Put this in the reason-not-excuse category, but the dude is probably blithely unaware that he's massively depressed. But you're not doing him enough of a favor by staying to justify the costs you're undertaking to do so. Agree with Dan, separate completely and firmly ASAP. You'll probably just have to cover your eyes and hope for the best with regards to his kids, I mean, they're probably fucked no matter what.


L-dub, you married a trainwreck. He's broken. He's over 40. There's a low probability he will get fixed. Move on.



Pro Tip for you girls;
a male who plays video games is not an adult and is not ready for prime time.


For the taxes, go to a tax clinic and get help filing for "injured spouse" relief: it's for just this kind pf situation -- getting your own tax refund back despite a spouse's problems.


I hope the husband can get into counseling on his own. He sounds like he has ADD and depression. That's a rough life without support. No way will he have a good relationship until he gets some skills training.
LW clearly likes him as a person so hopefully they can still be friends after she leaves him. For his kids, for the most part.


@3...ummm I'm 55, I have a house, kids in college, 4 cars, own 40% of a tech business, and have enough assets to retire today. I can adult with the best of them, and guess what? I play video games, avidly, and have since the 80's! You may as well say a male who spends all weekend playing golf, or all weekend watching (bless their hearts) fucking football aren't adults. That is an idiotic statement. Clearly you failed logic class in school, or probably didn't even take logic, I doubt they teach it anymore. Hasty Generalization much?


stuff nor money make you an adult.
or a "man"
but keep trying...


I could swear this is a repeat even though I don't see an old date. If it's not a repeat then the issue is a repeat. Dump the dude and move on.




She’s in counseling... at least lay it on the line and tell him everything he needs to do to stay married. Pick her up from work, take care if the kids, get on adhd meds, pick up his financial responsibility game. Give him two months and if he doesn’t change, leave.


Whatever the root cause(s) of his problems (eg, adult ADD/ADHD, addiction, and/or depression), unless HE admits he has a problem AND has hit rock bottom, there will be little to no permanent change in his behaviors. It's time for the LW to be the adult in the relationship and at least separate (divorce will likely be the final action). A good divorce/family law attorney can make visitation for the LW with his kids part of the divorce settlement.

*Depending on the LW's state of legal residence, her finances may take a huge hit in the divorce, especially since he does not behave like a fiscally responsible adult. Perhaps, even if she doesn’t DTMF, she might consider finding ways to protect her property and money. Having a consultation with an attorney to explore protecting herself, even if she doesn’t leave him, might be best.


Or maybe she should go into therapy for wanting sex outside of her unfulfilling relationship with a CPOS.

Nah, she just need to DTMFA.


This dude obviously leeches onto ppl (women and his parents) and sucks them as dry as they let him. LW shouldn't worry about this guy - I'm sure he used the exact same lines/emotional blackmail techniques in past relationships. Protect your car/money so he can't reck/spend them, get a divorce attorney to help get things in order and then file for divorce. Keep in touch with his kids so you can support them and make it clear you are still there for them. If he is neglecting them you'll be aware and can get support services involved or look into getting custody and child support if you want to do that. It sounds like you're already taking care of the kids, you'd just have one less adult-child to worry about draining your time, energy and money and you'd have your car back.


"…and he's always pushed my boundaries a bit and opened me up to new things. But…"

Red flag.

"A few times he's pushed the boundaries too far: he has cheated on me by establishing 'secret' relationships with friends and lying repeatedly."

SMOKING GUN. DTMFY. Don't even need to read the rest. Yet I can't help myself, partly because I've gotten nowhere near the headline hook yet.

"The most recent time was last fall, as we were in the middle of a crisis and custody fight for his kids."

I'm gonna go ahead and say his ex likely should get sole custody. Crisis averted, in so, so many ways.

"To save our marriage I proposed trying to be poly, since that is basically what he was going to be doing anyway, but at least I'd know about it. He promised to be completely honest, and has been as far as I know."

