Dear Stella,
I married Adina back in October of 2008. It was love at first sight. Lately, I have seen some changes in her. No, I don't think that there is another man (or woman). My problem is just pure laziness on her part. Before we got married, I tried finding a place for us to live, and had no luck, or help from her. She has a 7 year old son from a previous relationship (the man is not in his son's life except for sending child support). After the wedding, I was told that we would spend 2 months living with her mom, and in the meantime we could be looking for a place to rent for ourselves. Here it is, April, and we are still there.

Please look at this list of things (problems):

1. Her and her mom doesn't keep a clean place. There is clutter everywhere. Our bedroom and bathroom are the cleanest rooms in the trailer (thanks to me). Is it hard to put trash in the trash can instead of the sink when the trash can is next to it? Clothes everywhere. They let Cavan (Adina's son) dress in the living room before school, and they keep his toothbrush in the kitchen. They leave his bath towel and pajamas on the sofa everyday. Like I said, they don't clean until the weekends, and they usually get out of doing it by saying "We have errands to run," or "I'm too tired from this week at work." I have cleaned up many times, but I always get a look from her mom as if she's saying, "Who the hell does he think he is cleaning my home?" I know when I lived alone, I cleaned up some every day, even after I got off work. I have a physically demanding job, too.

2. Cavan is a handful. He is a great kid, and fun to be around. Adina and her mom has let him run the house since he could talk. Anything he wants, he gets. They have let their phones get turned off if he wanted a toy or video game. He is deeply addicted to video games. Anytime I say anything to Adina about this, she has a fit. I see no point in letting a child play video games for 2 or 3 hours on a school night, and 3/4 of the time Friday night, 3/4 of Saturday & Sunday being on a video game. He throws a fit if you tell him to do something else. It's like he goes through immediate withdrawal. He calls people names, and getting him to behave is like an act of congress, house, and executive order for his mother and grandmother. Me, on the other hand, has had talks with him, and when I tell him to do something, he does it without hardly any backtalk. If I take away his games as punishment, Adina and her mom thinks if he apologizes to me, everything is fine, and he can play them. Isn't that like undermining the authority of a parent? He also eats more than he should. Every hour they ask if he's hungry. He will only eat pizza and chicken. They have to go grocery shopping every weekend just for him.

3. Adina got her Master's degree in December of 2008, but refuses to try to find a job that will pay her what she's worth. She makes decent money at her present job, but she needs to step up, and get out of debt. She has a lot of bills that she has created for herself. One is her student loan. It is a large bill, and she can't make payments, and by the time other bills are paid, we have no money left. Some of these smaller debts will be paid off in a month or two, and that will free up some money, but she has put off & put off calling about getting her loan reduced some.

4. We have 3 cats, and she just brought home a new puppy three weekends ago. First I will talk of the cats. 2 males and one female. We don't let them out of our bedroom because her mom doesn't want them roaming and tearing up the rest of the trailer. We have to deal with the cats tearing up our belongings, and there is cat hair everywhere. We try to keep them out of the bathroom, but because the door is broken (and her mom won't call the landlord until the rest of the house is cleaned up), I have to push that the bathroom has to be cleaned daily. Since the door has been broken, Adina will clean it on days I don't (we trade off). The cats get in the closet, and OPEN the drawers pulling and scattering our clothes about. If I mention getting rid of the cats, she says, "They're not just your cats." I wanted ONE cat. A Friend of hers had some kittens, and Adina didn't want to break up the family so she brought home THREE! Her son claims one, she claims one, and I claim one, nut I am the person that does the most of cleaning the litter box, and buying litter and food for them. Cavan has no responsibility cleaning the litter, and Adina doesn't want him doing it.
Now, the puppy. When her dog died back in November, we agreed not to get another dog until we got a place of our own. Three weeks ago, her and her mom went to Wal-Mart, and there was a guy giving away puppies. She broke our agreement, and brought home "Rocky" She based her reason on "Awwwwe how cute." I was mad mad mad, and she just didn't know why. All it would have taken is one phone call to me to discuss it.

5. Her answer to anything that I have a problem with is "You'll deal with it," or "You'll get over it." Well, I am not getting over it, and I dealt with it this morning by coming over to my mom's house to stay for a while. I have not told her yet because I am irate about the messy house, and her smart-ass comments of how I am supposed to handle things. How should I take care of these issues with her? I am not ready to give up on our marriage, but the stress is killing me to the point where my hair is falling out (alopecia areata is what I am treating with medicine).

Stella, I need help.... we need help. Any advice at all is a start.

Thank you with sincere love,

From Stella,

Oh my God, Brian, you have entered into the Twilight Zone! My first instinct is to tell you to run, run, run, and never look back. And, honestly, that's what I think you should do. This marriage does not have a bright future.

But if you really do want to give it a chance, you MUST move out of that trailer-from-hell, and I mean now. This weekend, go look for an apartment or house to rent. Move into it. If she won't go with you, you have your answer. If she does, then try to work on the many other issues threatening your marriage. You don't have to be lord and master of the household, but you do need to assert yourself more here.

Good luck, Brian, I feel for you!

P.S. About the video-game-addiction. You are not alone. Just about every parent I know moans about this. I have seen desperation in my own children's eyes when I took the computer(online games) away. It's sad. I curse the day they invented video games and stole our children's minds. I don't have an answer for this one. Maybe Tough Love... just take it away! Anyone else have any ideas on this?

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Hats off
by: Anonymous

Hey Brian,

I have to salute you for your patience. Hats off to you man. How do you deal with all that? Great!! Well i guess she is just taking you for granted. As Stella said you need to assert yourself. You are a man .. dude .... got to have some ego. Tell her you have had enough of all this nonsense and if she does not change herself you are leaving.
Please don't try to be God and spoil your life.

Take care.

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