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Q. I’ve been married for 10 years. In 2018, I received an inheritance in the form of a house I was raised in. My wife decided to give me an ultimatum about the inheritance. She insisted that her name be put on the deed.
She has become so spiteful. Doing and saying things I would have never expected. She’s gone as far as saying that she’s going to sleep with other men now.
I’ve never seen this side of her before. It’s sad what an inheritance has done to my marriage. No apologies, no regrets on her part. Now all she talks about is divorce. Now she travels without me. She’s been on at least four to five flights since expressing her true feelings for me. I don’t know who she’s with. This behavior is unacceptable. We have two young boys and all she wants to do is have another man around her and my kids out of pure spite. Depression has been kicking my butt as of late. Any advice?
– The Deed
A. It doesn’t sound like she’s someone who’ll love the idea of therapy, but family mediation might help. If this marriage is going to end, you should have the assistance of someone who’ll prioritize your kids.
It would also help to get counseling for yourself. You tell this story like your wife did a 180 — that she became someone new after the inheritance. That’s a jarring change, one you’ll process for some time. Why did this inheritance become such a conflict? What are the expectations now? How will you co-parent? These are things you can talk about with a therapist who understands family dynamics. Talk to your doctor or insurance company about finding help.
Also reach out to friends, family, colleagues — any person who’s been a consistent positive force in your life. You need community.
One thing to consider: You say the inheritance did this to the marriage, but I wonder what was brewing before this. Also, I wonder what happened during the conversation about the deed to the house. Why did she say it was important for her name to be on it? How did the two of you talk about money before this happened? Again, these are things you can explore with a professional, but...I wonder how this property brought your conflicts out into the open.
If you can’t figure out who she’s with, control your own environment. Prioritize your kids and making a peaceful space for them. Find the right people to help you figure this out.
Your marriage was broken before you received this property. Your spouse was simply triggered by the possibility that she would not get half of the value of that property in the upcoming divorce. HARRISBSTONE
Inheritances will bring all kinds of people out of the woodwork who want to try to get a piece of it. You usually don’t suspect it will be your wife, though. I imagine this relationship has been toxic for some time. There is a reason you didn’t put her name on the deed, for example. Sorry to say it is time for a divorce. SUNALSORISES
Talk to a lawyer, not the Internet. MAJORISSUES
Find the latest season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Meredith Goldstein wants your letters! Send your relationship quandaries and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.