Oh hell; people who want to honestly fuck multiple people are honest about that. Modus tollens, people who are not honest about wanting to fuck multiple people don't WANT to HONESTLY fuck multiple people; the lying/sneaking is the primary appeal.

"In the meantime, he's proving to be unreliable in other ways."

Quelle surprise.

"He will spend his days off playing video games and doing nothing—not feeding the kids, doing the dishes, etc. He's terrible with money and any sort of responsibility. He's currently driving my car because he wrecked his and spent the insurance money on other stuff. I started taking the bus because he's forgotten to pick me up from work too many times. Our tax refund, slated to pay for my college tuition, was confiscated for his unpaid student loans."

At this point I honestly start to wonder if LW has some kind of secret/subconscious desire to be exploited or abused. A depressingly high percentage of people are authoritarian follower personality types.

"All of that sounds horrible, I know. And it is. But he has a kind heart,"

Does he? Really?

"…is very loving,"

See above.

"…and deserves to be happy."
That's only ever true if that happiness doesn't come at the expense of others. Someone eho can only be happy by making others miserable decidedly does NOT deserve to be happy.

"He loves me…"

"…and tells me often that losing me would destroy him."

Doubt it - not having you didn't destroy him at any point before he met you.

"Since his last marriage ended (due to his infidelity), his parents have washed their hands of him."

Yes, they are wise.

"If I were to leave, he would have no support system, and even worse, his kids would lose the stability I know I bring to all of their lives."

Not if they go live with their mom, who would almost HAVE to be a better custodian. Do you have contact information for the judge in his custody case? Because I don't think it was adjudicated properly, and part of the reason might be that you effectively lied to help your awful spouse. You might be able to set that right, simtaneously helping the kids by cutting their shit dad out of their lives AND getting out yourself without the guilt of abandoning them.

@3: Now that is a wild overgeneralization that's going to discount a majority of men under 30 right now, and eventually a majority of men, period, at least here in USA (maybe women, too - casual games are the most popular and skew toward women as players). Video games are a constructed competition, like any sport (though I'm not in the camp that considers them - or chess - a "sport"), and fill the same social function (war/battle/fighting/competition without the same amount of physical harm as actual mortal combat or stakes as competition over general social status).


@3 people like you are just the fucking worst. I would explain all the ways I'm an adult to you and that I play video games, but the stupid fucking opinion you have wasn't reasoned into, so I can't imagine anyone reasoning your opinionated ass out of it, you judgemental prick.


@6 & 14: I'm pretty sure that's the old commie troll. Ignore him.


@16: and same to you, TheRob @15; our posts crossed.
The dude's always going on about the moral collapse of society, the scourge of disease that haunts all gay men, the idea that men won't respect women who have sex, blah blah.
He frequently adopts the third person; often just gives the "advice" to not have children.

Don't bother to interact with him. For all of our sakes.


Yikes. I just can't understand some people- have nothing to add to the advice to the LW.

As for the video game conversation, it's like anything else. If someone is gaming to the exclusion of relationships and/or responsibilities, it's a problem. In this case, sounds more like the man is using it as escapism, so it could be anything (posting comments online, binge watching Netflix, etc). The gaming isn't the problem, just a symptom of bigger problems. So I agree with John and Coolie about that.

However I disagree that it's just like any other sport or way that people spend their free time. Gaming in moderation, fine, but people who spend all day gaming or in any other kind of escapism I mentioned have that "time suck" feeling - that dopamine reward surge that you really only get so easily with screens. Real sports involving you to get off the couch and go out and engage with real things and real people do not. So there is a difference between any "all day" gaming (or binge watching or chatting online or anything like that) and other social hobbies or competitions. This dude is gaming so much he doesn't feed his children or do any chores so I'd say it's a pretty good chance that he's losing track of time in a way that you just don't when you are doing something that eventually ends (like playing golf) and has costs (physical and monetary), etc.


