I wake up everyday knowing I’ll do everything to avoid/reject my husband of three years, while he approaches the new day as being a new beginning for us. We’ve had counselling covered through work before, but our file was closed before we’d made any real progress. I’m sure we need both individual and couple therapy... even family therapy with our children!
Myself, I need to understand why I’m so angry, and to learn to forgive and forget.
We live as roommates, with no intimacy, and awkward silence at the dinner table.
I feel depressed and unappreciated, which affects everyone in our home.
Our problems began with our wedding, when his parents wanted everything their way. They’ve meddled ever since.
I always look like the bad guy if my husband speaks to them about it.
Our finances are a problem too. As a former single parent, I learned how to manage but my husband doesn’t have a clue.
Worse, are the incidents of my husband's violent, alcoholic behaviour. He doesn’t recognize himself as an alcoholic. Basically, he’s been self-absorbed, selfish, inconsiderate, manipulative, irresponsible, and disrespectful towards me and my children in the past.
- Need Help
You’re in crisis, emotionally, and need to get professional help for yourself; start with a visit to your own doctor, for treatment of your depression and referral to a counsellor.
Handling your depression, then seeing a therapist, are as essential for you as knowing you can’t sustain a throbbing toothache indefinitely and must see a dentist.
You can’t “cure” the pain by yourself. Once you start focusing with guidance on the main issues – and dealing with a violent alcoholic is pretty high on the list – you’ll be able to make some decisions rather than retreat into anger.
Meddling in-laws and financial woes are hard enough to bear, but I believe it’s your relationship with a husband you don’t respect (and sometimes fear for violence) that’s at the core.
Seeking marital and family therapy is also important, eventually, but first you need to settle your own intentions and be clear about what you can accept or not, for yourself and for your children.
I'm 27, and have been rejected by every guy I've shown interest in.
I've joined activity clubs, gone to parties of near-strangers, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone by going to clubs and other gatherings.
My friends tell me I'm attractive, but I’ve never even been kissed.
I’d like to get married and have kids, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen if I can't even get a date. And if I do meet someone, what do I tell him?
I find that I'm lying to people about my lack of experience.
- Lonely in Toronto
The key to attracting others isn’t beauty, it’s self-confidence. You need to boost yours, and stop pushing yourself into uncomfortable situations, with unrealistic expectations.
The positive note is that you have friends. Talk to the one(s) you trust most about what they think you need to do differently – e.g. more openness and smiles when meeting people, less shyness, etc.
Only join the activities you truly enjoy and be open to making new friends, male and female for contacts.
Forget about scoring dates. Instead, work toward creating a happier, more satisfying and nurturing environment for yourself, with people you like to see, plus places and events you’re eager to attend.
It only takes one good experience to turn your “history” around – so stay hopeful.
As a “young senior” male, I notice that many letters to you are from unmarried couples who are living together or in "serious" relationships, and having sex.
I’m wondering why sex outside of marriage between consenting adults is considered to be a morally neutral act?
When did this behaviour cease being considered immoral?
Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it morally right.
Changes in general public acceptance about sexual mores came about through sweeping social factors, over the past five decades – the birth control pill, the women’s movement, increased workplace equality, the rising divorce rate, family dispersion with generations living apart.
Some three generations of people have responded to those social changes by exercising sexual freedom – though some with unhappy consequences, but most as a matter of course, reflecting their times.
It is legal; although it’s not right for everyone, it IS a matter of choice.
Tip of the day:
When depression becomes the overriding response to problems, professional help is needed immediately.