If you don’t actually make dates for your husband, I bet you’ve thought about it. 


That is, of course, if you get annoyed… or at least concerned… about his lack of interest in staying in contact with those he insists are “friends.”


“I don’t get it,” insists “Dana,” who has been married to ‘Brett’ for fifteen years. “He makes ‘zero’ effort to connect with anyone.”

Brett had always insisted he could count on his college buddy, “Joe.” Never mind that they hadn’t communicated for years.

This week, Brett discovered that Joe had died… two years ago.

How did he find out?

It was Dana, who spilled the sad beans after she tried to contact him to encourage a BOYS-ONLY PLAYDATE… a fishing trip.

“Why would she do that? Does she want to get rid of me? Do you think she has a boyfriend, Doc?”

It was Brett who initiated the counseling appointment. He felt like his space had been “violated.”

“She insists I need friends. i have friends… I just don’t need to talk with them all the time like she does with her girlfriends.

 Then, he hesitated:

 “I will admit … I was shook up when i heard about Joe…..”







Red lights are going off in my head:

I wonder if “Dana” is really angry at Brett. Maybe she is a “control freak,” as Brett suspects.

I want to learn about this relationship and when it was at its best for both of them

Will I be able to help this couple clarify their ideas about how their marriage can thrive, going forward?

Can we explore what being a “friend” means to each of them?

For sure, Dana had over-stepped… but there is no boyfriend… at least as far as I know.

She did explain how she hates seeing her once-motivated husband “couch-potato-ing and not doing much more that what he absolutely needs to do.”




She assured me that she loved him still.


“I know he’d hate hearing me suggest he’s going through anything like ‘MANOPAUSE’. Could it be?”

It is true that men, around fifty, often go through some sort of transition when they make changes in their lives. (Best not to label his behavior, though.)

In mid-life, some men change jobs or wives. Some go back to school and some just “pause” …on the couch… for a while.

From what I’ve learned about “Brett,” his inactivity seems like a  a lull before a next phase. (He’s had lots of success under his belt.)

So, I suggested it might be a good idea to talk about the role of friends in their lives.

Most male friendships are different from most female friendships. We know that. Men bond through sports, mutual activities or work. Women are more likely to be sounding boards for each other.




Men are more likely to reciprocate favors or work together on some project. There are activity focused, which makes sustaining friendships that much more difficult. Women, on the other hand share feelings and are so much more likely to stay in touch.

(No wonder that more wives take on the role of manager of the couple’s social calendar.)

Men may grow up thinking it is not cool or manly to talk about friendship or personal matters.

There’s hope, though. Today’s man, like KEVIN LOVE (who I wrote about in my last blog-post, is learning about the relief of sharing.)

In Dana’s defense, did you also know that not having enough friends or participating in a social circle has the same risk as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day?

Her instinct is right on… which may make it easier for Brett to forgive her intrusive behavior… this time.




Brett can learn from Dana and we can all learn from Denmark.


Lots of studies have identified the people of Denmark as being the happiest people in the world. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 92% of the Danes are allegedly members of some sports or cultural group .

Dutch sociologist, RUUT VEENHOVEN, a world authority on the scientific study of happiness says, “to avoid loneliness, we must seek active social lives, maintain friendships and enjoy stable relationships.”

How many friends do we need? Five would be great, three is okay too… if you are able to share celebrations and challenges together..


Celebrating SUCCESSES builds closeness faster than sharing HARD TIMES.)

IF YOU HONOR AND PARTICIPATE IN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS, You’ll likely be happier and… improve your marriage.

Funny how often it works out that way.

Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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