I’m beginning to think that the woman I married four years ago isn’t the same woman with whom I fell in love.
We met at a popular bar, she caught my eye from across the room and waved me over. We drank and laughed together, exchanged phone numbers and agreed to go on a date in a couple of days.
From that first date, it quickly became a steady thing. She would join me and bring along a friend if I was drinking with my pals. She watched hockey with me and yelled at every goal. She’d be out the door with me for all my spur-of-the-moment ideas.
We were both 28, and crazy in love.
But it’s all different now. I understand, that in these past months, Covid has changed a lot for everyone, including me. But she changed even more when our daughter was born three years ago.
Her mother lives nearby and wants to babysit as much as possible and our little one adores her grandma, so I’ve pointed out that there is still plenty of time for my wife to come out with me.
Now, she won’t even watch hockey and goes to another room to read. The worst part is that she resents when I do the things I’ve always done.
She berates me when I go out with my friends, even though I invite her along.
I’ve asked her why she’s so angry at me. But she just turns away. How do I get my wife back?
Talk to her again but start with “I love you and miss you.”
She may be dismissive, but persist. Tell her you need to get back your closeness with each other and you want to work on that with her.
However, understand that your wife’s changed behavior may be a silent cry for help and/or lingering post-partum anxieties about being a mother.
Be her partner again, now when she needs you, not just for fun times. If after a while, if she remains distant, urge her to see her doctor.
Meanwhile, she needs you by her side and your young daughter needs you both together as a family.
I’m a woman, 75, widowed at age 49. The last six months of our marriage my husband was ill and I tried to nurse him back to health.
He passed away the day after Christmas, 27 years ago. I loved him with all my heart and think of him daily.
One month before he died he wrote me this, “We’ve always been very close but since my illness we have become even closer. Thank you for your kindness, caring and loving, I’ll love you forever.”
But I have since discovered that he was unfaithful throughout our marriage.
I’m so disheartened that I find it difficult to visit the cemetery.
How can I get over his betrayal?
You don’t “get over” betrayal, you learn to manage it.
Especially when, nearing death, he wrote of his enduring love for you.
The information about his infidelity was cruel, likely malicious gossip, or someone’s misguided sense of truth-telling.
Holding onto your happy memories and keeping your pride intact is part of the way you carry on.
Despite his infidelities, you can hold your head high because of your own steadfast loyalty during your marriage.
All life is too short, and the senior years too precious to exhaust your energy on his weakness vs. your admirable strength.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who’s so nervous about Covid that he’s rejecting all his wife’s requests to join any “opened-up” socially-distanced activities (Aug. 29):
Reader – “The man’s concerns did appear excessive - there are things that can be done which limit exposure to the virus.
“But you seemed dismissive of the randomness and severity with which the virus strikes. We’re asked daily to lessen the risk on ourselves and to others, and that message still needs to be provided along with help for anxiety.”
Ellie - I agree that we all still need to weigh when an “opened-up” possibility is safe and when, due to circumstances, it’s not e.g. knowing that a particular patio restaurant attracts a less-careful crowd.
Similarly, a friend’s dinner invitation may be appealing, but less safe depending on who else is invited.
Sadly, however, the man’s level of anxiety is high enough to warrant stressing his need for professional help.
Tip of the day:
Married life and parenting require both partners adapting to the new needs and realities while staying connected.