Ask Amy 8-31-14

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Aug 31, 2014
Dear Amy: I am 75 years old and very sad. I have been married for 39 years. It has been very rocky. My wife is very likely bipolar and has serious anxiety and anger issues. She refuses to get medical help. I have had to call the police twice.

She has been verbally abusive and has hit me. I have tried to love her, but she is just impossible.

We have a 1-year-old grandson, and during his visit with us she screamed at me, totally out of control. She flies off the handle if I do anything without her permission.

We are each very comfortable financially, but in 39 years I have borne ALL household expenses, and she has saved every penny of her substantial income. She tracks my money.

I often tell myself that I am the biggest fool. Some of my closest friends have told me to get out. I suppose you will tell me the same, but I find it very difficult after 39 years. How should I proceed? Every time I seriously show her I am about to leave, she starts telling me she loves me and cannot do without me.

My daughters have given up on me and do not want to hear my problems anymore. They say I should just up and leave. Disheartened

Dear Disheartened: You are being verbally and physically abused. Your wife is controlling your movements and policing your money. Every time you seem ready to leave, she manipulates you into staying. Your friends and your daughters have urged you to get out.

Please seek professional help immediately. Your marriage has already stolen your sense of well-being; this relationship is bad for your mental, emotional and physical health. It is also bad for your baby grandson. Imagine the impact of witnessing his grandmother screaming at you. Protect him from this by separating.

Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline ( ) at 800-799-7233. A phone counselor can help guide you through the process of safely leaving this relationship. A concerned friend and/or your daughters can also help. The way to get help is to ask for it: "I want to leave. Please help me do this."

Dear Amy: I've been dating a woman for the last two years. Within the first three months of dating, I caught her texting an ex-boyfriend in a very flirtatious way. She promised to stop and guaranteed she would tell him not to contact her.

We decided to move in together. When I expressed my reservations about her past indiscretion, she assured me I had nothing to worry about. I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Months into living together, I discovered that emails and texts had continued. At this point, she said she couldn't promise anything and that their relationship was strictly platonic.

Again, I let it slide, as we were locked in to a lease.

She never resolved anything and refused to acknowledge the pain it caused me. Her way of dealing was to get defensive and leave the room.

My weakness and stupidity allowed me to sweep the whole incident under the rug. I've since discovered that the correspondence continues, and whenever she does anything without me, she seems to visit the area of town where this man lives.

My head tells me to leave now. I sacrificed a lot to be with her, and I've gotten absolutely no measure of compromise and understanding.

What do you think? Upset

Dear Upset: I think you know what you want to do and what you need to do. And now I think you should do it.

Dear Amy: More feedback on the issue presented by "B," who asked about an extreme age difference between partners.

I have a friend who is my age (67). About 10 years ago he married a 20-year-old. They are still married and happy. I haven't seen them in years, but he tells me she is smart and has gone back to school. Age is really just a number. Sanford

Dear Sanford: Age is just a number, but an extreme age difference can present extreme challenges.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Aug 31, 2014
deja vu. I think you meant to post this letter

DEAR AMY: My mother and I agreed on a day and time to chat each week. I work during the week, and mom has been retired for many years and is living alone.

She places the highest priority on her home, playing bridge and her selected TV viewing.

We decided on a specific time Saturday morning to talk. Unfortunately, mom answers her phone maybe 30 percent of the time when I call.

Later Saturday or Sunday, mom will leave the "politically correct" response, such as "I miss you and am looking forward to your call later." She sounds genuinely hurt and concerned to have missed my call. I worry about mom because I live many miles away with my husband and son.

What I find most upsetting, however, is the litany of reasons why mom wasn't able to come to the phone, such as: "There was a worker at my home, and you know you can't reschedule that" or, best yet, "I needed to trim my roses early this morning."

Our 30- to 45-minute conversations (when they do occur) are friendly and valuable, but I'm now setting limits and refusing to call her back until the next week. I feel guilty, but I wonder if I'll miss mom when she is gone. I've always enjoyed the fantasy that my mother loves me more than her actions prove.-- Tormented in Tucson

DEAR TORMENTED: There could be a practical reason why she isn't picking up the phone, such as she isn't hearing the ringer every time it rings. She might also be having some memory or other cognitive issue that interferes with her ability to attend to this scheduled call.

Also, and just as likely, maybe your mother doesn't really have much to talk to you about, and so she would rather play phone tag than converse. Or she has something fairly monumental to tell you but is avoiding it.

This is annoying, for sure, and you should ask her if another time would be better than the time you agreed on. You should also stop taking this as an indictment of your relationship. You have placed such a high value on this weekly call that it creates a pressurized situation for both of you.

I hope you will visit with your mother in person soon. Spending time together could revive your relationship -- and you could explore other technology that might assist your communications.

