Dear Annie: My husband of many years has become emotionally distant. We used to spend a lot of time together, but he recently took a new job in another town and has an apartment there. We see each other once or twice a week for a few hours. I have a full-time job that I can’t leave.
My husband doesn’t seem to care that we aren’t together much. He is OK with my having a social life without him, but I’d rather not, and as a result, I don’t go out much.
I tell my husband everything that is going on in my life, but he never shares. I usually don’t find out about the things he’s done until after the fact and almost always through a third party.
For example, instead of going to work last week, he flew across the country to buy a vintage motorcycle. I knew he was interested, but had no idea he wasn’t at work until the credit card company called to confirm an out-of-state purchase. I didn’t hear from him for three days. This is not the first time he has done something like this.
I try to be tolerant, but this motorcycle trip upset me. He insists I’m the one with the problem. He says he will “quietly continue to love me until death do us part,” but when I get angry, he claims it justifies his staying away.
How am I supposed to handle this? He refuses to go for counseling. I don’t want to give up on my marriage, but I feel totally abandoned. – Desperate
Dear Desperate: Your husband’s new job has confused him into thinking he’s single and not responsible to you when it comes to discussing financial decisions or sharing his travel plans. And it’s likely to get worse. If you want to save the marriage, you will have to be the one to make the greater effort. Can you spend weekends in his town? Can you meet halfway for dinner more often? Also, find active things to do so you are less focused on his absence, and please get some counseling for yourself.