My partner of 18 years is too nice.
She drives the neighbor to the bus stop or to work at 7am. She drives our friends to and from the airport.
She invites near-homeless men over for dinner, offers our vacation place to friends. If she sees a good grocery deal, she buys several for the neighbors. She regularly loans people her car.
She gives her family some money. She’ll basically do anything for anybody. She’s not employed.
It doesn’t affect us financially or otherwise.
Occasionally I’m annoyed if we can’t visit our own vacation place or have the extra car to drive, or we must travel far to accommodate her actions.
I just want her to stop being so nice or generous to others.
Am I Unreasonable?
You’ve just demonstrated the contrast between do-able acts of generosity and good will, as opposed to some of the critical and unkind behaviour people sometimes describe in this column.
Yet, you’d be “reasonable” in wanting her to act differently, IF your partner’s kindnesses exclude you or cause much greater inconvenience than you describe.
If so, she seems thoughtful enough to respond appropriately if you state your need for more attention and inclusion, while still appreciating her good-heartedness.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who fears she’ll have to “share” her boyfriend because he’s told her he’s bisexual (December 22):
Reader #1- “Many bisexual people are happy in monogamous relationships. Just because they’re open to dating people of different genders, doesn't mean they want to date multiple people simultaneously.
This is the same as a heterosexual person either wanting to be monogamous or not.”
Reader #2 – “I’m bisexual. I’ve been in a 100% monogamous relationship with my spouse for 12 years and counting.
“My bisexuality is a part of my sexual identity and relationship history. It doesn’t mean that I'm currently having relationships with anyone else, or that I have any interests or intentions of being with anyone other than my spouse.”
Reader #3 – “If she wishes to remain committed to him, she needs to explore and understand (his) bi-sexuality (and other non-binary expressions).
“Bisexuality does NOT mean non-monogamy, polyamory, or infidelity. As you suggested, she needs to clarify what it means to her relationship.
“If she cannot separate the concept of "bisexuality" from "sharing" then the relationship is doomed, because she’ll never be able to trust her partner.”
My husband of many years is multi-phobic: i.e. going for a walk, new locations, open spaces, heights, flying, hospitals, doctors, feeling trapped e.g. an inside seat at the movies, etc.
I only learned this the morning after our marriage.
I feel so resentful and cheated that I don't have a partner in life – just a “child.”
Is there any way to get over these resentments and have peace in my life?
No True Partner
You stayed with this situation “many years.” Change can only come through you, and that means trying something beyond what you’ve done before.
I suggest two new courses of action: 1) Enrich your own life in whatever ways interest and please you. It could mean travelling with friends or family, or joining a group trip; or starting a course in an interest or hobby, joining group activities like walking excursions, a film club, etc.
And 2) Talk to a therapist about finding “peace.” The activities above can bring new energy, enthusiasm, and friendships into your life. And the therapy process can help you put the resentments behind you.
My ex-wife and I tried counseling twice. We poured our guts out for an hour, and then were charged $100.
It's easy to get discouraged when that happens.
Trying different counselors doesn't seem to make any difference and doesn't feel right when you’re under stress.
How To Find A Therapist?
Search professional counselling associations’ websites – marital, individual, group counselling, etc. And different approaches - psychologists, psychotherapists, etc.
Call some local names listed (or start with recommendations from a doctor or friends).
Inquire whether the process is short- or long-term, and the costs, any recommended reading material, etc.
It often takes two visits to know if you or the therapist feels it’s a good “fit.” Some only ask questions initially. Others give more response.
Some people “get it” (their part in the problem) by just hearing themselves. Others need to ask for direction.
It’s a process. You need to be open and willing.
Tip of the day:
A generous kind partner is a treasure, unless good deeds are directed everywhere but at home.