How do you know when its time?

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    snjn: Hi. Im s2021. I dont really post here anymore but every occasional blue moon i skim through the coffee room (because lets face it- once u start in here, u really cant stop..) and ur post was just screaming at me respond! respond! So here I go. I hope i dont offend u in any way.. and if i do just tell urself- O shes divorced so she obviously knows nothing about life.. and also this isnt directed at YOU its at the working on it’s wife..whom i dont even know exists..

    intro: I would also feel resentfull, but if its done respectfully i think its apropriate. U r a team. u share. right?

    a)good point, u need 2 b appreciated 4 who u r but..

    b)Im sure u would RATHER do things ur ideal way but being a single mom aint exactly dreamy either is it? and from the looks of things… Finances CAN clearly destroy everything. Is now really the time to b so worried about ur own comfort?

    c)Oh Puh LEASE!! Life isnt a neat little plan that u choose. It is chosen 4 u by GOD. Do ppl choose to loose a child Chv? Get laid off? Not b able 2 find a shidduch? U have to do the best u can to make it work with the unique challenges and curves that r thrown ur way. Its hard 2 eccept but at sum point or another we realize that life isnt easy. Now lets roll up our sleeves and survive it. Yup, scary thought, i know.

    d) being in debt, the prospect of losing my marriage, and destroying my childrens emotionall stability would make ME want to work as many hours as possible. Do those not seem like good enough reasons 2 u?

    Okay im done now.


    WOI, sometimes you just have to sit down face to face and ask, what do you feel will make you happy and put this marriage back on track? Don’t be afraid to ask the question, just be prepared to hear the answer and don’t be offended. Don’t answer right away, think about what she is saying, even write it down. Stay calm and ask questions if you are not sure or if you don’t understand.

    Make a list or ask her to make a list of her priorities. Then discuss them. I will give you a couple of coaching techniques.

    Ask open ended questions, not questions that require a “yes” or “no”.

    Speak in terms of “we” or “I”.

    Try to speak in terms of “agree”.

    Try to use terms of appreciation, respect, and admire.

    Repeat what she says or give feed back by saying “I hear that”, this validates her feelings and thoughts.

    Having said that these are some appropriate questions:

    I can appreciate what you’re saying, I would like to do some of those things as well. How do you think we can go about working towards those goals?

    I respect your opinion, have you thought about a way we can manage that?

    What do you think we can do to handle that?

    If we were to make a list of what our responsibilities and jobs entail so we get a better understanding of what we are each doing so we don’t take each other for granted, what would be the first five things on your list?

    I really admire the hard work you put into getting your masters degree, you are so good at what you do. I really appreciate the hard work and effort you put into your cases. These kids are really lucky to have you. Your hard work in school paid off b”h, not everyone can say that.

    If it were up to me and I could just wave a magic wand I would grant all your wishes, but unfortunately life is not that simple or that easy as you well know. So is there a way we can work together to set mutual goals we can both work towards?

    WOI, these are just suggestions and obviously you have to set a calm and safe environment to open this type of line of communications. Again, this is a way of sharing responsibility and accountability for whats going on and working together towards a solution. If you stay calm and not accuse you might be able to accomplish or at least open a path towards accomplishing something. Try to use what we call the two breath method. Don’t respond in anger. Take two deep breaths before responding so that you have a chance to think before responding. Don’t just respond instinctively or you might take the bait for a fight, or you might respond because you are not understanding or misunderstanding. So take two breaths to assess what she says before responding. Try to keep on track. Repeat what she says and ask if you are understanding her. Make an agreement such as…”So can we agree to think about what we both just said and sit down again tomorrow and continue this conversation to work on the problem?” or “So can we agree on this goal? Can we agree that this is the top priority for both of us, can we agree to put this at the top of the list?” Then proceed to make a list, write that down and move on to the next item.

