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Old 05-18-2009, 04:17 PM   #201
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I never fully understood the young couples that start out with nothing and maintain "his, hers, and ours" pots of money. Inevitably it seems the more spendy spouse of the two ends up being subsidized by the more frugal spouse and resentment ensues. It devolves into a de facto "ours" pot of money when the frugal spouse bails out the spendy spouse repeatedly (implicitly or explicitly).

This is a different situation from those older couples marrying later in life and/or after divorces and having kids and/or having large incomes and/or large assets coming into the marriage.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:38 PM   #202
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I can see both sides, and it's probably not gonna get solved by the two of you, so I'd get your own advice first and decide if that warrants any further pursuit like joint counseling. Personally I would not engage in any further discussion of this till I had good "professional" advice.

I will say that the refusal to even consider funding a much needed second car is definitely a red flag there.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:52 PM   #203
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Jambo, IMO if you go back and re-read your contributions to this 100+ post thread, what started out as a quiet little yellow "Check Engine" light is now a roomful of flashing rotating red lights with sirens and warning buzzers. You guys need to seek professional help of the marital-counseling or legal varieties. Or at least you do-- your spouse may have already arrived at a decision.
Maybe he should simply ask her if she wants to remain married, and if they need to renegotiate?

(I'm the last person one should ask for relationship advice.)
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:41 PM   #204
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Might help (can't hurt) if one or both dragged out the old photo albums to remind themselves of happier times and why they got together. At least it might bring the pH back closer to neutral. Seems hard to have a productive discussion when you're starting out in such an acidic environment. I guess that's what the professional is for.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:25 AM   #205
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Wowee again - this thread has definitely hit a nerve for all - for the OP and the board.

To the OP - sometimes directness is best and in this case, I sense the resentment you have may boil over into a hasty action. In that case, I would tell my spouse:

"It seems to me your behavior towards me and the rest of the family has changed significantly since you've received the inheritance. I value our relationship enough as well as our long-term dreams to work together towards the future. However, I now sense that you have different ideas than those we have discussed over the years. I would like to have us go to couples counseling. If you are not amenable to that, then I will go alone. This is bothering me enough that I need outside guidance and counsel. My goal is to have a wonderful relationship with you in our retirement."

Then act on it - your actions will tell her more than what you say. In any case, it will be good to get a professional outside perspective.

And as another poster said, do be wary of the advice you get here *although* I would say you've gotten quite a range of opinions and some good advice.

Good luck again in your decision.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:15 AM   #206
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When i suggested this morning that we were just going through the motions of marriage she suggested that from her point of view we werent even doing that we are just living together so i asked her if she would consider marriage counseling and she agreed it would be a good idea.After 30+ years of basically a happy marriage this new to me unfulfilled in the marriage attitude from her is taking me totally off guard,Root cause is probably a total failure to communicate on my part over the last few years thinking our lack of passion in the relationship was just a natural evolution of a long term relationship
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:52 AM   #207
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When i suggested this morning that we were just going through the motions of marriage she suggested that from her point of view we werent even doing that we are just living together so i asked her if she would consider marriage counseling and she agreed it would be a good idea.After 30+ years of basically a happy marriage this new to me unfulfilled in the marriage attitude from her is taking me totally off guard,Root cause is probably a total failure to communicate on my part over the last few years thinking our lack of passion in the relationship was just a natural evolution of a long term relationship
It might not sound like it, but that's terrific news. It means she loves you and wants to work things out. Lack of passion in a relationship is often a danger sign of other things. Don't judge yourself too harshly, something tells me she hasn't been communicating that well either. Here's to renewed understanding and deeper love......
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #208
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When i suggested this morning that we were just going through the motions of marriage she suggested that from her point of view we werent even doing that we are just living together so i asked her if she would consider marriage counseling and she agreed it would be a good idea.After 30+ years of basically a happy marriage this new to me unfulfilled in the marriage attitude from her is taking me totally off guard,Root cause is probably a total failure to communicate on my part over the last few years thinking our lack of passion in the relationship was just a natural evolution of a long term relationship
This is an excellent start.
What goes on from here forward, just between you two and a professional counselor, is going to make it or break it. Even if you just go once, it will be worth it.
In my 25 years with LH, we hit some major potholes, except our problem was the in-laws (his parents esp. the mother) constantly interfering with our lives, not money.
Communication was always key. We talked it out, made some major concessions in both directions, and went forward. We had a wonderful marriage once we got the bugs w*rked out.

And please do not assume one of you was totally at fault.
It takes two to tango last time I checked.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #209
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jambo101, First I didn't read all 200+ posts so if this has been mentioned already I apologize. Please obtain a copy of "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus". This book could have saved my first marriage and has been the "bible" used in my second. Your comment about communcation (or lack thereof) screams for you guys to read this book.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #210
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Jambo, I'm really pleased to her that you spoke with your wife. I hope the two of you can find your way back to the passion and fun that you used to have. Obviously that is what your wife wants as well as she has agreed to the counselling. Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #211
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As a survivor of a 36 year marriage that ended in divorce, I just can't see where I got any value from "professionals". Maybe some of you have had success with them but I did not. I led our struggle to counseling and tried to make it work, but it just never seemed to work outside the counseling office. Out the door and back into the old behavior. My ex was a stay at home mom, raised the six kids, and wanted a life after they were grown. She had plans. Wanted to write a book, win a Pulitzer prize. She wrote the book, won some prizes for news reporting and seems to be happy. I too am happy for her, but really disappointed in the "professionals". The only real relief I got was when a particularly poor counselor led me to a doctor she worked with and he prescribed some anti-depressants which drove me right into the ground. Out of desparation I went to a psychiatrist and she saw the problem right off and medicated me. Helping me to at least get a nights sleep was a huge step. Lesson learned: You are the one that can help you. Don't depend heavily on others. Dig down and make the decision to deal with it, no matter which direction it takes.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:20 PM   #212
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People have told me that they got big permanent help from marriage counseling, so it must work sometimes.

