July 23, 2024
I know I will resent it if I let him take away one of the joys of my life.

Dear Amy: I was in a 13-year marriage that was quite lonely and without intimacy, but I filled those lonely moments with travel and adventure.

I finally pulled the plug after over a decade of trying to fix our broken relationship.

Enter “New Guy.”

We met last year and hit it off like dynamite. He’s smart, stable, attentive, and loves me.

He was attracted to me because of my free spirit, confidence, drive and intelligence.

I am self-employed, financially very stable, and chose my profession so I could incorporate travel into my life.

He is inspired by my travels and wants the same for himself – but he is an engineer and gets only two weeks off every year.

He proposed marriage and I accepted, but now I’m seeing red flags.

I have some opportunities for business travel that appear “fun” and maybe even “opulent,” but he doesn’t want me doing the “fun” things if he can’t go with me.

He makes me feel terrible if I want to go without him and takes it personally that he is “left out.”

He has traveled to many wonderful places for his job, but he sees my travel as if I’m vacationing without him.

I can’t compromise something that is so much a part of me and be limited to only two weeks every year in a fashion that fits his schedule.

He has a teenager at home and parents he wants to see who live out of state, so it’s already a very dialed-down version of how I live.

I don’t want to blow the best relationship of my life, but I will end up very resentful if I have to give up a big part of who I am for someone else. I never want to do that again.

How do I navigate this?

– Wanderlusting Woman

Dear Wanderlusting: Years ago, just after I got (re)married, my new husband told me that he wanted to run for local office. This would involve many nights campaigning and attending meetings, leaving me quite literally holding the bag in our household.

I was completely opposed to his doing this, and told him so.

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It took me some time to realize that this was how the very good man I’d married carried his light.

And so I came around and embraced his ambition. (He has also supported my many experiences being on the road, sometimes going to “fun” places without him.)

My point is that ideally you enter a second marriage knowing who you are, and with the determination to support and enable one another’s choice to live your best lives, both separately and together.

If he can’t be happy with you being on the road, and you can’t be happy being at home with him, then perhaps you should take marriage off the table for now and continue to enjoy the relationship as it is.

Dear Amy: Thirty-eight years ago, I conceived our son via sperm donation from a medical student, due to my husband’s infertility.

This took place in a doctor’s clinic.

Unfortunately, I told my three sisters at the time – but otherwise it’s been “the secret of our bedroom.”

Our boy is now a man and he mentioned to us that his first cousin on my husband’s side of the family had his DNA tested for fun.

Should we tell him about the details of his conception? I’m afraid he might innocently find out by another means.

Please tell us what you think regarding this delicate manner.

– Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: Yes, you should definitely tell your son about his DNA parentage.

He has the right to know, and it is far, far better for him to learn this from you, versus another source.

I think it would help if you saw this as less of a “delicate matter” or “secret of the bedroom,” and more like an option you were privileged to make 38 years ago, which enabled you to build your family.

Many donor-conceived people are discovering their DNA heritage – and one another – through various registries. You should support your son through this entire process.

Dear Amy: “Desperate Phone Hostage” wondered how to get long-winded people off the phone.

I remember reading Erma Bombeck, or was it Peg Bracken, writing that a way to end a long one-sided phone call is to ring your doorbell and say, “My doorbell is ringing; I have to go!”

– Mary, in Seattle

Dear Mary: This clever technique also turned up in various episodes of “Frasier.”

I may have to get a doorbell installed.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

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