After 25 years of a good marriage, my husband began a new male friendship.
Within a few years, they were spending most evenings and days off together with their power tools, motorcycles, and fishing poles.
I lost my best friend, while he gained a new one. He was very happy during that time.
I didn't want him to end the friendship but to spend less time with this friend.
He couldn’t just cut back.
It ended with him stopping all evenings and days off with his friend, and completely resenting me for this.
Then they began meeting daily (both are independent business owners) and talking on the phone multiple times a day.
I was stalking his phone out of desperation to know.
I’ve repeatedly tried to communicate that I want him to have this as a "normal friendship," and not a secret one.
I finally realized I have to accept that he’s hiding this from me.
That head-over-heels love I once had for him is gone. Suggestions?
You don’t mention whether you still share any intimacy, enjoy common interests, have children, relatives, or friends you see together.
If the reality is that you share none of the above, it’s not only sad but a very lonely marriage.
Obviously, any changes have to come from you.
You can enrich your own life in this marriage - through family, friends, pursuing a particular interest or hobby.
OR, you can ask openly if this male friend is his “other partner” and if separating would be a more honest way of dealing with the gap in which he’s left you.
I'm American-born from the suburbs of an American city, but spent half of my life abroad as my parents moved us there 25 years ago.
I returned with my husband and two kids. The problem is that I can't drive.
I took lessons when we moved back. I was getting there even though my instructor was rude to me and said that I needed more practice.
So my husband took me to the parking lot, but got frustrated and lost his patience.
Recently, I took lessons from a different driving school and did pretty good with confidence.
Again he took me out but got scared and frustrated. The more he was screaming, the more I lost control and got scared.
He said that he can't help me. I spent almost $1200 dollars on lessons but can't go to a store if I need something.
I can’t go to doctors' appointments. I also need a better job.
My mom passed away and my dad doesn't live here.
All I need is practice. My pay check goes to the rent and no one will help for free.
My husband and I fight all the time because of this situation.
He’s said to forget it or else he’ll sell everything off and move us/me back where I came from. I don't know what to do?
Not every spouse has the patience and state of mind for helping trainee drivers practice.
But your husband’s reactions - perhaps from worry that you’ll harm yourself – has become emotionally abusive.
This includes threatening you about “moving you back home” and effectively isolating you from achieving your needs.
Use your online skills to access a women’s support group in your community, to start a conversation about how you can get help with this situation.
Such groups can be found through your local YWCA, shelters for women, and other community resources.
Reader’s Commentary “As a 52-year-old ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic) I can attest to the permanent, life-long harm addiction does to everyone, but in particular to children.
“I believe that a parent living with an alcoholic ends up most worried about the impact on their kids.
“But what about the impact on them if She/He STAYS with an alcoholic partner?
“The kids in these situations need an ACOA group, if they still exist. I know that they did 20 years ago.”
Ellie – Some ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) groups exist in various locations.
Al-Anon/Alateen, Al-Anon and Al-Anon Family Groups, are part of the most widely-known and worldwide organization, providing support for people living with, or dealing with, an alcoholic.
There are support groups for children, spouses, parents, and other close people, as well as whole-family groups.
Several alternative support organizations are available, with some found online and through chats e.g. SMART Recovery.
Tip of the day:
Living separate lives is fine in a marriage IF you both agree to it.