Direct Answers – Column for the week of August 16, 2004
I was looking for the miraculous “answer to my life,” when I came across your column. I don’t have anyone to ask for a neutral opinion so I am hoping you can give me some insight.
I met my husband when I was 18 and started dating him when I was 21. In 1991, shortly after I moved in with him, he lost his license for drunk driving after a Christmas party. I always had an excuse for him. His parents were alcoholics, well-known in town for their successful businesses and lack of success in family life.
Fast forward to three years ago. The kids were affected by our arguments and knowing “daddy drinks too much.” One night my husband actually dropped our son on his head. I finally had it. I gave him an ultimatum. If he wanted to sulk about the past and drink, he could do it without me and the children.
He vowed to quit forever and checked into rehab and did counseling. We moved to a new town with new friends. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect honesty and he can’t tell me the truth. He claims to go to AA meetings in towns that don’t have AA meetings. How can I respect or be intimate with someone who lies?
On top of that he has an anger problem. Not physically, but sometimes I wish he would just hit me. As crazy as it sounds, it would make my decision easier. As I type this, man, it seems so clear. I have to get out of here, but I grew up not believing in divorce.
Sharon, you say you don’t believe in divorce as if you are saying you don’t believe in ghosts. But divorce exists, and it exists for a reason. When one person in the marriage won’t participate, and the children are being damaged, that is a reason for divorce.
Even now you are excusing your husband. You say he lost his license after a Christmas party. Christmas has nothing to do with it. He was drunk. He is still drunk.
There aren’t any miraculous answers to your life, but there are realistic ones. You’ve tried patience, understanding, rehab, and counseling. It hasn’t gone anywhere. You cannot expect a different outcome, unless you try a different strategy.
Just Say No
I seem to be in an impossible situation. I am 31 and never married. I work as a software developer and am quite happy in my current living situation. But my family is pestering me to at least consider marriage, even saying they can find me girls.
I don’t want to get married. I’ve never had a girlfriend or even dated in my life. I’ve learned to be content without any romantic relations, and I don’t want to start. Even though I live a long way from my parents, they talk to me on the phone about it every day. This affects my ability to enjoy life, which is a big part of being single.
I enjoy my freedom and don’t want to give it up just because everyone expects me to get married and have a family. Is there any way out of getting married? I know I can be happy living by myself, and don’t like to consider marriage and children.
Dev, we are not the property of our parents. At some point, our lives become our own. When your parents urge you to marry, remember it is not a wish for you. It is a wish for themselves.
Sometimes it is easier to stand up for someone else. It would be a great injustice to any woman if you marry her against your will. Every day your mom and dad can ask you to marry, but they cannot stop you from saying no every single time. When the immovable object meets the irresistible force, nothing happens.