DEAR ABBY: I’m a mother of two girls, ages 3 and 5. Their father and I are together, but I’m not in love with him anymore. I have felt this way for two years now.
I’m not excited to see him come home. When I take our children out, I hope he doesn’t want to come. When he touches me affectionately, I want to pull away. I have talked to him about it, but he doesn’t feel the same way. He wants to do everything he can to fix it. I’d love that too, but I no longer feel any connection to him.
He’s not a bad guy. He gives me plenty of attention and is good with the kids. I feel like an idiot. What kind of person even thinks about breaking her family up when they’ve got someone so great?
How much time should I give this before I call it quits? How much couples counseling should we pay for before we can say we tried, but it didn’t work? Should I stay for the kids even though I’m not happy with him? — JUMBLED IN OHIO
DEAR JUMBLED: I would love to know what happened two years ago that caused you to begin withdrawing from your partner. You ask what kind of person thinks the way you do. The answer may be a woman who is bored, confused or disillusioned or has stopped putting in the effort that’s required to maintain a satisfactory relationship. Or, you may not have been in love with him in the first place.
If you’re sincere about it, try counseling, first to determine where your relationship went off track, and second to find a way to save it. Your daughters are little. They don’t need their lives disrupted. Be sure the person you and your spouse choose is licensed. Give it a year. By then both of you will know whether it was worth the money.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 63 and retired. I have two grown sons and grandchildren. Some of them are young, and some of them are young adults.
My husband of 10 years and I have decided to adopt the RV lifestyle and travel. My sons are always busy with their own lives and hardly ever reach out to me except to ask me to baby-sit or to tell me I “need to come see the grandkids.” They make no effort to visit us, although we winter in the same state not far from them. I’m lucky if I ever receive a “How are you doing, Mom?” phone call. We see each family during the holidays.
When we travel, we’ll be on the road four to six months at a time. Contact will be by phone or through social media only. I feel guilty for doing this. Why? — GUILTY IN TEXAS
DEAR GUILTY IN TEXAS: If I had to guess, you feel guilty because you think it is your duty to be at your adult children’s beck and call. You have a right to the adventure awaiting you, and I hope you and your husband will go ahead with it. If you do, you will make lifetime memories and new friendships together. If an emergency arises, you can always hightail it back. Remember: You have earned this, so please allow yourself to enjoy it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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