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whining and dining

It just struck me the other night that my husband of three years is a whiner. We went out to dinner and all he could talk about was how much he hates his job. Wishes he’d done something else with his life. On and on, through appetizer, main course, and dessert. I tried changing the topic, but it was no use. Blah, blah, blah about how miserable he is. He finally started making me feel bad because, after all, we have a life together. I told him he could go back to school and do anything he wanted. He just pouted.

I sort of snapped. I was spitting out every cliche in the book, about how life ISN’T always a bowl of cherries, etcetera. I never promised you a rose garden, and so on. We rode home in silence.

When we got home, he dropped me off and said he was going to the drug store to pick up some diapers for our infant. He didn’t come home for two days.

Needless to say, we have some issues going on here. I moved past being concerned and am now becoming scared for our marriage. He never used to be this way. He was always upbeat. Now I don’t even know how to approach him to see if we can fix things and move on. What should I do?

Mrs. The Past

The Sales Guy says: Sometimes one can get melancholy about the what ifs in life. What if I went to school for Law or Medicine, what if I backpacked through Europe after college like I wanted to do? What if I proposed to that delightful woman I loved in college instead of the cold-hearted skank who, if the subject isn’t about her 24-7, ridicules me and insults me just when I need reassurance and a trusted friendly ear? Sometimes one can get melancholy ya know?

The Saltwater Tart says: Well, well, well....hmmm. Just read this aloud to my husband and he stated the obvious.

Although he sounds displeased with his job (which I dare say he is lucky to be employed in this economy), where prey tell did he disappear for for two days?! How would he react if you went out to the “store” and didn’t come back for two days? Would it be acceptable behavior?

There seems to be a lack of maturity and responsibility in regards to being a husband and father to “disappear” or not to return home for two days. He must have listened to Bruce Springstein’s song “Hungry Heart” too many times.

I come from a long long of “survivors.” Instead of being scared for your marriage, be strong for yourself and your child. Remember that you are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness except your own. If your husband wants to wallow in self-pity and martyrdom for his job or life choice, let him figure it out for himself. Suggest therapy or that he take inventory on what he deems important or “priority” and if you and your child are not at the top of that list, you need to think about #1 and #2 on your list of priorities.

Smartmoney says: WTF? How the hell am I supposed to give a scathing reply to such a sad story? Your husband is depressed. Get him to a counselor. Believe me, being miserable at work is no joke. Give him support and help him find a new job—after you rip his balls off for disappearing for days. There is no excuse for that. Good luck!

The Gay Perspective: I’ve just forwarded your letter to Senator Grisanti, assuring him that most gay couples would do a better job of marriage—and, in most cases, without destroying the life of a child. I wish I’d read your letter in time to send you and your husband to see the screening of Sondheim’s Company last weekend. Some valuable lessons about marriage are available there: “Someone to hold you too close/ Someone to hurt you too deep/Someone to sit in your chair,To ruin your sleep. Someone to need you too much/ Someone to know you too well/ Someone to pull you up short/ And put you through hell. Someone you have to let in/ Someone whose feelings you spare/ Someone who, like it or not, Will want you to share A little, a lot.” You were unsympathetic and he is stuck. You are letting each other down. Get some professional counseling. I know a lot of people who are painfully jealous of your bad marriage. Work on it!

Strictly Classified says: Contact an attorney and a marriage counselor, not necessarily in that order.

Dining Out says: What your husband’s going through is what we Westerners call a midlife crisis (garnished with a hint of depression and melancholia). He’s obviously having a career setback and you’re taking it personally because it is negatively effecting you and your marriage. Now that you’ve snapped on him and recognized you’re treading in rough marital waters, stop taking his unhappiness personally because you did not cause this. If you love him and want to stay married, you can forgive him for disappearing, you should help him get counseling and try to work through this rough patch. If his behavior continues to worsen and you feel it will have a negative impact on you and your children, you should consider a trial of separation and hire an attorney.

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