Advice: Making It Work

One-Sided Deal

I'm in a one-sided marriage. My husband wants to spend his free time with his friends. The problem is, I only want him and he wants everything else. Do I just try to enjoy the next couple of years and hope he will change or do I start making plans to leave?

Neither. Divorce won't automatically bring you happiness; it will just make your life harder. Instead, start developing some of your own interests. Most important, that will bring you both pleasure and friends, and you'll have a much better time in life. Your son will have a resident father. And it may just turn your husband's head around to wonder what you are up to and why you don't need him so constantly. That's the time to negotiate for some shared time.

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Hot and Cold

My husband is constantly putting me down. One minute he acts like he loves me to death, the next minute he acts like he hates me.

The course of true love never runs smooth, but it sounds like your husband is troubled by something internal to him. Often because they are less emotionally attuned than women—I know that's a sweeping generalization, but it's one that is borne out by a great deal of research—guys often wind up taking their internal conflicts out on those around them. Don't react to the content of his criticism. Find a quiet time to tell him that you know him to be a loving person, that you've been listening to all this talk and you wonder what's really on his mind. He may be looking for just this opportunity to unburden himself.

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