DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been married for almost 10 years. We are in our mid-30s. We don’t have children. We have hit a brick wall. She says that she completely resents me for not going to family functions and doing couples activities. I will try harder to do more of these things. She has said that she has changed, and that we’ve grown apart. She has taken up different activities outside the home. She is taking dancing lessons, and is working out at the local gym every day. She is out every other night, sometimes until quite late. We don’t eat dinner together anymore, and I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying about our relationship. I’m extremely concerned and worried about our marriage! When she is home, she is complacent and withdrawn, and constantly on her cellphone, receiving text messages from her “new friends.” This is slowly driving me insane. There is a terrible tension between us and she fails to see what this is doing to our relationship. I miss my wife so much. I have told her this, and she says she is going to try and spend more time with me, but nothing changes. I’m extremely confused and scared about our future. I’ve told her she is breaking my heart. We just seem to be going in circles. What do you suggest?
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Your marriage is at a breaking point, and it could be a point of no return, unless you and your wife decide to try to fix it together. All of her actions indicate that she is no longer invested in your relationship, and some of her actions — the working out and constant texting — point toward the possibility that she might be having an affair.
Your marriage didn’t wither on its own — your own behavior contributed to your problems. Unfortunately, you also cannot fix it on your own. You and your wife can repair your marriage together, through hard work and tender caretaking. A marriage counselor would help to clarify the next steps to take, and would also help you to weather a possible breakup.
Also read: “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert,” by John Gottman and Nan Silver (Harmony, 2015). This groundbreaking relationship book studies successful couples, offering helpful tools to get — and stay — together.
DEAR AMY: I’m in high school. A kid at my school got an award last year for perfect attendance. The local newspaper ran an article about it, mentioning that he was never even late for one class. The newspaper said that his mother got stopped by the police eight or nine times and still got him there on time. What the paper didn’t say is that his father is a police captain. My parents only let me drive because I agreed that I would never speed. And I never have, even though I’ve been called a nerd. I may not be an adult but I think there is more than one thing wrong with this perfect attendance situation and the newspaper article making that kid’s mom look like a hero for speeding. What do you think?
DEAR STUDENT: I agree with you that nobody should celebrate speeding, especially in connection with high school students.
You have never been stopped by the police (good for you!), but one thing you should know is that a traffic stop is time consuming. If you are speeding to avoid being late, a visit by the highway patrol (even a quick one) will eat up precious time. If this mom got stopped and still got her child to school on time, then she probably left the house early enough to get Mr. Perfect Attendance there without speeding.
DEAR AMY: “Scalped” described how her father gave her one ticket to a concert she wanted to attend as a birthday gift. She wanted to bring a friend and he expected her to pay for the second ticket. But who wants to go to a concert alone? And who would give someone just one ticket? I was disappointed in your response.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: If someone gives you a gift, you accept that gift, instead of asking for more. That was my perspective.
“Scalped” ended up going to the concert with a friend, and is no longer talking to her father. I think that’s a real shame.