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Ask Dave

A Bitter, Selfish Husband

Becky is calling because she's been trying to get her husband to set up a budget and plan for retirement. He refuses to because he doesn't want to combine finances. Dave tells Becky this guy is mistreating his wife.

QUESTION: Becky in Houston is calling because her husband owns a home from a previous marriage. She’s been trying to get him to set up a budget and plan for retirement. He refuses to because he doesn’t want to combine finances. Dave tells Becky this guy is mistreating his wife, and they need marriage counseling.

ANSWER: His attitude comes from the fact that due to his first marriage, he’s bitter and selfish. And he’s a twerp. He’s mistreating his wife. You need to go to marriage counseling desperately. He needs it. He’s a twerp. I can force him to go. I can make his life miserable. Make his life miserable until he gets into marriage counseling and then don’t make his life miserable anymore. I think you need to make his life miserable.

I think this situation sucks, and don’t think it’s okay to sit there and act like it’s okay. It’s not okay. You’re in a mess. Your marriage is a mess. You can’t just sit there and act like it’s okay and you be sweet and it be okay. He’s misbehaving in your relationship. He’s not caring for his wife. He’s selfish, and he’s bitter. He needs to deal with that stuff. He needs to sit down with your pastor. He needs to go to some counseling sessions. And yes, he does have a problem. If he doesn’t like that, tell him to call me. I’ll tell him he’s got a problem because he’s got a problem.

Somebody needs to man up on this guy. Somebody needs to love him enough to tell him he’s destroying the thing he loves. He acts like he loves you, and he’s destroying this relationship. That’s what’s going on here, isn’t it? Day by day, inch by inch, you’re losing your grip on your desire to try to stick this thing out. And all of a sudden, the switch is going to flip, and you’re going to be done with this. And I don’t want this marriage to end. I want you guys to save your marriage. Just living and you trying to go over here and make everything all right and pacify him and him sit over here and be a grouch and selfish with separate lives because he got burned by some other woman some other time. If his other marriage was so freaking bad, he should not have gotten remarried. There’s no reason for him to blame you for the way she acted.

You’ve got to deal with this. That’s the answer to your equation. There’s no little side deal to make all this stuff okay. It’s not okay. You’re living in a mess. It’ll be okay when we clean the mess up. You can do this. He can do it. He can become a better man. He’s not a bad person. He’s a broken person. He got scarred and got beat up. In the process, though, he’s being a twerp. It’s not good.