KittyWhisk@13 wrote my response, so I’ll just say, “Ditto!”

LW, YOU CHOSE this dumpster fire of a human being to have and to hold. Some serious introspection is definitely in order.

HOW BAD must this guy’s ex-wife be for HIM to get full custody?! One more reason to stay involved with the kids (if he’ll let you).


@18, the ex wife might be a fully functional adult, judges and courts can and are manipulated by people seeking custody, judges will also try to favor equal child custody sans serious reason not too. (Source: I sat witness of my mother slander and like about my dad to get sole custody but she was a horrible abusive woman - a full narcissus and later drug addict). LW probably undermined the mothers concerns to the judge by vouching that Mr. Dumpsterfire was a "loving, kind" person, the previous poster is right in that she should try to fix that.


Do YOU deserve to be happy? You will probably be the one getting destroyed if you stay with him. He's already interfering with your plans for finishing college. Protect your assets as much as possible and get the hell away from this jerk. He's using you.


Sporty @1, the counterpart to SHE. Not that any other -woman- has ever had this experience. Unheard of.

If this man was just a few years older, I'd swear this woman had married MY ex-husband! Run, run, run!


Coolie @6: It's Commenter Commentatus back again, ignore him.


"He loves me and tells me often that losing me would destroy him." Emotional blackmail in aisle 7.
"I feel responsible for these kids." Why? They're not your kids. He picked his victim well.
"If I can figure out a way to finish school, I can afford living on my own after graduation next summer." How were you living before he came into the picture? You managed to support yourself for 10 years. You can do it again. Even if you have to take out loans, trust me, that will be cheaper than supporting his ass. Get out now!


LW, all these reasons not to divorce aren't really reasons.

The Kids: you can stay in touch with the kids as a Cool Aunt - lazy ex will definitely appreciate a free babysitter and someone who occasionally makes them dinner. Besides, with facebook and other social media it's very easy to stay in touch with people. Right now, all you're teaching them is that a correct relationship is a dishonest parasitic joining of a user and use-ee. Is that what you want them to grow up learning? Besides, you can reach out to their mom and the grandparents in order to build a proper support network for them.

His "abandonment issues:" Don't call it that. When you use and abuse people to the point that they leave you, you don't get to call it "abandonment." Seriously, "abandonment?" His wife dumps him for cheating on her, and instead of deciding "hey maybe I shouldn't be a CPOS" he goes "oh woe is me, I'm so abandoned?" He drains his parents dry and behaves awfully towards them to the point that they 'wash their hands' of him (AKA probably just stopped giving him money) and instead of being like "maybe I should try to be a better son," he whines about how "abandoned" he is? Bullshit. Self-serving, self-pitying, no-introspection-having, narcissistic bullshit.

It would be impossible for either of us to live where we do on our own: Ok, but you don't need to live in the big house if you aren't with him - just a one-bedroom or studio for yourself.

Finances: This guy has defaulted school debt and is driving your car because he can't afford to fix his own! Your finances will be better once you're alone.

See the lawyer and DTMFA.


Oh, and P.S.
"But he has a kind heart, is very loving..."
Not kind enough to be honest or faithful. Not loving enough to look after his kids, pick you up on time when he's driving your car (or not take your car in the first place) or get his finances together so you aren't screwed over on student loans. Sure, he'll say he loves you, but as you know, he's often dishonest. How does he show you he loves you? By using you, your labor and your money while never helping out? That's not love, it's just finding you to be of use to him.

"...and deserves to be happy."
Uh why? All the lying and cheating he's done in all 3 marriages? The long fight for custody of his children, only to refuse to look after them now that he has them? The refusal to be responsible with his finances? Just what about this guy makes him "deserve" happiness? And why does that happiness have to come from you?

"He loves me and tells me often that losing me would destroy him."

