Q. After 17 years of what both of us consider a successful relationship, we're getting bored with each other. We have no major disagreements, but we have thought of divorce. Should we consider looking for new relationships?
A. The fact that neither of you has gone forward with the divorce indicates that you remain committed and your marriage is worth saving. Important factors to consider are whether you have children, and if so, what needs they may have. Family is forever — they will remain family no mater what steps you take.
No relationship is perfect, and it's worth taking a look at what you have. Ask yourself the important questions:
Are you good partners?
Do your photos and memories prove how much you have loved each other and shared with each other?
Does having someone to care about and enjoy for the remainder of your life justify remaining together?
When you got married, did you accept the commitment for a lifetime?
Have all the good times been worth the energy and effort you have put into them?
Take a hard and realistic overview of who and where you hope to be in your future.
Could taking a two-week vacation and revisiting your happiness rejuvenate your relationship and put you back on track?
Renew your commitments. Agree to be more thoughtful, caring and loving to each other. Be grateful; think about how lucky and fortunate you are! This may be the answer you need. — Doug
HELP WITH HEARING
Q: Something has happened to me recently. It happens to the best of us, but I haven't wanted to accept it for myself. I'm losing my hearing.
It has been getting steadily worse for quite awhile, but I've recently noticed that it's having a huge impact on my life. I've been using hearing aids for several years, but they just aren't as effective as I'd like, and it can be irritating to adjust them properly.
What do you suggest I do to stay in touch with the world around me?
A: It's very isolating to lose any of the senses, but aging makes it unavoidable. Instead of denying the change, it's best to accept your new limitations and learn to adjust.
Unfortunately, hearing loss can also isolate us from our friends and loved ones, as it makes communication much harder. Share your situation with others, and they will want to help you.
There are some things you can do to help you understand others. The most important one is to look directly at the person talking to you and ask them to enunciate if you're having trouble understanding. Most of us have a slight unconscious ability to read people's lips. Doing so could help you be less confused.
On a positive note, one of the benefits of old age is the ability to tune people out when necessary. It could be thoroughly enjoyable to practice your selective hearing. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.