I’m male, 35, unhappy in my marriage for several years.
My stepdaughter’s disrespectful and unappreciative. She’s off to college with no idea what major to take. She only cares about playing basketball. Her mother hears me saying there’s more to life, but feels I get on the girl’s case.
My stepdaughter ran up a $500 cell phone bill; I said she needs a job to repay my wife. She’s lazy, doesn’t clean her room unless ordered. It’s strained the marriage along with existing underlying issues - no intimacy for nine months.
When we were intimate, it was boring; my wife won’t try new things/positions to spice things up. I’m attractive and get looks from women but never respond. But I’m almost ready to take a phone number.
I love my wife dearly, but how long can a person be nagged constantly, whenever something isn’t done her way?
I’ve been close to and care for another woman for seven years (the wife doesn’t know of her). She’s recently had a rough period with her ex-husband. We’ve not been intimate but acknowledged we’re mutually attracted, and scheduled a friendship date soon. I’d like your advice and your readers’ advice before my emotions lead me to stray.
- Stray or Not
Dear Readers, it seemingly simple: difficult stepdaughter, critical wife, rare sex, versus attractive friend needing comforting. I’ll publish a selection of your responses (brief, please).
Meanwhile, here’s my take: It’s the “underlying issues,” not your stepdaughter, that’s the main problem. You can’t have a 7-year secretive close friendship with another woman without your wife feeling something’s not right. She distances herself in bed, and grabs household power through criticism; you withdraw more, get pleasure from being the other woman’s “rescuer,” and, Yes, you pick on your stepdaughter.
Her “faults” are common for her age group, especially when she too feels the tension. There are easy solutions/strategies for the girl’s behaviour (e.g. no phone), but you two made it another power struggle.
Frankly, you don’t have the skills for a better long-term relationship with Ms Needing Help, yet you’ve already put a foot out the door. Get counselling first, and recognize your own part in this unhappy marriage.
I’m 47, and left a 14-year relationship in pursuit of true love.
Last fall I met a guy who lives an hour away, in the country, I live in the city. His children (13 and 15) are four years younger than mine, and he has joint custody but spends all his time with them.
We never spent much time together, I never met his kids, he met mine. I said I love kids and didn’t want to be there all the time… just sometimes. We only communicated once or twice a week. At Christmas, I ended it, saying it wasn’t enough for me.
Recently, he contacted me, said he thinks about me constantly, and invited me over. I met his kids. A week later, I haven’t heard from him.
I’m looking for a relationship, not friendship. Next contact, should I ignore him, or try to make something out of this?
- City meets Country
Ask yourself the important “what-if” questions NOW, instead of fighting for something you may not ultimately want: Would you move to be with him? Would you happily be a partner in his life with its full-time parenting? If not, how did you think this would work?
Crucial - do you love this guy, or is he the only warm body around that’s worth considering? Your answers will determine your next response.
When we learned we were expecting a girl, my husband lost his early excitement about the pregnancy, but tried to hide his disappointment. Things worsened when his relative was expecting a boy.
Now, our daughter (three months) is wonderful! He claims he loves her very much. I believe him, but am still angry at his initial reaction.
I want to forgive him, but don’t know how.
There are many angers and fears that parents need to overcome, to do their best raising an emotionally healthy child. Give up this leftover resentment as it’s a waste of energy and goodwill.
Also, remember that your hormones have you feeling sensitive now, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow negativity to build. Hubby was being influenced by the gratuitous and archaic cultural preference for having sons; now he’s showing love for his baby daughter. Be his partner in raising her, not his judge.
Tip of the day:
Secret “dates” are a set-up for affairs, period.