“Dear Dr. Kim,
Before we got married a year ago, my husband-to-be told me that after we got married, he would give up almost everything he did as a bachelor, except one thing: his Sunday morning fishing down at the lake near our house. He leaves before dawn (alone) without waking me up, and is back by about 11am before the weather gets too hot. Every Sunday. It’s starting to bug me; it’s like he wants to get away from me every week. He says it’s his chance to clear his head. I think he’s being selfish. I thought he would change after we got married, but he hasn’t. What should I do?”
—Fishing Widow, Northern Michigan
Let me be perfectly blunt, here. You said, “I thought he would change,” which is complete bullshit. What you’re really saying is, ”I thought I could change him,” and you couldn’t. He said he wanted his time alone to clear his head, and he does. More to the point, you agreed to let him have that time alone, and now you want to renege on the deal? Either you didn’t think it was going to be important, and that he’d quit eventually, or you were being dishonest and thought you could get him to stop. Well, he’s not going to stop, and you agreed to the arrangement.
My advice: suck it up, get up early with him, make him a flask of coffee to take along, and give him a loving good-bye kiss. If his time alone is that important to him – and quite frankly, I don’t think a couple hours’ solitude on a Sunday morning is excessive – then take him at his word. Which is what you should have done anyway, before you got married.