“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.
So, getting up before the sun, back by 11, he gone like maybe 6 hours a week, some of which you don’t notice because you’re asleep.
It’s women like you that I truly appreciate.
Makes mine look so good.
Two things come to mind in response to this missive. The first is the classic Brad Paisley song, I’m Gonna Miss Her.
The second is this joke: One Saturday morning he gets up early, dresses quietly, gets his lunch made. Coming out – the rain is pouring down, the snow and sleet mixed in with the rain. The wind is blowing at over 50 mph.
Minutes later he comes back into the house, quietly undresses and slips back into bed. There he cuddles up to his wife’s back, now with a different anticipation and whispers, “The weather out there is terrible”.
To which she sleepily replies, “Yeah, can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in it?”
Makes me appreciate Mrs D all the more.
When we got married her married friends starting giving her advice on how to change me. Her reply was “Why would I want to change him, I married him for who is IS!”.
Sure, there have been adjustments, like me doing a better job of cleaning up whiskers after I trim my beard or wiping up the toothpaste splatter, because it bothers her more than me. That’s just courtesy. She understands that Sunday during football season for me means I watch football, I only watch one game (for “my” team). I don’t mind recording it and watching after the fact (in fact I prefer it, I can skip commercials). During warmer weather I catch a few hours of fishing on Saturday or Sunday if the weather is good and I’ve nothing pressing to do.
Likewise, she doesn’t drag me shopping unless it’s for me or something for the house, for clothes shopping she either goes alone or with one of her girlfriends.
What a surprisingly polite response.
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