My husband is a fisherman and will be away during my first pregnancy. He will be gone a total of eight months this year, but usually it is just six on and six off, which I am ok with. However, eight is too much. I feel like I'm nagging if I bring it up or feel like I will drive him away so I just don't talk about itóexcept occasionally throwing it into a conversion saying how he will miss so much of our kids' lives. I try to be nice and compromising, but lately I feel like I am compromising on so much, and although I believe we are very good together I would leave him if it meant not having to feel alone so often. Also, he asked a girl to hang out with him and his friends while he was away last yearóan exóand although he said it was only as friends, I can't kick the feeling that he stepped out of our marriage and now I have severe anxiety about it. Now, I don't want to leave him, but I would and I think he takes that for granted. How do I talk to him about the first situation without cornering him or nagging and what do I do to begin trusting him again without the anxieties and let him know this behavior won't be tolerated? Thank you so much for any help you can give.
Many people believe that when a woman is pregnant her hormones are raging and therefore, sheís very emotional and irrational. However, I think the situation you describe is a difficult one regardless of the fact that youíre pregnant.
Itís hard to be in a close relationship when the actual time youíre spending together is strained. Certainly, during your pregnancy, itís even more understandable that youíd want your husband available.
You donít indicate whether your spouse was a fisherman prior to your marriage and whether you went into the relationship knowing that his work would keep him from you for such long periods of time. If you did and agreed to do so, itís understandable that heíd expect you would continue to do so. However, heís now increasing the time away and also adding an outside female member to the equation. On the one hand, itís good that heís told you about her; perhaps, she isnít anything more than a friend. But your concerns are valid.
Rather than hinting around or being indirect, I think youíd best be served by addressing this matter straight out. By allowing it to build up in you, itís more likely to come across negatively. You can let him know that though there may be nothing to it, you have concerns. Further, let him know that though you were willing to deal with the situation in the past, the present specifics have made it unacceptable to you now. Try to be matter of fact in your approach and not blaming.
Itís likely that he will object. Thatís why itís important you donít blame him, but remind him you are uncomfortable with the situation given the present circumstances. If you maintain a calm, loving posture, hopefully it will lead to a change in his attitude or at least a compromise you can both agree to.
Karen Sherman, Ph.D., (www.drkarensherman.com) is a practicing psychologist in relationships and lifestyle issues for over 20 years. She offers teleseminars and is the author of "Mindfulness and the Art of Choice: Transform Your Life" and co-author of "Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make it Last." You can sign up for her free monthly newsletter with relationship tips at www.ChoiceRelationships.com