Make sure dreams, lifestyle are in sync (Ellie)

Question: I’m writing you from Hangzhou, China. I’m male, 26, my wife’s 28, we met in first-year university. She looks pure, simple, that’s why I loved her. We dated happily, had sex after one year.

In our final university year, we were quarrelling a lot, but the serious quarrels happened when I started working. She didn’t know how to treat me well. I thought she was cold-blooded. She’d be watching TV when I returned from working late, and didn’t rise or ask if I’d eaten.

We fought more because I didn’t want to marry soon because I owned nothing. I once said we’d marry, buy a small car and live a peaceful life. When my mind changed, she thought I’d lied and cheated her, but I explained that people change.

I also cried that people improve over the years but she doesn’t, we don’t have fun living together, she doesn’t love what I love, we don’t go biking together, we can’t discuss music, film, photography.

We’re married now; I decided to stay together. She could’ve left, but I could not, I was so weak. Yet deep down I don’t love her anymore.

I now own my own international export company. I bought a car, an apartment, and we’re expecting a baby. I was busy making money so “love” hasn’t been a priority. She’s working in my company, but her work ability is very poor, we’ve quarrelled in the office so I won’t let her work for me in future.

Another lady who works for me in another country isn’t beautiful but has a nice heart, is understanding, we’ve been in email contact for two years. I believe she likes me as well, but we’ve not spoken of it. I didn’t tell her I’m married now, I told her boss I’m going to marry later this year.

But I wish to tell her that if we’d met earlier, I’d choose her, she’s my dream girl forever. But I can’t say this because I can’t marry her. What should I do?

Weak and Stuck


Answer: Since you believe in improving your life, stop “dreaming” of this woman and think clearly about whether you can or cannot improve your marriage.

You included much detail explaining how your relationship deteriorated. Put that behind you and look at who you two are today. You’re hugely successful, affluent, and confident in the business sphere. You’re far from “weak.”

But only you know if you’ve been fair to your wife, and if, while diverting all your attention to work, you remained critical of her and distant. If so, this gave her no chance to “catch up,” and gave you, as a couple, no bridge to a more nourishing way of being together. Example: If you can afford household help, you no longer need her to “take care of you.”

I suspect some of your former tastes have changed with less time and more income, and perhaps you two can find some common ground now . . . through trying new things together and, of course, through the great adventure of parenthood.

It’s worth as much effort as you put into work — to try to reshape yourselves as a family.

However, if you find this impossible after giving it time and seeking marital therapy, then the next step would be to separate as civilly as possible so you can share raising your child.

By then, the other woman may not be a dream. She may also not be the one you’ll eventually choose.


Instead of escaping in work or fantasies, give your marriage a concentrated chance.

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