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Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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I am in an unhappy marriage, We have been married for just

Resolved Question:

I am in an unhappy marriage, We have been married for just under a month. She and her daughter live with me in my house that has always been in my name. I have no problem starting the annulment process with the church and the annulment/divorce process with the courts, but where I am struggling is how to approach her on this.

Her and her daughter will not have a place to go or stay. She will undoubtedly hate me if she knows I am going down this path. She works from home most of the time. Her and her daughter are there all day while I am out working. This house has always been in my family's name for 40+ years. She can get mean and nasty if things aren't going well, especially if her daughter's future is uncertain. But I am in misery, so I need to do something. Any ideas on how to handle this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I am so sorry that you find yourself in this very difficult position.

Dr. L :

I would like to get a little more information so that I can respond more accurately to you.

Dr. L :

You wrote that you have been married one month. Tell me how long you have known your wife, and what led to the two of you getting married. Were there issues before the marriage? What were they? What is occurring that you feel so ready to end the marriage?

Dr. L :

Did your wife live with you before the marriage?

Dr. L :

Your concern for where she and her daughter will live is very compassionate and caring. If the house is in your name...then it is your property. You will need to consult with an attorney or the courts to find out if you live in a "no fault divorce" state. That typically means that any property and assets that were yours before the marriage are still yours...any property or assets gained after the marriage are joint assets.

Dr. L :

What you may want to do is to offer her some assistance in finding a new residence. That might mean that you go with her to look at housing...or that you agree to help pay rent for a period of time.

Dr. L :

Telling her of your decision to leave the marriage is going to be difficult no matter how you phrase it. The best position to take is to be honest about your feelings and your needs.

Dr. L :

Have you considered couple's counseling? Or...are you absolutely sure that you cannot make a go of this marriage?

Dr. L :

I see you are typing. I will await your response.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Customer:

Hi Dr. L, thank you for responding. I have been with my wife since September 2009. There were definitely lots of issues before the marraige, we have a very volatile relationship. She is trouble with spending and saving and tends to be bossy and controlling, whereas I can be overly sensitive and resistant to change. The reason I feel ready to end the marraige is all of the above plus I am having a VERY hard time adjusting to living with her and her daughter. I do suffer with OCD and anxiety too. My normal life routine is messed up, I am not sleeping or eating good, not working out like i lke to and it is affecting my work too.

Customer:

We did not live together before the marriage

Customer:

I am not 100% certain the marraige will not work, but I have a feeling it is about 90%. I was never ready to go into this marriage. There was lots of pressuring and guilt involved. I have been going to therapy for almsot 2 years. We are going to try couple's counseling when I can get an appointment. We went twice last year, but dhe wouldn't stikc it out because she did not want to delay the wedding. I really do feel I just want my old life back. I just so much fear devestating her and breaking her heart. The two of them also just moved A LOT of stuff into the house, so they have intended to stay for the long haul....

Customer:

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs...

Dr. L :

Thanks for your additional information.

Dr. L :

Truly this is a tough situation. And...absolutely...the two of them moving into your house...and your life...is a complete disruption of your normal routines...routines that allowed you to manage your life and function happily.

Dr. L :

I'm sorry that she did not stick to the couple's counseling...that might have helped to address some of your immediate concerns...and also might have made it more clear to you what you were about to enter into.

Dr. L :

At this point, it seems that you have at least two options:

Dr. L :

1. Tell her the truth about your assessment of the marriage and your decision to end the marriage.

Dr. L :

2. Ask her to enter couple's therapy with you as a strategy for examining the marriage and determining whether you can succeed as a couple.

Dr. L :

In either case, you are going to have to come clean about how you feel and the disruption that has occurred in your life.

Customer:

Thank you again for responding. I know there is no easy way out, I keep hoping for a miracle, but that won't happen. I am still open to couple's therapy, but the problem is as time goes on, they will digging in where they live now mroe and more. He initially lived in two different states, CT and MA. Her daughter is now looking at possibly gonig to school in CT as well as looking for part-time work for the summer. She is 18

Dr. L :

The truth of the matter is that marriage can sound good in theory, but may be a poor choice when it comes right down to the reality of daily living. As a clinical psychologist of nearly 30 years I can tell you that you are not the first person to come to me saying that they feel they made a mistake by marrying. This is life. What I feel is important is that you give therapy a chance - minimum of 3 visits. If the partner is unwilling to co-operate...take that as evidence of how they feel about you and about the relationship.

Customer:

It will be harder and harder to end things as time goes on

Customer:

I would be willing to help her financially too with getting an apartment up to a point, but the heartache will be very tough too

Customer:

Okay, what you said makes sense, just hope I can get those appointments soon

Dr. L :

Yes...you are correct. The more entrenched they become the harder it will be to uproot them. But...that's a practical matter and what is critical here is your ability to be happy and to live a fulfilling life. Let me put it to you this way:

Dr. L :

You have one, and only one, life to live. That means that you have to make wise choices as you will not get a 2nd chance.

Dr. L :

When you think about your life in that context...is it clearer what you must do?

Dr. L :

And absolutely...there will be heartache on both sides...

Customer:

It is, yes

Dr. L :

You already are feeling guilt...that is likely to stay with you for some period of time.

Customer:

I had guilt before the marriage at the thoguht of backing out then

Dr. L :

If you are already seeing a therapist, perhaps that person could recommend a therapist for you and your wife. Because she didn't stick with the first person...it might be good to consider someone new.

Dr. L :

That's what I thought....

Customer:

yes, we might try that

Dr. L :

Please try to address your tendency to take on guilt in your individual therapy sessions.

Dr. L :

You need to get free of that...

Customer:

very much so

Dr. L :

If you spend the rest of your life tied up in guilt...that's going to make your life more complicated.

Dr. L :

Please know that your wife will recover and so will you. It is likely to be painful if you divorce...but it may be more painful if you continue in a marriage that jeopardizes your emotional health.

Dr. L :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Absolutely, it is very hard for me to get past the pain I know will be causing her and her daughter, but I am sacrificing my own health and happiness because of it

Dr. L :

Exactly.

Dr. L :

And being a martyr is not in your best interest...nor in theirs...

Customer:

Plus I will mention we have had sex only twice since being married for almost a month

Customer:

not that normal for newlyweds

Customer:

but it is hard to desire someone when you are stressed because of their presence

Customer:

but her needs are not being met nor are mine

Dr. L :

Very true in both cases...

Customer:

I would never stray since I am married, but it is frustrating to not have an outlet

Dr. L :

your sexual life should have been enhanced with marriage

Dr. L :

And neither of your are reaping the benefits of marriage

Dr. L :

Is there any more I can help you with today?

Customer:

I guess we are good. I have a hard time ahead of me. I very much appreciate your time, support and concern

Dr. L :

You are very, very welcome.

Dr. L :

If you should ever want to chat again, please ask for me by name and I will be notified of your new question.

Dr. L :

Take care!

Customer:

you too

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
Dr. L and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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