Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband decided he didn’t want to be active in Church any more in 2007. Then he decided he wanted to move and go to school. He had lots of reasons and so he signed up for school and went off while I stayed at our house for 2 months and fixed it up to sell. While he was at school he met this woman who was single with grown kids and living off her retirement.
He started doing things with this woman especially if I was out of the house. Soon every time I was gone, when I came home she was there. He started inviting her over all the time. We started going on vacations with her. But she was just his best friend. He started telling me all about her life and what she loved and what she was interested in. One time he was really drunk and was telling me how much he loved her.
After some family trouble, she had to move east and my husband fell into a deep depression. He became combative and uncommunicative. Then, one day, he called to tell me they were moving in with us. Eventually, the son left, but she is still here, living with us. She doesn’t pay us a thing and she doesn’t do anything but a few dishes once in a while. He buys her food and computers and anything else she talks about. Now she is taking trips all over the country and the world. When I told him I didn’t like paying for everything for her so she could take trips around the world he told me I was selfish and he enjoyed making her life better for her.
She has started telling me I’m doing stuff wrong. I told him about it and he said it was my fault because I act like I want to be disciplined. He told me the other day that he didn’t want me making him breakfast any more because he wanted to have to go into the kitchen when she does so he can visit with her.
I am so embarrassed I have let this happen and I am so devastated. He is very good to me and he acts like he loves me but then he does stuff like this. I don’t know what to do! If I leave will it be the wrong thing? Am I being selfish?
Living With the Enemy
Dear Living With the Enemy,
Holy COW, did you hear that noise? That was the world’s loudest and longest record screech, and I think it started right around the time you mentioned how he met this woman while “away” at “school.” And, in fact, I’m not sure it hasn’t stopped screeching. (BRB, getting earplugs.)
My advice for you here is going to be clear, direct, and swift: LEAVE. You need to leave him. You need to leave HER. You need to leave this situation, like, yesterday.
Now, I’m a little worried that you may read this and think, “but…” and so I’m going to repeat myself a bit just so you understand.
You need to leave even if the following things occur:
1. He says he loves you.
2. She says she loves you.
3. You are still breathing.
4. It’s the middle of the day.
5. It’s the middle of the night.
6. He apologizes.
7. She apologizes.
8. She leaves.
9. He leaves.
10. John Boehner looks tan.
L-E-A-V-E. Leave, leave, leave. Leave? LEAVE.
Love will make us to crazy things, woman, and as crazy as this situation has become, I’m sure you are not alone. Certain, even. And my heart breaks for you that you’re hurting and embarrassed. What your husband has done is not okay, and it’s certainly not your fault. You are not being selfish. You are not crazy. You are maybe feeling a little desperate, lonely, and afraid, but this is something from which you can recover. You have no power over your husband’s choices…only your own. You simply need to find the courage, confidence, and dignity to walk away from this man and never look back. Find a friend or therapist in whom to confide, gather some momentum and flee, girl.
Run like the wind,
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I was married to a woman, same age, for 27 years. Three kids, five grandkids, good going business. And she ran off with a jigaloo 10 years younger, who had nothing, when she was 47-years-old.
Is there a question here? Or is this just your super-smooth way of telling me that you’re now single and ready to mingle? Confused, Will. So very confused. But also slightly turned-on, so I guess that’s good news for both of us.
Anyway, I’m sorry your wife left you after so many years. That’s a horrible thing to happen to you and I wish you the best of luck in recovering from such a devastating loss. I hope you have many friends and family members who are able to support you in your time of need.
That said, I must ask you what a “jigaloo” is. I immediately assumed you meant “gigolo,” but then I said to myself, “Self, you’re not as worldly as you think and maybe a jigaloo is some creature from those Hobbit movies you never watch because you’re scared of gay wizards.” So if that’s the case, I’m very sorry you were dumped for a Hobbit. But like they say, “Once you go hairy fat feet, you never go back.” Isn’t that what they say? Or is it, “Once you go jigaloo, you never go shuge-a-loo”? No, that doesn’t even make sense. Plus it sounds like someone’s having hot sex with a pink Muppet and God knows those fuzzy horndogs are basically just VD factories waiting to explode. Seriously, why do you think Miss Piggy is always so crabby? Broad spectrum antibiotics, my friend. Da pig is on da penicillin.