Oh honey! Honey, please! If you leave he'll sulk and wallow in self-pity for a bit ("why does this always happen to meeeeee? Why do all my wives leave me just because I'm a lying cheater who leaches off them for money and housework? What did I ever do to deserve this?!!!") and then he'll rope in some new Chump to fill your place. Gullible women eager to be some guy's housemaid and nanny are a dime a dozen - and he's probably dating a few of them right now.


Of all the issues raised in this letter, the financial ones are the most pressing. As Dan points out, this guy is just one bad decision away from putting you all in serious debt. If you think the best path means staying together for a time to better provide for his kids, see a lawyer to discuss how you could take complete financial control over your family (e.g. taking his name off the main joint account, putting property deeds in your name only), then present those as demands in joint counseling if you are to remain in the relationship for the foreseeable future.


Sounds like ADD & Depression. People with ADD won't do anything unless motivated to do so (you can thank low-dopamine levels). Yes, he probably is loving and fun and probably should NOT be monogamous and he can make it better by getting help. That being said: ADD is not "fixable" - You can get help to develop the skills you need to live in a type-A world, but they will never, ever be the people you think they should be. Their brains just don't function that way. If you don't accept that, well, too bad, it's not going to change anything. Depression is far better treated and it sounds like he needs counseling. Either way, the LW is looking at the long haul if she chooses to stay and that is only if he WANTS to change and WANTS to get help. If he's all words and doesn't make a move about it, it's best if she leaves.


My thanks to everyone who picked up on "deserves".


All I saw when I read "He loves me and tells me often that losing me would destroy him." is manipulation, gussied up in some attempt at romantic verbiage. But based on his actions he's testing her to see how much of a child-acting-out he can be while his wife still takes care of him,. And the sealant on that is this statement. Don't fall for it. He's not going to "be destroyed" if you leave him, ffs. He'll simply find someone else to buffer his life on.


This sort of sounds like the plot of the podcast "Dear John". That didn't turn out well for anyone. DTMFA


TEFAWT-- Dump him. But since dumping him is hard, separate your finances from his first. Tell yourself that separating finances is something you're trying to see if that's something that could work as a way of making the marriage last. Hint: it won't, but if dumping him was easy, you'd have done it already, so try the finances thing as a way of easing yourself into it.

Step 2. Look into good care for those kids you adore. You say you won a custody fight for them. Who were they with, and how were they being taken of before? Dan's right that your husband is holding you hostage and the children hostage. Hostages have to be taken care of! But you don't have to do it. I don't know the whole circumstances, but perhaps they could go back to their mother. Perhaps there are programs or legal remedies for someone to help. Perhaps someone wants to adopt them (That's problematic, I know. I'm just saying to look into it.) Whatever happens, exploring options for the kids will help you get out of this situation.

Read up on battered women. I know he's not beating you up, but insight into how charming abusers can be will help you see what's so clear to the rest of us: This guy is an abuser. Can you talk to his exes? There might be a wealth of information there.

Still having trouble figuring out how to leave? You say your children are a little older than his. I'm going to guess they're not fully on their own adults. Look at the situation through their eyes. Sometimes we don't mind abuse for ourselves but will flee a bad situation when we realize how it's affecting our children. Is what you have something you'd want them to see as normal? Would you want this sort of treatment for them?

When the counselor asks what you want, separate the question from what you're likely to get. Your answer might begin with: I'd like my car back. I'd like my husband to keep his promises. I want the children to be taken care above and beyond their current needs. That is, I don't just want them to get meals on time-- though I do want that. I want them to have good futures. I want money handled responsibly even if it means I take care of all finances and put him on an allowance such that he can't get to joint money. I want him to get treatment for his depression and whatever other mental health issues a doctor diagnoses him with, and I want him to be an active participant in this treatment, not just give it a weak effort.

(Put me on the side that thinks video games are much more a candidate for addiction than other sports. Gaming looks more like drinking or gambling in the way most people can handle a little, but some people get into trouble for not being able to tamp it down to a reasonable amount. It looks less like running or knitting, things that people tend to like and spend time on but don't get addicted to.)


