I have been married for ten years and always been very happy. Recently, this all changed. My wife has started hanging out with a new group of “friends” that she met through our neighbor and she has been drinking more, and going out on her own, on a regular basis. We’ve never really been into this or done that. I am feeling concerned for her and wondering why this is happening, as well as feeling neglected at home. How should I proceed with her?
Is she doing something wrong or unsafe? Or did she just get a life? Without a lot of information here, I am going to have to give you the basics.
If your wife is simply getting her own life by hanging out with the girls occasionally, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s healthy and good for her and for your marriage. If you don’t like the group or the activities they partake in – for good reason, of course- then you should have a talk about it.
Something is clearly up, though! You should be concerned!
In any relationship, open and honest communication is key. Maybe she is going through something of her own. Maybe she is bored. Maybe she is unhappy…there are too many things to speculate here, so just ask.
But, if you are asking for the wrong reasons – e.g., you are bored or unhappy because she is having fun without you – then keep it to yourself and go have your own fun.
Now, if your wife is getting hammered and driving home drunk from the club at 3am, then there may be a problem. If things are unsafe or out of control, then an immediate talk is on order. I know she is an adult and you are her husband, and not her father, but sometimes people just need to hear the strong truth. Let her know you love her and you have deep concern for her safety and that you are here to listen and help.
Part of a good marriage is being there for your partner in troubling times. When they are down, you pick them up! Your wife may need this from you, right now.
I want to touch on you “feeling neglected at home.” Why do you feel you are being neglected? Do you go out with your friends? If not, why not? If your wife is not making this a nightly thing, I am not sure it is fair for you to make her feel guilty about wanting a life with friends.
Relationships are about give and take…trust, compromise, effort, and unconditional love. If she is giving you all she is/can, and is just looking for some girl time, you need to be fair.