Dear Amy: My husband and I were married only three months ago.
We are both in our 60s. He has two children from his first marriage, and I have none.
We dated for three years before our marriage.
My husband has always enjoyed working, and he worked nonstop throughout our relationship.
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I have asked him over and over to put aside some daylight time for me. I would settle for half a day on Saturday or Sunday.
He is a rancher and says there is no such thing as a weekend for a rancher.
He made a promise to me before our marriage that he would take time out for us. Unfortunately, since we were married, except for the honeymoon, there has not been any time for me on a weekend.
I am so very hurt. I’ve tried to explain this to him, but it falls on deaf ears.
He comes home at 6:30 p.m. and goes to bed at 9:30.
There is never any quality time for us. Is there any hope for our marriage?
Very Hurt New Wife
Dear Very Hurt: I think there is hope for your marriage, but not if you hang out quietly, waiting for your husband to come home and pay attention to you.
Your hope and expectation –to have six hours of companionship during one weekend day – is completely reasonable. If you two shared a faith practice, you might do what many families do on Sundays -- attend services and then enjoy a Sunday lunch. Deliberately carving out time would be good
You say your husband worked nonstop when you were dating. If he promised to change, and you believed him, then you’re dealing with a classic case of the triumph of hope over experience.
Your life will be ever-thus, but it could be a quality life, if you are able to adjust. Can you engage more actively on the ranch?
My husband and I both grew up on farms, and we still have that seven-day mentality, but we do lots of chores together. Sometimes, riding out to a far-off field in the truck is the equivalent of “quality time.” If you have those opportunities, you should take them.
Otherwise, understand that this might not be the life for you. Give this marriage more time to gel, and then make a choice regarding your own future.
Dear Amy: Several years ago, my parents and godparents got into business together. In the past couple of years, the business relationship has gone sour, and they have since dissolved the business.
This involved a lot of false accusations, name-calling and general nastiness on both sides.
They have tried to keep the “kids” out of it, but I definitely feel the strain with my godparents, and find it can be awkward when we are all at family functions.
How do I continue a healthy relationship with my godparents who I love dearly, without feeling like I am disrespecting my own parents?
Dear Torn: These two couples cannot really have a huge impact on how you feel. Your feelings are your own to manage.
I suggest that you become well-acquainted, and accepting, of the awkwardness that emerges when you are all together. Children of divorce struggle with this, and often master these situations by compartmentalizing, not engaging in conversations about the other, and basically putting relationships into discreet boxes.
You should convey honestly to both parties that you love them both and that you want to maintain good relationships. Your desire to take this high road may eventually help them to arrive at a cordial middle ground.
Dear Amy: Thank you for offering your wisdom to the heartbroken writer who signed her question, “Laying Low.” She was asking for your sage thoughts on surviving breakups.
I’m often amazed at how we in modern life tend to believe that painful things shouldn’t actually hurt. Maybe it is because we were raised by parents who had been through tough times, and sheltered us too much. Now I think we are doing this to our own children.
I hope people are paying attention to your practical advice regarding loss: that it is important to feel your feelings, that loss is by its nature painful, and that the way out is an important part of our personal journey.
Dear Fan: The journey through loss (as you call it) is rocky, snowy, and littered with switchbacks. And what is waiting at the end? More loss! – but also insight and opportunities for growth.
Email Amy at email@example.com.