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People need offline friends too
March 15, 2002
2:53 pm
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Allan
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September 29, 2010
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I started online way back in '92 when AOL was a place you could actually make friends and meet them in THE Lobby on a Sunday afternoon. I was caught up in the newness of the whole "virtual friend" thing and it drove my wife nuts because I was ignoring her. Actually, the girls (women) I'd chatted with helped save my marriage then. I was upset because we were having our fourth child and I felt that she got pregnant on purpose. They opened my one-sided mind to the female point of view. We exchanged advice and ended up helping each other's relationships. Nothing more than friends, no cybersex or anything weird or perverted (for a married man anyway) I still email a few friends from back then and see a couple of the guys once or twice a year.
Time flies when you're having kids. Fast forward to 2002. Now I own a computer shop where I work nights and weekends since 1993 in addition to the full time day job thing (four kids don't get any less expensive), and she works online basically managing relationship message boards. (how ironic)It's an emotionally frustrating job since she reads all posts and responds where appropriate. She’s a wonderful lady who tolerates a lot but she has no real offline friends anymore. (only totally dysfunctional clingy types who only dump more emotional baggage on her and won't hear her out) She seems jealous that I have both online and offline friends and says that I shouldn't go anywhere or do anything without her. Is it her insecurity or distrust of me? I don't think I do anything to violate her trust. I work hard and long hours (13-14 hrs a day) and go out for less than one hour once or twice a week to the pub we both go to and have one, maybe two beers, yack with the guys and go home. She's convinced I have a woman on the side. I need advice on how I can get her to find an activity she can throw herself into emotionally to give her back some joy in her life. She may be affected by SAD since it seems like this only happens in late winter, but it seems like every year. I can't say anything to her directly about it and I'm learning not to point fingers anymore. I don't claim to be perfect. Maybe an activity we both could do together? We just passed our 20 yr anniversary in January and it was a major disappointment for both of us. We've been emotionally detached for too long and only seem to have fun when we go out and get trashed, (sex is the same way, semiconscious) but that's no fun in the long run. I love her dearly and I know she loves me too. Our main problem is the lack of honest communication and "assuming" what the other meant instead of really knowing. Arguments are based on these assumptions and seem to go on way too long. I forgive too fast, she stays mad too long. I lose my temper too easily and then act like nothing happened and expect her to forget hurtful words or actions (or vice-versa). This just feeds the whole problem. I want to talk to a counselor about it but have no idea who to talk to. Men are supposed to be "strong" and independent but only after things are at the brink of collapse, we actually think with the right head. I think I'd feel more comfortable talking to a woman counselor. Any thoughts on this? She went to counseling four years ago after both her parents passed away within three years of each other and was diagnosed with deep depression. They pumped her with every known pill out there and a couple of them had her blood levels so messed up that she almost killed me a couple of times. She's off all the meds now but she seems to be having trouble dealing with it internally. She mainly keeps to herself but lashes out a lot at the kids, threatens me with divorce, etc. What to do? I know it's not just her. I am equally to blame but don't know what to do.

March 18, 2002
9:38 pm
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Molly
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September 30, 2010
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She sounds out of balance to me, 4 kids, a hubby with two jobs, and she works too ? All work and no play makes Jane cranky. Period. Yes something that you two could do together, what about a social service group, where she can meet some other women, couples things ? Its easy to go wacko when your out of balance, a club membership, where you can both go work out, she can tan, the kids get watched ? It is much harder for a married woman to go out and meet people, and well lets face it the women in the PTA, aren't the best of friends. Just kidding.

March 23, 2002
3:21 pm
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cinder
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September 24, 2010
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Would she consider joint counseling? Losing 2 parents makes you realize your own imortality. You start to question who you are, where you are going, and are you just defined within the dynamics of your immediate family. Ergo, resentment. She is obviously not taking care of her own needs or maybe just isn't sure at this point what her needs are or how she is going to get them met.Maybe she just can't be bothered. We lose interest in ourselves Get caught up in mediocrity. Molly's right something new and exciting that you can do together would be helpful.

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