DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got together with an old friend. As we were talking, I complained about the quality of my marriage — not terribly, but I was honest about what things are like these days.
She reminded me that I had said something almost identical to her more than 20 years ago. That was chilling.
Before I had my child, I was upset about my relationship. Now that my son is going to college, I have to look more closely at what’s left, and I see I have the same thing: an unsatisfying situation.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, about what I’m going to do. Then I think about friends who are single and wishing they could have somebody to spend time with.
I feel like I should try harder to make my marriage work, but I can’t do it by myself. What can I do before I give up entirely?
The End or the Beginning
DEAR THE END OR THE BEGINNING: You have to talk honestly with your husband. Rather than criticizing what isn’t working, talk to him about the opportunities before you as empty-nesters.
What do you want for your life now? Ideally, what activities would you like to do with your husband? Think about it and be prepared to share your ideas with him very clearly and positively.
Resist the temptation to go down a laundry list of all the things he does wrong and how mad or disappointed you are. That will not get you to a positive outcome.