    If you can work through the issues in that fashion you would then work on ideas and agreements how to reach each goal and assure your wife that neither one of you should pressure the other to overwhelm yourself with all the things on the list. Work towards one goal and once achieved move on to the next.

    Vacations are really great and everyone needs a vacation. But you can’t look at what other people do for vacation. You don’t know if their parents paid for it, if their parents are babysitting for them, if they borrowed the money, paid by credit card and will be paying it off slowly or if they actually have the money to do it. People tend to spend money whether they have it or not and that’s how they get themselves into trouble.

    For all the people you can point to that take amazing vacations you can point to just as many that take a ride in the country and have one sleep over in a cabin or something like that or go to the poconos for an overnight. To those who can only afford that, they truly appreciate that they can have that vacation. Some people have a 10 bedroom house and some only 3. Some people have 10 kids and some don’t have any. Hashem is in charge and if you want something you can’t expect it to just be handed to you. If it doesn’t just fall in your lap, there is a reason for it, and you have to roll up your sleeves and work for it. Only the tzadikim had the “manna” delivered to their doors, the rest of am yisroel had to go out and collect it for themselves.

    It is really nice if parents can afford to keep gifting children with everything they want and need. It is really, really, nice. But kids can’t go on their entire lives expecting that from their parents, and kids can’t go their whole lives expecting their spouse to pick up where their generous parents left off.

    I hope this helps somewhat.


    WOI: You have decided you are correct, and therefore are looking for an excuse why everyone else thinks you are wrong. You found it: it must be because automatically everyone blames the man. That is not true at all.

    Perhaps she is pushing you to earn more money, because you are pushing her to earn more. It’s not her responsibility no matter what her potential to earn is. The only thing she should be responsible for is paying back the loans for her masters (unless you were the one to push her to do it).

    Now let’s see. Your expenses are $6000 a month + other expenses, so something like $7000 a month. Her earnings are somewhere like $2400 before taxes ($60x10x4), after taxes should be something like 25% of monthly expenses which is $1750, which is what you state you want.

    There is a quote: If two people tell you you are drunk, you should lie down. I came to my (incorrect) conclusion because of the pressure it seems you are putting on your wife, and you went to 4 therapists (spent thousands by them) and they all told you it’s your fault. Sorry, while I can’t possibly know the full story, and all these therapists may be idiots (who just blame the man for everything), it is highly unlikely especially since you are highly articulate, and you could clearly express what is going on (not everyone can do that), so even if initially they thought you are wrong (since you’re a man – highly doubtful though), you should have been able to explain the situation well enough.

    Hatzlacha rabba


    are you really going to base a heavy decision like this based on our opinions? wow thats scary! I think if it was once good, you prob can get it back to that point but you just have to work on it. marriage aint no picnic!

    Working on it

    Aries – Thank you again for your input. Your latest message has been the most helpful. You do not simply say “do something”, you have actually given me some suggestions to address the problems. I will acknowledge that I do not always know how to phrase what I want to say – especially during an argument. I will certainly try to follow your advice as best I can.

    Flowers – I am not sure why you are so on my case here. I don’t recall seeing posts that are saying that I am wrong, just that I shouldn’t be too hasty to make my decision and that I should continue to work on it. Besides, me being right or wrong has nothing to do with my question. What I was asking is when does one say “enough”. When does one realize that working on it is not going to work and you would both be better off apart than together. I also never said that the previous therapists told me that I’m wrong – I just said that it didn’t work for us.

    BTW, our monthly bills are closer to 8500 and while she brings in about 1500 a month, we are still in the red every single month and will not be able to survive for much longer at this pace.

    Now, to address your other comments: She is not exactly pushing me to make more money. Its more like whenever there is something she wants to spend money on (which is pretty often) she says things like “why can’t you just make more money so we can afford this” or “well…if you made more money then I wouldn’t have to feel like a pauper”.

