I’m 39, married nine years with two children. I worked in a high-level job but when I became pregnant with our first child, my husband felt I should spend the early years raising kids as a full-time mom. This was especially important to him and I finally agreed.
Our relationship has been smooth, but we both became more practical than passionate. It’s a busy life for both of us, but it’s hurt me that if I ever got angry about something, he’ll just not respond or discuss it.
Lately, he’s been taking more business trips than usual. Also, when he’s away, there’s been less checking in at night to talk together. I feel that he’s becoming emotionally distanced.
When he returned recently, he was remote from me when we went to bed.
I don’t want to accuse him of anything, and behave like a typically jealous wife. But I can’t help feeling I gave up a meaningful career for his wishes for our family, yet he’s stopped finding me and our relationship important to him.
What Should I Do?
Since you’re both practical people, present him with the facts: He’s away more than ever, and calls you less. You miss him.
Ask if he’s travelling for work more because of financial reasons. If so, suggest that you could help out by seeking part-time work. Say that, as partners, you want to re-connect on whatever is needed, including intimacy.
If he says things are fine, travels less, calls more often, and makes love with you, dismiss your suspicions.
But if he shuts down and changes nothing, insist on marital counselling to re-connect as a couple. If he refuses, see your lawyer for practical information on how best to proceed.
I’m an adult male who’s the subject of adult bullying and don’t understand why.
I’m late-50's working in professional environments, in senior roles, yet I encounter bullying at every position.
I never raise my voice to anyone, have always been well-liked. But there’s always the odd employee that dislikes me and treats me poorly.
There must be something I do (unaware) that’s causing this - perhaps jealousy. I have a reputation for being an honest, hard-working employee, reviews have always been good. I don’t mess with office politics, nor gossip about employees. I do well in social activities and am an extrovert.
A good friend says it could be related to my voice. I was sick when young which affected my vocal cords, causing my voice to carry.
Example: An adult education student (from another group) ripped into me when I was reviewing lab work with the students in my group. She butted into the conversation (which had nothing to do with her) and started criticizing me.
I replied that the conversation was not their concern and they should mind their own business. I never had any interaction with this student and was surprised by her bullying, as were the students in my group. How can I fix this problem?
Your voice and the suggestion of a good friend are your two important clues, so start there. It may be that some people feel you’re dominating conversations, and even talking over them (as with the female in the other group).
Before things escalate to overreactions and bullying, explain that your voice carries beyond your control and that you’re looking into fixing that problem if possible.
Most people respond to an explanation, instead of a dismissal of their complaint.
FEEDBACK Regarding the father who’s considering putting distance from a son with whom he used to be close, because of his personal discomfort with the son’s wife (Nov. 28):
Reader – “This father's letter was dripping with bias against his son’s wife. He gives no specific examples of the wife's "controlling" behaviour, nor does he indicate any conversations with his son in which the young man alluded to being unhappy.
“It seems like “Daddy Dearest” only has a problem with the wife being older, divorced and having a past life before meeting the son. He actually has no idea of what's going on in his son's marriage and has made assumptions based on those biases.
“He needs to get over that his son didn't marry a virgin girl his own age who had never dated anyone before. His bias towards women with life experience is disgusting for the 21st century.”
Tip of the day:
Hold off on suspicions and accusations by mentioning instead some ways to revive your marital bond.