Dear Annie: How do I deal with being married to someone I simply do not like? After 15 years, I realize that I don’t enjoy being around my husband. I look forward to him leaving the house.
It is hard for me to do anything for someone I feel nothing for. I am just going through the motions. Is this what marriage is supposed to be?
My parents contentedly spent time together, and I long for this in my own relationship. I want a companion.
My husband is rarely home, and when he is, he spends hours on the phone with his buddies. He is friendly to them, but cold and defensive with me. He treats his parents the same way.
I used to blame myself and get upset when he would ignore me, and we would fight because he accused me of being controlling.
He said I was jealous that he was having fun and that I needed to make friends.
I gave up asking for his attention and began behaving sweetly toward him, but he treated me the same, and I don’t understand why.
He gets defensive when I say something completely innocent. It is like he is trying to get me to start an argument, but I won’t.
I don’t think he will change. I have to learn to deal with it, but it makes me sad and lonely.
Do you have any suggestions?
— Dealing with It
Dear Dealing: We see no reason to stay with a man who treats you with complete indifference and whom you no longer like.
If there are children involved, however, try counseling first, and see if you can find more effective ways to deal with your husband.
Dear Annie: I am an only child.My two siblings died in an accident, and my parents ended up divorcing after 20 years of marriage. Both of them married others, and after another 15 years, my father passed away.
Here’s the dilemma: When my siblings died, they were buried at a cemetery in my hometown.
My parents were obviously devastated, as were my paternal grandparents, and they all bought plots next to my siblings.
My siblings are in the middle two plots, my grandparents are on one side, and my father is buried on the other side. This leaves a vacant plot next to my father.
My mother intends to be buried next to her second husband in a different city, so my father’s wife has asked to take the vacant plot next to Dad.
The plot is in my mother’s name, and she adamantly refuses to let my stepmother be buried near my siblings. She would rather the plot remain vacant.
My father’s wife has no children and very much wants to be buried next to my dad. Now what?
— Stuck in the Middle
Dear Stuck: Your mother is being ungenerous. Perhaps you could convince her that her children won’t mind having your stepmother two plots down.
Otherwise, we recommend your stepmother buy a plot close by. If your mother should pre-decease her, Stepmom can then negotiate to exchange her plot for the vacant one next to Dad.
Dear Annie: I totally disagree with your response to “Crowded by the Ex.”
The husband is married to his current wife and has an allegiance to her, not the ex. If the ex’s presence causes a problem, the husband has to tell her to keep her distance.
The children from the first marriage, especially if they are adults, need to respect their father’s current marriage.
The husband must set boundaries to support his wife. The gift giving, visiting and bon voyages should have stopped 20 years ago.
I speak from personal experience and from many years of marital counseling for this very same issue.
I am disappointed you didn’t give “Crowded” more support.
— Feeling the Wife’s Pain