    Additionally, SHE is the one that decided to get a masters. She had a BA and was working in the city at a job that had potential for advancement but she wanted to have a masters. She has made it quite clear that she does NOT want to be a stay at home mother. It is not for her. She wants to leave the house and work. I didn’t decide that for her. Consequently, now that she has her MS, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect her to go to work. How can you seriously tell me that it is “undue pressure” on my part when the kids are at school and she is only working 8 hours a week? Not only that, but she doesn’t even take care of the house. I would agree with you if she were a homemaker and I was pushing her away from that. HOWEVER, she does not clean – we have a cleaning lady; she does not cook – most of the time I end up making supper and certainly I make most (if not all) of the food for shabbos. I even do the grocery shopping. So pardon me for getting defensive but when I hear someone say that I should take on “a little more responsibility around the house…” it really gets me upset. How much more should I take on? Why is it that I have to be the one to make it easier on her? As S2021 said, we are supposed to be a team, right? If she doesn’t want to work, shouldn’t she make it easier for me to run my business so I can produce more? But that is not the case. I am constantly asked to take care of things during business hours, especially since I work from home. I’ll give you an example: the other day she arranged a play date for one of our kids while the other was in school so she can go to a doctor. She then called me to say that she was leaving the doc but wanted me to pick up our child. when I asked why she couldn’t just pick up on the way home she said that she wasn’t sure how long it would take and our child needs to be picked up now. So I went. So far it sounds reasonable, right? But then, she called me when I just got to the other house (about 15 min later) to say that she just got home and did I pick up our kid. Now, it may not seem like a big deal but I just wasted a half an hour, in the middle of my day so I could take care of this. Meanwhile, she could have just as easily done it (even faster since it was on the way) without disturbing me. I then had to watch my kid for another half an hour while she went to pick up the other one because “it would be easier for [her] if she didn’t have to take this one along”. I did that too – just to make things easier for her. Then, she asked if I could do something else… When I told her that I really had a lot of work to do and maybe she could do it herself, do you know what she said? “I forgot, I have the laziest husband in the world. Fine, I’ll just take care of it myself then” and walked away upset. What am I supposed to do?

    Now, I know that as you read this you must be thinking “I’m sure that he is embellishing this story”. Let me put it this way. I have a business partner who also works out of my home. He has said to me, many times “I would never believe half the things you say if I didn’t see for myself.” Anyway, the point here is not to rant about my wife. The point is to figure out how to change this situation and not be stuck in anger and resentment.OR, if there is even anything to work on. As of right now, I feel like I have a roommate not a wife. I don’t want/need a roommate.


    WOI: Would you mind sharing the breakdown of how you reach expenses of $8500 a month? Understanding that may help some provide ideas on reducing that, which may be of help to you. You mentioned credit card bills, but what are you using the credit for? How much is your monthly student debt expenses? Do you have credit card interest you pay? What new charges are being accrued monthly?


    Working on it,

    A few things:

    Maybe when she says rude things to you, she thinks it’s “cute” sarcasm. I have seen some women do this, and they had to be told that their words are rude and destructive. I’m trying to be Dan LChaf Zechut – at least with her intentions.

    I have seen that some women think after they are married that they can say anything to their husbands. After all, he is supposed to be there for her. My wife used to joke that I was her punching bag. She would dump on me all her negative feelings that she could not dump on others who really deserved it, like her boss. Being the “punching bag” was cute at first, but after a while I totally got sick of it, so I told her to stop.

    You have mentioned her rude comments to you. What have you said to her that was not nice, if you did? Have you ever told her what she said was inappropriate?

    As passfan asked above, how do you owe $8500 a month? That sounds a bit hefty to me.

    moi aussi


    Revealed by Harville Hendrix in his groundbreaking book, Getting the Love You Want, Imago Relationship Therapy involves viewing a conflict between a couple as the answer to the situation, not the cause of the disharmony. By examining the conflict itself, a couple can unlock the key to the solution.

    There are therapists who are specialised in Imago, they have saved many marriages. It’s definitely worth a try.


    So many of your issues have familiar undertones in my marriage also.

