I love my husband of 35 years, but more recently our relationship has changed, negatively.
He’s long been addicted to marijuana and smoking-up comes first in his life, several times daily.
He doesn’t admit to addiction and tells me to shut up about it.
But now I’ve caught scabies from him for the third time in two years.
He started the rash a week before me and I told him to get treatment. He refused to accept that it’s scabies again.
I kept distant until we shared a bed at a friend's cottage. Next morning, I had scabies.
After a doctor confirmed it, I thought he'd admit where he picked them up (it’s most commonly caught from intimate contact and goes away with scabies treatment).
But he insists that he got the rash from the garden and has never been unfaithful.
I'm very sad that I don't believe him.
He’s not in large groups of people, hasn't been going to the gym lately, and has no reason to be touching others.
I’ve opened up to my daughter, but feel guilty burdening her. She’s been a great support to me, but am I being selfish sharing this issue with her?
Itchy and Upset
Sleep separately for a while. Unburden your daughter by saying no more.
This is TMI for her to handle, since it’s between her father and you… and he may not have had extra-marital sex.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin invasion by mites. The most common symptoms are severe itchiness, rashes and blisters, and spreads through physical contact.
You can catch it by being near someone who’s infected – e.g. through sexual relations.
But it’s also passed by being among infected kids in a daycare, on public transportation, in a hospital, clinic and doctors’ waiting rooms, gym locker rooms, clothing store fitting rooms, on beaches and sunbeds, from doorknobs, and using public computers.
Though you’re fixated on his possibly having sex elsewhere, also suggest that he washes his hands after any of the above contact-related situations.
Once you’ve thereby acknowledged that there are other possible sources for scabies, be clear that having unprotected sex would also risk your both contacting STI’s.
Since you still feel love for him, it’s time to tell yourself – and him, too – that there are things you now don’t like about him: His addiction, his denial of it, and his dismissal of your concern for him.
If nothing changes, you’ll likely grow further apart.
After 35 years, that’d be a shame for both of you.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding young people and video gaming (July 9):
Reader #1 – “I’d never understood the allure until I read that obsessive video-gaming induces a false sense of validation and power.
“But it doesn't lead to self-satisfaction nor rewards beyond a computer screen.
“I understand why these games (purposely designed to be addictive) are particularly dangerous for at-risk youth (not strong at that age regarding their own ability and self-esteem).
“Video-game companies employ marketing psychologists to take advantage of the developmental weaknesses of the age group they seek to exploit.
“Academic limits should be placed on psychological professionals who study weaknesses to exploit them.
“Their conduct in the gaming industry is shameful and ought to be illegal.”
Reader #2 – “I wonder if the bright son obsessed with video-gaming may have Asperger’s Syndrome.
“His high intelligence and delayed social maturity could be symptoms. His fixation on gaming may also be part of the condition.
“Getting tested could be helpful for him and his family.”
Is there a time frame for expecting a thank-you card for your gift after attending an event?
This past year, I attended an engagement party, bridal shower, and a wedding. I still haven’t received a thank-you card for my gifts.
When I asked one friend when I can expect my thank-you card for her wedding gift, she said she was told that she had up to a year to write it.
When I married, I had them out within two-to-three months.
Some of these events happened more than a year ago. Should I assume that I won’t be getting thanked?
The one-year-rule has been around a long time, but in the current culture of instant texts, emails, and messaging, that long interval feels rude rather than right.
Thoughtfulness goes into most gifts. The recipients should return it through thank-you cards within several months, if at all possible.
Tip of the day:
There’s often more to what’s wrong in a relationship than assumptions about cheating.