My father-in-law passed away a few months ago and my husband’s sisters and stepmother have decided to sign all of the property over to him. We also own another house from before I moved in with him, which is registered in my name. My husband has suddenly decided that he wants us to get divorced, but he insists that we keep living together as before.
Since his father’s death, he thinks he is in control of everything. He has repeatedly told me that if I don’t listen to what he says then he’ll let me go.
I am so confused right now because this was the man I fell in love with, and I was sure that I wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together. I can’t begin to comprehend what he means to accomplish with this proposed arrangement of living together without being married.
Why would he want to go backwards? I want to go forward, and I don’t understand what’s to gain by going back to living together without being married.
My husband says that I’ll be giving everything up if I don’t agree to his terms, but I made it clear to him that he has left me no choice. Am I making the wrong decision? Should I agree to my husband’s terms or should I move on and accept that we can’t be together anymore? Please help me save my marriage
Dear Patty: When I receive letters from women, many of them don’t think they hold enough importance in their partner’s lives. They underestimate their own value and consequently give up power in the relationship.
You have been a daily fixture in this man’s life for more than eight years. Don’t underestimate your importance in this relationship, and trust your history to know that you mean a lot more to him than he says you do.
How do you think you’re going to feel if he files for divorce and you continue living together in the same house?
From The Question: Help Me Save My Marriage
I strongly believe that if you agree to his arrangement, you will begin to feel distanced from and resentful towards him. Listen to your inner voice. It sounds like it’s telling you that agreeing to your husband’s terms will eventually make you very unhappy.
I think I know why he is proposing such terms. If he divorces you, and the two of you part ways, he feels threatened that you might want a part of his newly acquired wealth.
He wants to minimize the chances of that happening by convincing you to stay with him after the divorce. That way he is free to come and go as he pleases while at the same time his assets are protected.
I think you need to follow your heart on this. You know that his terms are impossible for you to live with, and while you may think you won’t be able to live a single day without him, he’s probably even more dependent on you.
When you got married nearly two years ago, you vowed to stay together forever. However, your husband has made it clear that he has no intention of living together as a married couple. He thinks that if he allows you to continue living with him after the divorce, you won’t go after his assets in legal proceedings.
Normally I would suggest couples therapy techniques but in this case, I would advise that you meet with a lawyer as soon as possible and determine what portion of your husband’s estate you are entitled to in the event of a divorce. Your husband is acting only in his own best interest, and you need to do the same. Given his actions, you need to protect yourself first before you can consider any possibility of saving your marriage.
By Dr. Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D
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