I'm in a long-term relationship with a wonderful man who's ambitious in work and life. I appreciate how hard he works to get ahead. This means many extra emails and phone calls after work hours.
He's also active in the community, in recreational sports, and makes time for "boys' nights." I'm busy too, working in a legal firm. All the lawyers and assistants work very hard.
My frustration comes every night when he constantly complains and groans about how he's so tired. I get scraps of his time and energy.
Typically, he's in bed by 9-10pm complaining he's tired. However, if friends invite him out, he's gone until 2-3am.
When he says he's busy and tired, I sympathize and don't ask him to watch a movie with me, do house chores, etc. How can I make him understand how I feel? Should I suggest he stop groaning? Or am I insensitive?
You've become long-suffering far too soon, indulging him in a pattern that'll ultimately split your union apart.
You're both intelligent adults; so present your case without complaints and groans, which is HIS poor-me style.
Simply put, he's giving the message that being with you doesn't arouse his energy, but being with friends does. This has to change or you're out the door, because it's treating you as second-class to friends and after-work activities.
And he must drop the groaning. If he's that tired, he goes to sleep, period... no meetings, no friends, etc. A schedule-check at the week's beginning should allot a balance of time for you as a couple, for community, and for one "boy's night."
If it doesn't work, neither does this relationship.
I found out that my boyfriend of six months has a history of cheating. I trusted him until I learned this. Is it something I need to be concerned about?
Much depends on how this information came about. For example, if getting to know each other over six months included open conversations about past relationships (not sexual details, just background), you should already have heard at least some reference to how he "moved on."
But, if he's been dismissive or vague about his past, or lied about how his relationships ended, then you have strong reason to be concerned.
Now that you know, you have a right to ask why he believes he cheated and how/why he feels he's different now, has changed, and can be trusted.
Take some time - perhaps another six months - to be sure you're comfortable that he can be trusted. Not by snooping and checking up on him, but by his behaviour towards you, the amount of time he spends with you, etc.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman "annoyed" that her mother-in-law, 75, resisted driving at night or in bad weather (Mar. 6):
Reader #1 - "She could be writing about me, except I have a busy daytime life at a senior center. You answered her very well. The daughter in law should be very grateful that she doesn't drive at night and risk having an accident.
"It is also true that we have few friends. As we age, we have fewer and fewer, not because we are anti-social but because they can no longer drive either, or they have passed on. What goes around comes around. Oh, how I wish I had been more understanding of my own mother. I was good to her, but not good enough, and I now walk in her shoes.
Reader #2 - "Driving in threatening weather becomes an increasing concern as people age. I'm 71, and many friends and relatives in a similar age bracket find this reality is a frequent topic of conversation. It's also an issue that impacts on our socializing.
"Aging affects night vision and we're less willing to battle driving under poor weather conditions. Younger relatives should be aware and more understanding."
Reader #3 - "A 75-year-old woman, a "nice woman, easy to get along with" - what's not to love about that?
"I drive 30 minutes three times a week to spend with my aging parents. They are worth every mile, every moment. I take them both to their appointments, banks, and just go out to lunch with them. How long will I be lucky enough to do that?!!"
Ellie -This topic certainly "annoyed" a lot of spirited seniors and their genuinely loving relatives!
Tip of the day:
What you accept unhappily now will divide you later.