    Based on the story that you told of the picking the kids up, etc, my guess is that she has no idea of the impact of her behavior on you (even if you told her). Sounds like she’s turning a blind eye, not because she’s bad or doesn’t have feelings for you, but perhaps because she’s more aware of her own needs.

    The part of your picking up your child from the play date can be as simple as her not being sure she’d get back in time. This might irk you that she did arrive on time in the end, but it seems more responsible to me that she expressed concern in advance about the possibility and made alternate arrangements. I’d sit down with her and clarify that your working from home has to be on condition that it’s without distractions, except in an emergency (and elaborate what that means: she’s at the doctor, kid’s school calls and says kid’s vomiting(c’v), come get your kid). You’re IT. Kid’s at a play date and she’s delayed, call the other mom to say she’ll be a bit late. You need to establish criteria for interruptions, boundaries. Without discussing them, you are expecting her to use her best judgement (oy). I get your feeling resentful about her not putting in her full effort (household work etc). My husband has VERY old fashioned cheuvanistic views about housework. He comes home and literally DUMPS his stuff (clothing/head to toe, papers/mail) everywhere. Combining his stuff and the messes my kids make and I feel like I’m working backwards with clean-up. He’s got the right to say ” you’re home more, I need you to do more, but there are things I think he should be responsible for. Hanging his suits is one of them. Worse yet, when he complains to me about the condition of the home (I can clean and he says nothing or I clean and my kids undo my efforts with their messes and then that’s all I hear about. It would help to hear what I do right, when I do it, for him to clarify what I’m ok doing (straightening, laundry, dishes, etc) and what I don’t want to do (hang his suits). You guys sound very resentful of each other, but I don’t think that has to spell the end. I think you need to find a way to talk to each other more. Maybe you want to try “I’m going to listen to you all day” day. Give her one day to tell you what she wants and give it to her. Then it’s your turn. You’ll each see what the other wants without each focusing on your own needs.


    I want to explain one thing. I don’t think my husband is a “cheuvanist” overall. I think he has some cheuvanistc VIEWS. He can be sweet and helpful at times. He doesn’t look at a garbage bag and say “NIMBY(not in my back yard, meaning, not my job). What irks me is when I feel he should take care of his “stuff” and he just drops the topic. Maybe it’s really about opening the lines of communication. Being able to talk so we can really hear each other and not just have our own agendas and ideas of how things should go. If you could hear that silent voice of your wife’s talking, what would it say? I think if I really tuned in to my husbands true neshoma, his hopes, wishes, dreams and fears, it would say “I’m having a hard time making Parnassa and I feel really guilty about it (and lousy about myself). Deep down I wish I could be every thing you’d want, but it’s not working. Could you work? And then if he could hear me, he’d hear how lousy I feel about myself that I want to do more, but that I’m scared. There’s so much that’s happening underneath the surface. We can be married to each other, and so far apart emotionally. And the longer it takes to talk the more scared and untrusting we become. We need to hear our spouses wishes, hopes, dreams and fears and not be afraid to listen. After we do that, we need them to hear ours (and be shown that talking about it is safe and we won’t be criticized). This whole business is so scary, but it’s too big a deal to let it go easily. If there’s even a teeny bit of kindness and hope that she can hear you, and you her, then I’d say, fight for it.


    “Meanwhile, I am trying to make my small business grow but it will certainly be a while before I can bring home serious money. She on the other hand is very picky about her assignments and where she will work”

    OP – DONT GET DIVORCED. you are married a mere 6 years. They say that there is frequently contention during the 6-7 year of marriage, due to reality finally setting in, Even though you are trying to build up your business, take a night job for an hour or two a night to bring in a little extra money. DONT harbor anger against your wife, pretty soon she will see the extra effort you put in and will wake up, but the bottom line is, you CANT FORCE someone to do something. Try it and you will see amazing rewards. Hatzlacha!

    moi aussi

    We never tell a person “get divorced”, or “don’t get divorced”.

