I met a man online and we connected surprisingly easily. My friends pushed me to try the dating site. I’d been divorced for six years and feared taking another chance on a relationship.
After chatting a few times, this man and I met in a restaurant and just talked. Amazingly, we had similar, very hurtful end-of-marriage stories.
What was worse about mine was how difficult my ex was to live with, after the birth of our child. Though my work life was important to me, he expected me to be housebound from then on. He wouldn’t pay for daycare or babysitters, and lived like a single man - out at night, unhelpful at home, cold in bed.
My date had also experienced a sudden change in his ex, who had an affair within their close circle of friends, causing months of embarrassing gossip and affecting his work.
The reason that first date was so remarkable was that we’d both already had the therapy we needed, and felt ready to start fresh and feel whether someone was “right” for us.
We’ve now been married for seven years. We’re both very open and know when to communicate about things that need joint decisions.
We have a mix of young-to-late teenage children. Our supportive relationship together, and with them, has worked well. But I’m not smug, so I’d still like your advice.
How To Stay Happy
Keep doing what’s working. Seven years of a solid, trusted, loving relationship is a fine record. Now, remember what you previously learned, that life changes are fluid and can’t always be predicted or easily understood.
Children experiencing puberty and teens, and relationships they have awhile and lose, it can revive old hurts regarding their parents’ divorce and family breakup. It’s a time to be alert, not complacent.
Also, health changes in yourself and/or your partner need a thoughtful approach. Some people wait too long to see a doctor, prolonging pain/anxiety/fear. Those stressors can affect both spouses just when support and understanding are essential.
The rest of “staying happy” relies on your own common sense and your mutual commitment.
How do I step back from a life-long friendship with my “best friend” since middle school? We’re now early/mid-70s. As young working women we supported each other through marriages, childbirth, babies, divorce, death of her spouse, estrangement of our children (both of us).
However, she overshared about personal/physical issues (her youthful sex life, current toilet issues, a yeast infection, etc.)
She remarried years ago to a very difficult, rude man. They moved some distance away. I haven’t seen her for several years.
Then, she suffered a stroke. She’s now able to use her iPad and converse fairly normally, but can no longer drive. We’ve chatted on FaceTime weekly. Her husband sits next to her.
I no longer share personal matters.
I’ve grieved losing the strong, capable woman she was. She now emails far too many jokes/cartoons, etc. I just delete.
She has her husband, their family and quite a few friends. I’ve lost our connection. I need to step away. My husband and I have our own health challenges and concerns.
A Sorry Friend
You’ve made your choice, so you’re just venting here.
But can you live with this decision? Your justifications lost me at the woman’s stroke. The time to honour many years of friendship and shared interests, was during her physical losses. Yet you can no longer bear a once-weekly phone call.
Facing health problems yourself, is precisely when you can learn from her courage regaining her speech, computer skills, and her outreach for your friendship.
Recently, my husband and I were invited to our neighbours’ house. A couple we hadn’t met before was present.
The husband was initially very chatty with me and I thought he was an interesting man. But when his wife added something to a story he was telling, he shut her down abruptly, “No, it wasn’t like that.”
During dinner, he’d interrupt her conversations with others. Once, he said, “My wife has her own version of reality.” I found it upsetting and wondered if I should’ve spoken up on her behalf.
The Best Response?
That man chose to air his marital issues in public. Either he seeks the limelight for every “story,” or he purposely brings anger at his wife to public view.
It was best for you to say nothing... though another male might’ve been able to change the topic.
Avoid further encounter with that man and ask your neighbour to privately check on his wife’s well-being.
Tip of the day:
Stay positive. When things are going well, enjoy.