Dear John Rosemond,
I wrote in a while ago on putting the marriage first. I was never able to get my husband on board which indeed caused a great deal of strife in our family, especially with my two oldest teens (16,18 now). They do all get good grades. My youngest,14, is fine and good. He gets it and I have no problems. Like in chapter 3 of your book Teen-Proofing, my husband is in the first catagory, permissive. I'm more in the latter category insisting on age appropriate chores and no gaming until homeschooling is finished, and taking away phones and tv as consequences for getting behind in schoolwork or bad attitudes. I'd usually send my daughter out of the room until she could be nice. Nothing as extreme as the book's example. I did install a router that I could set restrictions to stop binging on games, inappropriate tv, and micromanaging, but the two oldest teens and my husband found this all extreme. They called me Chairman Mao! Chores, school first, respectfulness, cooking occasionally, cleaning dishes - extreme. My husband was even against the 16 yr old getting a job! I see it as learning to be a man. Well, all the tension culminated in my husband and the two older teens leaving me and filing for divorce after I took away the car keys for a couple days, after a warning to my daughter to stop bullying her brothers and disrespecting me. I gave her a week. She is 18, has had a job for a year, and doesn't pay for even her phone. It was just too much for my husband to see her in tears, having to pay for an uber to work.
I'm crushed by this after 27 years of marriage. I had him on board for a few weeks prior after suggesting a separation to save our marriage. Our daughter was so hateful when I got my husband back. She’d always wanted to be the “mom.” Now it's full on divorce and the two teens he took 3 months ago won't talk to me. He abandoned me and our youngest (14). He went nuclear and destroyed our family.
How do I get my family back? Or is my fate sealed because of a husband unwilling to seek therapy with me or communicate with me. He blames me for everything and acts like a teen having tantrums himself. The two teens he took away are his peers. He’s 60 years old! And I feel he’s having some sort of late mid-life crisis, too. Please help.