I’m a man, 50's, who enjoys home life and adores my wife (15 years). We’re financially stable.
Yet we’ve become "roomies" and take each other for granted, though we’ve attended marriage counseling together.
I have my fishing friends; she has her shopping friends. Then we get back together and feel blah.
We went on a week’s vacation together, both enjoyed it, laughed a lot. But she later mentioned she’d hoped we could’ve "talked" more.
It wasn’t made clear to me that it was a “talk” vacation.
I’ve been accused of being depressed, deaf, etc. I’ve been tested and passed but started feeling some resentment towards her.
Having read many self-help books, I discovered this came from past situations where I get jealous or deeply hurt and just "put it away.”
My wife feels I’m also putting our marriage away. Not true.
If I suggest visiting friends, she has something different in mind. Yet the conclusion that, “We have nothing in common,” seems an avoidance of the truth... whatever that truth may be.
It seems your search for answers has been more internal than outward. It’s clear that you two DO need to talk more, and you also need to listen, if you want to breach this widening gap.
She feels that you’re disinterested in resolving differences and so finds her own companionship.
Plan another vacation and, between enjoyment and laughter (both crucial), ask her to share her feelings and concerns, and listen. Go shopping one time with her and show interest in it. Invite her into nature with you (a hike if she dislikes fishing), and talk together about it’s effect.
Counselling can’t make the changes for you. Recognize that YOU have to adapt to this life phase with her and be open, not passive. Once she trusts you mean it, she’ll meet you there.
One of my friends since high-school days plays fast and loose with the truth. She backs up whatever point she’s making with the irrefutable statement, “I’ve seen it happen before (no evidence given).” She puts up her hand when you disagree.
Another longtime friend who earns well is so cheap we can only go to restaurants where she has discount coupons. She also searches for free parking far from where we’re going, even if there’s a municipal lot much closer.
In restaurants (always her choice) she orders the cheapest item and no starter or dessert, but then eats half of my order through cajoling and claiming hunger.
When the bill comes, she’ll only pay the lower amount of her meal rather than split the bill.
Neither of these women (mid-50s) are bad people, but I’m increasingly put off by their annoying habits.
My elderly mother says both women had annoying habits back in high school, but I tolerated them then because I was young and needed a circle of friends.
Am I just getting cranky now? Or is 35 years enough putting up with irritation when I want a relaxed evening out with friends? I do have other friends who don’t push my buttons.
Tolerance levels change through time but it’s not just cranky aging. It’s about the limits on free time, and wanting quality of discussion or relaxation with friends you respect.
That’s not happening, when you’re moved to discuss your irritation with your mom and writing a relationship columnist about it.
You’ve put in enough time to these old but unsatisfying friendships. Distance yourself, change the pattern if possible, or drift apart.
The man I’m currently dating can’t perform sexually with me. He says he’s loved me since years before, and throughout my marriage to another man, (I divorced two years ago).
We’d only dated a few months before I met my ex-husband, so sex had just started when I broke it off. Now he says his feelings are affecting his performance.
He insists this has only happened with me. He’s late-30s, and his former girlfriend of four years left him, so I wonder if it’s true that this is all my fault. He won’t talk to anyone about it, or admit to erectile dysfunction.
Doubting My Attraction
If he won’t discuss it, there’s no hope for you two as a thriving couple. He’s blaming you, dismissing any personal responsibility, and showing no interest in correcting “the problem.”
Imagine living long-term with a guy who turns anything wrong into YOUR fault. Move on.
Tip of the day:
To stay connected long-term, you need to listen to each other and adapt to new phases.