Q: I am a man, 43, an immigrant who came to North America in the 14th, as a refugee.
At 34, I hardly go out with women. Maybe it's because I could not adapt to the culture of familiarity then. So I went back to my country of birth, and arranged the marriage itself.
My wife came here a year later. We have two sons, but we do not have a happy marriage.
We have cultural misunderstandings and ego problems.
We separated emotionally, but we live in the same house and did not seek a divorce.
I need to change. My wife recognized that too.
However, I found that dating sites with & # 39 are not used to me.
I tried starting a spontaneous conversation with women, but I was afraid. People are more deliberate today, when a stranger talks to them.
Add to this my age, being a visible minority and be very short person, I'm not a typical North American or Western men.
Needing Proposals for change
: While you paint a sad picture, I see room for hope.
Unfortunately, I can not know all the effects on your options from your cultural background / restrictions.
Nevertheless, you've lived here all my adult years. However, you choose your own arranged marriage, because familiarity seemed a stranger to you then.
My knowledge about marriages that flourished in the fact that a professional matchmaker of your culture do foundation.
They find some common interests, pride in the quality of each other and some & # 39; and origin, and the desire for marriage beyond just being together.
Apparently, doing this on your own, is not that thoughtful care.
But nine years later, you two have a house, two sons, and plans for their future life.
What you should not have to compromise your differences, common interests, or in relation to each other individual interests. Most importantly, you do not have an emotional connection or rely on one.
I suspect that you have not worked on the effort to find this link.
Like most refugees here, you come from a community that created the immigrant services center of your faith, community leaders and supporters.
You two are talking to someone about how to find a common link?
You've been here long enough to know that there is nothing wrong in a conversation with the people of professional problems are too important to ignore life and happiness.
Even if you can not bring yourself to do it in your faith community, you can and should talk to a professional counselor through local organizations, such as Something & # 39; I Service or the "Y."
That's where I see the hope – in a proven reality that counseling can help you learn what changes you can make in yourself.
Add to this the possibility of encouraging your wife – when she sees your changes – it may also work to achieve, and try a new way to live together for their own benefit, not just children.
There is another reality, too, if you are trying to change this situation, and it does not work.
Legal separation and / or divorce fair (if not perfect) way to live, rather than continue to feel isolated in your home.
But scouting about for women to be "date" you while you still live in a cold at home – which has a negative impact on children's emotions and raised safety – it's not fair.
And this could lead, at least, a very messy divorce, including insults by children, as well as significantly reducing the financial situation for everyone.
I encourage you to seek advice.
Eli tip of the day
Unhappy couples are more likely to hope through counseling than a diversion looking for love.
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Eli Tescher with & # 39 is a columnist board Star and is based in Toronto. Send your questions by e-mail relationship: firstname.lastname@example.org.