitled) to live off my hard work.

Like you, I found myself feeling jealous of those around me whose partners put in some effort when it came to the practicalities of life. I also got crushes on other people. I eventually ended up leaving my ex for one of those people. I am much happier now, with a partner who puts in the maximum amount of effort to make sure that he is meeting my needs.

I completely agree with Ideefixe on this:
he's used to you picking up the slack. Unless you stop supporting him--financially and care-taking--he's going to cruise along just like he is now. Why should he change?

Some people seem to just be like this - happy to let others look after them if they can get away with it, cruising through life taking no responsibility for themselves. My ex hasn't changed and I don't think your husband will either, based on your description of him. In my opinion it is an ingrained personality trait.

If I was in your position I would cut my losses now and look for a better life for myself. There are men out there who will want to be an equal partner with you. Don't martyr yourself for this man, who won't even do the bare minimum for you.
posted by RubyScarlet at 9:44 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

i say separate (since that is your question).
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:47 PM on May 19, 2013

Another thing about the inheritance: Even if he gets it, and you can live in comfort enough to have a child, your relationship is what your child will have as a model.

For me that would be enough to inspire Come To Jesus counseling sessions to decide if you should stay together or not.

I don't know enough to know if you should or not- I have seen much worse relationships than yours come back- but the time for getting help making your life into something you actually enjoy is now.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:58 PM on May 19, 2013

I really liked this recent comment from Tanizaki in an un-related thread:

if any of your plans depend on him changing, your plans are not well-founded.

Your hopes and plans for the future (to travel, run a car, have pets) are so modest, and yet your husband would need to make huge changes in order to accommodate them. It seems like you are fighting an uphill battle and you may not have much chance of success. People don't change that much, that quickly.

To put it another way, he has shown very little inclination to shape up and meet your needs over the last nine years of your relationship. If the only thing that would force him to make those changes is the threat of you leaving him, then the pressure is only on in so far as the relationship is on the line. When things go back to normal, he would most likely go back to putting in the bare minimum of effort. Is that enough for you?
posted by RubyScarlet at 10:05 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

I am not sure that he is going to change in ways which I would prefer him to.

Never ever couple with someone thinking they're going to change. What you see before commitment is pretty much what you're going to get. If you are not going to be happy forevermore with your husband exactly as he is today, you need to see a lawyer to figure out what your legal rights and obligations as the breadwinner are before you make a decision about whether to separate.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:13 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ambition is one of those traits that someone either has, or doesn't. Many a person has been ruined by the promise of an inheritance and based on your description, your husbuand is one of these people. They're just marking time until their windfall arrives. It's sad.

That said, would you like him any better if he did get that money? Would it bother you to be the sole breadwinner in the house if he purchased the house with his inheritance? Would you consider that contribution to be fair? Or would it still piss you off?

There are two components to a marriage. The first is the emotional one, love, mutual respect, enjoying each other's company. The second is all the practical elements. Do you have similar goals, do you have similar tastes? Are you well matched in work ethic?

You can't have a successful marriage if one of these things is toally lacking, you for damn sure can't have a successful marriate if BOTH of these things are lacking.

To this point you've had a relationship that worked for you on some level. As it stands today, you don't. You're staying with your husband out of a misguided loyalty and a feeling of personal failure if you do divorce. That's the wrong reason to stay. Stay because you love him, stay because you have mutual goals, stay because together you're larger than the sum or your parts.

However. If you no longer have love or respect for him, if you feel that you're carrying the burden of the relationship on your shoulders, if you're tired of supporting his ass, then you need to confront those feelings and DEAL with them.

Sit down with your husband and tell him what you are thinking and feeling. "Beauregard, we've been together our entire adult life. I value our history together, but my feelings are changing. I'm becoming resentful of the fact that you appear to be coasting through life. I feel like I'm responsible for too much in our marriage. The things we talked about wanting seem as far away nine years along than the did when we first met. I don't see that you are progressing. I need a partner who contributes equally to the finances in our marriage. I need a partner who will contribute more to the household. I need a partner who matches my professional ambition. I don't want to blind side you, but I don't think we're headed in the same direction. How do you feel about this? Are you dissatisfied with our marriage? Would you be willing to discuss this in therapy?"

