Overwhelmed man desires to withdraw

I would like to ask how I can go back to previous paths, but I don’t know if I even want to.

I still do a few things: I play sports and I train, but I don’t really have a lot of contacts. I used to go to parties, bars, golf trips, etc. I just don’t feel like doing these things anymore and people put me off.

Maybe I just became super judgmental. I let these friendships and relationships go because I feel like I can’t deal with them or I don’t want to be bothered.

The time has come that every little thing can now put you on my no-friend list. I suppose it’s neurotic, but I’m just not sure how to turn the tiller handle. It even affects my family.

Obviously I have some anxiety and depression, but I don’t feel like they have taken over my life. I just don’t want to hang out anymore. I feel like I should want it, but I just don’t.


A. Take a very deep breath first. You have experienced extremely stressful life changes in the past year. Starting a business and having a baby are two events that greatly affect how you spend your time.

However, based on your reports, I would say that your anxiety and depression are dominating your life.

Your hair-raising anger is worrying, and you know that this change in your temperament is definitely a cause for concern. It is time to take this seriously; Start with a visit to your family doctor; seek a referral to a therapist.

Your experience of the pandemic made everything worse for you, and like many people (including me) you are resisting “getting out of there”.

Please disconnect from the social media that triggers you. (I did and it helped.) You might keep some of your real-world relationships with people who are good in life but terrible on social media.

You and your wife should date your baby in a park, cafe, or playground. Sit down and enjoy your child. Step out into the world, and you will meet parents of young children and other people (like me) who also fumble, blink, and emerge cautiously.

Q. My husband for 17 years thinks it’s okay that we live in different countries. We have been separated for 11 years now and I live with our two children. He hardly supports us.

I filed for divorce. He accepted but insisted that I betray him. He makes me guilty by remembering the beginning of our marriage.

I am confused by his reaction. How should I proceed?


A. You should contact your law firm directly.

Aside from your husband’s actual feelings, you might assume that maintaining the separated status quo is simply cheaper than paying child support.

Q. The letter about the interrupting woman reminded me of a story from my early career in the 1980s.

I was on a business trip to New York City with my boss, a reticent English man. We spent the day with an Italian-American New Yorker on a tour of the trading rooms.

At the end of the day, the two talked about the fact that our host had had almost all of the conversations throughout the day. He talked about business, but also about family, food – whatever.

My boss said that where he’s from you can’t talk until the other person finishes. Our host replied that where he came from you had to talk until you were interrupted.

We all thought it was fun – and what a great culture lesson!


A. One thing I love about this story is how the two men deciphered and shared their own communication styles.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at [email protected].

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