DEAR HARRIETTE: For the past five years, I have been complaining about my husband to everybody who would listen, it seems like. He was so irritating to me in a thousand different ways, and after I had talked to him about it forever, I took to talking to other people. Earlier this year, a friend of mine lost her husband to cancer. She had been a big complainer about him, too. I have watched, though, how grief has changed her view of him and their relationship. She seems to be filled with remorse about his death and about how she was unkind to him, even though she admits that he was also unkind to her. This has got me to thinking: I don't want to die mad at my husband or at myself. I really would like to have a happy marriage, but I don't have a clue as to how to mend our old wounds. What do you suggest? -- Reclaiming Love, Syracuse, New York
DEAR RECLAIMING LOVE: Be grateful that your eyes have opened to the possibility of change! Go home and tell your husband about your revelation. Tell him that you want to have a healthier, happier marriage, and that you hope he wants that, too. Suggest that you get counseling support to help guide you both to a more loving space.
Do your best to remember happy times that you have spent together. What did you enjoy doing when you first got married? What made you smile? Talk to each other about dating again. Act like newlyweds and explore your city and each other. Take it slow with a renewed commitment to enjoy the precious time that you have together.