I’ve been married for 21 years. We’ve been a fairly social couple, but as our family grew, our friendship circle shrank.
We mainly spend any free evenings with immediate family and a handful of friends (most were originally my friends).
The problem started when my husband started texting women from his business life. These women were colleagues, support staff workers, etc. They’re all significantly younger than him and single.
He claims these friendships are purely platonic. He’s met one woman about five times for dinner. I wasn’t invited and have never met her.
I repeatedly voiced unhappiness with this behaviour. He thinks it’s perfectly acceptable for men and women to be friends.
He cites that I regularly meet my girlfriends for dinner without inviting him.
He has many male acquaintances but no male friendships. I’ve told him how uncomfortable I am with him “dating” while married to me. He says I should be more trusting.
If you’re keeping score here, you’re both somewhat wrong.
It IS perfectly acceptable, and not considered “dates” to meet for dinner with opposite sex friends.
However, spouses owe each other the respect to introduce their partner to such friends and when possible, invite them to join, even if only to say Hello.
Turn this around.
He’s been “stuck” with only your friends. Invite some people in for drinks – e.g. neighbours, old friends…
Next time he has a dinner or get-together with someone, say you’ll come along for a drink, then leave them to their discussions.
If he flatly refuses, then the problem that needs to be discussed is that he’s shutting you out.
My close friend of 50 years has always been supportive.
She started gaining weight 25 years ago. It became worse 20 years ago when she moved to the U.S.
Despite a few (ill-advised) attempts at weight control, the bulk keeps growing.
She visits me annually. Her face remains pleasant-looking but I find her body, limbs, and trunk painful to look at.
She recently retired as a doctor, puts efforts into getting “in shape,” acknowledges that she’s fat, but doesn’t acknowledge obesity.
She says that she has only enough energy to stop gaining weight, not enough to lose some.
She attributes her weight gain to In Vitro Fertilization treatments, menopause, stopping smoking long ago, and various drugs she must take to control some medical problems and depression.
I have trouble accepting those excuses especially considering her medical knowledge and experience.
I’m starting to feel disgust, and fear showing repulsion at her next visit. I don’t comment but she probably picks up my negative vibes.
She says she’s trying to love herself and her body.
How can I learn to just accept her body or blank it out of conscious vision?
You’re a long way from acceptance and for some reason, that part is about you, not her.
She may have objective knowledge as a physician, but is emotionally incapable of applying that knowledge to herself.
Her excuses have some validity. IVF can play havoc with a woman’s hormones, menopause then brings its own challenges, and certain drugs do make weight loss more difficult.
If you feel repulsion, you shouldn’t have her stay with you. Recommend a good hotel nearby, and go out with her. But constant contact may expose your inner feelings and that could end the friendship.
She’s responsible for her own life. If the topic arises, you can say you worry about her. But she already knows the health risks.
My sister’s husband had abused her for 16 years. They have two teenage daughters.
They’ve been separated informally for eight months, yet he’s abusive mentally and emotionally to her and the daughters.
He’s even threatened the kids that they’re legally obligated to see him.
Can you help us all, especially my sister and her kids?
Help your sister contact a local agency that helps abused women, as they will have a lot of information and resources she needs to protect herself and her daughters.
Meanwhile, you as her witness can accompany her and go to the police to discuss putting a restraining order on her husband.
It would prevent him from coming to their home, or even contacting them, and spells out serious consequences for any further threats, and abuse of any kind.
Also, the agency can help her get legal advice about seeking child support and splitting marital assets.
Tip of the day:
Spouses should introduce their partners to their opposite-sex friends.