Question: My husband of two years and I can’t seem to agree on a workable routine. He wants to spend three days a week out with his friends; I think two is more than enough, unless something special comes up.
He is compromising from being out every night, by limiting it now to three times weekly. But is this normal for a married man? His friends are all single and mine are not. None of my friends’ mates are out as much or end up at the bar each time, because that’s where his friends want to go.
He doesn’t have a drinking problem, but I don’t feel a married man should spend that much time at the bar. I’m afraid that his selfishness will leave me at home alone in tears.
And should I be worried that he still doesn’t react or comfort me when I’m upset or crying? I feel it tells me that he doesn’t care. Aside from that, he is a great guy and I know he loves me.
Answer: You can love a great guy, but can you live with a selfish one? That’s the question you have to ask yourself — at least for now when he’s still trying to live as if he’s single.
His willingness to cut back on nights out is a good sign. I suspect that his lack of response to your crying is that it’s become what you do to get him to stay home. And it’s partly due to immaturity that holds him back from changing his socializing style from that of his unmarried buddies.
Try the “new routine” and see if you can go out and do things you like, too, on his nights out and not minding his absence. If the compromise has you less upset, and him more responsive when you do cry, then you’re on the right track.
But if you still find him selfish and clueless about what’s appropriate now that he’s married, then take a break. Four months apart should help both of you see if this is lasting love, or a bad match.
Question: Is there a way to end a longterm relationship in an honest but unhurtful way? I’m 62, have thought long and hard about this for years.
Two are friends of 20 years … with one, I just didn’t return her calls when she was in town for a visit. Another person is my brother who lives across the country and whom I haven’t seen in 25 years. And there’s another longtime friend, and the mother of my daughter’s partner of 10 years — they both live in the same city as me.
The reason these relationships continued is I didn’t want anyone to feel bad, and I haven’t found a way to give an explanation to end them.
Answer: Be careful what you wish for. The friend you don’t call back and your brother already know there’s no real relationship there. By stamping the label “over” you raise unnecessary questions. It won’t bring closure — the fact that you’re thinking this much about them means you’ll still be mulling over the past.
Clearly, the other friend and the mother have also disappointed/offended you. But in all these cases, closure can only come from not caring anymore.
Before you use any other cut-off methods, be careful you’re not isolating yourself due to depression, anger issues, fatigue, or illness. It would be worthwhile to get a health check to make sure some underlying problem isn’t prompting these feelings.
TIP OF THE DAY
When married people behave as singles, they may not “get” the need to change.