Dear Annie: My live-in girlfriend of 15 years, who is 12 years older than I, never wants to hang out with me and any of my friends. Even when I found friends closer to her age, she still does not want to do anything. When we first met, it was no problem, but throughout the years, she just wants to hang out with her father and me.
I would love to do dinners, birthdays and vacations with other people, but she just shows no interest. Should I go out with these other couples and friends and not feel bad since she’s the one who is not interested? Is there anything I can do to try to get her to do something with my friends, or is it pretty much the way things are going to be? I just don’t think it’s normal behavior to never want to do anything with anyone. Please help. — Seeking Social Time
Dear Seeking Social Time: Everyone has different needs when it comes to social time versus time spent alone. And it’s not like your wife is antisocial — she spends time with you and with her father, after all. Some people like to keep their circles small.
That said, friends and community are important to most people, and the fact that your wife has no interest in forming those connections could be a sign of depression. Encourage her to speak with a doctor or therapist to discover the root of why she doesn’t want to form connections with the people around her. It is possible that if you tried couples therapy, you might reach a compromise that would be comfortable for both of you.
Dear Annie: My wife recently posed a question to me, and I’m not sure how to feel about it. She asked if I would be OK if she “had an intimate relationship” with a woman. Of course, I want to be supportive and, if I’m being 100% honest, would want this to happen if I were involved also. But when I mentioned that she said “no, that this was about her, and if at some point she was comfortable bringing this into our home, then we could discuss it.”
I feel like she’s curious but wanting an open relationship only on one end doesn’t seem to be sitting well with me. Please advise. — Third Wheel
Dear Third Wheel: Her proposal has you coming out on the losing end for sure. She wants to explore her sexuality with zero consequences, but she wants you to stay monogamous and committed to her?
A couples therapist can help you two figure out whether an open relationship might be a healthy option for you two. But that comes with the caveat that it’s open for the both of you. Conversely, a therapist might help you two discover that the monogamy you committed to when you married is the best path forward after all.
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