Ask Amy: Sometimes it’s OK to play games in a relationship
Dear Amy: “Sue” and I met on a singles site shortly before the pandemic. We live in different parts of the country, so between that and the travel restrictions, we have not met in person yet.
We communicate about twice a week via videoconference and have had a good time getting to know each other better. It has worked well for us.
The problem as I see it is that I am afraid of this style of communication getting stale.
How do we keep things interesting so as not to get bored until it is finally OK to make the trip to see each other and spend time with one another.
Zoom sex is NOT an option. — R
Dear R: It is surprisingly fun to play games via videoconferencing. Do a little research, and depending on your areas of interest, you could play a trivia game, collaborate on a crossword, play “Words with Friends,” or “Heads Up,” a fun word association game available on the Houseparty app.
Also — remember that there are many ways to communicate other than videoconferencing. If you’re the type (I am), you could mix things up by sending your new friend an old-fashioned letter. (Delayed gratification, perhaps, but so romantic...!)
Dear Amy: During our marriage, my ex-husband rarely made time for us, (although he was great with the kids when he was with them).
I would take our kids on vacations without him because he always had something better to do.
I filed for divorce and moved out of his home over two years ago.
I made the decision to do this without telling my parents and siblings because I knew, even though they could see how unhappy I was, that they would not be supportive.
To this day they continue to invite him to family holidays and events, but become upset with me when I refuse to attend.
Since leaving, I have had little to no contact with my immediate family. Obviously, this is very hard on me, and it is also confusing for my children.
I have attempted to talk to them about this and it becomes an argument every time. They have told my children that I shut them out, but to me it feels like they shut me out.
I have met an amazing man, and we are now planning our wedding.
When I attempted to talk to my mom about wedding plans, her only response to my chosen wedding date was, “That’s my weekend to work.”
I struggle with even inviting my immediate family to the wedding for fear that drama will be started.
I want to move on with my life and hope that my family will be a part of that, but at this point I am at a loss for what to do next. — At a Loss
Dear At a Loss: You chose to leave your husband, but never told your parents or siblings about this momentous change. You don’t celebrate holidays or special occasions with them because they invite your ex. However, your silence and absence has left a void, and now you seem to wonder why you don’t have a relationship with them.
If you had chosen to attend family events, they might have stopped inviting your ex. In order to have a relationship, and in order to include them in your life, you need to participate in theirs.
Because you seem to want some contact, I suggest that you risk a little “drama” in order to re-enter your family system. Invite them to your wedding, and take this opportunity to try to turn the page. After your wedding, invite them to your home, go to their homes when you are invited — encourage them to get to know your new husband, and see if they respond to your openness by being more open, themselves.
Obviously, if this is an overall toxic experience for you, you will have to make a different choice, but — up until now you don’t seem to have tried very hard.
Dear Amy: “Blessed Dad” has a 20-something cousin living with them during the pandemic. He is wondering why she doesn’t say “grace” with the family. He could open a conversation by asking if it makes her uncomfortable?
Ask if she ‘d like to have a turn offering grace or thanks at mealtime?
Being open to a new way of doing things might mean everyone in the family could take occasional turns at offering a blessing. — Faithful Reader in Toledo!
Dear Faithful: I like this idea.