Monday, April 12, 2021

ASK AMY: A long-married couple is walking in circles

ASK AMY: A long-married couple is walking in circles

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I’m not perfect, but God, I can’t talk to him.

It’s like we’re stuck in a pattern: we fight and then make up, over and over.

Is this normal?

— Lovelorn

Dear Lovelorn: I seem to remember an advertisement from back in the day that used this catchphrase: “Normal is what’s normal for you.”

So yes, this pattern of anger, disrespect, unmet needs, and ending your walks alone is your normal. No doubt other couples interact in similar ways.

Applying a “normal” framework to relationships might slap an “abnormal” label on those relationships that are weird, wacky, challenging, unusual – but happily functioning, anyway. Yours is not. How do I know this? Because you said so.

You and your husband are cycling in a toxic loop. That is your unfortunate norm, and you should try mightily to change the norm, by engaging a professional couple’s therapist and making heroic efforts along with your husband to engage with one another in a more positive and peaceful way.

And, if that doesn’t work, you should take the long view, asking yourself, “Is this what I want for the rest of my life?”

In the future, do you want to look back and say to yourself, “I stayed in a mismatched and unhappy marriage because, well, it was easier?”

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Dear Amy: I am in a house with my mother, two dogs, my rabbit, and my sister.

Since quarantine started, arguments have gone up, and sometimes they are caused by petty things.

We never get physical, but the constant arguing is getting to me and my family.

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