@21 so are you saying that you agreed with my position regarding SHE?


I'm not sure I agree with the majority advice--which is (yes?) to sever ties.

'Too Exhausted' is exhausted picking up the pieces after her feckless husband, who is unable to assume any responsibility. She loves his kids (who have some special needs) and is their effective carer. She may like a fuller, more romantic or more time-spent-together relationship with D., her poly lover. The question to me is, how can she keep the kids in her life and keep and deepen, as far as she wants, her secondary/poly relationship, without having to keep doing those things--undertaking that emotional labor and being forced into the drudgery and all-round inconvenience--that makes her resent her husband?

I'd want to know about the custody battle. What is this? Did TEFAWT try to break up with her husband but gain access to his kids, but he resisted this? Why? How absolute a split between him and his kids was she proposing? Is there some way she could move out, either move out emotionally or move a few houses up the road, so that she still sees and can look after the kids when they need, but need not have any truck more than she wants with her husband? He wants to be poly--or really he wants to sleep around; he's had affairs before, he's broken up an earlier marriage because of affairs. Can you opt out of him being your primary emotional commitment in any sense--so that he's just a kind, funny, interesting guy you know, but to whom you don't have special obligations? If you're not policing who he's having sex with, can he be in any position to police whom you love, care about, spend time with or prioritise? (You're always likely to prioritise his kids, but that's your good nature and not something he should treat as a given). Are these things--'I'll try to do my best for your kids, but I opt out of you'--the sort of thing you can say to him?

I'd guess her husband has given up because he doesn't think he'll ever have it in him to serve his children's needs--but this is just conjecture.


Harriet: no, because they're married. Their lives are too closely intertwined. If she wants to downgrade him to "friends with benefits" she has to divorce.


@14. John Horstman. She wants to be emotionally abused? No, she's just a middle-aged woman. This is what relationships in mid-life (relatively newly-formed relationships) are like. They have legacy issues. There are children. The most apt carers aren't always the parents. People are dealing with the fallout of their break-ups in unexpected, often hamfisted ways. The LW's relationship is not uniquely bad. He doesn't beat her, doesn't try to hook her on crack. Is he a good partner? No. Is it advisable he should be the main repository or recipient of her energy, attention and love? Probably not; there are far worthier candidates, in the context of her love-life; she may even be having sex with one. Is his case all-too familiar? It is--it's the man who can't take responsibility, to an almost comically feckless degree. Is he an awful person, deprived of all possible good qualities, like kindness, humor, gentleness, sweetness, interestingness? Not necessarily.

He's not a good husband. She shouldn't have to flog herself to have sex with him. He's done enough, in the past and with his current abdication of his duties, for her not to need to have anything to do with him ever again that way. If she wants them to be briefly companionate while they sort out their future, that would be her prerogative. What in her life does she want to keep? Contact with his kids? Does she want to stay in the house? How often does she want to see him? These are the things she should think over, then begin to negotiate with him.


@34. Traffic. I think they probably have to divorce. It depends on what marriage means to her, to them. If it imparts the responsibility 'we have to make an effort to make this work', then no, she certainly shouldn't be married to this guy. She's made more than enough effort, and he can't make any effort at all, it seems. (Though he was in college as well, as a 40 year-old guy. That shows some willingness to improve his prospects and life. Was this her idea? There must be a lot going on we don't know about).


Her husband is 'funny' 'kind', 'loving', has a good heart, is 'completely honest' in the context of their open relationship. I don't think she's asking for people to stiffen her resolve when she runs for the hills. To me, the issue is more how she can dissociate from him being her primary romantic and erotic commitment, so that she doesn't increasingly resent his fecklessness and the demands he places on her. And would it be so easy for her to maintain a caregiving relationship with his children (who have special needs, though we don't know in what way) if she torched her relationship with him?


