My husband insists he’ll do the outdoor chores, yet procrastinates endlessly. Our garden is overrun with weeds, the garage is a mess, etc., but he won’t let me hire a local teenager, cheap.
Otherwise, he’s a good father and husband.
A manicured lawn, shining windows and well-organized garage are cold comfort when a husband is a workaholic, a womanizer or a control freak.
You’re on the lucky side of the relationship world. Show appreciation when the work is done, and it may happen sooner. If not, start weeding.
I nearly died from a pancreatic disease that resulted in a transplant; I’m still recovering, there are no guarantees.
The illness was a major cause of my marriage breakup (26 hospitalizations). Some friends and family members play down or ignore the seriousness, like I had a bunion removed. BELIEVE me, I’m not looking for attention but it hurts me that some people act like it was/is nothing.
Why do people avoid the situation or behave as though it was no big deal? Some won’t even discuss it or act like I should be running marathons by now.
- Bewildered in Bloomingdale
The vast majority of people don’t want to even think about mortality and risky surgery, because 1) they’re squeamish (more common than you think); 2) they don’t know how to handle other people’s pain; 3) they feel it’s intrusive to ask about serious health issues, especially those that involve internal organs.
Here’s a different perspective – those who call, visit or send cards are showing interest, even if not on the level you’d like. Those who say you should be up and running, are often “boosters,” who think encouragement is a get-well gift. It’s common after life-threatening illness to experience some depression, and this may be affecting your reaction.
Talk to your doctor, and focus on healing... the better you feel, the less you’ll be concerned about others’ bedside manners.
My son, 42, is an alcoholic and no girl can tolerate him too long.
His new relationship has lasted one year; she has two young children and he’s always complaining about their behaviour. They’re sweet, normal children and Mom is doing her best as a single mom. He thinks they should eat everything on their plate (he doesn’t). He’s acting worse than I’ve seen in the past. Should I approach him about it?
It’s hard seeing what he’s doing to himself and his devoted partner. I tell her she should leave but she wants to help him, yet says she won’t tolerate it much longer.
He doesn’t know she confides in me. I believe he needs counselling - I sometimes think he’s bipolar.
- Helpless in Ontario
The young children need protection, so a more intense intervention appears necessary, soon. He needs to know what’s at stake – losing this woman; she needs your strong support for leaving him if his behaviour is threatening her kids physically or emotionally.
Meantime, try to talk to him as a concerned mother about his drinking and mood swings; suggest a medical check-up based on the possibility of health problems, which may be the only way to get him checked for a disorder which is being compounded by alcohol abuse.
Urge his girlfriend to have a plan for leaving him quickly and safely, in case of an emergency need.
You’d both benefit if you could attend an Alanon/Alateen meeting in order to learn more about surviving a relationship with an alcoholic.
My sister has an opportunity to move to my city but has financial constraints. I’d like her to live with my husband and me. We have good jobs; our basement is finished, unused by us; she’d be willing to live there.
My husband feels there’d be consequences for our relationship.
I feel that denying her would have much worse consequences for my relationship.
I’m hearing, “My way, or nothing.” Your husband is posing a logical possibility – that she/you will change the nature of your relationship – and that’s naturally worrying him. YOU, by contrast, are raising a threat: You’ll hold his refusal against him.
I’m siding with Hubby: If you (and he) want to help Sis, get her a basement apartment nearby, and help with the rent until she can manage herself. She’ll be in your city, you’ll have your privacy, she’ll have her opportunity. Problem solved, right?
Tip of the day:
When the healthy shy away from understanding severe illness, it’s usually self-protection, not lack of caring.