Communicate Through Challenges

By Annie Lane

January 25, 2021 4 min read

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together since 2008 and married since 2011. We slept in the same bed, held hands and talked about everything in the beginning. Then, in 2013, he got a job in Iowa. I stayed home until my youngest went to college.

I joined him in September 2014. He wasn't the same man I fell in love with and married. Remember, I said we talked about everything. But he doesn't communicate with me anymore.

He's not cheating; he has never been a guy who would cheat on his significant other. His "friends" know more about him, his current issues and everything else long before I do. I want my best friend and husband back. It seems like he goes out of his way to be anywhere but with me. — Missing the Way It Was

Dear Missing: Your husband is still the same man, but it sounds as if he might be depressed. He could be angry or resentful toward you for not moving with him right when he got the job. Although this is not logical and staying with your son until he went to college was the right thing to do, he might need to express his feelings. The first step to help him is to communicate with him, but if he won't communicate with you, you have to seek the help of a professional therapist. There, you can get to the bottom of your changed relationship and get your best friend back. Marriage takes work, and the best kind of work is communication. Best of luck.

Dear Annie: Here is the issue: A couple we are close to — and played cards with weekly before the quarantine — wants to start playing cards again. We do not want to do so because all of us are in our late 60s with chronic health issues. The two of us feel that playing cards together could cause additional problems if we were to acquire COVID-19.

We are trying to be safe and believe that all of us handling the cards is not a smart idea. The other couple does not feel that way and cannot understand why we don't want to play. We have gotten to the point where it is placing some strain on our relationship. I know that they read your column, so could you please offer some advice? — Quarantined and Stressed

Dear Quarantined and Stressed: Keep up the good work. You are correct to be cautious during this time, especially since you both have chronic health issues. Explain to your friends that it is not them who you don't want to see — it's the virus you don't want to see.

Try and remember that this is temporary and you will hopefully be playing cards together very soon. Stay strong. I know it is a challenging time for all of us.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette - is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

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