Q. My husband and I have been together for almost nine years, married almost four. Whenever I overstep some boundary, he ignores me for weeks. Last week, the same thing . . . so bad we are still not talking, and . . . now I really have to bring up the move.
My kids — from a previous relationship — live with their stepmom now because their dad is out of the country. I went to visit them and realized they are experiencing major problems. I’m their mother and I should be there for them, and right now, I’m not. Twice now I have made a move for my husband, but never has he compromised anything in his life for me, I just don’t know how to bring it up, especially now with “the fight.”
I want to move back to my hometown, but I really want him to come with me. I just know he won’t. I need to know what am I going to do. I’d like to move in less than a month, whether he comes with me or not. I just need to know how to talk to him, taking into account his constant bad mood. Please help.
A. Tell him what you saw when you visited your kids and explain how it made you feel. (Did he not ask?) Once you’ve made the problem clear, ask him to move with you and describe what it might look like for your relationship.
Tell him he can set his own timeline; if he can’t scramble to make these plans in exactly one month, he can meet you there.
Also, are there any compromises? What if there’s some traveling back and forth?
The thing is, your kids are a huge priority. You know you need to be with them. When you marry someone with children — or anyone, really — the expectation is that you can’t always be the center of your partner’s universe. Sometimes we make sacrifices — or do lots of travel — to make a relationship work. If he can’t understand this or won’t even talk about it because he’s so committed to ignoring you, just do the move. Table all decisions about your relationship until later.
Have it in the back of your mind that if you crossed a boundary with your husband, he should want to move past it — or through it. Yes, sometimes that takes time, but ignoring you for weeks is unhealthy for both of you. That’s punishment.
For now, prioritize the most pressing need. Be open and honest about the plan. Tell him how important this is to you — that you’re worried. He should want to be there for you as you show up for your kids. The end.
You tell him your children need you, and you’re moving to be with them. You invite him to join you. And if he doesn’t, win-win. WIZEN
Let him ignore you and go be there for your kids. The separation may be healthy for you to see your marriage a little more clearly. SURFERROSA
I had a parent who did the silent treatment thing and it’s considered a form of emotional abuse. DANGLPARTICIPLE
You do know what to do, letter writer, you just need confirmation that your instincts are right. Stick a fork in your marriage, for it is done. Your children deserve better, and anyone who makes you choose between your children (family and friends) and them is a jerk. AULDYIN