The custody fight--I think I got this wrong. He, with her at his side, was fighting with his ex, just at the moment she discovered he was cheating on her--yes? She felt like splitting, but it would have imperilled the custody battle? This isn't a reason to stay with him now, if she doesn't want to. What's best for the kids may or may not involve lots of time with their father.

How about reaching out to his parents and to his kids' other grandparents in trying to arrange something stable for the children?


I see that the living situation is also complicated by the fact that he, and his kids, live in her house. Does he contribute to rent? Could you put him up elsewhere--like in a shack or camper van out back?


@36, He is not in college too, the taxes were confiscated for his delinquent student debt. Debt that multiplies after graduation thanks to interest.


LW, why are you the one taking the bus? I don't disagree with the other commenters, but maybe you should start taking back control of your life by taking back your car. Don't let him drive it. Don't leave the keys where he can just take them. He wrecked his car and didn't replace it when he was given the opportunity. Not having a car is the natural consequences of that decision. Having to live with the consequences of our decisions is karma and is what teaches us to make better decisions in the future. You say you can't support yourself until after graduation, so if you stay a year, maybe think about what you would do if one of your children were behaving this way, then act accordingly because he is acting like a spoiled child and you are allowing it. You don't say in your letter that you have actually told your husband about your resentment. When the therapist asks what you want, tell them you want off this emotional rollercoaster of a dumpster fire. Whether that means your spouse manning up and being an equal partner, you assuming control of the responsibilities he can't handle, or you leaving entirely. I know I am in the minority here, but I do feel like if you can disengage with the husband financially and emotionally and start standing up for yourself, staying roommates for the sake of the kids is a possibility considering the other things like still being in school.


All of you jumping on the DTMFA bandwagon are totally ignoring the LW's other viable option. Sure, she could DTMFA, but she can also just get the word "WELCOME" tattooed on her back since she's being a complete doormat to her leech husband.

I'm amusing myself right now by imagining what my mother would have written to Dan around the time she started trying to get my narcissistic leech dad to move the fuck out. I'm pretty sure the advice would have been just about the same.


@40. tachycardia. OK, that makes sense.

The way the letter begins, it looks as if she's writing to Dan because he's the go-to guy for giving advice about poly and monogamish-ness--she became poly more or less under duress and feels she's not cut out for it. Then the list of his faults and defaults mounts, and it looks as though she's asking for permission for leave him.

He's not much of a husband, helpmeet, companion, lover (presumably) so of course she can leave him. Start working out how his children will cope without her--will their grandparents reappear? Their mother? As it happens, I'm absolutely in agreement with your advice about being temporary roommates.


Sporty @32: I'm saying that some PEOPLE are dumpster fires and there was no need for you to bring sexism into the argument. Not that SHE, particularly, is a user -- there is no evidence at all that she was in jail or addicted to drugs, but it is laughable to suggest that it's only ever women in this position. Statistics on addiction treatment and prison populations alone refute your misogyny.

Harriet @35: Sorry, but this is NOT what relationships in middle age are like. This is what relationships are like when you haven't learned your lesson or still have self-esteem issues. If you are not in those categories, by middle age you should recognise a user when you see one and steer well clear.


Since we don't know the deal with his kids and their mother, there's not enough info to know what's best for them. If LW loves them like her own, there's not enough information to know what's best for her. Rewrite the sexes below:

‘He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for thay are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.’—Francis Bacon, "Of Marriage and Single Life"


Sporty: Woman is dependent? She's a jailbird and a drug addict. Man is dependent? He's probably depressed, poor thing. See how this crusade to prove different treatment based on gender is pure projection?


@44. Bi. Maybe this is what relationships in middle age can be like when there are children, child-caring responsibilities, blended families. Your remark @23, 'they're not your kids', is heartless. If someone said, 'but I love the dog!', one wouldn’t say, 'ditch the dog!'. The first issue to deal with here is what system of support can be put in place for the children, first, in the event of the couple splitting emotionally, then, if they separate in terms of living arrangements. She should address this with more seriousness than 'do I want to be with this guy?'.

