My wife of 29 years and I legally separated for four years, then reconciled. We’ve now been together for a year and a half (common-law).
Miscommunication, misinterpretation, attitude, underlying friction and near-zero intimacy had been factors.
But through the latter part of our separation we were seeing each other and decided on reconciliation.
We've been pretty good at it but there are moments when underlying friction emerges.
Sex has been non-existent for over ten years and I have no interest in it with her anymore or getting into any prolonged discussion or therapy.
We have such a history! And two adult sons. I love her very much but maybe that’s not enough. I’m 69, she’s 64, and I'm wondering if we have what it takes to grow old together.
Sometimes I think we're fooling ourselves that this relationship is right. For me, everything is looking greener on the other side (we’ve never been unfaithful).
I'm done with counselling. If my mind isn't on relationship analysis, I'm dreaming of where I'd like to be.
I give myself 20 more years and think I should be having more fun, more laughter, some intimate adventure and be happier.
I’ve observed so many other relationships that are no happier than we are. Maybe that's the status quo, but it's not good enough.
Having a couple’s history is a strong background, but feeling no joy in the present together is even stronger.
It’s not unreasonable to wonder, though, if you’re personally depressed and it’s put a cloud over everything you see and feel in this relationship.
You ask no questions of me, but deserve some response: You two apparently gave up sex in your 50’s – and ten years later you want more fun, intimacy and happiness.
The reasons you stopped having sex were likely surmountable, yet you both accepted it. At that mid-life age many women find sex painful or have lost their libido. It takes a mutual effort and understanding to accept this, try different solutions, and stay intimate in every way possible (cuddling, mutual masturbation, hormone creams, etc).
Now you dream of doing better on your own, where “the grass looks greener.”
But to me, you’re missing the point of what you already have: You and your wife decided to give this a try. It meant you both have to change some responses to each other – working on the relationship instead of endlessly analyzing it.
Set a time period for really trying: See a doctor about possible depression, find a therapist whose approach is short-term and emotion-focused.
You say you love your wife. If she loves you, there’s hope there for your next 20 years.
Otherwise, get on with the separation/divorce.
My girlfriend’s always saying what I have to do according to my horoscope!
I don't know why she always has to control me. Last week she said we needed a break because her zodiac said she needed to change directions. She blamed it on “the universe."
The next day she asked me out because her horoscope told her to reach out to someone she loves.
I'm confused and feel trapped. Her smile makes butterflies appear in my tummy.
Those “butterflies” will feel more like fear than excitement if you actually let her control you.
A horoscope interest can be fun, informative, absorbing. But when she uses it to order you around, it’s just another bossy move.
Tell her you’re a true Capricorn – determined and ambitious. You don’t need anyone else’s “control.”
As a widow, when I’m asked to join couples for dinner, how best to ask for my own bill?
Many groups of couples will split the cheque and tell me it’s covered.
They don’t understand how I feel by not contributing.
With close friends whom you see regularly, it’s easy to match their generosity by hosting them, either at your place or a restaurant (stay within your affordable means, they know you well and will understand).
Also, you can pick up tickets for friends to attend an event with you. Nobody wants you to over-extend, so this can be done one couple at a time.
As far as being a “contributor,” your friends obviously want your company and for you to be at ease.
But your personal feelings matter. You can always tell the waiter ahead that you want a separate cheque, and hand over your cash or credit card unobtrusively.
Tip of the day:
Over-analyzing relationship issues without good counselling guidance can impede any positive change.