Tuesday, August 03, 2010

When Grampa Avoids Being a Husband

Does anyone identify with this one? CONNOR'S G-MA IN VIRGINIA wrote in to Dear Abby:

Our daughter gave birth to an adorable little boy three years ago.

We love "Connor" dearly, but my husband is obsessed with him. He wants our grandson at our house every weekend from the time we are done working on Friday until Sunday evening or Monday morning.

My husband wants to take Connor everywhere we go.
You didn't mention a son. You mention "chidren" in the letter, but perhaps you meant "daughters"? If you didn't havea son, it is entirely possible that your husband regrets not having one, and so he treats his grandson like a son. Being a parent of children of both sexes, there is a difference. A daughter is not loved any less by a father, but the father is going to have different kind of bond with a son. You also didn't mention a son-in-law. If there is no steady father in Connor's life, his grandfather might be trying to be that role model.

Abby, I love my grandson, but after raising our own children, I'd now like to focus on our lives and maybe have time for myself.
That brings me to the other possibility here. Your husband doesn't want to spend a lot of time alone with you. Did you have much time together when you married before having your daughter? Has career kept him occupied most of this time? Sometimes, people get to this point in life - after the excitement of dating, a rush to get married becaue of a pregnancy, and the consuming routing of rasing children - and realize that they don't (or no longer) feel like they have common interests with their partners, or don't want to rely on their partner to fill their days. It could be no fault of your own, other than not ensuring you regularly had time alone together over the years. Or, if you've been difficult, he may not want to suffer you.

Most men, even at that age, want more time alone with their partner-in-lovemaking. Does he have health problems that inhibit sexual function? Does he have an unenthusiastic partner?

Dear Abby wrote:

You deserve time for yourself, so TAKE it. If your husband won't cooperate, schedule activities with some of your women friends. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into being an unwilling baby sitter because it isn't healthy for any of you.
I agree completely, but that only deals with part of the problem. It doesn't solve the aspect of what to do when she wants time alone with her husband.

What's your take?

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