First Prev
of 2
Next Last

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jun 20, 2014
DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been married for more than 25 years. During that time we have had our share of marital issues, mostly related to our finances.

Although we are very comfortable, my wife makes more money than I do, and it has always been a point of contention. I try to compensate by doing household and outside chores and projects, as well as helping our children, but it is never enough.

The other day I had a private conversation with my wife explaining that I was concerned that our poor relationship was affecting our children. Furthermore, I am concerned that it would affect their current and future relationships.

A day or two later we were having a birthday dinner for me, and I sent a text to our daughters asking if they would be coming to the house.

I got an angry text reply from one daughter, saying that my wife had told her that I said "she was ruined" and that I blamed her mother. Neither of which was true.

I have also overheard my wife making very derogatory and inappropriate comments to my other daughter.

I immediately suggested that we go to family counseling to discuss and resolve the situation. However, my wife refused and denied her statements. My daughter will not return my calls.
I just don't understand why my wife doesn't realize how damaging this is to our daughters and how it could affect their marriages down the road.-- Distraught

DEAR DISTRAUGHT: This interfamily bad mouthing diminishes your stature with your daughters, and from your description, diminishing you is your wife's specialty. You are correct that this negative family dynamic will affect your daughters' relationships down the road.
In order to be effective partners, you and your wife should pool your money to use for the benefit of the family -- and not keep score. Some couples are able to peacefully run their households by keeping income and expenses separate, but this can create a serious power imbalance when the person who makes more money uses this to dominate the other.
You should definitely pursue counseling and invite your daughters to join you. If you can't repair this situation within your family, your wife might end up parting with some of her precious income through spousal support.

DEAR AMY: Last year we bought a piece of property and will soon begin building a house on it. One of the things we love about the area is that it's secluded, quiet and peaceful.

However, the construction process is anything but peaceful, and even though we don't have many neighbors, I'm afraid they will be impacted by our build.

I thought of baking some cookies and taking some to each of them, introducing ourselves, apologizing in advance for the hassle and giving them our phone numbers in case there are any problems (we won't be able to be up there daily).

Is this appropriate? With the prevalence of food allergies, have cookies become passe? I'm not good with this sort of thing, but we plan on staying in this house for a long time and want to start off on the right foot.-- New Neighbor

DEAR NEIGHBOR: I think cookies or brownies are a sweet idea (you could disclose the ingredients). I would only caution you that this exposes you somewhat to your neighbors' curiosity and point of view about what you're up to. In advance of this mission you should be prepared for the possibility of very detailed questions about your project.

My advice is to be somewhat vague about your plans and extremely vague about your whereabouts. The last thing you want to do is telegraph "We're not around" to people you don't know.

DEAR AMY: Whoa, that letter from "Stressed Out" really hit home. Her husband had gutted their house years before and was not accepting help to finish the project. He also sometimes physically abused their son, who has ADHD.

I thought your suggestion that the husband might also have ADHD was insightful. My experience with an adult who was finally tested and diagnosed was life-changing.-- Reader and Fan

DEAR FAN: Thanks

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 Jun 20, 2014
1- counseling, what a great idea, Amy. But dude said his wife refused counseling! What else you got? I actually think dude is creating his own drama. He's got a chip on his shoulder, feeling imasculated for making less money than his wife, and causing a rift with his family because of it

2- do nothing, they can deal

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Jun 20, 2014
1 You have been married 25yrs, the mold has been cast and your kids have already been shaped.

What you need to do is stop being such a pushover to your wife, and show your kid how a man acts. You are setting more of a poor example than your wife. Get her purse and grab your balls back.

Oh, and Opey, its not who makes less that does more around the house, its who WORKS less. And if you both work the same, then that is how the housework should be divided.

2 Yes, introducing yourselves to the neighbors is a good idea, but expect some push back from them. Each of my neighbors had a hissy fit when I told them I was installing a fence. One beitched about a loss of view, and the other whined about the breeze being blocked. Well, sorry folks, but it's my yard, I am just telling you as a courtesy.

3 So, I have a bunch of unfinished projects, am I ADHD or just lazy?

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#4 Jun 20, 2014
L2. The sweet sound of swinging hammers and singing saw blades never bothered me, if that is what you are asking about.
Just keep the ruckus within the parameters of local noise ordinaces and follow all national, state and local building code to the letter and keep your building permits prominently displayed and you should be A-OK.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#5 Jun 20, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
1- counseling, what a great idea, Amy. But dude said his wife refused counseling! What else you got? I actually think dude is creating his own drama. He's got a chip on his shoulder, feeling imasculated for making less money than his wife, and causing a rift with his family because of it
l
Possibly. Lots of guys aren't strong enough to handle that.
BUT wife could be a shrew like my mom. My mom bad-mouthed my dad at every turn and to this day, cannot think of one nice thing to say about him.
I resent her for it now but it drove a wedge between us and I'm not close to my dad like I'd prefer.

