Q. My husband of eight years (and father of our 3-year-old) is always on social media like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, etc., chatting with various women from Russia. It started in 2014 and has now become an addiction, from morning until 2 or 3 a.m. He chats whenever he gets free time, sometimes very intimate chatting. He doesn’t interact with me, and we are not intimate anymore. He says he doesn’t feel excited with me. Whenever I tell him to stop the social media, he gets irritated and we end up fighting. I don’t know how to get him back to his normal life. —Stuck
I’m not sure what his normal life looked like, because his current life is so far beyond the bounds of “normal” husband-dom and fatherhood that I’m unclear as to where his starting point could have been.
There’s an addiction-like pull at play; whether it’s to the internet, sex or a combination of the two is anyone’s guess. But even more dire is his unwillingness to consider it a problem. The most important question is this: Does he want to work on his problem and save your marriage? If he’s not motivated to, he’s essentially ending your marriage unofficially, by refusing to play the role of husband. Does he want to be one, or not? If he won’t see a marriage counselor with you, or see someone on his own, go alone.
Better college vs. best friend
Q. I am a high school senior. My best friend since fourth grade is a great person, but she has never really done things for her own reasons. A while ago I decided that I wanted a fresh start in college. My first choice is far away but a really good school for me. But my best friend assumes I will choose the school that she will most likely go to (closer by, and easier to get into). She talks a lot about being roommates and starting our lives together in college. I know she doesn’t think my pick is a good enough school to choose over being with her and a few of our friends. I don’t want to hurt her but I feel stuck in our conversations because she doesn’t get it. —Want to Move On
Repeat after me: Your first choice is a really good school for you, a match better than any other. Stick to that mantra, even as she talks about all-night ragers and closet organizers. Pick out one aspect of your school that made you fall most in love — anything other than “it will be several states away from you lame-os” — and reiterate that over and over.
If she continues to press and things get worse when the acceptance letters roll in (good luck, by the way!), be more direct and say you always imagined having a fresh start in college. Say you want the best of both worlds by rediscovering yourself through living somewhere different, yet also keeping her as a friend and sharing your experiences through Skype, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever else you whippersnappers are using these days.
Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at email@example.com.
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