Can’t blame biology

Joey Garcia

When my wife and I met, we were immediately attracted but quickly discovered that we had little in common. We like different dining experiences, have different taste in movies and other activities (I like NASCAR and she likes going to the San Francisco Ballet). The list of differences could go on and on, but our connection was so strong that we decided to make it work. We put up with and sometimes even enjoyed the other’s activities. The best part for both of us (we often said this) was just being together. Now we’ve been married for a year and she refuses to do any of the things that I like to do. She complains that it’s boring. When I point out that she did these things before, she says that she just did it to please me. I am angry and hurt. I don’t want to live this way. What should I do?

Blame it on biology? Physical attraction is an invitation to explore compatibility; it’s not a guarantee of being well-matched. So when you assess whether the person you are dating is a viable marriage partner, consider four things: communication skills (including conflict resolution), shared interests, shared values and attraction. But now that you are married, it’s best to try to honor the spiritual path you’ve taken. One option is simply to let your wife be herself, and not the person she attempted to be to please you. Have a clear-eyed conversation with yourself about what qualities exist in you that might inspire someone to pretend to like what you like. It takes courage to pick up a mirror and face yourself, instead of focusing a magnifying glass at your woman.

If you do want to magnify something, let it be your wife’s good qualities. Notice the sweet things that she does, like affection, financial contribution, emotional support or anything else that you might assume she should do because she is a wife. This will help you see her in a balanced way, rather than as someone who betrayed you. At that point it will be obvious whether the betrayal was innocent or intentional, and if the positive aspects of the relationship outweigh the negative. Only then can you decide whether to end the marriage or not.

I need help moving on with my life. I am still in love with my ex-boyfriend who was distant, difficult and a downer when we were together. He was also unstable in his job. Now, we’re supposedly friends but it just seems like the same relationship, except there’s no commitment. We hang out and then just end up in bed together. We are both trying to meet other people through online dating, but neither of us has met anyone we really like yet. I feel like we’re sort of addicted to each other and should end it, but I don’t know how.

If you want closure in your relationship, shut your legs, said one pundit. Who could disagree? The definition of friendship is a platonic relationship between two people who like each other and show it by sharing with and caring for one another. Hanging out qualifies as friendship—having sex doesn’t. Especially if you are both dangling profiles on dating Web sites and hoping to reel in someone new. Neither of you are emotionally available for another relationship if a part of your heart (and several rooms in your head) are occupied with your ex. So, make a choice for love. That means you give yourself the chance to have what you really want, instead of what you fear is the best you can do.

Meditation of the week
“The goal of psychoanalysis is to turn misery into common unhappiness,” Sigmund Freud said. I heard a professor at the California Institute for Integral Studies quoting Siggy at a recent open house. So what will you use to transmute your unhappiness into something that energizes your life and the lives of others all over this planet?

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