You are here:

Marriage/Marriage falling apart


I would like to first thank you in advance for your answers and looking forward to utilizing your advice and help

My wife and I met through my sister, my wife has been a long time frind of my sister, we have known each other for years but never really saw each other

About me:  I am self made and have had a rough life, when my mother passed away from cancer my father ran away with the family money only to resurface broke a few years later. I have financially funded the 2 careers I have in my resume and I do have a temper, I am an equalist and believe that husband and wife have equal rights and responsibilities, I am quickly to admit my faults but stand firmly for my rights I live and let live, you approach me in a friendly manner you get my friendly side but I do have a temper.

About her: She comes from a  VERY wealthy family, her father gives a monthly allowance to all3 daugthers that surpases the 3k a month, she is smart, caring when she wants, 4 months pregnant with my daughter and no doubt in my mind she will make an excellent mother, like me she has a temper but she has been highly spoiled in every sense of the world by her parents so she will not get a job, she will never admit to any wrongdoing, she will not apologize and most importantly she is immature and manipulative. She is 40 years old and has never had to resolve her own problems, the moment she struggles with anything her parents take care of it for herself, not matter what the problem is they fix it for her.

About us as a couple:
We have been married for almost 3 years and through IVF we manage to get pregnant, we have had a lot of problems to overcome and the minute we fight she gives up and I am then the one pushing to save the marriage, I start doing whatever is needed to get my marriage back. On our last fight, her and her father kicked me out of the house, because she is pregnant and unwilling to calm down I decided to leave and I have been living in my car for the past 5 days and will be for the next 2 weeks when I move into a new apartment I was just approved for, I have not heard from her  and due to the humiliations I have been put through and because I am hurt I feel I should not call her back. I visited a family attorney and was advised of my options and also told that legally  they had no rights to kick me out of my home, he also told me to write her and make her aware that I had all the intentions of being there for my unborn daughter and that I wanted to know future obstetrician appointments so I could be there for my daughter.

My marital problems:

My wife is very immature and not used to dealing with problems, so the moment my marriage is shaken up she blames me for absolutely everything, she does not hear my version or argument yet she blames left and right, she also cannot apologize or ask for an apology and is completely unable to leave the issue behind, move forward and solve the problem, here are some examples:

A few weeks back I found a picture of a shirtless ex boyfriend on her computer, when I calmly asked her what this was all about she said that it was an old picture and that was completely normal. Yet one day when she was mad and trying to make her forget what had happened I showed up in the bedroom with my suit and a couple of ties and asked her: “Hey can you tell me which tie would look good with this suit” she said “NO”, I asked her again she was upset and she again cut me off short, then I took a picture of the suit and ties and sent this to an old but very good high school female friend that lives in Europe with a voice note saying if she could help me decide. When my wife heard this flew out of the bedroom and went out of control telling me that she was my lover and that was the reason our marriage has been falling apart. She threw pillows at me and threw herself on the floor crying as if I had just told her someone had died.

Another example is that I have had to deal with depression in the past, an often when we argue she makes comments like: “Let me remind you that the crazy one with mental issues here is you not me”

Her family:

Her family consist of the mom, dad and 3 daughters from age 30 to age 40. My understanding of marriage is that when you marry someone you do indeed marry the family also, however you do start your own family circle and build a home from there, you look for family support but family issues and decisions are now moved into our own circle, in an ideal world those circles overlap a little bit but never fully merge as I stated earlier. Everytime we fight she calls her parents, gives her parents her version, then the sisters find out and call her too, and they also give my wife their thoughts and in a matter of 2 hours I have a family of 5 against me, judging me and no one ever has yet asked me what my version is. it is also important to note that I have seen my wife and her sister (and Mom) interfere in a destructive way with each other marriage’s so I have every reason to believe the same happens to me when I fight with my wife.

