Dear Amy: My husband’s narcissistic father died by suicide three months ago. After over 25 years of our adult life dealing with his childish, nasty, out-of-proportion reactions to our lifestyle and family values, we created boundaries for him within our family.
It infuriated him that he could not control us with money in order to get us to adore him.
He wrote my husband out of his will and left his estate to my husband’s siblings.
This was a pain that you cannot know unless it is done to you.
Is it naive of us to think that his siblings would each give up a percentage of their inheritance to make my husband whole and even things out?
His father had dysfunctional relationships and rifts with all of his children at different times throughout his life.
It is not about the monetary value of the inheritance; it is about doing what is natural as siblings.
If offered a share, my husband would give his portion to charity.
How do we have a relationship with these greedy people who continue their father’s legacy of manipulation and of dangling money in exchange for adoration?
Dear Upset: Based on what you say, these siblings are NOT dangling money in front of you and your husband. They are simply choosing to keep money that was left to them.
I do not think it is particularly “natural” for siblings to share an inheritance with an estranged family member, especially if your husband had completely exited from a relationship with their father. So yes, you are being naïve.
You might also rethink your definition of “greed,” as it applies to this situation. Greed is wanting what others have. That definition might apply to you.
Presumably, these siblings endured their father’s mental illness and suicide from a closer perspective than your husband did, and whether their motivation was a financial or filial one — they may feel that they’ve already paid dearly for every penny they’ve inherited.
Even though it is the opposite of your stated intent, you and your husband seem to be letting his father’s money control you.
It’s time to let go.
Having a family member die by suicide initiates a kind of grief like no other; my recommendation would be for your husband to talk this through with a counselor. Coming to terms with his own confusion, anger, guilt, and longstanding heartache would be the way for him to become “whole.”
Dear Amy: I am going through my second divorce. My wife wants this — I don’t.
We have only been married for seven months and she has told me she loves me but is not “in love” with me. I don’t want to lose her and our three-year commitment to each other, but she will not talk to me (or a professional) about her issues.
What do you think I can do to save my marriage or possibly rebuild the love she once had for me? We have no biological kids together, but we have three teens in the house: her teenage daughter and my two sons. Her daughter is kind of a wild child and my boys are grounded.
She has been going into work early and coming home late. She told me her career is her priority and that our relationship would just “be there.”
She said she doesn’t want to come home, due to not feeling wanted, needed, or loved. She says she feels unappreciated.
I work from home, taking care of the kids, animals, shopping, appointments, my job, the yard work, etc.
Can you help?
Dear S: When your wife said she feels unwanted, unloved, etc., she is saying — something. You should encourage her to expand on all of that — and assume a very non-defensive attitude when she does. The new household might be overwhelming for her.
Some of the clues she is dropping indicate that there may be someone else in her life.
As painful as this is for you to confront, you should ask her about that, too.
Marriage counseling works best when a couple participates, but individual counseling would be helpful for you.
Dear Amy: “Expecting” said that her late-life pregnancy caused her husband to accuse her of infidelity.
Amy, in your answer, you didn’t even address the fact that Expecting’s husband had had a vasectomy! Hello! How could he get her pregnant?
— You Missed It
Dear Missed It: Vasectomy failure is extremely rare, but it does happen. In this case, DNA proved that “Expecting’s” husband had fathered the baby.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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