My Husband Is Working On Himself, But Is That Enough?

I’m so sorry the letter didn’t post until 2:30 yesterday. It looked like it was up, and then it wasn’t. How could I be so late with a throuple? If you haven’t offered advice to the letter writer, please do. Today is an update/followup from someone else. Send your own questions and problems to [email protected] or fill out this form.


Dear Meredith,

I wrote about six months ago after a very lonely move to a new city for my husband’s job. I’m happy to say that things are generally better. I’ve started working in the office (instead of remotely) and have gotten to know a few co-workers whose company I really enjoy. We finally found a home after spending a few months in a crowded apartment, so I feel more settled. Now that the weather is nice, we’re meeting some neighbors, and since the pandemic is ebbing, we’ve been able to visit friends and family back home. I wish I could say my marriage was better. I know it’s not bad, but I would still describe it as a “mediocre” as I did in my last letter. Hubby started therapy for his ongoing anxiety issues, which has been marginally helpful for his mindset, but I’d really like to start couples therapy together to work on some larger issues.

Meanwhile, the former colleague I’ve been infatuated with is always on my mind. He’s been the best friend to me during this whole crazy year, and I realized that although I’m not physically attracted to him, I love him and miss him dearly. I’ve seen him twice since we moved: once for a socially distant outdoor walk, and another for a gathering with several (former) co-workers after we’d all been vaccinated. I’ve now met his wife over Zoom, and have emailed her about plans to get our families together sometime this summer, which I think will be good for us. I have to let go of the idea that he’ll ever be anything more than a dear, distant friend. You (and your readers) pointed out that he’s a “mirage” for the marriage I’d like to have, which is painfully true. I can’t pretend that I haven’t enjoyed a little male attention, even if it’s platonic. This friend is a great listener who lifts me up and makes me laugh, while my husband is a pessimist who only listens well to things that concern him directly.

I know I need focus on what I’ve got right in from of me, but I’m afraid that suggesting couples counseling might be too big of an ask right now, given the baby steps my hubby is taking with his own therapy. I just don’t know how to be happy in this so-so state of marriage, especially with all I’ve given up in my personal and professional life to accommodate this move. For him. I know this is more of an update than question, but advice is welcome.

– (Not As) Lost in Relocation


I’m so happy to hear things are moving in the right direction with your in-person work and friendly neighbors. Other people are a help right now.

I’m still concerned about the fact that most of your letter is about your former colleague. You’re still focused on him and how to fit him into your life. It would’ve been helpful to hear more about how your husband’s behavior has changed.

You ask if couples counseling is too much for your husband while he’s going through his own therapy. I don’t think it is. It might be a great time for him to apply the work he’s doing for himself to couples work. I do know there’s a therapy shortage right now, depending on where you live (I do plan to write about this). He might be more successful asking his own therapist for ideas about where to go with you.

I also think you’ll get more information about your marriage over time, especially if you can continue to be social with others (safely). The world is newly open for many people. Imaging your first unmasked outdoors weekend as Week 1 for moving to a new place. The start to this was delayed, and you still don’t know what life there’s like with him.

Tell him you want to work on this with him – with help.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts on making this better and setting boundaries with the former colleague?

Love Letters

What’s your love and relationship problem?

Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.

About Love Letters