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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple's Interests Diverge Now That Son Has Grown

DEAR ABBY: I'm married to a great husband. We worked well together in our business. He's loyal, dependable, was a great stepfather when my son was young, etc.

When we were younger, we were always very busy working on the house, raising a family and starting a small business. My son is now grown and has moved away, the house needs little work, we no longer have the business and we both work part-time.

The problem is, we don't have the same interests. I do a lot alone or with friends, but many of them have moved or become very settled down. I rarely have anyone to do anything with unless it's something that interests my husband. It's hard to get him to do anything I want to do. He either complains or refuses.

Looking back, I think he was always like this, but we were too busy to notice. I feel very alone now. I feel like time is ticking by, and I'm wasting my life, my time, etc. Many days I think I should leave, but leaving would change our lifestyle dramatically. Sometimes I feel we only stay together for the lifestyle. I have tried to talk to him about this many times, but I get nowhere. Suggestions? -- TIME TICKS BY IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR TIME TICKS BY: You feel alone and adrift because you are. The glue that held your marriage together seems to have been your son, who is now grown and has moved away. It's time to ask yourself how important your "lifestyle" is.

It's possible that if you remain in this marriage, you can find what you are looking for by becoming more independent. Travel, join special interest clubs, cultivate new friends, take classes that interest you and live your life. You might also visit to get involved in activities in your area with like-minded people.

There is no guarantee your husband will ever be the partner you fantasize he should be. Some sessions with a therapist might be useful to help you clarify your thinking, and that's what I'm suggesting.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Aging