DEAR AMY: My husband is 51 and I’m 41. We’ve been together five years, and got married seven months ago. I am ready to throw in the towel. I have been married before, when I was younger, and he has not. Now I am feeling like I have been in this marriage before. I am again married to a guy who is too stuck on his mother. My first husband, who was his mom’s only child, had a controlling mother. For some reason, I have married another guy with the same problem. I guess I thought he would be different because he was older and should be a grown man by now. His mother is driving a wedge between us and he is allowing it. There is no talking to him about it because things always get twisted in his favor. I tend to ignore him, because when I attempt to speak to him about this issue, we argue. I am thinking I should just walk away. We have no children together and I don’t have to put up with it, right?
Ready to Leave
DEAR READY: You knew this man for five years before getting married. Surely you would have received some insight about his relationship with his mother beforehand.
You say your husband, at 51, had never been married before. Marriage requires huge adjustments in family systems. In order to be happily married to you, he must put his relationship to you, and your marriage, at the center of his life. You should also attempt to compromise, adjust and accept that his mother is now part of your family.
A marriage counselor could help the two of you to discuss this dynamic and make the necessary adjustments.
DEAR AMY: I am really struggling with how to manage a situation that seems to keep coming up. What can I do when I go to a venue and there are people who are saving seats for their friends? I am OK with saving one seat for your companion, but I went to a show last week and several different people had blocked six or seven seats with ribbons, and one person blocked six seats with a long belt. It seems rude to block so many seats for people who can’t be bothered to show up themselves, while I am missing a good seat because it is being saved for a late arrival. I went to a show with table seating and several people told me that they were saving the entire table. I want to sit where I can get a good view, but I don’t want to be surrounded by hostile people if I just choose to sit down anyway. Of course my one option is to be the first one at the door so I can get whatever seat I want, but I am totally bugged by this. I think a lot of people are afraid to be told no, but when I am seated by myself at an empty table and have had people ask me if the seats were taken, I say, “No, there is no one sitting there, please sit down!” Wow! Just sit!
DEAR BUGGED: I agree that saving six seats with a long belt is excessive. In addition to the rudeness, I would wonder whose pants were currently not being held up. Perhaps you should seek the assistance of an usher if these “saved” seats happen to be exactly where you also want to sit. Otherwise, understand that many of us “save” seats while others are already in the venue and standing in the snack line.
DEAR AMY: You asked for feedback concerning the letter from “Left Out Liberal,” who disagreed with her husband’s politics. I see no difference in this scenario and people with different religious backgrounds. The only solution is to let each believe what they want philosophically and act accordingly, but on the important issues in life that directly affect the couple, such as child-rearing, buying a home, budgeting, career paths, etc., couples should communicate and come to a consensus.
I wouldn’t ask my wife to change her religious views or her political way of thinking. I never ask her how she’s voting. I wouldn’t want her to be something she’s not and vice versa.
Happy With Differences
DEAR HAPPY: Many people responding to this letter equate political and religious views. If you don’t ask your wife how she’s voting, it sounds as if you keep the peace by not discussing politics. This particular year, I agree with this approach.