Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsMarriage & Divorce · 1 decade ago

Man on the Edge of Divorce {SERIOUS ADVICE TO A FRIEND}?

A friend came to me with a problem looking for advice.

So here's the problem:

He was a car guy. Loved working on anything with a motor since he was a kid. His dad was a master mechanic. His granddad was a mechanic. So it runs in his family. He has won several nation racing award. This is his big passion in life (aside form being a Dad)

Long story short, 2 years into the marriage his wife had it with his husband spending so much time and energy at the shop. Again, he was making money and for him didn't feel like work.

So she gave him an ultimatum. Give up working on cars, get a new job, and stay home more, or she will divorce him and file for sole custody of his son.

He choose his family.

Got a desk job (not as much money but a stable schedule. Comes home on a regular basis. Provides for his family and does whatever his wife wants. He even sold all his tools and covered his 3 car custom garage into a library for his wife.

The problem is his wife is complaining how "he doesn't seem to have any passion for anything" and doesn't want that kind of influence around the child. Divorce talk is slowly creeping up.

(I have to admit I have seen a major drop in this guy's zest for life. He still a nice guy, but there isn't a bounce in his step anymore.)

The man is desperate not have his son come from a broken home. He grew up in one, and I personally think his wife is using that trauma against him.

I don't know what advice to give him. He wants to get back that lifelong passion he had, without going back to cars.

Personally I don't think it can be done.

What advice would you give? Also what do you think of situation about giving up your life passion in the way he did?


I would like to clear up. Even while he was working on cars he made it a point to be home every day and spend time with his kids or have the kids hang out with him at the shop to show that a man can get paid and love what he does. He also craves off date night every week with his wife, but I think his wife doesn't like how he loves something more than her. That's my guess and what he has said to me.

Update 2:

It's a true story.

I actually helped build the custom garage to his house. His wife always wanted a library for herself and hated the garage. It was HIS idea (as a sign of how committed he was to his family) that me and a few of his (mechanic) friends got together and renovated the garage to help him out. It's just Drywall, paint, laminate flooring, and bookshelves.

Update 3:

The wife doesn't want anything to do with cars. No NASCAR, not custom cars TV shows. Even when me or any of his mechanic friends call up our friend for something, she screens the call.

Example: I was having an engine compression problem I need advice on (the guy is a gear genius), and she freaking hung up on me.

The only reason I haven't been filtered out yet was becuase I'm the Godfather to his kid.

Update 4:

Pearl: The reason the hung out at the shop was he LOVED what he worked on. it was never a money issue. The man is a freaking legend in some circle. The man is no puss either. He is just in living fear of losing his kid, that the wife reminds him repeatedly.

His back-story was at 12 his folks divorced, and becuase his old man had a drug problem, the mother got the child. a year later she abandoned him and spent the rest of the years bouncing around group homes. The only constant he had was working on cars.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was going to email you so I could tell you why I feel this way.. but I can't. Just know I have a reasonable explanation that I am not going to share publicly.

    He is dangerously depressed.

    He is going to need your support.. serious support. And he needs to figure out what he can do to get out. So he needs a trip to a lawyer...

    Seriously.. he has given up his love in life for his family, now he is on the verge of losing his family anyways.. the manipulation going on here is disgusting. (I certainly am not fond of all my husband's career choices as it takes him away from home.. but this is.. horrible what has happened here. A good wife never offers an ultimatum over his love in life.. gawd that's awful.)

    His wife sounds like she cares very little for him. He could go talk to her and tell her what it would take to be happy again. I doubt she will be receptive. His only option is to go see a lawyer and begin planning his every step from here on out to protect his parental rights and divorce. And he needs a friend because like I said.. he sounds dangerously depressed.

    ****ADD**** I am including a link that is really just a brief overview of things you should be looking at with your friend.. believe me it is better safe than sorry. I can't say this person has -clinical depression which would mean the chemicals in his brain are messed up.. I think situational depression is harder to treat because medications mask what is happening rather than fix what is happening. So I believe this link is more appropriate (again, for my own personal reasons.)

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I really dont understand why (if the desk job pays less) he couldnt just have reduced the amount of time at the garage in the first place.

    At the end of the day HE made the decision to give up his "life passion" as you describe it, nobody can force another person to do anything. He also made the decision to marry this woman.

    You should also remember that there are three sides to every story, his, hers, and the truth. Sounds to me as if she is controlling and he simply doesnt have the b@lls to stand up to her.

