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Newlyweds Have Nothing To Say & Reunion Made Him Feel Like A Failure

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DEAR CAT: My husband and I just got back from our first vacation together. We did not have a honeymoon for various reasons, so we had been planning this trip on and off for two years. We did have one weekend away with two other couples last year but that’s it. I don’t know how to explain it perfectly but on this vacation I was very bored. We ran out of things to talk about after the first day. I never noticed this before because we both work a lot and by the end of the day we’re always tired and we watch our favorite shows, then we go to sleep. Now I feel like I had my eyes opened! I’m very worried that if we aren’t talking about work or day-to-day things, there’s nothing else. What would happen if one of us became ill and had to stay home, or after we retire? I’m scared. Is this the beginning of the end? — SAY IT ISN’T SO

DEAR SAY: It’s highly doubtful the trip is a harbinger of things to come, unless you don’t change! Ideally you should enjoy time away from ho-hum everyday life. Maybe you’re both so wrapped up in work that you’ve forgotten to enjoy the rest of life. Time to start making regular just-the-two-of-you plans. Not big vacations, just daytrips and weekends and outings and simple fun stuff like you used to do back in the day (you didn’t fall in love talking only about work and whether the bills are paid). Conversation is a two-way street. You have your whole lives ahead of you to talk….Cat’s Call: Make it a priority to do things worth talking about!

DEAR CAT: About two months ago I attended my 30 year high school reunion. I went to my 10 and 20 year reunions and they were quite fun. However, I got divorced five years ago (which was a good thing) and even though I’ve adapted to life as an unmarried man I felt like a failure every time someone asked about my wife and I had to drop the news. No surprise, my divorce news spread all around and I got “sorry” emails from people I barely know anymore. I must admit it all put me in a down state. Any words of wisdom to snap me out of this? — HAPPILY DIVORCED

DEAR HAPPILY: Divorce is (usually) a sad thing but let’s be frank, it’s not a death, it’s a parting of ways. Far too many people equate marriage with “success” and divorce as “failure” and that’s ridiculous. You said your divorce was a good thing, so why let a bunch of people you barely know anymore make you feel bad about yourself? Remember, most people lie at reunions – about their success, their happy marriages, etc. If it makes you feel better, I did a Cat Poll on your question and one person said, “whether or not they admit it, most people feel depressed after reunions, because your past is staring you in the face.” With that in mind….Cat’s Call: Skip your 40th reunion and take a fun trip instead.

What’s YOUR call? Share it below! Submit questions to: questions@catscall.com or click here!.

  1. Good call to SAY IT ISN’T SO. I could add that this is a common phenomenon among recently wed people. To HAPPILY DIVORCED I find it interesting how you enjoyed your earlier reunions when you were married but not this one. That makes some sense as many things are more enjoyable with a partner. I for one cannot envision wanting to ‘reunite’ with people from thirty years ago. I agree very much with the call on your question. It is important to look back on life and take stock but life is too precious to continue ‘going back’ for no purpose.

    — Melinda, Long Island    01/10/12    Reply

  2. Typical these days, couples get in a relationship, have sex all the time instead of getting to know each other then get engaged and talk about the wedding the wedding the wedding, then get married and learn they have nothing real to talk about. I guess the advice here is good, after all what else are they going to do? Get divorced already? Find out if you really have interest in each other before having kids. People do THAT to cure boredom too.

    — PatPA    01/10/12    Reply

  3. SAY IT ISN’T SO, surely you and your husband talked all the time before you got engaged, right? Try to remember what prompted those conversations, and what they were about. Cat’s right, you need to go out of your way to spend time together away from the house. It’s way too easy to fall into routines when you’re at home, and to effectively ignore each other. A couple nights a week, have a sit down dinner at your table instead of in front of the TV, or go out for a meal. Once or twice a week, skip watching your favorite shows and play a game or go for a walk or watch the news, anything to get out of your normal routine, something that will prompt a conversation. And if you’re watching your shows together and you think of something to say, just pause the show (assuming you’ve got a DVR) and say it. Maybe he was thinking the same thing. There are a million little ways to connect, and it sounds like that connection is what’s lacking with the two of you right now. Good luck!

    — Megan, Point Breeze    01/10/12    Reply

  4. SAY IT ISN’T SO doesn’t say anything about the nature of the trip. If it involved a lot of sightseeing, I would think that would motivate conversation. On the other hand if it was on a cruise without a lot of stops, or if it was a trip to a secluded beach, there wouldn’t be much to talk about. Maybe her husband is not a talker – nothing wrong with that. Maybe she was really bored because they did the same thing every day and it wasn’t as exciting as she expected? She should go out to restaurants and take a look at couples who seem to have been married a long time – they don’t talk all the time, but they are comfortable with being with one another and not filling every minute with conversation. There is a big difference between being comfortable, peaceful, and quiet with one another, and being bored.