As I said, I’m confused Will. So very, very confused. But I want you to know I wish you all the best in moving on and I sincerely thank you for contacting The Mouthy Housewives for advice. Despite your grammar and spelling issues, I truly feel that you’ll meet another woman deserving of your many charms before too long.
But just to cover all your bases, maybe start growing out the hair on your feet. I hear some ladies like that.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Several of my son’s friends come from divorced parents and he’s old enough now (9.5 yrs) to begin noticing the effects. We’ve had to discuss how he can’t see his friends as much because both parents must now work full-time and the friends have to spend every other weekend at different places, how this limits the free time each parent gets with the kids, etc.
That being said, let’s get to my real point. My husband and I are beginning to feel the effects of parenting on our marriage. You know, too much kid time and not enough grown up time. We rarely get to even sit beside each other on the couch! When we want to do something alone, like sit beside one another or have a private conversation in our bedroom, of course our kid wants to bust up in between us. So every now and then I’ll tell our son, “You don’t want mom and dad to end up divorced, right? We need some alone time.” Part of me feels like it isn’t right to say something to scare our son, but then again I don’t know how to relate it to a nine-year-old in a way that he 1) can understand that he HAS to let mom and dad have some time to maintain our bond and 2) lets us have it without drama on his part, turning the idea of alone time into just more parental stress and guilt. Advice?
P.S. We do get a babysitter, but after 12 years of parenting (we have an older child too), our monthly night out isn’t enough anymore and we can’t up the babysitting expense up right now. And we reeeealllllyyyy need to begin reconnecting as a couple. Help!
Listen, I don’t want to come down on you too hard here, because the truth of the matter is that most parents have said something to their kids that probably wasn’t APA approved. For instance, this one time, I told my five year old that I’d be his bestest friend in whole! wide! world! if he’d JUST PICK UP HIS GODFORSAKEN LEGOS. And we all know he’ll probably never be my best friend. I mean, I’m his mother. Plus, he’s not even old enough to be a designated driver.
That said, I want to be clear to you on this:
The part of you that feels bad for scaring your son with such a threat? LISTEN TO THAT PART.
Scaring or threatening children is never a good idea. Never. NEVER EVER. (Unless we’re talking about them dashing into the street to chase a ball, in which case, bring on the gory, terrifying details.)
The bottom line here is that it is not your child’s fault that you and your husband are having trouble finding time alone together. In fact, I’d say that puts you right in line with most families IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. It comes with parenthood, woman! Is it hard to find time alone with your husband? I’m sure it is. But that’s your challenge to struggle with and overcome; it’s most certainly not your son’s.
Kids are smart and they are sensitive to this type of thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he already senses that you’re resenting him for coming between your husband and you. I would strongly recommend you have a conversation with him (your husband included) and apologize for the remark. Explain to him that you are just having a rough time of things, and that sometimes even grownups make poor choices. It will hopefully put his mind at ease and also be a good learning experience for the lot of you.
In the meantime, girl, you need to get creative. Stay up late with your husband. Get up early. Take advantage of small moments to sneak upstairs for a quickie. Do whatever the hell works for you. And above all, be patient with the process, because it can take a while to adjust and find something that works. If it feels desperate, remind yourself that no marriage is without bumps (and in some cases potholes and sinkholes and earthquakes and the occasional echoing abyss) in the road. If it’s more than you can handle together, marriage counselors can be miracle workers.
Take a deep breath, pull yourself together, and go smother that little boy in some kisses.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband is still friends with his ex-brother-in-law. Ex-brother-in-law lives with my husband’s ex-wife. I think it’s disrespectful for my husband to spend time at his ex-wife’s house in order to hang out with ex-brother-in-law. Am I being disrespected? Should I feel angry about this situation?
Wowza. The last time I felt this confused after reading something was when I was building an Ikea bookcase and couldn’t figure out the how-to instructions. (Said bookcase being “The”Grevbäck,” which I believe means “You just bought yourself an ugly slanty bookcase plus multiple blisters and three extra screws, you stupid American Big Mac Face” in Swedish.) (But my translation may be slightly off because I’m Norwegian.)