Mom twisting words to daughter is vile, and it will ruin their relationships. This woman has been cultivating those girls for years and it's too late. Hopefully they grow up and see, or this man needs to distance himself from his drama-filled wife who hates him for some reason. Why else do what she's doing?
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#6 Jun 20, 2014
RACE wrote:
2 Yes, introducing yourselves to the neighbors is a good idea, but expect some push back from them. Each of my neighbors had a hissy fit when I told them I was installing a fence. One beitched about a loss of view, and the other whined about the breeze being blocked. Well, sorry folks, but it's my yard, I am just telling you as a courtesy.
Really?
I hate neighbors. A good fence sounds perfect.
It's not against the law and I don't make choices to make them happy.
This woman even worries about cookies! Screw it. It's secluded and peaceful. I would NOT want to meet people around me....
Glockazine

Chicago, IL

#7 Jun 20, 2014
my balls are musty

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jun 20, 2014
L1: I'll take the guy at his word. His wife is a betch. He should go to counselling even if his wife and kids won't go. He should go for himself and get his self esteem back. Amy's right -- she makes more money so she'll have to do the spousal support thing. Take it if the marriage ends.

L2: Yes, people are nosey and usually people do not like living through construction. Introducing yourself to the neighbors isn't a bad thing. I would be vague about the plans. Fake like it's your spouse is the one handling "all of that" -- a good way to avoid deep discussion about the construction..

L3: I really don't remember the house was gutted. I thought it said he had unfinished projects.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Jun 20, 2014
LW1: If one kid won't go to counseling, take the other.

LW2: I don't understand the concern that the neighbors (who would be far away from your property by your description) will be pissed about the noise. It's not like their houses magically appeared. Be nice and let them know when something is going to be particularly noisy, but stop obsessing about it.

LW3: Ahhhh, self-congratulatory rehash. How I missed you!!
pde

Bothell, WA

#10 Jun 20, 2014
LW1: if you had to send a text asking your daughters if they were coming to the house, that means they are adults and live elsewhere. You are way past the point where you should be worrying about your poor relationship with your wife impacting your daughters. That boat has sailed. If they were to be impacted, they are already impacted--they are already adults who will either model what they were shown as children, or reject what they were shown as children under their own power. They will seek counselling on their own, or not seek counselling on their own. You have no right or ability to force other adults into counselling with you.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Jun 20, 2014
squishymama wrote:
LW2: I don't understand the concern that the neighbors (who would be far away from your property by your description) will be pissed about the noise. It's not like their houses magically appeared. Be nice and let them know when something is going to be particularly noisy, but stop obsessing about it.
This. While I try to be a good neighbor, if I am making improvements on my property, my only concern is that it is up to code. I would not feel I owe anyone an apology. You live amongst people. Noise happens. We are going to look into building a pool. I won't be going door to door giving anyone a heads up if we do build one.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#12 Jun 20, 2014
Spend the xtra coin and get the fish or turtle tiles for the bottom or sides. Really makes the pool Pop! I dont have a pool, but everyone I know who has one with those, is glad they got them.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
This. While I try to be a good neighbor, if I am making improvements on my property, my only concern is that it is up to code. I would not feel I owe anyone an apology. You live amongst people. Noise happens. We are going to look into building a pool. I won't be going door to door giving anyone a heads up if we do build one.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#13 Jun 20, 2014
LW 1 has a good old fashioned inferiority complex. How do I know? the first thing he mentioned is that his wife makes more money than he does.

Counseling is in order but for LW not his wife. When he changes the way he acts and asserts himself, the family dynamic will change

L2. Meeting the neighbors is always a good idea. It is not telegraphing that you won't be around. It is securing a neighborhood which watches out for each other.

Construction noise is finite. Unless you are planning a meltal working foundry, after a while it will get quiet again.

Make cookies. Leave out the nuts. When we moved into our house 26 years ago, an old lady neighbor brought over a bottle of booze to introduce herself and check us out.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#14 Jun 20, 2014
LW1 may be real. Or he left out why those girls are so mad at him that they believe everything their mother says about him without wanting to
know if he really said that.

