Ask Amy: My partner says she’s not interested when I talked about work


Dear Amy: Overall, things are great between my partner “Beth” and me.

Beth is a teacher and I’m a security engineer. Basically, I work as a computer hacker that stops computer hackers. Every day after work, I’ll listen and weigh in while Beth tells me about troubles at the school, her kids, learning about different teaching methods and policies, curriculum, theories — and everything in between.

Unfortunately, when it comes to me sharing things about my work, she will say, “I don’t like/understand technology” and remove herself from the conversation. I have tried supplying all kinds of metaphors, offering to show bare bones basics, anything else I can think of. She simply says, “Oh it’s tech. I’m not interested.”

I love how passionate she is about her career, but it hurts that I cannot share my own passion with her. When it comes to everything else in life, we are great about sharing and communicating.

Right now I’m at the point of just saying, “Work is fine,” and moving on. Any suggestions?

— Multifactor Your Heart

Multifactor: I looked up “Multifactor” to discern what you might have meant by signing your question that way, which tells me two things. One: For those of us in the non-tech “people” business, your orientation might occasionally be difficult to understand.

Two: I am willing to take some easy steps to try to understand you. Your partner should do the same. She is a teacher. Is she also capable of learning?

When she shuts you down, you should call her on it. “Beth, responding the way you do is rude. When you do that, I honestly feel hurt.”

You could also tell her that you spend a lot of time listening and have done your utmost to learn about her profession so that you can communicate with her about it. You might ask her if there are ways you could engage her more fully in your profession.

My instinct is that if you reframed your explanations to include more details about the people you work with or the people or institutions your work affects, it might help her relate to you, but ultimately she should be considerate enough to develop a working interest in a pursuit which is obviously very important to you. And, if she cannot develop a genuine interest, she should fake it politely, as you have probably been doing much of the time when she tells you about her day.

Dear Amy: Before we started dating, my husband and I had many conversations about what we wanted in a partner. I told him I wanted a companion for traveling and spending quality time with. And we both firmly stated that we do not want to spend our time in bars.

My husband of 1½ years has now joined not one but two bands. He rehearses at least one night a week in a city one hour away from us (besides the countless hours at home).

He is now scheduling “gigs” on weekend nights at various bars and clubs. He refuses to commit to “date nights” for us because he might get a gig that night. I feel neglected, our relationship is suffering, and I’m unwilling to play second fiddle.

He doesn’t have time for me anymore and told me that “his life” has priority over our marriage. I’ve tried to discuss this with him many times. I asked him to go to marriage counseling and he said by the time a couple gets to that point it’s too late!

I’m ready to sing a swan song on this relationship, but I’m wondering what you think?

— Frustrated and Lonely

Frustrated: The early point in marriage is when most couples have positive experiences that will sometimes sustain them when times get tough. To maintain a healthy and happy marriage, both parties should put the relationship first.

You and your husband haven’t established these positive ways of relating.

You should pursue counseling to weigh the tough choice you face: To hang in there or to go solo.

Dear Amy: My (late) wife managed our finances after I realized her true brilliance. Every month she assessed our expenditures, and the surplus went into a slush fund. She allocated the surplus to each of us according to our contribution. I always felt it should be 50/50, but she disagreed. So every month we had our own money. Forty years of happy marriage was her financial legacy.

You may honor her memory by signing me:

Tom: What a beautiful bargain.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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