Annie Lane: Closer than ever but farthest apart
Published 5:51 pm Friday, March 3, 2023
Dear Annie: I came across your column while searching for tips on how to deal with my marital situation. I don’t know what else to do. My heart’s broken. I feel depressed, like my whole world has come crashing down on me. I have been with my husband for eight years and married for almost two years now. Things were overall great until we moved in together. I have tried everything I can to make my marriage work, but I am drained of trying.
He neglects me emotionally, always pushes me to the side like I don’t matter, picks playing video games over spending a little time with me, and generally disrespects me. I just don’t know what else to do. I have become lonely and depressed, and I feel like it is time for me to leave. Talking to him about how I feel angers him, and I feel like I have no one to turn to.
Obviously, he’s not willing to put any work or effort into keeping me around. Do you have some advice? I feel like my only option is to leave and file for a divorce. I deserve better than this. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life crying and being depressed. Recently, I’ve also been hurting due to my sister’s drug addiction. I just have so much pain in my life, and I’ve lost myself in the process of helping everyone else.
Email newsletter signup
– Bruised at Heart
Dear Bruised: I can feel how exhausted, disappointed and lonely you’ve been, trying this hard to better your marriage by yourself. This surely isn’t the way you envisioned spending your “honeymoon” period.
Before throwing in the towel, start by asking your husband to attend couples therapy with you. The first few years of marriage are a time of adjustment and compromise; it’s also long been said that they are the most difficult. Ironically, sometimes moving in with a partner – getting physically closer together – can be what drives a wedge between you. It’s crucial to make romance and quality time together a priority, despite your constant physical proximity. Never stop dating. Your husband doesn’t have to give up his video games and alone time entirely, but make it clear that his current behavior will no longer fly. He must be willing to do better and meet you halfway.
I’d also suggest checking out individual therapy focused entirely on you. Between your sister’s addiction and your marital hardships, you more than deserve to take time and find ways to lighten your own load.
• • •
Dear Annie: I’m writing in response to “Lost My Daughter,” the mom who is uncomfortable with her defiant daughter “Melanie”’s relationship with an ex-boyfriend’s mother. I once heard that the more you criticize, the more the other person will defend. Stop badmouthing the Jehovah mom and let her actions speak for themselves. Do your best to accept their relationship, no matter how hard that is. Melanie is an adult and has to decide for herself if this woman belongs in her life. Maybe without the incentive to defy you, she’ll realize that the relationship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
– Been There and My Daughter Saw the Light
Dear Been There: Sage advice, indeed, and I echo every word. We can only impact what’s in our control, and for “Lost My Daughter,” that entails her one-on-one relationship with “Melanie.” I hope they both turn their focus to that, paving the way for a happier, healthier dynamic.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.