Rushme asks: I have been married for two years. My husband works 200 kilometers away, and comes back here every weekend. We love each other very much. But his father doesn’t want me to move to where he works (in hopes that his son will move back here), and he is obedient to his father and so keeps me here. I’m very lonely, especially as my mother-in-law won’t converse with me (though my father-in-law is more normal). I want to stay with my HUSBAND, but this loneliness makes me sometimes want to leave all of them. What can I do?
Hi Rushme –
Every dog understands what it’s like to be absolutely crazy about a human who has to be away all the time for work. I go through what you’re feeling every day, when Handsome leaves (and since dogs experience time as seven-times-human-time, a day for me is pretty equivalent to a week for you!).
For us dogs, there’s really nothing we can do to change this, though we try to get our humans to stay home by opening our eyes really widely and cocking our head and whining, so they feel as guilty as possible when they go!
But humans should have more choices. I can’t guarantee anything I say will work, but here are a few ideas:
1) Your husband is a married man with a career. He should feel he has the right to speak openly and honestly (though respectfully) to his father. I certainly understand his father wanting him to move back to their home, but this strategy of keeping you there isn’t working! So maybe they could arrange a better situation. But he has to be willing to speak up to his father for that to happen.
2) No matter what else changes or stays the same, you certainly want to develop a better relationship with your mother-in-law. Why won’t she speak to you? Is she jealous of your son’s love for you? She should realize that you are the best method she has for gaining access to her baby boy! (Not to mention possible future grandchildren!) Is there anything you can do to get her talking with you? Whether you’re living there or in another city, both of your lives will be better if you two can get along.
3) Even if you keep your home with your in-laws, can you visit your husband more often? In other words, can he come to you on some weekends, and you go to him on others (or maybe even stay with him during the week occasionally)? You two should get time alone, away from his parents. (I mean, you are married, right?! What kind of trouble are they afraid you’re going to get into?!)
4) Wherever you’re living, it’s really important that you have relationships other than just with your family. It sounds to me like you need to be making more friendships. When your husband’s away, aren’t there lots of other women around whose husbands are gone? You should be making great friendships with some of those women, so you can hang out with them and complain about your absent husbands, your demanding fathers-in-law, your silent mothers-in-law, and so on! And, most importantly, to laugh about all of them, and each other!
5) Is your own family also in the town you’re in now? Can you spend time with them? Or if not, can you visit them sometimes? It’s lovely that your husband’s family (at least his father) has taken you in, but it’s important that you also get to spend some time with that other family, the one that’s known you all your life and loves you in ways no one else can.
6) And last but not least, it sounds like patience will matter here. We pups learn to bear with being left alone on work days, knowing there will also be times when our humans are around so much we get kind of sick of them! As long as your husband doesn’t intend this current situation to last forever, just know that you will get more time with him once things change. The great news is that it sounds like you two really do love each other; being kept apart only helps that stay more exciting. I know how thrilled I am every day when Handsome comes home. I can only imagine what it must be like for the two of you. So do what you can to make it better, but until things get perfect, just remember how much better it is to have someone who loves you and not get enough of them, than it is to not be loved that way at all.
All my best,