In my case it was a lot like the post above. My wife is a fine person, I am OK too- she just was tired of raising kids and subordinating her desires/needs to family needs and wanted to return to school and resume a career that she had dropped years ago which now brings her adequate money and considerable non-monetary rewards.

People only sometimes know or say what they really want; but eventually they will usually act toward what they really want.

One of my brothers went to marriage counseling and it helped him a great deal. The therapist told him that his wife was psychotic and he ought to get the hell away from her. So he did, immediately.

Our counseling was even funny at times. The first guy kept hitting on wifey, so we choose a woman therapist to continue with. Guess what? After about 2 sessions she suggested that the two of them attend some gallery opening. Next she wanted to go hiking with her, so cancel that "helping professional" too.

The only thing we really got out it aside from some humor and a greater appreciation for vodka was it put off our separation until my youngest was old enough to make his own choices about where he wanted to live.

She is still an amazing if somewhat weird person, and also still hot enough to start fires when she walks on dry grass. Overall, a loss. But also less drama in my life.

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:54 PM   #213
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When i suggested this morning that we were just going through the motions of marriage she suggested that from her point of view we werent even doing that we are just living together so i asked her if she would consider marriage counseling and she agreed it would be a good idea.After 30+ years of basically a happy marriage this new to me unfulfilled in the marriage attitude from her is taking me totally off guard,Root cause is probably a total failure to communicate on my part over the last few years thinking our lack of passion in the relationship was just a natural evolution of a long term relationship

Jambo, IMO, nothing to be gained at this stage by assigning blame. Remember, the success or failure of a relationship is defined by both parties. Best of luck with the counselor, but it is probably not a positive sign if she makes you take the bus to the appointment....
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #214
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I recommend finding someone who does Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_focused_brief_therapy

I only read a couple of books by Michele Weiner-Davis (Divorce Busting and some other books *after* my divorce ) but I personally believe SFBT gives you the fastest results. Whatever you do, don't go to free-flowing bitching counseling sessions. It will only fuel the dissatisfaction you and your spouse feel toward each other, which is probably not what you want.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:03 PM   #215
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Lots of folks chiming in with both pros and cons of counseling. I'm personally on the 'pro' side, having been helped a lot by both individual and couples counseling. Two things I'd look for:

1) Make sure to find a counselor where neither of you feels "ganged up upon." That is, both you and your wife should feel like the counselor isn't consistently/unfairly siding with the other person.

2) If you don't feel comfortable with the first counselor you see, keep looking! I had to go through several (and a few were pretty bad or useless) before finding some that really helped me. They're definitely not one-size-fits-all. People seem to have the best luck with recommendations from friends. Even if a friend's therapist isn't accepting new clients, maybe s/he can recommend a colleague.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:27 PM   #216
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Someone mentioned this book here in the past and I read it and thought it made a lot of sense, to my engineer's brain.

Amazon.com: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate (Men's Edition): Gary Chapman: Books

The author basically breaks down which qualities are important to a particular individual in a marriage (or any relationship) and looks at how to identify and meet those needs. A little too Christian-y for me, but I thought the premise seemed sound.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:01 PM   #217
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Having never been to a marriage councilor i'm not sure what can be accomplished,taking the relationship into some complicated dynamics is probably not going to work with me as i'm not really a complex person,basically Joe Sixpack who has been working at a milk processing plant slinging milk crates for the last 35 years bringing home the bacon and trying to make a family and to live a life of honor and integrety,likes fishing, camping, touring, sportscars, and motorcycles to name a few of my passions,
I am what i am and i cant see where counseling is going to do much to change me but i will enter the counciling with an open mind and hope that the councilor we choose can pull some rabbits out of a hat,if what i've grown into over the years isnt doing it for her anymore then maybe we are at the end of the road,,if counciling requires me to turn into some huggy kissy type of guy full of youthful exuberance i'm afraid that horse has left the barn.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:03 PM   #218
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Jambo, just keep an open mind, eh?
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #219
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I never fully understood the young couples that start out with nothing and maintain "his, hers, and ours" pots of money.
I never fully understood the couples that don't use this method;o)

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Inevitably it seems the more spendy spouse of the two ends up being subsidized by the more frugal spouse and resentment ensues.
Why wouldn't this happen if everything was joint?

The issue isn't which method couples use, it is that each person has a different idea of how to handle money and doesn't communicate it with the other member of the couple.
This will cause issues regardless of which method is used.

As an aside, people comment about 'the more information they hear...'. The issue is all the information we get is filtered through Jambo's perceptions. Now these may be 100% accurate, but it is very hard to give advice without hearing from both sides.
I think for this reason, a counselor, or bartender or friend that can hear both sides would be in a much better position to give advice.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #220
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Jambo, as a note, counceling isn't there to change you into something you are not. It is there to help you communicate with your wife and to help HER communicate with you.
I applaud you for giving it a shot and wish you the best of luck
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