Dear Anne: My husband and I have marital problems because of his adult daughter (my daughter-in-law).
I want to limit the information he shares with her about our finances, our problems and life in general, but he refuses. I dealt with the problem for many years, but recently the private information he gave her was inappropriate.
We’ve been married 25 years and he said if we’re going to stay married, he and his daughter are a “forfeit”. He says I’m being unreasonable. Now he’s not sure if he wants to stay married because I have such strong feelings against his involvement in our business. I feel violated, but he thinks I’m overreacting.
How to handle this? I love him, but he refuses to respect my privacy – not to mention the fact that he prefers his relationship with his daughter to his marriage to his wife.
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Thanks for any advice. I have the support of my friends and family, but I’m afraid I lost my husband to my daughter-in-law!
Dear mother-in-law: I know you love him and you’re right, he shouldn’t share intimate details about your marriage with anyone.
But don’t forget that his daughter loves him very much, and he loves his daughter, so instead of trying to drive a wedge in their relationship, maybe have more compassion towards the fact that they have a close relationship .
Love is not lacking in the world. He may love you and his daughter-in-law, but if you constantly criticize their closeness, you cut off the love for all of you – your husband, your daughter-in-law, and yourself.
At the same time, if he’s sharing personal information that she doesn’t need to know, then he needs to stop. For example, if you see a psychiatrist and you don’t want people to know about it, that’s none of your daughter-in-law’s business.
Dear Anne: My wife and I get along well most of the time, but not all of the time. She’s a control freak who insists on knowing where I’m going and what I’m doing every second.
She is also obsessed with money and needs to control my spending. Recently I helped a couple because their furnace was broken and they had no money for repairs. I lent them the funds they needed and my wife got angry. I explained that it was the middle of winter and they had just had a baby, but that didn’t matter.
They had borrowed money from both parents and still hadn’t succeeded. Yet my wife was furious that I lent them money and she demanded that they pay me back immediately.
I feel like she’s more in love with money than me. I feel the marriage is over and I want a divorce.
In the meantime, I have found new love and am in a new relationship with someone who wants me, not money.
What do you think I should do? I do not sleep.
My wife and I don’t even sleep together anymore. She has the bed, and me sleeping on the chair in the living room. Any ideas on how to handle this?
Dear Lost Husband: You might feel lost because your wife is so bossy, but you went behind her back and had an affair. Before you meet another woman, you owe it to your wife to have a conversation about why you want to leave the marriage.
The case you made against her certainly sounds compelling. Not helping a young couple and their baby out of their heat is certainly mean. Feeling like your spouse only wants you for your money is also a terrible way to feel in a marriage.
You could sit down and tell her it’s over and you want a divorce. Or, since you started out by saying that you and your wife “get along well”, and you’re not sleeping – perhaps because you feel guilty – you can try to work things out with your wife by getting her promise to stop controlling and stalking you. A marriage counselor could really help you both.
New York Law School and New York University graduate Annie Lane writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Email your questions to [email protected]