I love my husband but we have far more different personalities than I’d ever realized. Sometimes it works – when I sometimes overreact with our kids regarding their behaviour, he can be more relaxed and lighten the scene.
But other times he thinks very rigidly and is hard on them and me. Recently, we went to his school reunion in another province, and things didn’t always go smoothly, though it was no one’s fault.
The kids and I were still enjoying ourselves, but he got very upset with us when, after being served tasteless, fatty food at a reunion dinner, they asked if we could go out for some edible food afterward.
I understood completely and wanted a healthy snack, too, but he took it personally - like we were insulting him, not the food!
When the children got exhausted from the day’s activities (adult-oriented and boring for our two daughters ages six and eight), they’d get cranky and he’d get angry. What was meant to be a great getaway seeing Daddy’s old school and classmates, turned into a tense trip.
How do we avoid this kind of conflict in future?
Find a balance between your personalities, and, if he’s the one behaving out of kilter, take positive action instead of taking his reaction personally (as he was doing).
He was likely as disappointed as you were, but showed it through annoyance at your discomfort.
He was probably embarrassed, too. There’d been a buildup of anticipation, and the expense of the trip, but not always fun.
Since your children are pretty young for coming up with adaptability and compromises when travelling, it was up to you to realize that he was also unhappy about how the trip was going.
Then you could’ve been the balance this time by reassuring him, and helping find solutions he could accept.
I got invited to a wedding verbally, and was surprised, since the bride and I go way back but I’m no longer close to her.
I was a little tongue-tied, and didn’t inquire about the groom or how it all happened. This was two weeks before the actual wedding, which appears to be a small-scale event.
She later contacted me to mail the card in. I was fumbling since I was in a hurry, and could hear the hurt in her voice. I may have accidentally ended the call a little faster than expected. I didn’t end up receiving a card in the mail, or hear back from her.
I don't know how best to handle this situation. She's correct in being hurt that I'm not more interested in her big day, but I don’t want to act over-enthusiastic, since she's also invited me on short notice.
I don’t know whether it was because I was a last-minute invite, or because the entire affair in itself was rushed.
No wonder she’s hurt… you gave none of the responses normally expected regarding a wedding invitation, i.e. no warm congratulations, no interest, no appreciation for being considered as a guest, no response as to whether you’d attend.
Send her an apology, in a congratulatory card that wishes her well. If you ever want to consider her a friend again, you could include a small gift certificate.
However, if by any chance you realize how rude you appeared and would like to attend to make amends, phone her as soon as you’ve read this, apologize, and say you’d love to be there.
FEEDBACK Regarding the boyfriend who’s still connected as confidante to his ex-girlfriend (May 16):
Reader – “Many people today still hang out socially with their exes, if they still get along.
“Most of our friends have gone through multiple partners and we've always maintained contact with both partners and continued to invite both to get-togethers, etc. If they have a problem with that, it's their problem, not ours.
“If someone has a problem with their partner being in touch with an ex, it really speaks to their own insecurity in their relationship.
“That said, this woman’s partner sneaking off to see his ex was totally not acceptable. If the ex was mourning for her boyfriend who’d died in a car accident, she should’ve come over and been consoled by both of them.”
Ellie – You make the good point that an ex has to recognize them as a couple and not secretly meet with a former lover.
Tip of the day:
Marriage and long relationships require a balancing act between two personalities that can’t mesh at every moment.