    We can help a person access his/her own wisdom, but ultimately the person has to make his/her own decision.


    moi aussi- obviously we cant tell a person what to do, but from his description and the short amount of time he has been married so far, even if there are other issues not mentioned, there needs to be a Major effort to try to make things work.


    WOI, it seems that your partner should have a complaint here as well, and maybe there is something that HE needs to say to her, that she would be able to “hear” better from him than from you and that is “although we are working from your house WE are still working and our business hours are ” 9 – 5″. It is NOT fair to me that you keep asking your husband to leave work and do errands for you and the kids as if he were sitting at home doing nothing. WE, he and I, are running a business and WE would both appreciate if you would respect that as my wife does. If we could afford to we would rent space so we would NOT be here, but we can’t. So could you please forget that we are here, and pretend that we are working elsewhere so we can run the business like professionals?” HE has every right to say that, as do you.

    In addition, your housekeeper should take on more of the responsibility in the home and you should have less. Turn on the fire for her and teach her how to cook if your wife does not want to. But it should NOT be your responsibility. YOU should be in your office all day as if you left the house and went to work elsewhere. YOU need to define your work hours and home hours. When your wife worked in the city or she was in school, did you call her and ask her to run errands?

    You both need to be respected and you both should make a list of HOW you need to be respected, because it seems like you are NOT being respected. You are being verbally abused and you are not respected in your work. I don’t know if you return the verbal abuse, but this is definitely something you need to talk about and put a stop to. Lets say your wife was on the phone in the evening with the parent of one of her clients. What if you started talking to her and tried to get her attention. That would be disrespectful to her. She would be very upset because she would be trying to be as professional as possible with the parent and she wouldn’t want you to interrupt her. She would expect you to understand that and respect her for it. WOI, it is the same thing. When you are working, you should be able to expect her to respect your work hours and not interrupt you to run errands. If she needs a favor she should call a friend like everyone else does and not interrupt her working husband.

    In coaching one of my first questions to my clients is “How do you need to be respected?”. So I would ask you to make a list and ask her to do the same and then discuss it.


    One more thing I would suggest. It would be very productive to make a balance sheet with income on one side and expenses on the other. On the expense side list the most important in order from top to bottom so things like mortgage, tuition payments, etc. are listed at the very top.

    Then go over it together to see where you can make cuts, and write down questions for your accountant. These are questions I would very much suggest that you ask.

    If you and your partner and your wives each have your own cars, I would suggest that you and your partner share a car since you are together most of the day at your home and that you lease the three cars from your business. That way you can write it off as an expense through the business which you can’t do on your personal income tax.

    Your medical insurance should be written through your business for both you and your partner because it would then be a group (even with just two people (families) and it would also be an expense through your business and can be written off as an expense also you won’t have to pay tax on that money as income and then pay more out of pocket cost for higher premiums on pre-taxed money.

    In addition, you probably can take a tax break on your personal income tax for using your house, but ask the accountant if you can pay rent to yourself from your business and have a rental income on your personal tax return. The rental income might be taxed less that work income. I don’t know so you should ask. Also the rent is a business expense and can be written off as an expense on the business side.

    All these adjustments can be made and then your accountant can tell you how to adjust your pay accordingly so that you benefit the most both for the business and your personal pocket.

    In addition, you can see where else you and your wife can cut back on your monthly expenses. If you are in the red every month the both of you will need to make sacrifices. You will have to discuss that calmly. When she sees the balance sheet, she will have to decide whether she would rather give things up or work more and bring in more income. So things like cable TV might be on the “can go” list, as well as full time help which might have to be cut back to part time and your wife will have to pick up some of the slack. You might have to look for cheaper utility companies and maybe even get a business plan for your cell phones.

    You might have to cut back on the wardrobe budget, entertainment budget, food budget, etc. The both of you will just have to have a reality check and do some real work until you bring the budget closer into balance.

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