Ask Amy: New marriage is on the rocks

May 28

DEAR AMY: I have been married to my husband for less than a year. Sadly, I feel he has misrepresented himself and this marriage is not at all what I had envisioned or signed up for.

We are both older, career-oriented, and this is a first marriage for both of us. Shortly after we tied the knot and the “shininess” wore off he began to be unhappy and can’t seem to handle day-to-day obstacles and life together in general. This is odd to me as we lived together before we were married.

After marriage he began making hurtful comments threatening divorce (now on a weekly basis). Recently he said that our marriage was a mistake. However, the next day he was fine, and I’m supposed to forget what was said the day before — until he finds something else that’s wrong to complain about.

He will remain cold for days on end and nag me until I’m exhausted mentally.

When he is angry he says he is not sure he loves me or “is really in love with me.” I ask him to apologize and he laughs in my face.

If he breaks me down with talk of divorce I will call him on it and ask him to see a lawyer. He has yet to meet with a lawyer; he only threatens, like some sick game.

Can you help explain what is going on? Is the marriage doomed in your eyes? I’m growing resentful. -- Sad

DEAR SAD: You’re growing resentful? I’d say resentful has already left the station. Next stop: Rage.

Don’t wait for him to wear you down and then act on his own behalf. Give him a choice: marriage counseling or a lawyer. Regardless of what he chooses, you should see a counselor and a lawyer. Your passivity makes you very vulnerable.

DEAR AMY: I love my sister dearly. She is very close to her kids. Her daughter, “Betsy,” is in her 40s. She is my goddaughter. Betsy and her half-sister, “Carole,” have been estranged since Betsy published a book which included some derogatory things about Carole.

Neither woman has had any role in my daughter’s life, but my sister has. I owe my sister big time for many things (not monetary).

I verbally invited my goddaughter Betsy to my daughter’s upcoming graduation party. I received an e-mail that she would love to attend unless I invited Carole. I do not want any part of their feud.

I invited my sister, who told me she would attend, until I told her that I didn’t want to be involved in her daughters’ fight so I was not inviting either of them. She hung up on me.

Am I out of line here? Betsy and I have had problems before. The last time I invited her somewhere, she was upset with me and said, “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than come to your house.” What should I do? -- No Right Answer

DEAR NO RIGHT: I agree that you should not involve yourself in this feud — but then you did involve yourself when you invited one sister and not the other and then uninvited the one you did invite (not that I blame you).

One way to avoid feud involvement is to invite all family members to family events. If people want to exclude themselves based on who else is coming, then more power to them.

Another way is to exclude people who are rude, crude drama queens. So far, these three will be staying away from your party, which means you might actually have a good time. Pat yourself on the back. You win.

DEAR AMY: I appreciated your compassionate and practical advice to the letter signed “Fed Up” written by a woman who wanted to give away two cats, but she mentioned putting an ad for them on Craigslist. No one should ever post an ad for an animal on Craigslist. A no-kill shelter is the best choice. -- Animal Lover

DEAR LOVER: Oh yes, I agree. I don’t think the writer was actually going to do this, but more expressing her exasperation. I urged her to keep the cats and I hope she does.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2014 by the Chicago Tribune

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