By CAROLINE SPOSTO
I’ve been married, and a stay-at-home wife and mother for 35 years. I have always dreamed of traveling far and wide. My husband used to say he shared this dream. But ever since he retired a year ago, he’s been acting like an old man. He spends his days tinkering in the garage, puttering in the garden and napping in his recliner. When I talk about trips or show him travel websites and videos, he says, “Why go? I have everything I want right here.” Every day my dream dies a little more. I’m starting to feel depressed about the rest of my life. We can afford to travel, so money isn’t the issue. What shall I do?
News flash. We’re in the 21st Century and a woman no longer needs a chaperone to travel. Many of us go far and wide on our own. Some leave a husband behind. Some, like me, no longer have a husband. However, before you run off and book a singles cruise like a newly-minted free spirit, I want you to do these things:
1) Be direct with your husband. Don’t hint about travel. Remind him it’s your lifelong dream.
2) Make sure there’s no underlying issue. For example, is he suffering from a health problem or depression?
3) Try to shake him out of his inertia by insisting he accompanies you on a day trip or weekend excursion.
4) If you’ve done these things and he’s still determined to be a stationary object, embrace him as your anchor, book solo travel or trips with friends or relatives he knows and trusts. Keep the length and cost of your adventures reasonable and your conduct at a standard he’d be proud of.
5) While you’re away, let him know he’s loved and missed by sending photos¿ and texts, and having video or voice chats on a regular basis. Be the bearer of thoughtful gifts when you return.
A marriage can only be happy if both people feel individually fulfilled. If you’ve been together for 35 years, you can do it!