My wife of 45 years has become negative, critical, and resentful of my sports activities, which she can’t join because of ailments.
She complains that we have nothing in common, but she has issues e.g. pain if she walks a lot, she doesn't sleep well, and she has constant headaches.
She’s seen numerous doctors and paramedical practitioners, with little relief or diagnosis. She shuns travel, which we once did a lot.
I question myself, why I should bother continuing with the marriage?
She wouldn't consider counselling or medical cannabis for pain relief. No one calls us any more but family.
Frustrated and Confused
Your wife’s experiencing numerous health and aging changes, while you’re apparently having little.
After 45 years of marriage, and what was apparently a lifestyle of activity, travel, and friends, abandoning her because of these unwanted ailments, would seem pretty cold-hearted.
It’s likely that even some of your family members would find it heartless.
I appreciate that you’re frustrated, but she’s more so, as well as in pain.
Compassion from you would go a long way, plus accommodating her new physical reality with some solutions.
Example: Have lunch out together and offer to take her along to your tennis match if she’d like. Same with other sports activities, where possible.
Instead of giving up on health practitioners, encourage her to have an overall medical assessment and accompany her.
(It’s wearying and daunting for someone with multiple ailments to navigate the health system on their own).
She may also consider counselling if you go together. It’s worth a try, instead of just distancing or giving up on your partner.
My great-grandmother passed away when my grandmother was very young. She treasures some of her jewellery.
She recently told me that my aunt and her now ex-husband had replaced the band on her mother’s watch, as a present.
My grandmother recently asked her about the original band and my aunt thought that her ex might have it.
It's 25 years since their divorce and I know they don't ever communicate because he’d hurt her by requesting an annulment when he wanted to remarry.
Though it's been a long time and he may not remember, I've thought about contacting him directly even though I don't know him at all.
Or, I could ask my cousins to speak to him (but I don't think they talk to him much either).
Should I just let it go, or is it worth asking him to see if he has it? I’m having trouble letting this go.
You’re attachment to your grandmother and desire to please her over something still meaningful to her, is touching.
There’s little harm in asking about the missing band, so long as you don’t end up blaming anyone for it being gone after so many years.
Be aware that if the band were made of gold, they might have exchanged it’s value with a watchmaker to help cover the cost of the new band, especially if it’s also gold.
Try to contact your former uncle on your own. If successful, introduce yourself, explain your grandmother’s emotional bond to her late mother’s belongings, and simply ask if the old watchband is still around somewhere.
Say that she’d like it back if at all possible. If he says it’s missing, sold, or he has no knowledge of it now, drop it.
Pursuing it further is unlikely to turn up the watchband, but may stir up bad family vibes.
FEEDBACK Regarding the 78-year-old “Tired Nonna,” (grandmother), whose husband, 82, never “stops chasing me,” and always wants sex (Sept. 7):
Reader - “You’ll get a ton of mail on this one!
“My advice to her is to get twin beds! We went for this solution and it works wonders.
“She can then have sex only when she wants it too. But what happened to "making love”? No wonder she feels "used."
Reader #2 – “Sex is a strong primal male drive. If her husband shows new aggressiveness in chasing her around, it could be early dementia or Alzheimer’s’ causing this.
“She must insist that he be tested for these changes. She should discuss it with a doctor. He may need medication to calm him.
“She shouldn’t sleep in the same room as him and she should change in the bathroom.
“If sex is painful for her, she should consult a gynecologist as to why.”
Tip of the day:
Health changes in a longtime partner can happen to either one. Apply compassion and try simple solutions.