My husband wants to move to a trailer in Hawaii, but I have responsibilities here. Am I being selfish?

Our elder recommends counseling to come up with a compromise.

Dear EWC

My husband has been going out to Hawaii for the last three years without me. He has a sister and nephew living there. He plans these trips without consulting me. I have been married for 35 years and now I am truly reaching a point of filing for a divorce. But my husband has ways to make me feel like I am at fault. The latest is on his return from this last trip he has decided that in six years we will both move there and live on his nephew’s farm in a very small trailer. I will not be able to have closets. All he does is complain about how tired he is of the winters here, the family and that I am not wanting to go with him because I am living my children’s lives.

The fact is that I have two grown children. One has three kids so I am also a grandmother. I want to be close to them. Hawaii is like moving to another country. It is not here on our mainland where we or they could come to see us very often, if at all, due to the costs. He obviously does not want my opinion or cares about it. I feel my husband is a selfish man and just wants me to do what he wants when he wants. But he is making me feel guilty for wanting to stay here to be close to my kids and grandkids. I also have an ailing mother nearby that I have to deal with. I offered that we get a home in a warm state here on the mainland but he will not have it any other way. Or a very small place here in the city area and then the small place in Hawaii where I could at least have some option to go back and forth. I feel that I am not wrong in my feeling but would like for someone who is not close to my situation to respond. My husband has ways to make me feel like the horrible selfish one. This is the closest I have come to just going ahead and visiting a lawyer. Thank you so much!

Salvador replies

Marriage counseling may be necessary.

It seems you have tried to negotiate different options and he does not want to compromise in any shape or form. That is why I suggest going to marriage counseling as a last resort before you go on with a divorce step.

I must bring something that I suggest you recognize. How long has he been like this? You have been married for 35 years. How long ago did he change? I am not excusing his behavior. However, he may not see much of a problem because if he has been like this a long time, he may think it is OK. In all fairness, you have enabled his behavior. With this in mind, that is why I suggested to go to a counselor as a last opportunity to not end the marriage and come up with a compromise.

Since divorce is an option, I suggest you start to get some things ready now in case you decide to go that route. Sadly, once a spouse notifies the other party of a possible divorce, things can get ugly. Do consult a lawyer of your options and let him know what you think would be a fair distribution of assets. Don’t let him know of this, though. Often, a partner starts to unfairly sell things, take money, or other things as retaliation before a divorce is file once he or she is told about that.

Lastly, Eleanor Roosevelt said that nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. In other words, don’t allow him to make you feel horrible. He knows that hurts you and uses it against you. He may use that because it is your weak spot. Reason with him but if he starts to attack you, let him know you will not accept that or leave the conversation.

I hope this reply helped you. Remember, marriage is a partnership but if one side does not want to compromise in any form and does not treat the other with dignity, that is not a reflection of love. I wish you the best.

Letter #: 437856
Category: Marriage

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