Carolyn Hax: Job takes up most of his time
Wed., Nov. 1, 2006
Carolyn Hax is away. The following are excerpts from October 2005 live online discussions on www.washingtonpost.com.
Carolyn: I have been seeing a wonderful man for about 10 months. He is perfect for me in every way, but he works atrociously long hours during the week. Because of this, he and I rarely see each other on weeknights, and our relationship is consequently limited to the weekends. I feel as though I have a long-distance relationship without the distance. I love him, and, to be honest, I’m OK with the way things are. I guess what I’m asking is whether you think this is healthy. If two people love each other, should they make more of an effort to see each other? – Texas
If you’re honestly happy, then you’ve found an arrangement that suits both your needs and his, and there’s nothing healthier than that. The only potential pitfall would be if your happiness were predicated on your telling yourself – secretly, subconsciously, whatever – that his circumstances eventually will change.
Carolyn: You’re right that I do envision these circumstances changing someday. I mean, if we get married (which we’ve talked about, although it won’t happen anytime soon), then we’d see each other every night, right? For now, it’s fine, but is it wrong to think about things changing in the future? I’m just curious. – Texas (again)
You might be up till 11 every night waiting to see him every night. It’s a nice extension of the issue of ambition in a partner – you think you want it, and then you get married/buy a home/have kids/get old and mellow and find yourself alone while your mate is off being ambitious. Not everyone is going to be the same at every phase of life, and no one thing is good or bad for everyone; some people want their spouses to be ambitious, childless, out and about. But people do have a way of foreshadowing how they will be.
In other words, see his priorities for what they are, and project accordingly. Even better, since you’re already talking about this stuff, see what he has to say. (Though people are quite capable of promising things they think they want, instead of things they’re able to deliver, so skepticism has its place.)
Carolyn: Once you are married must ALL desires for the opposite sex cease, aside from your spouse? What do you do if you find yourself attracted to someone? – Washington
Of course you’ll feel desires. You’re still (more or less) human. The problem is when the desires are more compelling than the marriage itself. That’s why tending to the couple aspect of being a couple is so important.
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