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My wife and I have no children and neither of us has any outside romantic interests. We've been married 30 years. She has been unemployed for ten years. I've pleaded with her to get a job but she says “she can't”. In a typical day she does nothing but play on her electronic devices and sleep. She does almost nothing around the house, and almost nothing to help our lives in any way. If I come in after a twelve hour work day it would never cross her mind to offer to make dinner. In fact, she might even ask me what I'll make for dinner. It's so frustrating because it seems to me if she can play on a computer she can work on a computer. In fairness to her she has had major depression since childhood, but she's made almost no effort to work through it. If I could I'd do it for her, but that's something she needs to do herself. I just can't do it any more. It's ruining my life and I'm becoming very resentful. I don't have a wife. I have a fifty-year-old infant. We will probably lose our house here soon. It would be easy to keep the house if she'd had just a meager part time job running a cash register at the grocery store. In the last ten years we've lost half a million dollars in income to her not working. The path we're on I'll end up having to work in my 70's to compensate for her not working in her 40's. Her not working is effectively eliminating retirement as a possibility in my life. There is more hurtful stuff I've had to endure, but I don't want to use it against her. I think her depression is largely to blame for it really.
She is genuinely fragile and I don't want to hurt her. I'd like to propose an amicable divorce that allows her to live with me as long as she wants. We rarely fight so I don't think that would be a problem. I'm afraid that if I don't let her live with me she could end up in a psychiatric facility or even hurt herself. I'm thinking about proposing that I keep the upside down house and most of my salary, she keep her 401k and car and any household stuff she wants in the miraculous event she gets a job or decides to move somewhere else. I would continue to pay all her living expenses, frankly, as if there were no change in her life other than we'd have a paper saying we were no longer married. I think she would agree to this arrangement. Does this sound sensible? I'm hoping that maybe it will even jolt her in to realizing that she's going to have to live her life like an adult with responsibilities. In the unlikely event things become nasty what would the courts do? Would they, for example, let her take half my salary and continue to never work another day in her life at my expense, or something crazy like that? Thanks for any help.
Wow. You should consider tightening things so she doesn't have it so easy and quit being her pack mule. You don't exist to allow her to get fat and rot while you do everything else. Start immediately on an austerity program. No Internet, no cable, no smart phone data plans. She wants more? Get your fattass off the couch and start contributing like a grown adult to the household economy. Slavery was abolished by the Lincoln administration.
You're right, Trevor. I'd prefer not to be so confrontational with her though. I don't know if you're familiar with chronic depression but it's no fun for her or for me. Telling them to 'snap out of it' doesn't work and can just make things worse. But I have to do something to save myself. It's gut wrenching. I don't want to hurt her but I know I have to move on.
A few things. No need to say anything except "our budget is too long in the red and I am cutting back, effective immediately." No further discussion is needed. She is an expense - net revenue loss - and the gravy train stops today.
If she squeals about it you will have to man up and not cave in; it's the pleasure/pain principle for both of you. And if it gets worse, so be it, the status quo sucks, according to you...and at least you're doing something to fix your problems.
Her: Once the pleasure of sitting around all day every day not working is eclipsed by the discomfort of sitting around all day every day with no phone, internet, and cheetos, she will come to a point where working is less painful than being a couch pig with no toys or a full trough.
You: Once the discomfort of her screeching in your ear as if she is incapable of working (sorry but I am unimpressed by her claim of depression, in the absence of you saying she's doing a damn thing about it; as others have posted here, self esteem is rooted in actual accomplishment...as long as nothing is accomplished, esteem stagnation will continue) is exceeded by the pleasure of her additional income streams in to the household budget (as if you'll ever see any of it), then your pain will diminish.
I understand you're falling on your sword cos you don't want to hurt her, but you fail to see you ARE hurting her by enabling and fostering her adult dependency - a completely untenable life choice these days. She needs to grow up, and frankly, so do you. She's not a child, and you're not her Dad, so lose the silly games and allow the sunshine of reality to give you both a fresh look at your lives.
Hehehe. Settle down, Trevor You obviously don't know anything about major depression. Google it and read about it if it interests you. If it doesn't then don't. But don't jump to conclusions if you're hell bent on not learning about it. People might think you're an ignorant republikin.
I appreciate your 'advice', Trevor, but you're so full of anger I frankly can't take you seriously. She is a good human being with some serious troubles. I can't kick her to the curb like a piece of dirt. I'm just trying to find a proper and fair way to do this without causing any more devastation to her than necessary.
C'mon, you don't really want a divorce - you know, that silly piece of paper - you want to threaten her into behaving, right?
About that Major Depression. You probably need to explain how it specifically manifests in your wifey, because a lot of guys around here are just laymen and it's pretty rare. You might be the first one here with this much experience - please share.
If you find something offensive in what I write, please accept my apology in advance. (Not that I'm going to change anything just because you don't like it, but it's not my goal to offend anyone.)
Depression in women is not "rare". I've read a lot about it for a long time, and lived next to it for longer. It's an insidious thing. Roll up your sleeves and read about it if you like. I have no bumper sticker synopsis for depression, which is what you seem to be looking for.