Dear Miriam

I am writing for some guidance regarding my relationship and home situation. I am a full-time farmer and married for 15 years. We have no children. My wife was made redundant from her job back in 2018 and helped me on the farm until she acquired a part-time job in 2021. I have noticed many changes in her since then.

She has gone from dressing nicely but casually to buying and wearing expensive clothes all of the time, and visits to the beauty salons are a regular event. She completely changed her hairstyle and I have to say she does look amazing but as time goes on, it’s like I am invisible to her.

Her friends and work colleagues seem to always come first and her social life is busy. At times, I feel lonely and abandoned. I am not the jealous type, it is only right that both people in a relationship enjoy time with their friends as well as together, but at this moment, I am lucky if we get to eat dinner together in the evenings.

I miss her and whilst I don’t expect her to totally give up her new life for me, it would be nice to enjoy time together in a normal and healthy way. It has gotten very lonely in the homestead.

She is always too tired to make love. I miss her, but am afraid to share my feelings as I don’t want a row. I welcome any advice you can send my way.

Thank You,


She is always too tired to make love. I miss her, but am afraid to share my feelings as I don’t want a row. I welcome any advice you can send my way

Dear J

Thank you for contacting me. It is the first step in trying to get your life back on track, although I acknowledge it is a difficult one.

From your letter, it would seem your wife has had a wake-up call with regard to life and is now doing her best to live rather than simply exist. Having experienced redundancy and then the pandemic so closely together, I would imagine she has been through a lot and simply never got around to communicating her feelings to you. Perhaps she hoped time and the end of lockdown would help her get back to normal.

Her return to the workplace has probably made her realise that she has been in a rut and is now trying to ensure that never happens again.


The thrill of having her own income may have triggered this new trend of buying the best, and focusing more on self-care.

She may have felt guilty in the past (through no fault of yours) in spending hard-earned farm income on good clothes and self-care.

It is very important that you speak to her and share your concerns. Try to approach it in a sensitive manner. Explain that you are happy to see her looking so well, enjoying work and making new friends, but that you are starting to feel invisible and that you find it difficult being alone so much.

It would also be important to stress that you have no issue with her going out with friends socially, but you would like to have quality time together as well.

Ask her if there is any particular reason she is distancing herself from you. You do have a right to know if she is not happy with the state of your marriage.

Effective communication is the key here. Try and listen to each other without interruption. Try listening to hear as opposed to listening to reply.

Couples therapy may help you both if you find communication difficult at home. Clients are offered a safe, confidential and nonjudgmental space where they can explore the various issues that are affecting their relationship and receive guidance and support as they work their way through them.

Remember too that for every problem there is a solution. I wish you the very best for the future.

Read more

I am heartbroken and finding it hard to move on

Ask Miriam: 'Should I keep the farm in the family name?'