I’m a doctor, preparing for post-graduate studies; my husband’s a businessman who’s busy 24/7.
Before our marriage two years ago, I dreamt we’d go every year to some place like a “honeymoon.”
Then he told me his financial condition and said it might take three years to settle.
I felt badly for him and cancelled my honeymoon plan.
Only after marrying did I know how busy his life is. I still regret cancelling that first honeymoon of ten days together.
Now, if he gets some time, he visits his parents where they keep him busy.
If I ask him to take me somewhere for two days, he has “no time.”
If I see my favourite destination on TV or the Internet, I get more frustrated.
I thought he’s saving his hard-earned money, but he’s giving it to his parents because his father had borrowed a huge loan – something else I didn’t know before.
I’ve lost hope that we’ll have money or time for going away.
I’m worried about my daughter, so I’m planning to go work at whatever.
I fear I’ll live a monotonous life of working, coming home, spending time with kids, sleeping, then working again…
You knew little about your fiancé until after marriage, but that was then, and this is now.
You both need to face some realities:
- Respect his devotion to his parents, but say that you two and your daughter also need to bond as your own unit, with some time together on your own.
- Helping his father financially is admirable. But he also needs to make sure he’s funding his own family’s needs as well.
Expensive “honeymoons” may still have to be delayed, but not all recreation and fun together.
- Going to work to afford more of what you want is not a punishment. Nor does it have to create a monotonous life.
A life of using your education where it’s needed and raising a healthy family is not some kind of failure.
- Sharing a life means both of you being open about pressures, and finding ways together to balance them.
You can contribute your own skills to create a better marriage and family life.
That includes trading past fantasies about constant ease and idyllic getaways, to a realistic plan.
FEEDBACK From a column letter-writer regarding her desperation after a break-up (July 27):
“After a few weeks, I’m still feeling blindsided.
“The counsellor who’s trying to help me build self-esteem says I’m doing everything right and my hurt will only heal with time.
“But I still can’t accept that we broke up. On some days, I can barely get out of bed.
“My relationship wasn’t toxic, save for my insecurities and I suspect, his as well.
“I believe he fears commitment (at 34, he’s never had a real girlfriend) and was looking for a way out.
“But I was only the second woman he brought home and I thought we were planning our life together.
“How can I get over him? I’m so hurt by the sudden breakup over seemingly nothing.”
Hard to Move On
Ellie – You’d initially written that you’re the one who’s “escalating little annoyances into huge fights, accusing him of not loving me, when it's not true.”
To him, that’s not “nothing” of a problem.
And it’s why staying with counselling is so important.
Hopefully, you’ll gain confidence to handle love as an equal, not as a doubter and accuser.
A friend’s weekly calls last for an hour.
She doesn’t listen, just repeats the same mundane stories about people I don't know.
When I gently say that she told me this before, even that doesn't work.
She keeps discussing topics that are upsetting – e.g. recently, a terrible crime occurred in my neighbourhood.
Though I repeatedly declined to engage in speculation with her, she persisted.
I don't want to offend her, but I dread her every call. Any strategies for dealing with her?
Put her on speaker phone, and do something – cook, laundry, straighten a drawer – whatever you can get done and still hear enough to periodically mutter a “hmmm.”
Or, you can be honest, as in “I don’t know that person. How are you?”
Or delay. Suggest a movie, lunch date or a “good talk” in three weeks, then be “going out now” when she calls in between.
Tip of the day:
Channel fantasies of a romantic marriage of perpetual ease, into energy for creating a strong union and happy family life.