So, I'm married... 28 years. My wife is... assertive. I'm not. My favorite behavior type is passive-aggressive. I'm 53. And my wife totally doesn't read your column so, WTF, publish away!
1. When I was young, "bad" girls were available, but I wasn't interested in "bad."
2. I was always "marriage material." Sure, I had my fantasies of sailing around the world without a job, but I settled for 9-5 and a steady income. I guess "they" always knew.
3. I never wanted kids, but her clock was ticking so, we had a kid ...then we had another 'cause (my thinking) "Why the fuck not? My life isn't what I wanted anyway."
4. Kid #1 is Autism spectrum... anxious and depressed... it's probably worse if the kid is truly unable to function in society... but it's pretty painful when (with LOTS of hands-on support) she can function, and even succeed. But when the hands-on stops, she fails miserably. It could be a life sentence.
5. Assertive (the wife) means she wants what she wants from the kids and there is little room for non-excellence... Me? She's kinda given up on that...
6. I'm a whiner... can't you tell?
7. This is only my side of the story... maybe she would have an entirely different story...
She has threatened to leave over how I respond to Kid # 1 but she "loves me." We are friends, but the constant strain over the kids is taking its toll. Family therapy, couples therapy. Kid #2 just wants to get the fuck out.
Kid #1 may never be totally able to function without support... which we could afford... until we need to go into a "home."
What do I do?
At 53, I could find somebody and we could be together 25 or so years... assuming I live to 89... so I'm thinking, OK, I look locally, and if I don't find somebody, I could retire to India or Vietnam, someplace I would be rich instead of middle class, and try to find somebody there. I mean I like her, my wife, but... Jesus... she's a pain in the ass. Will she get better after Kid # 2 leaves for college in 1.5 years? Will Kid #1 graduate college at about the same time? After six years in school? Will things be OK between us again?
I have said (to myself) that there's no problem so big you can't run away from it.... so do I run after Kid #2 goes to college? I really do like my wife when she's not all panties-in-a-bunch about crap she doesn't have much control over... but holy crap... what do I do?
Run Or Not?
1. You seem to think... there's a possibility... however remote... that things will get better between you and the wife after Kid #2 gets the fuck out and goes off to college. You're also committed to staying put until Kid #2 GTFO and GOTC... which will happen a year and a half from now... 18 short months away... before we get a chance to vote in the next presidential election... assuming presidential elections are still a thing in 2020.
2. So why not commit... to staying put... and staying married... for the next... 2.5 years?
3. Once Kid #1 is out of college... and Kid #2 is out of the house... which you and the wife should immediately sell... before moving into a one-bedroom condo together... so neither of the kids can move back in with mom and dad... why not give it a another year? By "it," of course, I mean your wife and your marriage. You'll know at the end of that year whether your wife is going to "get better" once both kids are out of the house.
4. If she does, stay. If she doesn't, run.
P.S. It's possible your wife is just waiting it out... waiting for the kids to move out... and she's planning her own escape 18 months from now...
P.P.S. If that's not the case, RON, you would be within your rights to say, "We did what you wanted with the last 30 years of our lives—we had kids—now let's do what I've always wanted." It's a long shot, I realize, but maybe your wife would also like to be rich in India or Vietnam.