My wife, whom I love, asked if she could go out over the weekend with a co-worker; neither her nor I ever did this before. We’ve been together over 30 years have four grown kids and grandkids.
She’s not been the same since (last August). In January, she lost her job, now says she’s happy doing what she likes, and if I want a divorce she wants one too.
She stopped making love; she doesn’t talk, only to argue. If we divorce, we’ll have to sell the home and that’s all my grandkids know and love.
I tried to go to counselling but she won’t go.
- Feeling Betrayed
There’s more to this than one weekend’s escape. Stick with counselling for yourself, and be open with the therapist about the way your marriage was conducted in the past, and what changes you could bring to the relationship, to encourage your wife to stay. When she sees sincere efforts on your part to improve things, she may be willing to meet with the counsellor, or at least talk with you about what she’s wanting now.
Do NOT focus on losing the house, or trying to reverse things to how they were previously. She’s mentally and emotionally turned a corner, and the only way for you to stay together is for you to see what’s around that corner and whether you want to be there, too.
My upstairs neighbour supported me through in vitro treatments to get pregnant (which failed); he injected me with medications, eventually he offered to be a sperm donor (I’m single and 40).
He’d suffered a recent break-up and I listened daily to his tale of woe. One night we had sex. The next day, he went cold and ended the whole relationship.
- What Happened?
He wanted comfort, not intimacy. He could dump all his sad stories on you, and he could give back physical support. But he couldn’t handle the two-way intense connection of sexual closeness.
Nod politely in the lobby and walk on.
I’ve been dating a man on and off for five years. We both knew there was no long-term future for us. But we’d break up, then reconnect as friends and end up back together. We recently ended it again.
We’re different in fundamental ways. I’m guilty of hurting his feelings by wanting to be with him, but lashing out because I don't feel right in the relationship but don’t have the guts to walk away.
We’re both guilty of holding on just because it’s comfortable.
I want to maintain a friendship but worry that we’ll repeat the cycle. Yet I hurt him when we parted and don’t want to leave things that way.
What’s the best next step?
Step away. You’re trying to have it both ways… you want to be the nice friend, but you keep hurting the guy. Stop shining a green light in his eyes, and you’ll break this cycle. You’ll have to give up on his friendship for now… but it’s kinder than what you’ve been doing.
After five years he’s entitled to think this is just another “phase” of your on-off moods and analysis, and that you’ll soon yank him back.
Meanwhile, you’re wasting his time and your own, plus eroding your confidence (and his) in being able to move forward with someone else. Stop leaning on him and be prepared to go it alone; accept that he’ll do the same.
My husband of two years has problems with alcohol and dealing with his feelings. Three times, he’s gotten falling-down drunk and spewed verbal abuse how he hates my family, he’s even shoved me. He also drinks a lot during the work week.
Although my family and I do cause him difficulty, getting drunk isn’t the answer and he needs to do something about it. I’m giving him an ultimatum to work on his own issues or else I walk. But can he change?
Alcoholics CAN change and Alcoholics’ Anonymous is one proven life-altering program. However, if you know you’re adding huge stress, you must stop this in order to support him through his efforts to stay sober. BOTH of you need to work on your issues. While he needs to find ways to handle problems without drinking (and stop shoving), you need to set limits on your family’s pressures.
Tip of the day:
You can’t expect a partner to change unless you’re willing to improve your own contribution to the relationship.