Question: Dear Luise: I am in a mess and I know that it’s my fault. I married young and then had way too much time alone due to my husband’s work. He promised to create “normal hours” but never did and I just wandered off. What an old, old story this is when I look it. And I am looking at it. I’m no longer in love with my husband and find my “new interest” to be much more engrossing. My husband hasn’t a clue about what I’ve been up to and all of a sudden he wants to make an effort. Do I have the right to move on and make better choices for myself? Betty
Answer: Dear Betty: You have all kinds of rights. One of them is to grow up, if you so choose. I find your seeing that your present drama may not be as unique as you had first thought, very encouraging. It is an old, old story. Good for you for observing that and admitting it.
I have no idea whether there is anything left in your marriage for you to rebuild…mostly because it doesn’t sound like either of you have been very serious about building anything in the first place. You just don’t make all of those vows and drift off. Well, you can, but that’s not the point, is it?
A marriage is a contract. It’s a “you-can-count-on-me” commitment. There’s all kinds of stuff said, remember? References to sickness and health, richer or poorer, better or worse are usually part of it. No, you don’t have to stay if there’s abuse and despair, but isn’t a normal part of it giving it a try?
A “new interest” can be somewhat like a new car. It becomes old. It would seem to me that it’s just a stopgap plan to keep you from being bored while you put off becoming an adult and developing responsibility. What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you want/need schooling to get an engrossing job with a future? Why not come up with a plan? Otherwise, you may keep putting off maturing in favor of new interest after new interest. If that’s what you want, have at it. But, is it?
Before you make a decision, why not talk with your husband about what’s behind his change of heart and let him know that you have seen some flaws in your attitudes as well. I have heard it rumored that communication can be a wonderful tool. If you have written to me to get support this may be a pretty disappointing answer unless you read it over a few times. That’s exactly what I’m offering…even though it’s probably not what you wanted to hear. Blessings. Luise