How Can I Make my Husband Listen?

Question:

My husband is never satisfied. He complains about his work, our house and our kids, even though he’ll occasionally admit it’s all fundamentally OK.
I keep trying to tell him he’s depressed and occasionally he’ll kind of acknowledge it, but real soon he’ll go right back to blaming everyone and everything else for his woes.
I’m blue in the face from telling him he’s stuck in a bad pattern. How can I get him to address this?

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So Mad at my Mother-in-Law

Question:

I’m so stressed and irritated. I live with my husband, our kids and his mother. The problem is she is too hard to get along with. She pesters and criticizes me constantly. I try to be polite sometimes I just blow up. I don’t want to upset my husband but I’m afraid some day I’m just going to pack up and move out. How can I keep myself calmer?

 

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I Feel so Guilty

Question:

I take care of my ailing mother, and I’m very willing to do it. One problem though, is that she expects more than I can provide. I know that if I give her all the time she wants from me, her life would be better. On the other hand, mine would be worse, and by a larger proportion -a net loss between the two of us. She cannot recognize this, and her expressions of sadness at the neglect she experiences makes my want to cry. I am plagued by guilt. What can I do?

 

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Should I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?

Question:

I cannot bear my wife’s alcoholism any longer. If I stay I’ll perish. But if I leave her I’ll be in the financial pits. And strangely, I still love her!  I’ve been to an Al-Anon meeting but it’s not enough. Most of my friends tell me to leave her, and my family tells me to stick it out. What do I do?

Note: I first wrote this answer as a way to talk about methods to approach tough dilemmas, and since that time it has grown into the forum you see now. 

I’m continually moved by the vivid descriptions of the carnage that addiction causes, and the impossible “you choose, you lose” dilemmas faced by exhausted, isolated partners. Often, finance, children and other circumstances prevent any simple solutions. But, I also notice that many describe their own addiction of sorts – to the partner. A love and attachment you cannot shake, despite the consequences. It’s something like finding yourself holding a hot panhandle and gripping all the more tightly the more it burns.

Please feel free to tell your own story.  I also encourage you to respond to other postings with a few words of appreciation, support and ideas.

Updates are appreciated.  There are many more readers of this dialogue than there are responders – you have an interested group here and we want to know what happens.

Thank you.

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Wifely Duty

Question:

I’m married and we have two year-old. My day starts at 5:00 when I get up, make my lunch and go to work. I pick up our son on the way home. Then I clean up breakfast, run the laundry, make supper, wash dishes. All at the same time I’m keeping our son entertained and getting him ready for bed. My husband comes home from work and watches TV. He says his job is so hard; he’s too tired to do anything else. The weekends aren’t a lot different. By the end of the day I’m so depressed. I wonder if I should ask my doctor to change my medication. And this is not what I thought my life should be like. I’m so confused!

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