Sunday, December 10, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Separation may help wife gain clarity

Q: My husband wants to separate/divorce because of many issues that we have. He feels they are mostly my fault.

I'm not perfect but usually I only react badly if he gets angry at something I didn't even register, or if he insists he knows what I mean when I'm saying something else and trying to explain.

Anyway, I already apologized and took all the blame for the sake of the marriage, but he still wants to separate. I think we have communication issues and have begged for years to go to therapy. He refuses.

How hard do I try? Do I throw myself on the floor at his feet (figuratively), shower him with kindness, even if he doesn't give me the same? Or do I accept what he has decided and move on?

We don't have any children, so it's not that complicated, and also I'm tired of being berated for being "disrespectful." But when he's not angry things are good, I think!

When is it Trying Too Hard?

A: It's common for people to think separateanddivorce, all one thing, but they're two different things. Separate (think), divorce (let go).

Why not agree to the separation — since it seems to be coming anyway, whether you want it or not — and see how you feel after you adjust to it?

Who knows, after a few weeks of breathing air with the anger and criticism filtered out, you might find yourself more enthusiastic about a divorce than he is. You just said he "doesn't give me" kindness. Game over, no?

If your marriage isn't as unhealthy as you made it out to be here, then the solitude, focus and clarity permitted by your separation will help you repair your communication from your two different homes.

Either way, trying to heal is something you fully control, so start taking good care of you. A dynamic where one spouse pushes all blame onto the other is a textbook formula for your abuse. Drop your plea for couple's therapy, please, and start going just for you.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girl’s parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emma’s parents don’t let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. Petersb...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Boat parades that were planned tonight in South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach have been canceled because of weather fears.Organizers said they will not be rescheduled. Heavy rain is expected to approach the gulf coast near sunset Friday ahead of a stro...
Published: 12/08/17
Fun and profound Hanukkah celebrations around the Tampa Bay area

Fun and profound Hanukkah celebrations around the Tampa Bay area

It’s time to observe the Festival of Lights, starting at sunset Tuesday and ending Dec. 20. Many congregations seem to be having a great time, because Hanukkah celebrations this year are hilarious. There’s a menorah made of fidget spinne...
Published: 12/08/17
From Hogwarts Castle to your home, digital projectors give a real light show

From Hogwarts Castle to your home, digital projectors give a real light show

At night, Hogwarts Castle is suddenly dusted with snow in steamy Florida. It’s not really snow, but light causing this trick of the eye. Projectors and sophisticated software then send ghosts across the castle towers. A turret spins and turns i...
Published: 12/08/17

Tell Me About It: Self-awareness best way to break bad habit

Self-awareness best way to break bad habitQ: I recently had a friend tell me that I have become arrogant since I entered a new career in which there’s a culture of snobbery and one-upping.I was defensive, and would really have liked to believe she wa...
Published: 12/08/17

Tell Me About It: Ex’s attempt to make amends falls flat

Ex’s attempt to make amends falls flatQ: My first love e-mailed me out of the blue, after 10 years, to make amends as part of his AA program. The lengthy e-mail detailed my ex’s love for me, regrets, and urged me to consider a phone call or FaceTime ...
Published: 12/07/17
Three shades of comedy this week: Game Grumps Live, Harlem Globetrotters, Liberal Redneck comedy tour

Three shades of comedy this week: Game Grumps Live, Harlem Globetrotters, Liberal Redneck comedy tour

VIDEO STARS: Game Grumps LiveYou thought video game players were wasting their time, but these days professional players are packing stadiums and making more money than you’ll ever see. They also give us hilarious shows like Game Grumps Live, coming...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17

Tell Me About It: Remarks about food choices grow tiresome

Remarks about food choices grow tiresomeQ: I’m going on vacation soon with my in-laws, siblings-in-laws, and their spouses. Over the last few years, I’ve been working on eating fewer unhealthy foods like bread and dairy, and as a result I feel much b...
Published: 12/06/17
A guide to holiday events at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens and more theme parks

A guide to holiday events at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens and more theme parks

Instead of shoveling snow, Christmas in Florida means celebrating the holiday season in shorts and T-shirts at theme parks and local attractions. Some parks even haul in “snow” for an authentic holiday vibe. While the last two weeks of t...
Published: 12/06/17