If you honestly want to work on this, and he honestly wants to work on it, you can salvage your marriage. If you're past that point, or if he's past the point. Agree to part amicably as friends.

The only thing worse than giving up a long relationship, is staying in a long relationship for one minute longer if you're unhappy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:14 AM on May 20, 2013 [6 favorites]

Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and when to Walk Away by Bethany Marshall. Amazing book, she explains in a no-nonsense way why women stick with good-for-nothing men and how to approach it in your relationship, when to walk away, and what to do if you want to stick it out and improve the relationship for the better. She also says when this would be possible, and under what circumstances, or if it will never change and you're basically wasting your time.

I think you should separate. As Ruthless Bunny said:

The only thing worse than giving up a long relationship, is staying in a long relationship for one minute longer if you're unhappy.

You sound like you're a well-together lady who knows what she wants. I'm sorry, but your husband is not what you want. You envision yourself having a different life and the dead weight that you're pulling is just that, an anchor from your dreams.

What's more important? Him, or you? My philosophy is that someone is who they are the entirety of the relationship. People don't change overnight, especially if they don't want to. And, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. He may not have been like this when you were first married, but he is now. And he misled you to believe that your future marriage was going to be what it is not right now. That's deception. He hasn't changed. You have. You can have an amazing life as soon as you realize he's holding you back.
posted by lunastellasol at 7:46 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your sex life sucks, your husband has no ambition, you are reaching the end of your peak fertility period, and people rarely change (especially those whose very problem is that they lack the motivation and self-discipline to change their current situation)...The problems have been there from the beginning and have gone on for NINE LONG YEARS. I think you should break up and find someone who makes you happy. Best of luck to you.
posted by ravioli at 8:54 AM on May 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

From your description (which I am sure is somewhat skewed by your current emotions), this relationship WAS NEVER GOOD. It's just that when you met you were too young to know that anything else was possible or potentially better. Well, you no longer have "being 19" as an excuse for making yourself needlessly miserable. DTMFA.
posted by like_a_friend at 9:09 AM on May 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

So even if he does inherit, consider my story: it's possible he'll waste the money, use it as an excuse to become less responsible, and worse, you won't be legally entitled to any of it if you split.

And also, some people who live in the anticipation of an inheritance develop very bad habits and getting the money-- as kinetic's story suggests-- doesn't make those habits go away. He is not going to be any more self-reliant once he inherits. Do you want that role model for your kids?
posted by BibiRose at 9:18 AM on May 20, 2013

I don't think work ethic changes thath readily, and thath sounds like your biggest gripe with him. I would do counseling together, withthe goal being an amicable split.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2013

I was married for less than a year (together for a total of 5 years), and I feel I may have stayed too long. Obviously, nobody can tell you what is best to do- that is for you to decide. But, really analyze yourself and the relationship- maybe it would help to get away for a week to a quiet relaxing place. What I relized from my failed marriage (and now successful new relationship) is that, you shoulnd't want to change the person you are with. Of course, maybe you wished he would dress differently or he wouldn't leave his dirty underwear on the floor- but I'm talking about their goals and values. For too long I held this image of what my ex COULD have been if he would just change. He was who he was, and he wasn't going to ever change...and it exploded in my face. He tried to be the person I wanted him to be, but all that did was make him unhappy. What I thought would make him happy was not his idea of happiness and we both realized that. I would say look at both of your goals and values (friendship, family, what is important), you should want to experience the things with your husband that you may not enjoy but because you want to experience them together and bring happiness to him. It's a scary world when you are thinking should I stay and be "content" or should I leave everything I knew and try again... it's not that scary out there, trust me, it's better to be happy then live life on cruise control. You have one life, follow your heart and listen to that little voice.
posted by love2much at 11:23 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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