    ADD "Losing his zest for life" sounds like depression, which is hardly surprising with his personal history or a wife like that. Why doesnt he find a different job or a new hobby of some kind - jeez, a lot of us have boring jobs, you have to find other ways of making life fun - stop being so stuck on the car thing.

  • 1 decade ago

    This sounds more like a bad script than anything. I mean really? A car dude turns his custom garage into a library for his wife? WTF is that? I don't believe this question is even real. That being said, a person should never be forced to give up what they're passionate about. My husband is a car guy & I would never want to see him miserable at a desk job. The thought of that is so ridiculous I can't even wrap my mind around it.

    Well shiiiiit then that lady is just a pure biaaatch isn't she? Obviously she believes she has all the power & it seems as though she's right. She does. Sorry to be so harsh about it but your friend is being a pussy. That woman is unhappy & wants to take everyone down with her. It will be a very sad realization for her when she's alone with her library at 50 yrs old. Too bad people just can't let certain stuff go. She's controlling, manipulative, power hungry, and just a plain rotten soul. And who wouldn't want to be around that? LOL!! Tell your friend to get over it & wake the F up.

  • MM
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Sounds to me like he made a big mistake turning it into an all-or-nothing situation. He needs to sit his wife down (with or without the help of a counselor) and make it clear to her that part of what made him the passionate guy she married was being able to work on cars, and while he can make an effort to spend more time at home with her and his son, he can't give it up completely. If that doesn't work, then maybe you need to remind him that a home with two unhappy parents can be just as "broken" as one where the parents are divorced.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I doubt she would have won sole custody, but that's beside the point.

    He's living his life in fear of the past. No one wants their family to break up, but life doesn't come with guarantees. Couldn't they have compromised instead of cut his passion out altogether?

    If his wife is this unreasonable and controlling, I don't see this marriage lasting... The debate is still going on if you should stay married for the childs' sake,... if he only has a few years left, he should stay and plan his future, I think.

  • 1 decade ago

    My suggestion would be that he sits down and has a serious conversation with his wife. If cars are his passion, then he should be able to pursue it. But he also needs to take into consideration that his family needs to be a priority as well. This means setting BOUNDARIES around his passion. Such as he will only work "x" amount of hours a week, he will be home for dinners, they will take vacations, when he is home then he is HOME (his thoughts are with his family and not the cars). Then he will need to FOLLOW THROUGH on these items. Trust me, if he side steps a bit it will be war in the household. This needs to be something discussed with his wife. They are a partnership and they both need to stop acquiesing to the other's demands and instead compromise on issues so everyone can be happy.

    re: Your edit. A woman never wants to be somebody's second choice, even if it's to a car. His first love needs to be her and the family. Car second. Once he does this, she will feel secure letting him reintroduce it into their lives in a balanced manner.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    He was honest with you, that is a plus. I have been to and worked in strip clubs and I have to tell you that you are much safer with him in a strip club than at the regular club you thought he was going to. The ladies in the real club are looking for men for a relationship, the ladies in the strip club are looking for dollars. That aside - men like to go to strip clubs and they like to watch porn, if you and he have a fundamental difference over this now and you cant deal with it then you will need to break up. I am sure this isnt the first time he and his friends have hit the clubs, and it wont be the last. You are not just asking him to change what he does, but expecting him to change the expectations of his friends. Good luck if you stay together, but you will have to learn to find a way to deal with him being a sexual being and liking to look at other women. Looking is normal and shouldnt be an issue as long as he isnt having sex with them.

  • dman63
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    His wife is a selfish shrew and it seems that nothing he does (including giving up something he's passionate about) will ever please her. She doesn't seem to be doing much on her end to encourage him or support him, or to help find some kind of middle ground where they can both be happy. Though it can't be any easy thing to go through, I'd have to tell him that it's time to give her an ultimatum: stop being so damned selfish or that's it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would get all the ducks in a row for a divorce lining up everything you can in his favor.

    Figure out a way to get that shrew out of the house - she never loved him.

    She married him to get married and now she "doesn't understand" why she hates her life and blames him for it.

    I don't see this as shocking, this is pretty much the way about 50% of marriages go.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    she never loved this guy. why she got married, i don't know.

    his fatal mistake was giving up what breathed air into his lungs.

    if i were this guy, i would meet with an attorney.. Sid, why don't you go with him.. no one has to know, and the first hour is usually free.

    he needs to talk about how a divorce would play out, and what his options are for filing for full physical custody.

    i don't need to type out all of the derogatory adjectives that describe his wife, you 2 guys already know what they are.

    i have sat here on this Y!A M&D for nearly 3 years.. this is one of the saddest, manipulative and distructive senarios i have read.

    good luck to your friend.

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