Husband Needs to Grow Up
Q: More than six years ago, when I noticed that our relationship was getting serious, I asked my boyfriend two questions about kids and where he would like to live. I knew that there was talk of him moving up North, which was exactly what I have always wanted to do. I was told that he definitely was moving. His exact words were, "I am AWOLing the South." After the "I do's," we agreed to stay with his mother to save some money and then move a year later. A month later he decided that it was best that we stay (and there were a whole bunch of other decisions that he and his family made for my life). But to make a long story short, I settled for staying here and we bought a house. The problem is that some of my husband's family and friends are not very fond of me, which is okay, but it's fueled by things said by my husband and mother-in-law. As a result I feel abandoned by my husband and alone. I am not interested in ending my marriage but I really really do not want to live here anymore. I have no family or close friends. I plan to move up north with or without my husband. I settled for what he wanted for six years and it's not working. I've been depressed for a very long time and I cannot do it anymore. Am I wrong for leaving? -- Mandi, 28
Dr. Susan: Your husband chose sides six years ago, and you were a good sport to hang in there even though he went back on his word about moving. Staying near his family could have worked out okay, but only if he found ways to make it up to you. You may, in fact, have given in a little too easily on a number of issues. But moving now, alone, to another part of the country? I think you need to do a couple of things first. One is to see a doctor to be sure that your depression cannot be alleviated somewhat, BEFORE you make a final decision that will rip apart your marriage. I'm not saying your depression wasn't hard earned when your husband kept putting you second after his family. But it's also possible that something additional is going on for you. And one ought not make major decisions when depressed, if at all possible. Second, you need to try to convince your husband to see a counselor with you. He's been making decisions in an immature way, without consulting you, and he's been saying things that are making people like YOU less. How disloyal of him. He needs to separate conclusively from his mother in order to give your marriage a chance to breathe. If he's not willing to see that your feelings have validity, then it may be time to move on. No idle threats though. I hope he'll be willing to talk about putting the house on the market and moving together, far enough away from his family to keep their noses out of your lives.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.