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Monday, July 5, 2010

Brainstorm for Ideas to Escape Boredom

Dear A. B.

I would like to know if there is anything I can do or say to my husband about his being bored with life. He is a very good, responsible, caring man and loves us very much. He has his own business, works alone and tragically now has very little business. We are panicked about that, but working on it.

He enjoys playing golf, tennis, and paddle tennis. He wishes we had had more than four children, so he would have something to do and, of course, he just loved having little ones around. He has no hobbies or interests outside of what I mentioned. He cares little about what is happening to our country and not religious. He is solemn most of the time and not very talkative. He knows all of this and considers himself a grump.

I have encouraged him to join a group, etc, and have spoken about how this could be an exciting time for us. We can look forward to grandchildren. I am involved in a lot, volunteer at the senior center, active politically and in church. I am passionate about much and try to inspire our kids, involve them in discussion about their classes and friends, etc.

I worry that my sons have a father who has little conviction about what is going on in our country or even their future careers and moral decisions they will be making. He agrees the culture is a mess, but doesn't voice his opinion to our children. He doesn't like what our older daughter is doing, but says nothing to her.

He would never read a book on depression. I know the financial stress is overwhelming. I want him to go to some of my events, mostly to network for business, but he doesn't want to go. I went to a couple halloween costume parties alone as well.

Any suggestions? Thanks, L______________

Dear L__________

Has he changed any since you first married? He sounds like a very nice person. Only a nice person would consider themselves a grump. You should read a book called Elizabeth and her German Garden, don't know if it is still in print. I read it more than 50 years ago and it helped me understand the male persona even though I had three brothers. Golf and tennis are wonderful hobbies and you can't do them alone so your husband does have friends or acquaintances. He doesn't sound like a depressed person.

Why don't you play tennis of golf with him if you want more togetherness? Just because he isn't just like you doesn't make him a lesser person. I think you are being very judgmental. If you are interested in politics and your children's business, that is great. What often makes a couple very effective is their differences, not that they are mirror images of what one person thinks they should be. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A. B.

My husband told me he is bored. THAT is why I encourage him to do something about it. HE is worried about what he will do when the children get even busier. I am happy with what I have going, he is not happy with what he has going -- going forward. I am glad you don't think he is depressed. He has an injured knee so he can't play more tennis.

We have always had our different things. Yes, he has changed lately...just as the children are not needing him as much. Bottom line, is he told me this and how he no longer has any interest in meeting new people or going here or there. When he can't get a game up and he is home he doesn't know what to do. My kids tell me, "Dad's bored". Yes, puzzles help. For years our time was full of kids activites...now much less so. I thought it would be more natural to fill the time for him.


Dear L_________

Okay, that's a little different. Tell him that you are going to try and help him find some activities so he won't be bored. Try to engage him in some kind of a brainstorming session. Just get a notebook and get hiim to quickly write down 25 things that he has sometime or another thought of doing, even as a kid, things that might be fun, or interesting, or horizon-expanding in some way.

Brainstorming means you write the first thing that comes to mind even if it makes no sense, like collecting leaves, or making sandwiches. Then you can study the list and see if anything he said might point to something he might try. Even the brainstorming should be interesting by itself to see what his mind has going on that he wasn’t aware of. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A. B.

Yes, yes, yes that is terrific. I never would have come up with that!

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