We live in a small town, as do my wife’s parents and sister. They’re in contact with her every day. It’s been a major concern in our marriage for years but it keeps getting ignored.
Her family is great but they can’t get enough of being together.
Also, my sister-in-law’s farmer husband is seldom around so this seems a big reason why she wants a bigger part in my wife’s life.
Is this just me being jealous or should she work on her own relationship instead of being in the middle of ours?
They’re all crossing my personal space but my wife doesn’t see it that way. Then my wife tries to pick apart my family who live an hour away.
Our two children get caught in the middle of this ongoing issue between us.
The weight of your reaction depends on how much this family togetherness actually interferes with your time with your wife, and with your children.
There have to be limits (even with great relatives) on how much people are in your house or on the phone when you’re home. But limits are also needed on your reaction if you’re not there, or have enough time as a husband and father without them.
Instead of counter attacks about each other’s family, start talking about compromises. Get some clarity on this issue - how do you spend your time when alone as a couple… sharing conversations and confidences, doing activities, having fun? If, instead, one or both of you are always in front of a television and/or there’s little sharing, the reasons why she’s so involved with family lie in your relationship.
I’m a widow, 60, and in preparation for dating I joined classmates.com. An old boyfriend e-mailed and I responded with a summary of my life. He did the same, and indicated he’d like to continue contact. I said, “but YOU’RE MARRIED!”
Ellie, I don’t mess with married men.
I could choose to ignore his 2nd e-mail, but I’d appreciate some guidelines. I’d hate to ruin or add stress to his marriage.
- Technology Etiquette
You’ve already got the right guidelines: “Don’t mess with married men!”
You’re interested in dating, not home-wrecking. When married people re-connect with former romances, they often stir up fantasies of feeling the same as when they were young. Flattery and nostalgia drive them to want more.
It becomes “emotional cheating” - even when there’s no sexual affair – if the married person is drawn more to the ex than their mate.
Repeat this mantra to yourself, and one final time to him: “Married? Good-bye.”
For a year, I’ve been dating a wonderful guy who I thought was the one for me despite that I’m 27 and he’s 47. Then, suddenly, he said, “let’s be friends,” and I’m heartbroken.
He says there’s no one else, and if we work on being friends maybe it can grow into something more.
- What to Do?
Recognize that he’s doing you a favour. If after a year he’s doesn’t see you as a long-term partner, then hanging on is wasting your time.
Instead of reacting to this as a rejection, accept his mature assessment that what you have isn’t the kind of mutual commitment that’s needed for a lasting, loving relationship.
Perhaps you two have focused so far on the physical connection and he wisely wants the friendship to develop to see where it goes. Try it. If you feel sidelined, move on.
My brother barely talks to me because I allowed my minister to perform last rites on our father.
My brother was away; when he got to the nursing home he vetoed a church service.
Dad was a non-believer but after mom died he started talking about heaven and seeing her again. He even went to chapel twice with me.
My brother says dad was in early stages of Alzheimer’s and doesn’t see that dad found spirituality through his dementia. It was a sign to me to ignore things in dad’s living will.
David is agnostic, so I think he’s reflecting his own standards.
- Feeling Lost
Apologize; ignoring a living will was wrong.
Your brother can equally believe you reflected only your standards, not your dad’s. He feels he failed his father by not upholding wishes expressed in sound mind.
Hopefully, your father did understand your decision, but it was not yours to make.
Tip of the day:
When a partner is constantly involved with family or friends, look closer at your relationship together.