She’s 38, I’m 26. I prefer being out in nature, while she prefers the city.
I'm an old soul, and she acts very young. After six months, I’m unsure where it's going.
I'm still building a career, she has a child and works and spend as she pleases. I’m swimming in debt and dream of a house.
Should we call it quits?
A decision depends on what’s held you together for six months... sex, love, fascination with “differences”?
The logical turning point will come soon – she’s in a lifestyle she likes and can manage, and you’re still trying to find one. When that happens, it’s either merge or separate.
A break now could help you both decide if you miss each other enough to focus on what’s common between you – perhaps it’s core values, goals, strong mutual attraction, respect. If you share those, you’re alike where it truly counts.
My partner of five years and I have a three-year-old son. We moved in together within six months of meeting.
He’s from a large Catholic family. I’m from a small blended family with a mentally-ill mother.
My siblings aren’t close, some estranged, and my father died years ago.
My partner’s not sociable, he only talks to people who show interest in him.
He’s unwelcoming to my friends whom I consider family.
He and his parents are very insular and feel that only relatives are family, while friends come and go (he has no friends of his own).
I’ve been expected to host his family for my son’s and my partner’s birthdays and they host mine.
I’d prefer to celebrate privately with my partner and son, or a few girlfriends on a night out. Not with my partner’s family.
But he resents not making his family the centre of our social life.
I’m tired of hosting them and doing all the work out of obligation when he doesn’t want me to have my friends over.
I’ve set boundaries removing his extended family from my Facebook after realizing they were badmouthing me. I’m now attending only half the family events. He still goes with our son.
Is our relationship doomed because of this family vs. friends rift?
A couples’ counsellor suggested we get to know each other through questions and exercises.
Meantime, is it wrong to forego these family events and refuse to host his family until he makes an effort to know the people closest to me?
Need My Friends
You do need to follow through on the counselling process, because there’s an underlying goal.
Clearly, you both hardly understood each other’s needs/values when you started a family.
His sense of security comes from traditional family life, yours from supportive friends.
Those basic differences are unlikely to change a lot. But through counselling, you can hopefully develop understanding and compassion for each other’s needs, and make room in the relationship for them.
It requires compromises from both of you. He must accept your friends as company, sometimes. And understand your desire to go out with them on special occasions.
You must host some family events and also attend some family get-togethers.
But badmouthing of you by his relatives is unacceptable. Your husband should tell them so.
If you give each other the sense of being heard and helped to be happy, along with compromises, your relationship can last and become closer.
But if neither of you reach across those differences, that’s unlikely.
My once-good friend of 10 years has recently started talking down to me. She’s almost rude, can’t find time to get together, and even mocked me at a social function for something silly in the past.
We’re both busy mothers of youngsters, and I have no idea why she’d behave this way.
I’m unaware of anything I’ve done to deserve her now-distant attitude toward me. How should I handle this?
Confront or Ignore?
If you’d like to remain friends, just ask her outright (and non-accusingly) about why she’s suddenly cool: e.g. I notice a changed atmosphere between us. Did I do anything to offend you?
Listen to her response; apologize if there’s a solid “Yes,” even if you didn’t see it that way.
If she denies that anything’s “wrong” between you, you can more directly describe her behaviour, and say that it hurt your feelings.
If she’s still a “friend,” she’ll hopefully open up.
Tip of the day:
What is it that holds “opposites” together? Love, but only if boosted by mutual respect and shared core values.