Dear Annie: I have created an uncaring, selfish husband. On our 40th wedding anniversary, my husband didn’t say happy anniversary or even get me a card. We agreed not to get each other gifts, but I did get him a card and wish him a happy anniversary. His response to me was, “Yeah.”
When he had said he hadn’t gotten me a card, I said that was OK but that I really was hoping he would take the time to let me know how he feels about me. I have suggested marriage counseling, but his reply is that it will just lead to divorce. I do love him and want our marriage to work, but I am feeling that I am the only one in this marriage who is trying. I have tried talking to him, but he ends up saying I only look for the bad in him. Then all communication breaks down. He is a good father, grandpa, provider and hard worker. I just feel so unloved. What can I do? — Feeling Unloved
Dear Feeling Unloved: It is wonderful that he’s a good father, grandfather and provider for your family, but it sounds like he is totally neglecting the one role that is most important for your happiness: the role of husband.
Marriage takes work, as you well know after 40 years, and it won’t sustain itself if one of you gives up. Gently and calmly explain your expectations to your husband — whether that’s an anniversary card, a weekly date night or couples therapy. Hopefully, he will be willing to put in the effort required to make this marriage succeed. If he is not willing, then you are probably better off without him.
One more thing: You did not “create” an uncaring, selfish husband. We are all responsible for our own actions.
Dear Annie: I’m wondering why, in your response to “Hurt in the South,” whose waitress friend has started giving her the cold shoulder for no apparent reason, you didn’t consider that maybe the reason she has cut this woman off is not because of something she did or said but maybe because of something to do with the husband. It might be a difficult thing for her to inquire about, but it might alleviate her hurt and confusion if she learned the change in her behavior wasn’t about her. Also, if her husband acted inappropriately, she might want to know about it. — Food For Thought
Dear Food For Thought: An interesting and certainly valid possibility, indeed. While I sure hope there’s been no funny business on the husband’s part to make either woman uncomfortable, as the couple has frequented the restaurant together and “Hurt” is at such a loss as to why her friend has changed her tune, confronting him might be a great place to start to look for clarity.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]