Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My husband of many years has become emotionally distant. We used to spend a lot of time together, but he recently took a new job in another town and has an apartment there. We see each other once or twice a week for a few hours. I have a full-time job that I can’t leave.
My husband doesn’t seem to care that we aren’t together much. He is OK with my having a social life without him, but I’d rather not, and as a result, I don’t go out much.
I tell my husband everything that is going on in my life, but he never shares. I usually don’t find out about the things he’s done until after the fact and almost always through a third party. I know he is faithful, and most of the time, the things he does are pretty tame, although I resent that he keeps them “secret.”
For example, instead of going to work last week, he flew across the country to buy a vintage motorcycle. I knew he was interested, but had no idea he wasn’t at work until the credit card company called to confirm an out-of-state purchase. I didn’t hear from him for three days. This is not the first time he has done something like this.
I try to be tolerant, but this motorcycle trip upset me. He insists I’m the one with the problem. He says he will “quietly continue to love me until death do us part,” but when I get angry, he claims it justifies his staying away.
How am I supposed to handle this? He refuses to go for counseling. I don’t want to give up on my marriage, but I feel totally abandoned. — Desperate
Dear Desperate: Your husband’s new job has confused him into thinking he’s single and not responsible to you when it comes to discussing financial decisions or sharing his travel plans. And it’s likely to get worse. If you want to save the marriage, you will have to be the one to make the greater effort. Can you spend weekends in his town? Can you meet halfway for dinner more often? Also, find active things to do so you are less focused on his absence, and please get some counseling for yourself.
Dear Annie: In my aerobics class, there is a woman who wears a headset and often stops in the middle of a routine to read her notes. This makes the rest of us constantly work around her to avoid an accident.
Some of the members have already brought their concerns to the instructor, who won’t say anything, so it continues to be a problem. How can we be assured that we can exercise without being injured during the sessions? Aren’t we entitled to a safe environment? — Concerned About Safety
Dear Concerned: The instructor should speak up and ask the woman not to be a hindrance in class. However, since that isn’t happening, it would help if a group of you complains to management. You also can ask the woman directly. Before or after class, tap her on the shoulder and explain that her sudden stops are creating all sorts of havoc and you would appreciate it if she would exercise away from everyone else so she doesn’t get hurt.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Wits’ End,” who has a bipolar child and a hard-hearted husband.
I have a bipolar child and know the difficulty a marriage faces under these circumstances. If her husband has been counseled about bipolar illness and still isn’t on board, the marriage is effectively over. “Wits’ End” needs to recognize this and focus on the person with the greatest lifelong need — her daughter. — Massachusetts
Dear Massachusetts: We agree that the husband is not helping, but the daughter is an adult and, bipolar or not, will be on her own one day. Mom should not have to sacrifice her marriage if there is a way to save it.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.19.10