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My wife of 15 years wants a divorce and I don't. What can I do?

Dear Biblitz,

My wife dropped a bomb on me this week. Saying that she is not passionate about me anymore and hasn't been for some time now. She also stated that she needed time to be own her own. We have been together for 17 years. She claims that she never felt life without a partner and wants to see how that goes. We have two children 8 and 15 and this would just kill them if we split again. Yes, I said again. We were divorced for about two years and then remarried in 2006. We have come so far in the 17 years that we've been together just to through it all away now. She wants me to leave the house while she rediscovers herself, but she wants to maintain the same lifestyle. I can't afford to keep the up two separate places and give my children the same the luxuries. I'm thinking if she wants to be the one to find herself shouldn't she be the one to leave the house? I'm willing to do anything to keep my family together. Anything but leave. Help!


Biblitz replies:

This is pretty tough stuff, even for Biblitz, I'm afraid. Married turtledoves must be liberators and not jailiers. Time to put those superior negotiating skills you've acquired in the years together to the test! See Biblitz on Manacles, er, I mean Marriage for starting tips.

Assure her of your confidence that you'll come up with an amicable solution to what ails her and that for the time being, you'd be fine taking a breather from sex. There's really no point without true intimacy so let it go for awhile. When she recovers from the shock, ask if there are any domestic duties and obligations you might undertake to allow her more oppty to pursue her hopes and dreams. While you're at it, ask her quietly what those might be. Might you assist in some small way? Your mission here is to listen and show her that she's important enough a participant in the equation to re-set the relationship's parameters to meet the changes one undergoes in the course of a long and wearying life.

If you feel broadsided by her sentiments, listen carefully and ask a lot of questions. Apologize, if you can summon your higher self, for not responding previously to signals. All this hot, weary working for a living makes many of us rather fatheaded and inclined to expect rather an excess of quiet service from women. She's probably quite right to want to bolt. Wouldn't you in her circs?

If she sees that you'll be supportive of her desire to return to school/career, she's more likely to see you as a pal rather than a somewhat untidy and demanding boss. If this happens, you'll be able in time to create occasions of intimacy in which you may very well find one another again. You must first, though, be willing to hear about her hopes and dreams for a future without you in it.

Stiff upper lip.

TinyTeaman

How can I fix things?

I lost the love of my life, I am CRUSH, she won't talk to me, I can't fix things? You never know what you got until it's gone. It's sad but true, you don't I'm never going to find that again, she said clearly, we could just be friends and that she's moved on. I can't fix it, I can't move on because I won't find that again; and i'm getting too old to try and keep looking anyways. I just wonder if any girl has any advice. What could I say to her. Or how could I ever move on after this?

Biblitz replies:

Steady on, old horse. Examine in depth and at length possibly with a professional what led to the break-up. Have you acquired a destructive pattern or two in relationships that needs some work? If so, you'll never do it younger and, as you seem to know, without enlightenment, love may once again pass you by. At the very least, you'll learn to identify what it was that made this particular love so special. If so, you'll be able to tell her and thank her for showing you. She may faint, of course. Few men ever make it that far. If you do, she'll be flattered by the amt of effort you made to understand the relationship. This sort of thing is hard-core porn to most women and she might just reconsider. If not, at least you'll have a better idea of the qualities you most admire in a mate. From there, it's a matter of spotting them in their native habitat, so to speak.

couple

An especially attractive young couple of the Biblitz forebears effecting a youthful version of the sort of earnest and occasionally grim resolve required to withstand the slings and arrows of What Was To Come not only in marriage but life itself, which is, in case you're still wondering, not for pleasure alone.

Sing along with Al Jolson to the Anniversary Song (Waves of the Danube originally) ...

Love in a Cold Climate

DVD

Based on the excellent novel by Nancy Mitford featuring a single parent known affectionately in the family as The Bolter, an especially attractive flower of a female, who offers herself to a series of earnest bees but only briefly while leaving her estranged daughter in the care of a delightful household. Keep your eye on the bloody-ended entrenching tool over the fireplace!