Ask Amy: Finding a middle ground in a long-term relationship

Couple arguing

Controlling boyfriend wants woman around all the time. (Getty Images)

Dear Amy: My husband of 52 years and I have an ongoing dispute about travel.

He hates to travel while I love to visit friends and new places.

I do not mind if he stays home. I enjoy going with girlfriends who like hiking and exploring new destinations.

I have a part-time job that pays for my trips.

My husband states that going away two times a year (some camping trips are only three days) should be adequate to meet my needs. I never go away more than four times a year.

If I try to ignore his negativity, he starts in on me from the moment I pack until I return: “I don’t see why you can’t be satisfied to stay at home.”

I always leave food prepared for him.

I am not getting any younger and want to travel while I can.

Can you help me?

– Loves to Travel

Dear Loves to Travel: I suggest that you sit down with your husband, make eye contact, and tell him about your travel plans over the next several months. Ask him if he’d like to join you or plan any short driving trips for the two of you. Listen to his response, and calmly answer any questions. If he responds in his typical way, you can say, “I’m going to miss you, but honestly your attitude toward me makes it easier to leave.”

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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