When We first decided to separate, I told my wife that I had given up on my home to start a life with her and that it was not fair for me to be rushed out of my house just like that, when I landed from a trip I made to NY for work on midnight on Thursday my wife told me I had to be out by Friday. I had to literally beg for her to allow me to put an inflatable mattress in the other room and live there until I could save for a new apartment, the next fight I wrote her dad and told him the exact same thing that I needed time on which he responded that I needed to leave immediately, all of this without asking me what had happen. Their argument for kicking me out is that when we fight she gets really out of control and that can be a problem for her pregnancy, I do agree, but she is 40 and if is not her way then literally starts crying on the floor like an 8yr old, the responsibility of her keeping the cool is not only mine, is hers too, she knows she is pregnant she needs to calm down and look at issues in a different way not explode and make me explode.

Another example is that if we fight and we reconcie, her expectations are that I call her sisters, mom and dad to apologize for what I had done (Even though it is unclear if I was at fault or not but in their eyes yes it is all me and I need to tour and appologize to all 5 of them), this clearly states my marriage is absolutely dependant on them. On various occasions we have been back together yet he hid this from her family as she says: “I just don't know how to explain my family we are back together” and she would go to a family dinner and not take me with her because she did not want them find out we had work our issues and got back together
Another example. One day we fought and I left to a hotel room for the night, her sister told her that I Had legally “Abandoned her” I pay her apartment, her insurance and all the bills at home (with her) yet I was accused of abandoning my wife, this poisonous comments are a serious accusations

She has an aversion for work:
When we went through couples therapy she told the therapist that i “Was jealous and mad because her dad gives her money on a monthly basis. My argument is that we both need to work and push our home together, my wife spends her entire days posting photos of her $2k shoes and handbags on a social blog she has and I need her to work with me. After extensive questions by the therapist he told her “He is not jealous or mad, it is hard for him to work and see you at home not helping, in marriage couples need to share responsibilities” the therapist told her. She answered that “she was undergoing IVF treatment and it was not good for her to work”, at which the therapist responded “Why not?”. When we got home that day and she found herself without answers she flat out told me: “Well, i don't need to work, so what?”

Example: A friend of her called her not too long ago and told her that she had found her a job, she went ahead and sent this person her resume, we had done a spreadsheet and we figured we needed about $6k before the baby was born to buy what is needed from when a baby is born. when her friend called her back she told me that “I am not taking this job because this job would not make me happy” When I asked her if she had consult her parents for their opinion she said “yes” they agree and said that “If I didn't want to take that job I didn't have to” Later on an occasional conversation I had with her Mother her mother told me: “She can't work she is pregnant maybe later on”

Every time we argue she always turns things around to blame me and most importantly make me feel very guilty as I feel today.
Example: When we decided to split up and I was living in a separate room, if I go down to the pool she would text me: “Where are you” how come you are not back already?”
Another example is that she loves to travel, so while living on the other room she would say thing like, “If you go this place next week I want to go with you but as friends” it is as if she wants me out but won't let go. It is important to note that since I was kicked out she has not made any contact with me, it has been almost a week.

I do understand that you do may not have the answers to my questions. I am 43 and maybe I should have them already. I am not going to lie and if there was anything I could do to save my marriage I would not hesitate and do it, I am devastated and I would give anything to be there and enjoy her belly bump and be there every second I can with my daughter, but I see this now as very damaged and unrepairable.

Any advice you can give me will be highly appreciated.


Hi Carlos/Dan - from your description, the reality seems to be that your wife - and perhaps you - are burdened by significant psychological wounds. One result is that she is enmeshed with er biological family and apparently is not motivated to live life as an independent adult woman yet - and her (dysfunctional) family encourages that.

I think these may apply to her, and perhaps to you:  // //  //

From what you wrote, you don't have a "marriage" to repair (i.e. one based on 2 mature adults' mutual love and respect.) Your wife sounds like she has not been motivated or encouraged to "grow up and leave home" - i.e. unless she decides to get some help separating from her family and healing her inherited wounds, she is not able to be the co-responsible life partner you seek. I must also question whether she is qualified to be an effective parent.

For your and your daughter's sake, you two need to learn how to problem-solve as partners rather than fight, manipulate, and separate.

For your vulnerable child's sake, I urge you two good people to learn these six online lessons together:

Respectfully, Pete  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

©2017 All rights reserved.