    — PB from NY    01/10/12    Reply

  5. In re Say It Isn’t So: Look at tons of couples out anywhere, they don’t talk. They talk to their kids or about their kids (“honey tell Jamie to stop that!”). Couples get married so fast sometimes they don’t see how they’d like it to be together 24/7. Being boyfriend and girlfriend isn’t like being married. They think being married is like being boyfriend and girlfriend, then they get married and get B-O-R-E-D. To Say: Cat is right, conversation goes two ways. If you two weren’t talking then you brought nothing into the conversation. Most men like to just relax on vacation. “Relax” is a word you should learn, so you don’t freak out every time there is silence.

    To Happily Divorced: Your divorce was a good thing. Delete their emails and move on. I second the notion of skipping your next reunion.

    — James -Pittsburgh    01/10/12    Reply

  6. The problem for Divorced is the way that he presented the news. If he is happily divorced, he should act like it instead of feeling like a failure, and then he wouldn’t get condolence Emails. If he really does feel like a failure, maybe some counseling would help, even though it has been a few years.

    — PB from NY    01/10/12    Reply

  7. @ SAY IT ISN’T SO,

    Most people who commented already made valid points, so I am going to limit my comment to one aspect of this statement of yours:

    “I don’t know how to explain it perfectly but on this vacation I was very bored.”

    With that said, I think your sex life comes into question. Now, I don’t know your ages, so if you are both elderly, then what I am about to say can be rejected.

    However, if you are both young and while on vacation you were bored, that tells me your sex life is lacking… big time.

    Many couples have their best sex while on vacation. There are no pressures or stress from work, worries, kids, in-laws, etc., so an all-out “sexfest” should have been in the cards which could never, I mean ever be considered boring.

    And, after great sex, what to talk about wouldn’t even be an issue. Planning for the next round would be… I feel for you lady.

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    01/11/12    Reply

    1. I just about spit out my soup when I read “an all-out “sexfest” should have been in the cards which could never, I mean ever be considered boring.” All I can say to that is, how old are you? Sex is great but only if it’s great! Sex can be boring too. An orgasm or two won’t fix that they have nothing to talk about. If you can’t enjoy sex with your spouse at home in regular life going to a beach isn’t going to turn you into nymphos. You should read more to learn that older couples have better sex lives than younger couples. I have to say follow the advice of Cat, PatPA and Matt. The point about having kids to cure boredom is quite true, I have seen that in more than a few couples. Good luck to you both.

      — Sammy, Pgh    01/13/12    Reply

      1. @Sammy,

        How old are you?

        It is obvious you read things into my reply that can be found only in your mind.

        Of course, older folks can have great sex, but at which age did you think I was talking about?

        If they have been married for two years and their sex life is boring then not talking is the least of their problems, especially while on vacation.

        Obviously, you also like to jump to conclusions. I never said sex at home can’t be enjoyable. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

        Also, you must own a crystal ball, when did I say or the letter writer say that they don’t enjoy sex at home?

        [crickets]

        And, that you said sex can be boring too… Well, there may be your problem and why you almost spit out your soup while reading my reply. I have always found that great sex with my lady trumps all else. Too bad you can’t say the same.

        — LeBron from Pittsburgh    01/13/12    Reply

  8. Having spent 20+ years of going on vacations with a boring spouse (whom I eventually separated from), I can relate to Say’s situation. I learned over the years to enjoy (or should I say endure?) my vacations by doing some things on my own or with my son, in addition to the family stuff.

    It appears they have less in common than she originally thought, perhaps they got married too quickly? Granted, you don’t need to be chatting it up with him constantly, but the lack of communication after just one day away together is alarming.

    A lot of really good points and advice offered here already, I would recommend paying particular attention to the comments from PatPA & LeBron. To answer Say’s question, based on my experience……Yes, this is the beginning of the end.

    — Matt in Pittsburgh    01/12/12    Reply

  9. “Any words of wisdom to snap me out of this? — HAPPILY DIVORCED

    Yes. Snap out of it, man.

    You were a single man at your 30th HS reunion, you could have been “making a play” on any single lady classmate.

    As for those classmates who sent you “sorry” type emails, or said to you “sorry” at the reunion, that is normally just a common courtesy. I mean, what else are they supposed to say after hearing you were divorced, “Congratulations?”

    Get over it. You said you are happy in your divorce, so be happy.

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    01/12/12    Reply

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