Different Priorities in Retirement
Dear Annie: My husband and I have just retired, and I'm beginning to worry about our personality differences.
We live in the same town as our children and grandchildren. I love to help out with baby-sitting and carpooling. I love my children and grandchildren and enjoy being a part of their lives. I have friends who like to meet for lunch and club meetings, and I volunteer some, too. In short, I keep busy.
My husband doesn't have anything much to do or many friends. And he doesn't seem as into being a grandparent as I am. He never misses the grandkids when we are away traveling. He's grumpy.
I think that being a grandparent is an important part of grandchildren's lives. Plus it's such a blessing to be with them. I want them to know we love them and care about them.
I have hinted at all of these feelings a thousand times to my husband, but he just doesn't get it. I'm losing hope. The grandkids may look back one day and remember his lack of affection and interest. Is there anything I can do? -- Personality Problems
Dear Personality Problems: One plainspoken truth is worth a thousand hints. Talk to your husband about how you're feeling. Explain to him why you love to spend time with the grandchildren and that you want to be a team with him, and say it's hard to be a team unless you both commit. You can start small, asking him to pick one day a week when together you will focus on the grandchildren for some part of the day. Encourage his participation by focusing on what he does do instead of what he doesn't.
Dear Annie: "Susannah" and I have been friends on and off for over 30 years. She lives in a town that is approximately 75 miles from where I live. The problem is I am tired of being the one who keeps in touch. The most recent time I complained via email about that, she admitted that she had been "negligent," and I agreed. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from her in two months. Should I continue to keep the friendship going or let it die? -- Friendship Is a Two-Way Street
Dear Friendship Is a Two-Way Street: Your signature says it all: Friendship is a two-way street, and your lane is looking worse for wear. Allow some distance to grow between you and her and see what she does to traverse it. If six months or a year from now she contacts you, let your heart tell you whether it wants to open up to her. Don't ignore her out of pride or as a punishment. Thirty years of friendship can't be cast aside hastily.
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