After 17 years of marriage, for eight months our relationship’s been very inconsistent!
My wife said she's lost feeling for me because when our kids were young and we’d visit friends’ houses, she’d end up going home by herself in snowy and bad weather.
Also, I exploded at her when I got drunk, was rude, and said I wanted to break up.
But now I’ve changed a lot to be a better person, husband, and father.
I admitted my wrongdoings and am doing everything I can to keep our marriage going.
But she’s hot and cold to me, and my daughter noticed that my wife’s bi-polar.
I'm a passionate person and love her and the family very much!
But I can't stand her not appreciating what I did for her and everything else to keep our family together!
I told her if she can't let the past go, then we can't be happy together and should separate.
She said she loves me. It’s just that the memory of the bad side of me affects her mood.
What can I do to avoid being depressed and wanting to separate?
It’s what you can now do for her, that matters.
Your history as a couple wasn’t easy – you drunk, her trudging home alone in the cold; you “exploding,” her hurt and angry.
It created years of resentment. Now, you believe you’ve changed enough that she has to forget the past, and show the love.
Not so. It’s YOU who has to help her believe that she can trust you to not treat her badly again.
Invite her to go to counselling together and both openly discuss the past. Learn ways to make a fresh start as a loving couple.
(I’m dismissing the “bi-polar” comment since there’s no mention of a professional diagnosis. But if it were new information, a loving husband would see a doctor with her).
My live-in boyfriend of three years has a daughter, eight, who’s here 30% of the time. (My kids are in their 20s).
My boyfriend does almost everything for her, including showering her and wiping her bottom after she goes “number two.”
She calls him into the bathroom. Early on, she asked me as well. I was shocked, but gave her a lesson.
I thought by now she’d be doing this by herself and they’d realize this isn't acceptable behaviour. It actually turns my stomach.
She can do it but she wants things done for her. Her father got defensive and wouldn’t discuss it.
Also, when I’m away he lets her sleep in my bed.
Frustrated, Alienated, and Turned Off
She’s eight-years-old. Don’t give up on her. She’s still adjusting to you and the living-together situation.
Whatever “lesson” you gave her wasn’t enough to help her understand that a bowel movement is a natural body function and everyone learns to look after themselves.
Somehow, she must manage wiping herself at school, and yes, she likes having things done for her.
Her father’s doing her no favour by keeping this up, but your overreaction of a turned stomach isn’t helping any of you.
Try another approach with kindness. Reward some progress, even if it’s with a treat.
Don’t argue with your partner about it, just tell him that it’s important to help her learn to be a “big girl” about this body function.
Join him in other ways to be helpful and encouraging to her.
To stay together, you need to be part of raising his child.
FEEDBACK Regarding the tragedy of a friend’s daughter, 18, widowed with a one-year-old, when her husband died in a car crash (Jan. 27 column):
Ellie - The friend worried that, months later, the young woman was partying, rather than working or attending school.
Counselling wasn’t easily available to the small-town community. Concern, then, was how to get her some, and readers responded.
Recently, I was sent an update: the single mom refused to seek help and is now using methamphetamine, pot, crack, etc. Her child was removed by children’s services and a group of friends are taking turns caring for the child.
The writer says the mom’s in denial, insisting it's all lies.
“She blames everyone but herself, and refuses to speak to any of us whom she considers meddlers, making it harder for everyone,” she wrote.
Any ideas or suggestions from those with experience in these kinds of circumstances?
Tip of the day:
After years of creating resentment, a “changed” spouse needs to prove he/she’s trustworthy.