Fix yourself, and your marriage should improve

DEAR AMY: I recently got married to a great guy.

My husband has a few annoying qualities, as do I. I sometimes feel as if he is not interested in me or that something is missing from our new marriage. I feel disconnected from him.

I was in a past relationship that seems to pop into my head quite often! I even feel as if I am still in love with this man.

We went through a very tough situation involving custody over my kids, and he was there for me. Our relationship ended badly, with my having him arrested for domestic violence.

We are still friends and he misses the kids and me as much as we all miss him.


I don’t want to hurt my husband, but I don’t want this empty feeling either.

What should I do? — Nervous Newlywed

DEAR NERVOUS: Your feelings of disconnection and emptiness probably have little to do with your husband — or your awful ex (more on him later) — but with you.

If you have a hole in your life, it is your job to fill it — not with daydreams about your domestically violent ex, but with the answer to the question of who you really are and what you want in life. If you can’t figure out how to start, then a professional counselor could help.

If you are still in love with your ex — knowing everything you know about him — then it’s time to dig deep and figure out what’s going on and how to excise him from your life.

Your fantasies about him are one thing, but your choice to remain friends with him is quite suspect. You should show better judgment than to be friends with someone you were once so frightened of that you called the police. You need to think of your kids and of the example you are setting.

If you don’t want to hurt your nice husband, then don’t. Fix yourself, and your marriage should improve.

DEAR AMY: My 45-year-old son was married for the first time this summer. Because he and my new daughter-in-law are older, they decided that it would be romantic to elope to Las Vegas.


After they were married, my hubby and I announced it in our community paper. I also sent an e-mail announcement along with their wedding photo to our friends and family.

My sister has three children and is quite well off financially.

There were lots of showers besides the wedding gifts that we gave to her kids, along with baby gifts when their babies started coming.

My brother is very well off and also has three children. Again we have given them many gifts over the years.

My sister finally sent my son a wedding congratulations card saying that he should have sent out an announcement. She continued by saying you only give gifts to young couples just starting out, or if there is a wedding reception.

My brother didn’t even send a card. He sent us an e-mail telling us to congratulate my son.

My son was very, very hurt by this response.

Is my sister right? I am so upset by my siblings’ behavior.


If my sister is right, then I will drop this issue. — Bev

DEAR BEV: Strictly speaking, your sister is not correct. While your son’s age and elopement don’t put him firmly in the "must gift" category, these factors don’t preclude it, either. Happy and generous family members tend to give gifts regardless of what they think the rules are.

Furthermore, it is not your sister’s job to educate you or your son on gift-giving etiquette; in fact, her justification is quite rude.

On the other hand, like your sister I am wondering why your grown son and his wife haven’t taken it upon themselves to announce their own marriage to family and friends.

The fact that they didn’t — along with your own hurt feelings over this — tells me you’re over-involved.

Send questions via e-mail to or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

What To Read Next
Get Local