Questions and Answers

Lost in America and dating men who sleep with other women. Details on exercise and infidelity. Question and Answers with Hara Marano. BB15

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on December 1, 2002 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

Q and A with Hara Marano

 

 

Depressed and Homesick

I have lived in USA for just three months and put on almost
15 pounds. I am depressed and homesick for England, where I was a
departmental head in a big school and had an active social life. I
married in July and had looked forward to coming here with my daughter
aged 11. As I have no visa yet, I am not working and spend most of my
time alone. The sniper business shocked me to the core and made me even
more homesick. How can I get out of this spiral of overeating for
comfort? My husband thinks I am making excuses not to be successful in
life (I am a writer) and our relationship is in trouble as I don't feel
attractive anymore and don't want to have sex.

Elizabeth

Adjusting to another culture takes time, but you have the added
burden of instant change from active professional to invisibility. Hurrah
for recognizing that overeating is an attempt at easy comfort-but only
subverts your already challenged identity. Start reorganizing your sense
of self by envisioning the life you hope to have and outlining the steps
you need to achieve it. You have the power to create it, although that
can be a scary prospect. Begin small, with a daily exercise program,
perhaps a two-mile walk outdoors. That will energize you, make you more
comfortable with your new surroundings and help you feel good about doing
things for yourself. As for your new husband, consider the possibility
that he may be upset by his own powerlessness to cure your unhappiness, a
possibility neither of you planned for. Be kind to each other.

Other Women

I am a well-educated professional in my early 30's. My
friends think I am loving, intelligent and attractive. I have been in a
serious relationship for over four years, living with my boyfriend for
over three years. He is nearing 50, well-established and travels
frequently for business. In the beginning of our relationship, we often
talked about marriage and family, but as he became more well-off he
also changed. I discovered during the past six months that he sleeps
with other women in other cities. When confronted, he told me these
women do not mean anything to him, he merely likes the physical
pleasure. Worse, he does not see anything wrong morally with sleeping
around. I am hurt and depressed, having invested four years of my life,
love and monies in this relationship. I am dependent on him now as I
just started my own business.) What can I do to make a difference in my
situation?

No name.

You have good reason to feel hurt and depressed about your
relationship to a man who by virtue of his financial success or your
dependence suddenly feels entitled to be warmly welcomed in every port.
Sleeping around is not in anyone's definition of a good relationship.
It's also a pure abuse of power, a really bad sign of character and a
worse signal about what may lie ahead. Even if he feels threatened or
abandoned by the attention you are devoting to your new business, that's
cause for joint discussion, not extracurricular sexual activity. As for
the monies you have invested in the relationship, now is the time to
kindly ask for them back; use them to support yourself while you build
your own business. In making you less dependent, such actions will help
you feel like you are investing in yourself and a successful future that
respects your emotional needs and moral standards.