Dear Dr. Romance:
How do I make him understand? So my soon-to-be-ex is still in the house as well as myself! This is not working! He keeps trying to make things better, but I don't feel anything for him anymore. He has been better to me but is still very rude to our son and says hurtful things to him! He also says rude things about teammates on my sons ball team and doesn't think he is being rude and doesn't care if other people hear what he says! I can no longer deal with this! I'm tired of feeling bad about myself and I'm ready to have a life for me ! Now how do I make him understand it is over with out feeling bad when his tears start fallen? He says he don't want to lose me but we have had these problems for several years and he never changes and I just want to be happy and only worry about my sons and my feelings and work on being happy once again!
This is what I wish more women understood about their men. You can't just say he's doing it wrong, you have to act it out. By the time most women are fed up enough to actually act on their frustration, it's too late for him to change. Many men will change if you make it clear to them that bad behavior will not be tolerated. When you see the tears, tell him he must go to counseling, and go with him to the first session, to tell the therapist what the problems are (because he doesn't get it). Do this even if you wouldn't take him back if he changed into the world's best husband. Do it for your sons, and your future connections with this man. You will be connected to him for life through your children. If he's convinced you're divorcing him, he will be much more likely to get that he has a problem. Up til now, he thinks the problem is yours -- he probably thinks you're a whiny bitch, and doesn't see his own behavior at all. Hold his feet to the fire, and feel good about doing it. It's high time someone made him grow up. "Gentle Persistence" and "Asking for What You Want" will help you know how to get your point across. "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" will help you find a good therapist. How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free has exercises and guidelines you can use to learn how to communicate even with an uncooperative partner.