Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for nearly three decades. Up until seven years ago, my husband, who is very sensitive, had a difficult time making friends. Oh, he’s super funny, charismatic and adventurous, but he struggled outside the home.
Then he started finding groups of guys who were as adventurous and fun as he was. However, my husband has always been self-centered and took off on loads of trips.
For the past seven years, it has been trip after trip of four to seven days. He asks me to celebrate his kids’ birthdays, and sometimes he doesn’t even consider that his kids are on winter or spring vacation – because he always seems to make other plans.
My kids are resentful, and I’m tired of making excuses. I’m not unhappy or looking for a divorce. Should I just continue to let this go? He’s not open to change, even if it could affect his family relationships. I’m going with immature and selfish because his behavior makes no sense. – Single Parent in a Two-Parent Family
Dear Single Parent in a Two-Parent Family: I believe that you’re correct that he is immature and selfish, though communication is the key to understanding why he is acting this way. Some people try to push the limits about what is acceptable until they are corrected, and if this is what he is doing, he will not recognize it until you speak with him.
You need to sit down with him and talk with him about how his constant travel and neglect makes you and your family feel. Ask him for more attention to your needs. You will want to form a compromise that allows him to still spend time on trips with friends but carves out time for you and the children. If that doesn’t work, then add insensitive to immature and selfish, and get into couples counseling.
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