DEAR AMY: I have had a girlfriend I've known for 34 years. We used to party together. We kicked up our heels, but over 34 years people change. I guess I changed too much.

You see, I'm a recovering alcoholic. I've been sober since 1996. My friend, on the other hand, continues to consume alcohol on a daily basis.

We had a falling-out two years ago when I asked her not to call me while drunk. I wrote her a letter, really explaining to her how I felt about our situation. I haven't heard from her since. I have left messages, requesting communication with her -- nothing.

If I had known we would never speak again, I would not have done this. It has become almost childish now, and I'm looking for resolution.

I'm having a hard time understanding how she could just throw 33 years of friendship out the window. I wonder, did she ever respect me?-- Requesting Respect

DEAR REQUESTING: If your friend is drinking, the answer is simple: Her alcoholism is running the show.

It is foolish to try to apply logic to a situation like this or to take it personally. If you attend 12-step meetings, this would be something to seek support for among fellow recovering alcoholics. Your biggest job now is to attend to your own grief over what is a significant loss for you.

DEAR AMY: Responding to "B," the 20-year-old girl who was with a 43-year-old guy, I wonder, do you ever think a relationship with a big age gap could work out? You're so prejudiced against this, I had to ask.-- Furious

DEAR FURIOUS: I don't think the age gap is healthy when the younger party is immature and easily dominated, as I thought "B" was.
Bill da Blowhard

Trumbull, CT

#3 Aug 31, 2014
LW 1: Have her locked up

LW 2: Face rality, She's still banging the guy.

LW 3: He's 67, she's 30; it's about money
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#4 Aug 31, 2014
LW1 isn't giving Arizona a bad name nor is LW1's mother. Some possibilities are not only that she
didn't hear the phone, but also that she forgot about the appointed call time, or had a fiend show up and went out with that friend to breakfast. Another update talk, in a calm, respectful tone, would be a good idea.

LW2's girl friend probably simply took goodbye for an answer. LW2 should find some new friends, too.

And, another chorus of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" plays as the rehash brings to mind the
words, "He's young! All right, he's 62, but he's a nice man." Can a new song be sung tomorrow?

Hancock, NY

#5 Aug 31, 2014
1: Oh for heaven's sake. Talk to her about finding another more convenient time to call if you like but don't be surprised if the same thing happens. People cannot predict what is going to happen from day to day. I do think you're overdoing the punishment if you refuse to call her back when she calls to apologize for missing your call. I'm actually surprised that you weren't just a bit worried that something may have happened to her (at least the first missed call or two). Or you could ask her to call you sometimes. It may be though that you are trying to save her some money if you are calling her land line phone.

2: Your friend is annoyed that you aren't as much fun as you used to be when you were drinking. She wants to drink; you don't. It isn't good for you to be around other alcoholics if they aren't trying to quit. Instead, to them, you are as annoying as a religious fanatic trying to convert everyone and that's uncomfortable for an alcoholic who wants to remain as she is. So go find some new friends who will support your new sobriety. And good health to you; you deserve commendation for changing your lifestyle.

3: I have to go along with Amy on this. My sister was 26 when she married her 43 year old husband. She was a meek woman with little self confidence at that age. He was able to control her evey movement and opinion. Sure the marriage lasted over 30 years but it was not a marriage I envied or thought was happy - at least for my sister. It isn't necessarily the age gap but the maturity and values and expectations of the partners. I don't think anyone who is immature is really ready for marriage regardless of his/her age.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Aug 31, 2014
"My daughters have given up on me and do not want to hear my problems anymore."
"Some of my closest friends have told me to get out."
"I suppose you will tell me the same"
"How should I proceed? "

You don't want an answer to this question. You want someone to listen to you whine.

LW2: " I sacrificed a lot to be with her"
Like what? You are not married. You have no kids. You did not mention doing anything stupid like buying a house together. You can walk any time.

Read LW1. That's you in 39 years. Giving your love to a woman who gives nothing back but disrespect. Charter member of the Big Puzzy club

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 31, 2014
LW1: Holy crap! Get the stick out of your ass. Do you REALLY need a schedule to call mom? She obviously does not place the highest priority on making sure she's available at that specific time, which I'm betting was YOUR idea. And she does call you back. Its not like she ignores you. Are you really so above playing a little phone tag every now and then? And damn, 45 minutes? I would not pick up either if I was in the middle of something like dealing with a service man and did not want to get tied up well past the time I would have to close out whatever transaction I had going on with him.

You sound like a self important PITA.

LW2: "I have had a girlfriend I've known for 34 years."
Why do chicks love calling their friends "girlfriends"? I originally thought this was dude talking about his girlfriend.

She's a drunk and does not want to deal with your soberness. It's not about you. Get over yourself.

LW3: What if the older one is the one being dominated? Usually that costs extra.

Erin, TN

#8 Aug 31, 2014
you can never deal with an alcoholic.

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