Dear Wendy: 8/12

I recently started dating my best guy friend at school. We’ve had feelings for each other for months, have been together for about two months now, and are very much in love. I only have one qualm in the relationship, and I’m not even sure I have the right to have it. I’ve been raised with a more traditional view of dating, where the guy pays for dates and sort of “woos” the girl — at least in the beginning. All of the other guys I’ve dated have subscribed to this, and I feel pressure from my family and friends to be in a relationship with these roles. While I’m okay with the guy not paying for everything, I feel like at the beginning of the relationship, at least, the guy should take the girl on dates. But my boyfriend strongly disagrees with this point of view, and whenever we go out, we split everything. I’m okay with this being the norm eventually, but it sort of feels like how we used to go out to dinner and do things when we were just friends. It’s not about me not wanting to spend money; it’s more of a respect/chivalry/tradition thing that I want. Does it seem entitled or wrong that I think maybe he should be taking me out on dates? He’s explicitly expressed his point of view, but I haven’t had the guts to tell him I disagree. Should I bring it up? How could I approach it? — Traditionalist

ghj

I am unhappily married to a police officer who works long hours. I feel like a single parent, working full-time and caring for our child, and have resigned myself to doing a lot of things alone. This has gone on for two years and it’s gotten to the point where we have little to talk about, and I feel lonely and unhappy. I make the best of when he is home, except he will spend hours on his laptop working, and then, right as he gets into bed, he’ll attempt some quality time. I want to make it work but I don’t know if it’ll ever get better. I have asked for marriage counseling but he canclled the second appointment saying there was a work conflict and now, three months later, still hasn’t rescheduled. He says he wants to stay married and doesn’t want a divorce. He is a great father when he’s home, just not a good husband. We have affection for each other, but we’ve lost the connection we once had when we were in love. How do I know if this is just what happens in every marriage? How do I know when it can not be saved? — Tired Wife

What you’re describing is NOT what happens in every marriage, but even if it were, being unhappy isn’t something you just settle for simply because you think it’s normal or what everyone else does. If you you really want to try to make your marriage work, you need marriage counseling. Give your husband an ultimatum: counseling or divorce. His answer will show you where his heart is, and if it isn’t with you and working on your marriage, it’s time for you to talk to a lawyer.