I've been married for 20 years to a woman who's always chosen her job over the children and me. There's been little or no intimacy for ages. I've considered having an affair, but I don't want to do anything that would get back to the children. I'm committed to this marriage until they're on their own (some five years), but is it healthy to stay in a loveless marriage for their sake? My wife refuses counselling because she says it's a waste of time.
Is there anything I can do, or do I just "tough it out" until I can leave?
- Doing Without in the 'Burbs
You’ve already toughed it out, and do not need to accept being miserable and lonely for years to come. Take control of your own life by seeing a therapist yourself to probe your options. A fling here or there wouldn’t have solved your situation, since you were, correctly, too mindful of your children and the impact of gossip or your absences. They needed you, since she was preoccupied with work, and you acted responsibly. Neither divorce, nor the search for another partner comes easily. So it’s wise to plan ahead guided by an experienced counsellor regarding your own and your grown children’s reactions, plus get legal counsel.
My brother's child is having her first birthday soon and we've been advised that there won't be a birthday party, and that no birthday gifts should be given. However, if we wish, we can contribute to the child's education fund. There's been a long tradition in our family of celebrating birthdays and this is the first and long-awaited grand-child. My husband and I feel it's inappropriate to ask for money, particularly because this couple has an income over $250,000. My mother is upset and talking about organizing a small gathering of close family members (five) with a birthday cake to mark the occasion. My husband and I feel it's inappropriate that my mother is being forced to do this and are considering not attending.
Should I confront my brother on this issue? Also, we like to buy a birthday gift for our niece, rather than provide money.
Stop making judgments. Your brother and his wife are entitled to set their own style. They (like some other parents I hear from) feel a one-year-old doesn’t need the fuss and already has enough toys, clothes, etc. Contributing to a child’s education is, in my opinion, one of the finest gifts you can offer… no matter that her parents have a good income now, the future is always unknown. Your gift would add to the child’s knowledge of having widespread family support and interest through her later years of study. Your mother is not being “forced” to do anything. She should ask the parents if it’s acceptable for her to host a small gathering, with no presents, and then accept their answer.
I'm getting married this year, in an ethnic wedding, but one of my dearest friends, is extremely overweight. I fear I won't be able to a) find an ethnic bridesmaid's gown for her that fits, or b) won't be able to affordably tailor it, or c) have her gown match the others. I'm not sure if I should figure out the dress stuff before asking her to march. My biggest worry is that I'll have to ask her to be an "honourary" bridesmaid but not part of the ceremony or group pictures because she won't match - which could hurt her feelings and damage our friendship, which I value VERY much.
Please don't tell me that if she's a good friend it won't matter if she matches, because I'll have to look at the pictures for the rest of my life, and I'm entitled to have my wedding the way I want it, since my fiancé and I are paying all the expenses, including the wedding party.
- Anonymous Bride
Don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid, but find her a special role such as toastmaster.
Frankly, I’d like to say, ask her, let her wear what she can and it doesn’t matter, because I truly believe that when you look at those photos years from now, you’ll see your friends, not matching dresses. At least I hope that’s where your head is by then. But I understand this bridal perfection-drive, even though I find it way over the top, no matter who’s paying.
Tip of the day:
The solution to a loveless marriage requires thoughtful weighing of options.