LW2 might be real, also--but sounds like a replayed oldie letter or a "Miss Manners" reject

LW3 may or may not be real--or planted.
pde

Bothell, WA

#15 Jun 20, 2014
PEllen wrote:
LW 1 has a good old fashioned inferiority complex. How do I know? the first thing he mentioned is that his wife makes more money than he does.
Counseling is in order but for LW not his wife. When he changes the way he acts and asserts himself, the family dynamic will change
I suspect that what has happened here is that his daughters have grown up and moved out, and now that they are out from under his roof, give his opinions no consideration at all (and possibly having little or no ongoing relationship with him, since he had to contact them day-of to know if they were even coming to the house for his birthday party). Probably with a side of one of them having a boyfriend or fiance he doesn't like.

We have no idea if the reason why they have no relationship with him or give him no consideration is due to his wife modeling that type of behavior over the years, or if they have other personal reasons why they limit contact with their father. But the time to attempt to fix this was 15 years ago. Changing his relationship with his wife isn't going to model new behavior for 20-somethings.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Jun 20, 2014
This. All's he can do is try to get a little of his dignity back.
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
Changing his relationship with his wife isn't going to model new behavior for 20-somethings.
pde

Bothell, WA

#17 Jun 20, 2014
loose cannon wrote:
L2. The sweet sound of swinging hammers and singing saw blades never bothered me, if that is what you are asking about.
Just keep the ruckus within the parameters of local noise ordinaces and follow all national, state and local building code to the letter and keep your building permits prominently displayed and you should be A-OK.
loose cannon wrote:
L2. The sweet sound of swinging hammers and singing saw blades never bothered me, if that is what you are asking about.
Just keep the ruckus within the parameters of local noise ordinaces and follow all national, state and local building code to the letter and keep your building permits prominently displayed and you should be A-OK.
And if the neighbors moved into a place with available lots, they have to expect that at some point, there will be construction on those available lots.

Our new house is 2 houses down from a new subdivision. It wasn't being worked on last fall, they broke ground for something like 75 homes this spring (apparently they build THEN sell out here). It's annoying as heck from 6:30am - 7:30pm. But we knew it was going to happen at some point, and given the way they slap up the homes around here (I am not impressed by the construction quality on these homes which have starting prices of half a million) they should be done by fall.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#18 Jun 20, 2014
pde wrote:
LW1: if you had to send a text asking your daughters if they were coming to the house, that means they are adults and live elsewhere. You are way past the point where you should be worrying about your poor relationship with your wife impacting your daughters. That boat has sailed. If they were to be impacted, they are already impacted--they are already adults who will either model what they were shown as children, or reject what they were shown as children under their own power. They will seek counselling on their own, or not seek counselling on their own. You have no right or ability to force other adults into counselling with you.
While I agree that it sounds like the daughters are now pretty much grown up and probably living on their own, they may be agreeable to seeing a counselor with their dad if he phrases it correctly. If he puts it in terms of wanting to have a better relationship with them and would like their presence at counseling sessions so they can input their impressions and what they think he needs to do, they might go. I don't think anyone likes being told they're "screwed up" and need counseling but they might be willing to go to help another person (such as their dad) fix his life and be a better person and dad.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#19 Jun 20, 2014
LW1: Here's another LW who has a 25-years-long running problem that he thinks an advice columnist can resolve. First of all, your wife should never have married you if your lower income was an issue for her. You are both comfortable. What's her problem? Or is the issue with you? Maybe PEllen is right; you have an inferiority complex. Get some therapy for yourself first and learn how to communicate with both your wife and your daughters. Your "poor relationship" is half your responsibility.

LW2: I'm with loose cannon.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#20 Jun 20, 2014
1. Grow a pair and quit feeling bad/remorse/inferior about her out-earning you. If you made more Chang than her id hope you'd not lord it over her, so stop being a doormat.

2. Construction happens, which leads to noise. While what you're considering isn't a horrible idea, don't go into this anticipating the neighbors will be complainers.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Chicago Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08) 2 min VetnorsGate 1,681,641
News BARACK OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Suit contesting... (Jan '09) 32 min Chicagoan by Birth 243,224
{keep A word drop A word} (Oct '11) 35 min Junket 11,736
last post wins! (Apr '13) 42 min _FLATLINE-------- 2,730
last post wins! (Dec '10) 2 hr honeymylove 3,225
White house press core 2 hr CANT STAND LOONS 4
maxine waters 2 hr CANT STAND LOONS 1

Chicago Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Chicago Mortgages