Dear Dr. Monique,
My husband is 15 years older than I and he has been married before. We have been married for nine years. I am noticing that we are doing less together. We have two children under the age of 10 but he has other children from his first marriage. He has a demanding job and he is often tired when he comes home from work.
But, I am concerned that we are growing apart. Could our age difference be all or some of the problem? The fun seems to be waning. Any suggestions to rectify this?
Dear Concerned Wife,
I believe that good communication is a very important component of a healthy marriage. I am also glad that you are invested enough in your marriage to not only notice the changes but to make efforts to improve it. Arrange a date night with your husband. Get a baby sitter or enlist the help of family or friends to take care of the kids. Try to plan something exciting that you will both enjoy. Consider this an ice breaker. Choose another occasion to discuss your concerns with him and try to ascertain his side of the story.
Attempt to be as supportive and nonjudgmental as possible to reduce the likelihood that the discussion evolves into a fight. Hopefully the discussion will give you some useful insights into why you seem to be growing apart. Regarding your age difference, this has not changed since you married him and by choosing to commit to each other you both already decided that this would not be a barrier to your relationship. So don’t let it be a barrier now. Instead, focus on your shared interests and commonalities and use that to further find ways to rebuild your relationship.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I was married to a man 27 years my senior who passed away four years ago. He was the only man with whom I have been intimate. Since the passing of my husband, I was in a relationship with a woman, which is sometimes on, sometimes off. Honestly, I do not know if I am attracted to men or women? There has been a woman whom I have been attracted to for a few years but nothing has happened with her.
I suspect that the passing of your husband was a very difficult and lonely time for you and it is not unusual that a relationship is sought for immediate comfort. However, it is also not unusual that women who initially considered themselves heterosexual discover later in life that they prefer same-sex relationships. My suggestion is that you do not rush to label yourself one way or the other. Take the time for some self evaluation. Then, evaluate the on- and off-again relationship that you are currently in to determine whether it is worth continuing. If you choose to end it you could consider investigating whether or not the woman to whom you are attracted to is also interested in you. However, give yourself permission to take your time in your decision making either way.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I have been dating this guy for eight months now and I am wondering if it is time to take him home for Thanksgiving?
Is it time?
Dear Is it time?,
Here are two points to consider in helping you to answer this question. What kind of value or meaning will your family place on the relationship if you decide to bring this new guy home? What kind of value or meaning do you place on the relationship that you have with him? If these two match up, then I imagine you would be much more comfortable with bringing him home. However if there is a difference for example, and your family would assume that the relationship is much more serious than it really is, then you may want to defer the visit because it may place undue pressure on your male friend and the relationship.
Dr. Monique is an award-winning graduate of Harvard Medical School, who completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. She has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Ask her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org