DEAR ABBY: I’m a middle-aged married man and the father of two. Although I work as a banker, I’m also an aspiring pianist. I have practiced two to three hours a day for many years. My music is unique — unlike anything ever heard. My wife of 18 years does not appreciate my music. She never comments on it, never pays a compliment and never supports me about it.
I do receive praise from my transcriber, my recording editor, my audio engineer, strangers, friends, my parents and my 8-year-old daughter. I’m tempted to call our marriage quits, but divorce, as we all know, is messy, and she’s a good mother and homemaker.
Something else that makes me want to leave is that I’m good with the ladies and, in the past, I’ve had more than my share of female companionship. The combination of a wife who doesn’t appreciate my art and the temptation of once again being the stud I was (after a minor makeover and some weight loss) and resuming those wonderful adventures, is enough incentive for me to end my marriage.
Once my music starts hitting streaming platforms, I expect great things. But since my wife is indifferent to my artistic pursuit, I’m conflicted about whether I should remain married to her or risk a lot by getting a divorce. Please help me make the right decision. — MUSIC MAKER IN THE EAST
DEAR MUSIC MAKER: It’s time for some self-reflection. Are you simply unhappy in your marriage and using your music and past track record with the ladies as an excuse to leave? My suggestion is that you postpone dynamiting your marriage until after you have a few musical hits under your belt. If you are as gifted as you proclaim, your circumstances may change for the better. But if they don’t, you might be better off sticking to your day job and keeping music as a beloved hobby.
As to kicking over the traces and becoming a “stud” again (after the minor makeover and some weight loss), perhaps you should be careful what you wish for. There are worse flaws in a spouse than lack of music appreciation. In this environment, there’s no telling who (or what) you could pick up, which is why I’m advising you to stand pat.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter just told her husband of six years (and two beautiful children) that she no longer wants a relationship with him. Truthfully, he hasn’t worked since COVID and spends most of the day on the couch on his phone. She wants to keep things amicable, and has an appointment with an attorney in three weeks, which he is aware of. We want her happiness. Any recommendations? — HOPING FOR THE BEST IN NEVADA
DEAR HOPING: Only this: Your son-in-law may be suffering from depression. If your daughter’s happiness is all you want, stay out of it. However, if you wish to make a feeble effort to save her marriage for the sake of your beautiful grandchildren, suggest that before she throws in the towel they both talk with a marriage and family therapist. If she ignores your suggestion, you’ll at least know you tried.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.