My wife of 10 years and I both have good jobs, so chose to not have children right away so we could enjoy our free time.
Now, we have a girl, age five, and a boy age two. My widowed aunt babysits while we’re at work and is great with our kids.
Since we increased our home life, our relationship’s changed because we’re very different. I’m exhausted after work, just want to relax with the kids, eat dinner, watch some TV and go to sleep.
My wife wants to discuss her work day as soon as we’re together. She’s also bossy about what’s good or bad for the kids regarding even playtime with me, then constantly raises what she considers my faults.
I agreed to counselling for each of us because I love our children. But I still feel like my wife’s trying to direct everything between us and thinks that I’m failing at it all. What should I do?
Talk to the counsellor about dealing with you two together sometimes, not always separately. While he/she may be giving each of you insights about yourselves, you also need to recognize the pitfalls during the shared parts of your life e.g., playtime with children, and private time as a couple.
It sounds like the latter’s being largely ignored, leading to less affection and emotional support. It’s not enough to just be there.
Now, you both need professional help to develop the give-and-take of living and parenting as equal partners.
I’m a single, childless, never-married woman, age 60. I feel very alone though lucky - retired with a pension; I have friends and get along with my family.
I may be too independent, yet feel needy. I've made mistakes in my past relationships so perhaps it's my fault.
If a man likes me then I don't like him or maybe I don't see it. I’ve tried online dating without luck. I’m a good person, funny, but don’t feel as attractive as I once did.
I’ve seen a social worker and it helped a little.
I also have Crohn's disease, which sometimes means I have to suddenly stay close to a bathroom. This is apparently the reason my last partner left. Physical intimacy is scary because of this.
Do I just give up on finding a partner?
Alone at 60
Don’t give up on yourself.
It seems likely your Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) has affected your self-confidence in the dating world.
You know what medications work best for you, what foods to avoid. But you need a support system that understands the experience of having Crohn’s. Find an online group, through the doctor who treats you or through a Crohn’s and Colitis Association.
It’ll bring a network of new contacts. Build on these virtually during the pandemic and you’ll be feeling more confident and less needy in the relationship area.
That’s the point of not giving up and refreshing your best self which, by the way, is what makes people feel as attractive as they are.
Forget age as a deterrent to finding a relationship. It’s a fact of life today that people are living active social and romantic lives into at least their 80’s.
Only recently, when I asked readers to send me their plans for “2021 and Beyond,” I was sent this reader response:
“Sue Kelly's book Still Sexy After Sixty...Seven Secrets to Finding Life’s Sweet Spot is a must-read.”
FEEDBACK More on the “appearance” of emotional cheating (January 20):
Reader – “The wife views the man’s friendship with the woman as "cheating.” She blocked him immediately, saying they’ll be divorced as soon as possible. Seems she was looking for a good excuse to get out of the marriage.”
Reader #2 – “After conceding that not all business relationships with people of the opposite gender qualify as cheating, you state, “but appearances matter.”
“How can women achieve workplace equality if they’re suspected of sexual behaviour whenever they work with men?”
Ellie - This man was helping a friend with technology for her business. The problem was between the married couple, not about the woman seeking help. The negative “appearance” that mattered was to the wife only, who purposefully hid her suspicions by never joining them though invited. And he missed it.
Any imagined leap to a workplace barrier for all women from this account, just doesn’t work.
Tip of the day:
Counselling can help a couple learn to share and enjoy their roles as equal partners and parents.