Work obsessed partners need not apply
Q. I’ve been dating a woman for eight months; we’re both early 40s, both divorced with no children.
We connected immediately, sex is often great, but my girlfriend’s a workaholic and our dating life soon became a once-a-week night together with sleepover.
I understand that she’s new in a job of great responsibility, and it’s something she’s worked toward through her whole career. But so, too, we’ve both wanted a great relationship, and I can’t understand why she doesn’t at least express more emotion about ours.
I couldn’t get her to commit to any celebration of our first New Year’s Eve together other than to order in some good food and go to sleep immediately after midnight. She went to her office the next morning even though it was a company holiday.
Since then, there’s been little time together, with some good moments but a lot of focus on her needs regarding either work time or rest. When she snapped at me that she was giving me all the time she had to give, the light bulb went on.
I said I’d hoped for a future together but she won’t even talk about it. She said she’s too busy and not ready to decide that I’m the one. I said goodbye. I feel empty and sad. Am I wrong to believe that she was only interested in me as “down time” from her work, which is her only true love?
A. Walking away was your only choice.
Eight months is long enough to know whether someone’s connected to you beyond the comfortable and convenient. Even when sex is great, if there are no reciprocated emotional feelings besides your own, a relationship becomes lonely.
Work is her main self-image. If it’s going well, she’s doing well. If not, she’s driven to get back to it, no matter her other commitments. More significant, she has no view of a future together.
You gave enough of yourself. Take time to heal, and then move on.
Q. My husband and I have three adult children. He scolded our daughter when she was 10; she dialed 911 and hung up.
She started verbally abusing me when she was 14. I told her to stop, but my husband said nothing. She was rude to each of her brother’s girlfriends and told me not to speak to them.
Later, when she returned home at night, if things hadn’t gone her way, she’d stomp through the house waking me and sometimes her brother. My husband said nothing.
When she wanted something she’d whisper to her dad. She said I’d never be invited to her wedding. She threatened to hit me. I finally kicked her out. She said through her dad, that I’d never see her again.
Now he meets her for coffee, won’t relay any message from me, won’t tell me what they talk about or how she is. She doesn’t respond to my emails.
A. Both you and your daughter missed out. She was an angry child who needed help. But her father’s indulgence of her behaviour sabotaged any simple corrections you tried.
You three needed family therapy regarding her personality needs and how to respond together, not divided. You’d still benefit personally from counselling about how to change what you can.
Q. I’m a very busy teenager who everyday has lack of time, and worries about it. I want to manage my time, and be able to just relax with my parents and little sister. But my every attempt to change fails. My homework is time-consuming and my extracurricular activities, too.
Maybe it’s lack of concentration. What should I do to be more focused, or when I’m feeling insecure and worried?
A. You’re doing too much, and it’s making you anxious. Sit down with one or both parents and discuss your extracurricular activities, in order of importance to you and your well being.