Seeking advise

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    Pat Merritt

    I have been married for going on 37 years now. We married early and neither of us knew so little about relationship, that we didn’t have many expectations. He was a very strong, loyal provider, which was exactly what I needed to get out of my dysfunctional home, so we married. Children came 5 years later and eventually a number 2 girl came along.
    We built a wonderful family, my children grew up in a great open neighborhood and I was a very hand on mom. Raising my children was the happiest times of my live. As they grew, I explored a long life passion of being coming a nurse and I went back to college at age 33 part time and became a registered nurse in 1996. A very proud moment and accomplishment for me.
    Throughout all this, my husband was less that present. He adhere to strong working prinicples and long hours. He valued working hard, his earned income and paying bills on time. Our relationship was less than passionate, and mostly convenience related. My husband is also very possessive of his money. He make me feel horrible for spending any of our “joint” funds. To him, money was only to be spent on mortgages, bills,retirement accounts an savings. I learned early on, if wanted nice things for myself, home or family, I would have to work. So I did for more that 15 years. My money paid for anything other than Bills. He does not see that as a contribution. Once he said that “he paid ever mortgage payment,so the house belonged to him. We have never been bad off but we rolled into this system of he pays expenses and took care of excess costs: like birthdays, Christmases, furniture, rugs, blinds, vacation. I worked to give my family luxuries of life – he worked to keep the roof over heads. I understand both are important but he sees me as some type of financial enemy. He has removed my name from some acccouts, Year ago I consulted a lawyer and I would have to file for separate and honestly I do not have the legal fees. It is well known he would never leave his home. We communicate very poorly but he does know that I feel this is a degrading way of life for me. I offered to pool our earnings but then I would want my name on the accounts. He refused. We have had many heated arguments regarding these issues. Recently, because of health issues, I had to leave work I told him I was considering not working and trying for disability for my injuries. His concern was having to contribute to my expenses. In the past I took care of all of my own material needs.
    If I go back to work, it will be very hard and I will experience a lot of pain. I have several spinal and joint diseases, I have to take pain meds and muscle relaxers. Clearly being home would help me feel more comfortable.
    I am very unhappy in this marriage as I am sure he is. About 4 years ago, he told me he was not interested in sex.
    I feel trapped in a relationship because he is providing the “roof over my head” so to speak, and if I am on disability I will not be able to live on the small settlement. I wish I had enough money to move to another state and explore a new life for myself. The environment and lack of love – is a daily toxic experience. PLEASE let me know what I can do…..


    Money can bring more problems than it can solve. It sounds like the relationship has remained stable because of money and that’s not what a relationship should be built on.

    Don’t jump the gun on this. Sure it may be nice to think theres a life out there to explore, but adleast see if he’ll understand your concerns. Instead of focusing on the financial burdens, work on spending more time together and maybe he’ll be reminded why your so special to him and ease up on the financial situation. You can’t force him to change though.

    You need to do what makes you happy. Every relationship has ups/downs, but working thru them is what a strong relationship is built on. I think you need to make this decision for yourself and no one can give you a right answer. If you do decide to leave, be prepared for the other challenges you might face. Regardless, I don’t think its right to stay in a relationship if you’re not happy or don’t foresee a happy future. Just think everything thru before you make such a move. This is a tough situation and once again I think it’s up to you to make the right decision.

    Pat Merritt

    Thanks for your insight and I agree with many of the points you made. I must say we tried several therapy session years ago, which he was quite defensive and angry about and refused to ever to that again. Although relationships should not be about money, money is a vehicle to having “power” in a relationship and exerting control.
    I have been unhappy for a very long time and the fact of the matter is because I am not physical 100%, I cannot work enough to support myself….having to settle and live with someone who has not honored my contribution to creating a beautiful family – seems hopeless and unsatisfying.
    PS – I have never misused family funds, or went shopping on his dime or any other spending frenzy – I gave him no cause to exclude me in the financial process. I am very hurt that he cannot see that I contributed just as much with supporting my family in other ways. We all know that monthly expenses are only half of the costs of living a family life.
    Thanks you again for your input…….


    I manage apartments and many of the tenants are on disability or some form of assisted living. They aren’t extravagant by any means, just 1-bedrooms and are fairly spacious for what they are and are nice, with nice carpet and laminate floors and they don’t go for that much a month. I would assume that there are nice apartments that are reasonable all over in nice convenient locations. Many landlords will work with the tenant if they think you would be good (it is hard to find good tenants). I am sure it can be difficult to go from a house to an apartment where it feels like you have no privacy, but there are also advantages. Hope this was helpful!


    The best advice I can give is that this is YOUR LIFE and you have to define what happiness is for you. Life is too short to not find happiness and you won’t find it in money or co-dependency. You can’t know what tomorrow will bring if you make the decisions now, but you will survive and who knows what is around the corner. Make a list of the pros and cons as you see them for the decision you want to make. Put it down and pick it up again in a day or two. See if there are any new items you for to think about. The main focus should be that you want to find happiness again. How you can do that is in you. But by doing nothing, you just continue to create a co-dependent situation that you don’t seem happy about. Change is hard, but in many cases, it is also good for the soul. Something to consider and the best of luck to you.

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