Go to Counseling to Deal With that Man-Child You Married (Hax Column)
(I got a notification from Word Press that today is this blog’s Seventh Year Anniversary. Yay me, I guess.)
My views about divorce have changed over the last two or three years. I still think people should take marriage seriously. I don’t think I want to spend much time in THIS post discussing those changes – I’ll try to keep this short.
I was raised in a Christian tradition that taught that adultery was the only reason a person could divorce and not be in sin. Suffice it to say, I used to sort of buy into that view, too, but that was when I was younger and a little more naive about relationships and people.
Take the letter below as an example. The woman’s husband had an affair, and on those grounds, a lot of Christians (not all, but many) would say she has a “biblical” right to divorce the dude. Other than the adultery, based on what the wife says, the husband sounds like an arrogant, uncaring, selfish jackass.
If the guy had not cheated, though, if adultery were NOT on the table, most Christians would say this woman writing to Hax does not have a “biblical” reason to divorce, and must remain with the guy, even though he’s not considerate of her feelings, her needs, he’s arrogant, and so on.
My view point is: screw that. If I were in her shoes (and even if adultery was NOT at play), I’d still feel JUST FINE and VINDICATED divorcing such a jerk.
Life is too short to stay in an unhappy, unsatisfying relationship with a selfish, consistently inconsiderate jackass. I’d be saying Aloha to this guy.
And I don’t give one iota what Christians think about that or about divorce.
Carolyn Hax advises a woman who is tired of trying to be more exciting with her husband, who cheated on her.
DEAR CAROLYN: Where do I begin? I found out my husband was having an affair, though he refuses to admit they slept together.
He and I had been having problems mostly due to having kids — a lack of excitement, my being “too much of a mom,” among other things. Mind you, I work full time, my husband was useless with our son for the first year so child-rearing was mostly on me, and we have been going out weekly since our son was a baby.
Even though we are intimate at least twice a week, my husband complains that we do not experiment.
I have made an effort but apparently not enough for him. I guess my recent pregnancy did not help either (our children are ages 3 and 6 months).
My husband claims he was not ready for marriage and kids but married me because he loved me and because he knew I was good for him. That he owed it to his “older self.” He is now 35.
He also told me he knew we may not be sexually compatible but thought this would change with time.
Since I found out about the affair, he has been super helpful at home. However, he refuses to talk about the affair and refuses to go to couple’s counseling. He is difficult to talk to.
He dominates the conversation and I just end up shutting down. I told him I need the counseling as a forum to talk about things, and he says that is my problem to deal with. He just wants to focus on making our life better and more exciting.
I cannot live my life under constant pressure to be “more exciting,” and I am just tired. I also feel cheated out of the opportunity to have married someone who thinks I am perfect for him (this is my second marriage; I think I’m done with that!). If it weren’t for my kids I doubt I would consider being with him.
Partial reply by Hax:
Oh dear. Downplays mistakes + resents kids as your primary focus + useless with your son + craves novelty + pressures you for it + disavows marriage decision + refuses to talk + dominates conversation + dismisses infidelity fallout as your problem (equal sign) possibly the most childish man-child this column has ever seen.
I don’t know if there’s any growing up in his future, much less enough, but I’m confident there’s no happiness in yours if you keep treating this as a regular marriage to a regular spouse. Emotionally he sounds adolescent at best
Someone at the bottom of that page, in the comments, said this:
Marriage only works when both parties are interested in getting along. He pretty much wants everything his own way… until and unless that changes, I’d suggest moving out.
When he sees what child support will actually cost him, (especially for 3 kids), maybe he’ll be more amenable to you having your own point of view. At this point, being single is better than the hell you’re going through.
Yep. The guy I was engaged to was very much like that – he wanted every thing his way all the time, and my preferences and needs did not matter to him.
My ex would throw temper tantrums until I caved in and gave him his way. The resentment in me built over that, over a period of years, until I got so fed up that I broke up with him (in addition to a few other reasons).
So, if you are a guy who gets your way all the time, it may make you feel good in the short term, but the end result is your girlfriend or wife will dump your selfish, demanding ass eventually.
You may discover that getting your way all the time is not so rewarding and sweet after all, when you end up sleeping alone every night.