She doesn't want to be with this guy on the terms he's offering. It isn't even a difficult question for her--not for anyone here. It’s a no-brainer. She looks forward to sex with her poly lover and is turned off by the thought of sex with D. She wouldn’t marry him again, for sure. She's fond of him and can still see his handful of good qualities. He's almost certainly not her lifetime partner. But in middle age, we can't always align our maximal romantic satisfaction with our childcare responsibilities. I don't think she can (that she can turn her mind to this) until she's seen her husband right (packed him off to somewhere he can live securely and where he has some resources--friends, family--to deal with his withdrawal) and sorted out something for his kids.

And her more promising relationship --with her lover--may well be founded on its being poly. This guy might not want more of a full-on relationship with her. She's likely to attract very different people if she continues with poly than if she reverts to a monogamous dating style--questions for TASAWT to mull down the line.


@45. Wordwizard. Well said. Good quotation.

@44. Bi. Sure, but it's too late for steering clear.


Harriet @47: My point is that she has made herself TOO responsible, while he is shirking any responsibility. That's how she got herself into this mess. A little more heartlessness would do her good. If she feels trapped with this man because his kids need her, she needs to step back and get some perspective. They AREN'T her responsibility. He's an adult; he made these kids, it's his job to make sure they are well cared for. It's good of her to care, but it's bad of her to put their needs -- everyone's needs -- so far above her own.


@49. Bi. You always say people catch feelings. Well, she caught feelings for his kids--younger than hers, with special needs. I feel 'awwww', not 'be more heartless'! The question is what's best for them now. They are her responsibility, sort of. She's taken responsibility. She can't feed them for e.g. five years of their life, then precipitately withdraw because her husband, their father, is a layabout and a douche. Maybe she should try getting his parents, people he has alienated, onside.

I'm not proposing putting the kids' needs above her own in terms of 'what should I do with my life?'-type questions. I don't think anyone has said, 'stay with him for the sake of his kids'. Nor 'stay until his kids leave for college or leave home'. She should dissociate what is practicable (she can't throw his kids on the street) from what is healthy in terms of her emotional life and romantic commitments. With his cheating, lazy lifestyle and withdrawal, she owes him nothing as a partner. Don't feel like fucking him? Then don't. Want to make clear that her other partner has the nearer place in her heart? Then say that. Put that guy first emotionally. Her husband has burned through his chances. She can get this clear in her mind, imagine a future on her own, then with someone else (perhaps), and work towards achieving that in a manner consistent with her being conscientious and human towards everyone now living with her.


Holy crap...replace "infidelity/poly" with "excessive marijuana use" and LW's description of her husband otherwise describes the person I spent the last 7 years of my life with - my now ex-boyfriend. Even the kids that benefited from my stable presence. LW, please listen to Dan and move on. Accepting this sort of behavior from someone who claims to love us is both a subtle form of self-abandonment and a sort of under-the-radar abusiveness from the person you love. An Dan is 2000% correct when he says that your husband would not fall apart if you left but rather move onto his next mark, because people like that don't understand how to grieve, heal or grow after a breakup (see his behavior with you after two divorces and a parental peace-out as evidence). I'm 5+ months out of my similar situation and it's painful, but I'm starting to float like a balloon up through the infinite space that my ex was taking up in my life. Wishing you strength, clarity, and boundaries. XO


@44 I brought sexism into the argument? Huh? How would you characterize the general tone of responses to SHE and this LW, and why do you think they are different?


@46 You're obviously a liar. My words are right there for everyone to read. Go fuck off


Hasn’t this woman got enough on her plate without you two bickering?
LW, coward I am I didn’t read your letter after checking the comments, kids and dead beat dads trigger me, so best I keep my blood pressure down.
Hope Dan and these guys have helped you. Good luck.

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