Unprofessional Conduct

Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 14, 2004

I am sitting here so unsure of what to do anymore. I've never asked anyone for help of this type, as many people come to me for answers. I am a social worker and my husband is a psychologist. We should have the answers, but we just don't.

We have been married 10 years and have an 8-year-old daughter. The problem as I see it is my husband refuses to help out at home. He will not do anything associated with domestic work. He does not mow the lawn. What he does is work a full-time job, play music in a band on weekends, and play in two sports leagues.

He is very negative, and over the past few years, increasingly critical of me and everything I do or don't do. I work a full-time job with a private practice on the side. I take care of everything and somehow manage to stay sane. When I bring up the unfairness of our roles, I am always met with, "I don't want to hear about it. Shut up. Go away. Leave me alone."

I work my butt off every single day and am so tired. Yes, I get crabby sometimes, but it is because I feel I am living in a hopeless situation. I feel more resentful as the years go by, and my blood pressure was high enough to start medication two years ago.

We are in debt because my husband returned to school seven years ago to get his Ph.D. Divorcing now would probably ruin us both financially. He tells our daughter we will never divorce, yet when an argument starts, he tells me we should get a divorce and end it. I am not one to give in easily, but I don't feel he loves me. I feel used.

Priscilla

Priscilla, in what book or counseling session did your husband learn to settle arguments by threatening his spouse with divorce? In what class on conflict resolution did he find that little gem? People who are pretty amiable and choose to stay together, usually can. But when one person won't participate, there is nothing you can do.

Your husband is treating your house like a bed and breakfast--all the amenities of a home without any of the responsibilities. Behavior follows feelings, and his behavior supports your belief that he does not love you.

You don't give up easily, but you know how this often plays out. When a woman has been doing it all, even if the husband is finally willing to make an effort, it is too late. The wife is already dead emotionally. You already feel used, and there are limits to how much criticism a person can take.

Lay your cards on the table. It's one thing if he is willing to do the talk, meditation, body work, or whatever it takes to break him loose from where he has been as a person. It is another not to be willing to begin.

You are not one to give in easily, but when sailors drown, it is not because they lack resolve but because they are dealing with forces beyond their control. In finding the limits to what you can do in your own life, you may have learned what you can and cannot do to help others.

Wayne & Tamara

Horse's Mouth

We've been a couple for two years. If all goes well, we will probably marry. Recently she started making remarks like "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and "if things don't work out, I hope I find someone just like you." What do you think?

Skip

Skip, the closer you are to someone, the more you can end their sentences. The farther apart you are, the more you say, "Huh, what did you mean by that?" She's got you saying, "Huh?" Close the distance and ask her what she means.

Tamara

About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: [email protected].

In The News:

Relationships Where More Means Less  The Wall Street Journal

Great Relationships: Checkbook Battles and How to Solve Them

"You can't hold on to a dime. Do you own... Read More

Being Romantic for a Change

Honestly, I do not know anyone who is romantic nowadays... Read More

Relationship Quiz - Copasetic, Caution, or Conundrum?

This quiz is based on key areas of communication and... Read More

It?s a Gut Feeling ? Finding love

Most single guys are settled in their life. Their mornings,... Read More

Calling All Single Parents! Why not Try Online Dating?

Forming a relationship when you're a single mother or father... Read More

How to Use Humor to Improve Your Relationships

Humor has long been considered one of the most effective... Read More

Before Falling Truly and Madly in Love Ask Each Other 10 Pertinent Questions

Falling in love?aaahh what a wonderful experience the first flushes... Read More

Can We Still Be Friends?

Excerpt From The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve... Read More

Learn the Six Secrets of Chemical Romance

What is Chemical Romance? It's a scientific approach to seduction... Read More

How do We Change our Self Esteem Perception?

Many of us have heard about the power of positive... Read More

Are You Chasing Dollars or Your Kids?

Striking a perfect balance between work and home today can... Read More

Romantic Tips ? Gift Giving

I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More

How Often do you Think About What you are Going to Say?

How often do you think about what you are going... Read More

Pen Pal Romance

We have all heard the wonderfully romantic stories of pen... Read More

Preteen Relationships

Even preteens have relationships that are important to them. In... Read More

Rekindling An Old Flame

Dr. Nancy Kalish, a psychology professor at California State University,... Read More

Universal Laws for Couples

The Law of Connection: Spouses are either growing closer or... Read More

The Spiritual Connection of True Romance

In the springtime, with the flowers budding and the birds... Read More

Proper Flower Etiquette

Flowers are great gifts for practically any occasion, but there... Read More

Communicate through Body-language!

Consider a person very important to you. He or she... Read More

Catch A Cheating Husband the Easy Affordable Way

Many women mistakenly believe they need to hire a private... Read More

Relationship Tune Up - 7 Key Points to Avoid a Break Up or Break Down

"Every three months or 3,000 miles."That's how the sticker in... Read More

How to Survive an Affair - Take Care!

Surviving an affair can be a very traumatic experience. Partners... Read More

Gay and Lesbian Relationships

America has a reluctance to accept relationships between people of... Read More

Communicate What You Feel: How to be Understood By Those You Love

Good communication is of fundamental importance in intimate relationships. The... Read More