After 10 years married, I realize that my wife doesn’t communicate with me.
We only chat about day-to-day stuff. We’re both working from home so most tasks are obvious.
But she’s recently accepted a new job that she’d never discussed with me. It’ll eventually involve travel with overnight stays when the pandemic allows that.
My company wants me back in the office when it’s possible. Our children are ages six and eight. If she’s away, we’ll need other driving and child-care arrangements.
How can I get her to stop withholding information until she’s already made her own decision?
Congratulate her (genuinely) on being offered the job, and its positive factors.
Show your interest because her silence suggests that she feared you’d find problems rather than encourage her.
Whether it’s her past experience or basic insecurity, she apparently doubts that she’s going to get approval over changes.
With your enthusiasm, she’ll open up more. When the changes are coming closer, you’ll both have to discuss how you’ll work out schedules and the children’s needs.
I’m a woman in my 60s, who’s met a same-age man in my city on an online dating site. I’ve been divorced for 22 years with two relationships since. But neither was a true match for me.
I would enjoy some male companionship in my life having been previously married for 20 years. I know the advantages of being in a couple.
This current man is a widower. His wife died in March and we met online five weeks later.
He’s had two 20-year marriages. The first marriage ended in divorce. They have adult children and one grandchild.
He’s intelligent, interesting and is looking for a friend with the hopes of a relationship soon after his wife died, which is raising a red flag.
He insists that he had enough time to say goodbye to his wife as she was declining with cancer. He says he has no reservations about meeting face to face and I know that people grieve differently.
I don’t want to judge his decision to look for a woman immediately upon the death of his wife. These are the facts. So, I will meet him for coffee. But what are some “key” questions I should ask?
You’re not the first person to write me about the possibility of a relationship with a person who’s lost a spouse so recently (April 8 column).
You already recognize red flags in this widower’s hopes of finding a relationship.
One coffee date may reveal little about the impact of his late wife’s passing or why he’d seek a potential relationship so quickly.
However, the previous letter did reveal some interesting facts: That man was dating just two weeks after his wife’s passing. After four months’ dating, grief overcame him with nightly crying fits. He also keeps the fact of his now-girlfriend of 11 months hidden from his stepdaughter.
What I told that woman: “He’s incapable of being a true partner at this time.”
Here are some logical questions for this coffee date:
1) What made him seek dating so soon? 2) How has he dealt with grief? 3) How does he think his wife’s friends/family and his own adult children who likely knew her will react?
Then ask yourself this: Are you really looking for a sometime “companion” or a full-on relationship? If the latter, are you prepared for someone else’s eventual grieving period... or the possibility that this man buries his emotions?
Reader’s Commentary on the woman’s messy bathroom accident (April 29):
“The man and woman are only “friends” so far. He should continue as if nothing happened.
“The woman is undoubtedly very embarrassed. This could have been a new experience for her and she may not know what to even tell him.
“By him just continuing as if nothing happened could show her a level of trust.
“I formerly had a “friend” with whom I wanted to elevate. Once when out for dinner together she got sick and went the washroom to throw up. When she returned, I gave her a hug and simply took her home.
“When we met again, I received an extremely passionate kiss. She’d been conflicted regarding her feelings toward me and my showing genuine care and concern, and not pushing for an answer, gave her the answer she needed.
“I also know that nerves and anxiety can result in such awkward “things” happening.”
Tip of the day:
When a partner doesn’t communicate important decisions, encourage her/his ideas and discuss needed details later.