Anyway, here’s what I think you said: there’s an ex here, there’s an ex there, everywhere an ex ex. Is that right? Of course it’d be a lot more fun to deal with this issue if there was an “s” added to the beginning of those words, but like my hairdresser always says, let’s just work with the messes we gots all up in he-ah, Ladygirl.
Now, I’ve never been divorced, but I seem to think that exes can see each other without falling into either bed or cahoots with each other. So the fact that he’s seeing his ex-wife isn’t necessarily cause for concern and/or a sign of disrespect. However, if you’ve told him it makes you uncomfortable and he blows you off or is rude about it, then you should definitely let him know he’s upsetting you and see what he says.
Have you suggested that the ex-brother-in-law come to your house to hang out? Or that you all meet someplace else? Like your ex-sister-in-law’s ex-cousin’s ex-partner’s X-Files themed restaurant or something? Because if your husband’s still as eager to see his ex-brother-in-law when his ex-wife isn’t around, that’s a good sign that he’s only interested in the ex-brother-in-law’s friendship and isn’t trying to do anything untoward with his ex-wife.
At least that’s my expert opinion.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am going through a divorce, and it was a mutual decision at first. Then, however, he changed his mind and now says that he will do whatever it takes to win back my affections. He started going to anger management class, being super nice to me all the time, making an effort to come over and help with the kids, and buying stuff for the house without being asked. (He doesn’t live here but we are keeping it casual for the kids so he’s over often.) He texts me saying things like, “Have a fantastic day!” and has just been generally really awesome.
Before the split, he was always a huge ass, so this is very alternate-universe for me. I am intrigued by the change I see in him, but cautious. In the past he has “changed” for the better for a short time and then gone right back to his old ways, and I don’t want to play the fool again when I finally mustered up the strength to walk away!
Then there’s this other thing.
I met another guy. He’s older than me, and he’s so perfect and amazing in every way. It’s just casual, as he is technically married still as well. I’m falling hard for him and can see us having a wonderful future together some day, and I’m not looking for anything full time or super serious right now so it’s convenient. He’s everything I want in a partner, everything I thought my husband would be when we first got married.
I’m so stuck and confused – my husband is making an effort, and I did make vows to him, but this guy is a dream come true. How do I decide what to do?!
Stuck in the Middle
Dear Stuck in the Middle,
Well, hot damn girl. Sounds to me like your problem is the kind of problem to have, if you know what I’m saying. (And what I’m saying, is, I guess you’re not into threesomes?) But really, you appear to have two fine (ish) young men before you, begging for your affections, and as I sit here folding my husband’s socks while he takes a his SECOND motherloving nap of the day, I’m GREEN with envy, I tell you.
If this were the 19th Century, I’d suggest that you have these two suitors duel for your love. Or maybe they jousted? Whatever it was, it was probably super sexy and romantic, but also didn’t come with the potential of landing your behind in the slammer for negligent manslaughter.
So, for a more modern and practical solution, you could consult a psychic or one of those Magic 8 Balls. Or, you could do some hard work and serious thinking and sort this all out. I think you have some really tough questions to answer for yourself, and no one can really tell you what you need to do. (That said, I think you need to dump the new guy regardless, and here’s why:)
1. If you’re just ending a serious relationship–and in fact, are still in the process of ending it–you’re not in a good position to start something new. And if your almost-ex was as bad as you say, nearly ANYONE is going to seem like a real charmer in comparison, even this “technically still married” stud. You need some space and perspective and you won’t be getting that wedged between two men. (Metaphorically, of course. Ahem.)
2. I’ve never been divorced, but it seems to me that your hesitancy may be a sign that you haven’t exhausted all your options with your husband. Have you tried marriage counseling? I’m not saying you should get back together with him, but I do think you should be absolutely certain that you’re ready to move on before you do so. Seeing a therapist individually or as a couple will save you from beating yourself up further down the road or accidentally having sex with him or something after the divorce is finalized. (It happens on the Real Housewives!)
3. Take care of yourself. (And, according to my therapist, this does not mean “eat a bunch of Ben & Jerry’s and watch marathon TV,” but what does she know anyway?) Do some soul searching or yoga or whatever, and decide what’s going to be best for you, rather than going with what feels fun or good at the moment.
(Though, if you’ve already bought the Ben & Jerry’s, just send it over to The Mouthy Housewives clubhouse and we’ll totally take care of that for you. Because we’re here to help.)
All the best,