My Husband Spends More Time With Friends

    There is always a winner and a loser

    He left his mobile phone at home and we went out to grab a bite to eat and a movie last night.

    So, while I was making calls, he was talking to his friends in the car.

    He spent the whole night with his friends and spent his Saturday afternoon at one of their friend’s houses without any explanation.

    I have tried to talk to him about this many times but he refuses to change.

    He did it once when we were newly married and he promised never to do it again but he has now been doing it for years.

    He says it is normal for married couples to spend time with their friends.

    Please advise me on how to get my husband to start treating me the way I deserve to be treated.

    I think it is wrong of him to take time from our daughter’s life to hang out with his friends.

    I don’t understand why he chooses to be friends with my friend instead of my husband.

    Please advise.

    Anonymous

    Playing guitars on the beach at dusk

    Dear Anonymous,

    When you first came across my column, I was worried that readers might think that I am advising a place of condemnation.

    Because I haven’t. In fact, I’m the same guy you’re speaking with right now.

    Because I have a husband who is a phone addict.

    I asked him to take a look at how he is spending his free time and told him that we will be getting a family therapist to address his problem.

    I also told him that he is expected to look after our family’s mental health. I made a promise to myself that if I can get him to choose to make his free time about me, then I will.

    He agreed to be a better husband and made some healthy changes in his life

    But you know what? Even after he took my advice, I’ve seen a glimmer of pride from him.

    He sees himself as a husband who is worth loving, not as a husband who takes the easiest way out of parenting, or, in this case, finding a friend.

    Because that’s exactly what he is doing: choosing an easy way out.

    You may be right to be concerned about your daughter’s relationship with her father.

    I also had to confront my own father about his phone addiction when I was growing up.

    And after much discussion, I had to take away my mom’s phone number from him.

    Because even if he wasn’t deliberately depriving me of my mom, he was failing me as a father in a more obvious way.

    In my father’s defense, I should explain that he was a poor father, which comes with its own issues

    He was very stressed, and working long hours and traveling meant that he had little quality time for me.

    I was especially clingy, and my dad tried to give me time with my mom to take some of the stress off.

    But he was not able to relate to my child-like ways.

    And I couldn’t blame him for that. Because I too had that same experience as a child, and I could relate to that feeling of longing.

    And so, I understood his decision. But I also know that in some way, it wasn’t good for our family.

    And now, as a parent myself, I know that it is not good for my child to have that kind of parent figure.

    My dad’s phone addiction ended up creating a burden for my mother.

    And she had to pick up the extra time and responsibility of keeping me updated.

    And she felt that he should have been more sensitive to the sacrifices she had made for me.

    But I understand you are not looking for a sense of guilt or remorse from your husband because you are not looking for an apology.

    I’m simply trying to point out the kind of mental illness that he suffers from.

    But, if your husband wants to choose a new, healthier path, he will.

    As I’m sure he now understands, his decision was not the easiest one. But it was the right one for his family.

    The question I’d ask him is why he is choosing to ignore his daughter’s need for him

    man in white crew neck t-shirt sitting beside woman in white crew neck t-shirt

    And then I’d ask him how he plans to make things up to her. Because her need for a father is both physical and emotional.

    This has to be a big change for you as well because it is natural for parents to feel hurt when a child doesn’t want to spend time with them.

    I hope that I can help your husband understand the mistakes he has made in this area so that he doesn’t put your daughter through the same problems.

    And hopefully, I can get you and your daughter on a healthier path, too.

    Dear Amy: Last week I helped my elderly mother move to my home in another state.

    We also stayed with a friend for a week while cleaning out her home and deciding what to do with her possessions.

    This lady has a gorgeous home in a lovely part of town. She was born and raised in that house, and it’s filled with memories for her, as well as for us.

    My mother is moving to a smaller apartment, and I think she’s somewhat embarrassed by the fact that we are taking most of her furniture.

    I reassured her that we will treasure and remember all the wonderful times we shared in that house, but she is still embarrassed.

    What are your thoughts?