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Wedding Woes

DTMFA...and get your own counseling.

Dear Prudence,

When I met my husband 10 years ago, he was adventurous and lighthearted, and he had hobbies and friends. There were red flags, such as his drinking and lack of employment, but I was young and had just come out of a terrible relationship, so I ignored them. In the 10 years since, he has become morose, depressed, consistently unemployed, with no friends and no hobbies and no interests at all. He is the most miserable person I’ve ever known and is constantly angry at everything and everyone. He refuses to do anything to help himself, either to be more employable, learn new skills, get therapy, or do anything outside of the house except go to the bar (several times a month—it’s the only time we go out). He refuses to see how his own patterns of behavior have contributed to his problems. His answer to everything is a “fresh start,” which means me upending my career and him starting over again in a new place. But he blames his difficulty finding a job on all of the times we’ve moved! And he blames my career for the fact that we’ve moved so much! I’ve sacrificed pretty much everything to try to make him happy. I’m stuck in a midlevel managerial position because I’ve turned down every opportunity that would have raised me higher, because all of them would have required time away from home. He says I’m “never home,” but every minute I’m not at work, I’m with him, and I already leave work early most days so he’s alone less. I still love him, but I don’t like him much anymore, I don’t enjoy being around him, and thinking of my life being like this for years to come makes me incredibly depressed. But I feel like I can’t leave because he literally has no one else. He says that if it weren’t for me, he’d “already be dead,” which is not flattering—it’s horrifying. He refuses to consider couples’ counseling. The only way I get through each day is telling myself, “It’s NOT my problem,” almost a mantra, when he goes on another of his rants about how my career has ruined his life, how his family has ruined his life, how life has ruined his life. He says that he’s depressed and that he needs help, but the only help he wants is for someone to give him the perfect job that he thinks will magically make everything OK. His last job, which actually was a great job, he quit after a month. I don’t know what to do. How do I leave knowing that he very well might end up killing himself, or so he says?

—Mrs. Miserable

Re: DTMFA...and get your own counseling.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Girl, you got to GO. Get yourself into counseling and I would be giving him the "couple's counseling or divorce" ultimatum. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Good lord, that is horrifying. 

    Ditto counseling. And you can't sacrifice your life for someone else's. A lot of times when a person is threatening that(in this type of situation), it's more of a control tactic than an actual threat. 

    short+sassy
  • Oh my.

    Nope - this is big time counseling that's needed.   I'd probably say that we can't make the marriage work without it. 
  • Go see a divorce lawyer to figure out how this is going to work financially and your own therapist to work through your feelings. 
    ei34
  • Ro041Ro041 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    There were red flags, such as his drinking and lack of employment, but 
    I almost fell out of my chair at this part of the letter.  There were red flags??  Ya think??  And you are surprised that who you married ended up being an unemployed man with serious issues?

    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • Girl, you got to GO. Get yourself into counseling and I would be giving him the "couple's counseling or divorce" ultimatum. 
    This!

    Though, at this point, I'm not sure she should even bother with couple's counseling.  He also needs his own counseling and might suffer from depression.  But, unfortunately, he probably needs to hit rock bottom before he'll do anything about it.  And the LW needs to stop feeling responsible for him.  Adults are responsible for their own selves and he has made thousands of minor and major poor choices that has led him to where he is today.

    She needs to stop sacrificing her own life and career for him.  I mean LOOK at this guy!?!?  He doesn't work.  But apparently doesn't run any errands and I'll bet doesn't do any housework.  And then has the added gall to blame her and her career...you know, the one that allows him to lazily sit on the couch all day and be angry and morose...for "ruining his life".

    Set yourself free, LW.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    mrsconn23charlotte989875ei34OliveOilsMom
  • I would also suggest counseling or divorce ultimatum.  I highly doubt that therapy at this point will really get through to him much, but I would try.  If he says no, or counseling doesn't change anything then get TF out.
    ei34
  • Man, screw couples counseling.  He's already saying no and manipulating TF out of her.  LW doesn't have a marriage, she has a shitty childish roommate.  She needs to see a divorce attorney, cut him 100% out of her life, then get herself into counseling, then start living her best life and take those promotions! 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is so sad. I hate ultimatums but I think it’s time for “couples counseling or divorce”.  LW needs her own counseling too.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    She needs to get out. This level of manipulation is abuse. 

    Counselling can do a lot, but it's not going to fix this. She needs to stop throwing her life away. 
    VarunaTTmaine7mob
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ditto to everyone else seeing this as abuse. It's manipulative, controlling behavior and it's not okay. LW needs to separate herself from this relationship and get some individual counseling to reaffirm that she's made the right decision. I had an ex that continually threatened suicide when we were together and it wasn't until I left that I realized that it was a form of abusive behavior.
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    charlotte989875short+sassyVarunaTTOliveOilsMom
  • Yep. Saying "you'll make me kill myself if you go" is on the same page as "you'll make me kill you if you try to leave." He may be depressed, but he's a master manipulator if he has managed to keep her around for 10 years.

    I hope she is getting together an escape plan.
    cupcait927
  • I think this is way beyond couples counseling. She needs to get the hell out of this marriage and get counseling on her own to help her heal from all the manipulation and emotional abuse.
    image
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