Woman learns she mar­ried so­ciopath

The News-Times - - ADVICE/GAMES - An­nie Lane

Dear An­nie: I lived with my hus­band for 50 years. We met spon­ta­neously, and I moved in with him soon after­ward. He was dif­fer­ent from the norm. He was smart, al­ways out­go­ing and had many great friends. I fell deeply in love. We got mar­ried af­ter a few years to­gether and be­gan to build our ca­reers in busi­nesses, where we both be­came re­spected and suc­cess­ful in our fields. Over those years, we also par­tied ex­ces­sively. We moved be­yond our youth­ful acts and raised a fam­ily. But he never stopped brag­ging about his ear­lier, dan­ger-filled ex­ploits to any­one and every­one. And his sto­ries have grown to new ex­ag­ger­ated ver­sions or down­right lies.

I also painfully dis­cov­ered that he con­sid­ers him­self a ladies’ man, and has been se­cretly win­ing and din­ing other women. I be­came more and more depressed. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I con­fronted him sev­eral times about all of th­ese is­sues and noth­ing ever im­proved.

Through an “aha” mo­ment and re­search, I came to dis­cover that I mar­ried a so­ciopath. I have been try­ing to fix some­one who can­not be fixed. He ig­nores my attempts to im­prove our re­la­tion­ship be­cause he doesn’t care. He’s not wired for it. I am fi­nally work­ing through all of this through ther­apy, par­tic­u­larly mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion. I feel like a new per­son. I’m writ­ing this be­cause the symptoms have been there all along, and I was too busy, tired or ashamed to deal with it un­til now. I found that he may of­ten say and do the right things, but it is all an act and short-lived. I am now mov­ing on with the sec­ond half of my time on this earth!

Breath­ing Free Dear Breath­ing: And I am so happy for you. I ap­pre­ci­ate your shar­ing your story here.

Dear An­nie: I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed by your ad­vice to “Bent But Not Bro­ken in Mis­souri” who started her let­ter: “My hus­band and I moved to an­other state fol­low­ing our re­tire­ments a few years ago. We moved to a re­sort town six hours away from my brother Billy and his wife, Patty.” The writer con­tin­ued to com­plain that fam­ily was not com­ing to see them or visit them with any fre­quency.

I agree with your ad­vice that she should fo­cus on her friends and not on her fam­ily, but she also must see the fin­gers pointed back at her­self. If you choose to move six hours away af­ter re­tire­ment, you should as­sume you’ll be mak­ing fre­quent trips back “home,” if you in­tend to stay in touch with your rel­a­tives there. Your rel­a­tives aren’t re­quired to sud­denly plan va­ca­tions around you simply be­cause you and yours de­cide to move to a new lo­ca­tion af­ter re­tire­ment.

I sug­gest that be­fore those who move away be­come up­set with rel­a­tives who stayed home, they start mak­ing plans to re­turn to their roots to keep the re­la­tion­ships in­tact. Goes Both Ways

Dear Goes Both Ways: You make a fair point. Thanks for of­fer­ing an­other per­spec­tive.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com. To find out more about An­nie Lane and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate colum­nists and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www.cre­ators.com.

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