My husband of 28 years and I are mid-50’s. To my surprise and hurt, the coronavirus has driven us apart.
We’re just two of us, as our only child’s married and lives elsewhere.
I’ve worked from home for years. My husband worked in an office but was laid off last April.
He used to do his chosen chores - spring cleaning and garden work - along with weekly cleanups with me and general helping out.
But despite being home together for months, he hasn’t lifted a hand.
He doesn’t help sweep/vacuum though he sees me doing it, nor put used sheets/towels/dirty clothes in the laundry machine, nor even dry pots that I’ve washed! I find his behaviour very unfair. When I complain, he says that he’d work if he had his job back, but he doesn’t. So, he’s “entitled” to watch TV, go for walks, nap, and wait COVID-19 out.
I’m at the end of patience and understanding. How do I handle this? I’m ready to separate when he gets back to work.
Fed Up and Tired
Your frustration and annoyance at carrying the load for two of you, are understandable. It’s unfair.
But so are these times of lost jobs and incomes, anger, anxiety, frustration, and fear of catching the virus.
Your husband’s possibly depressed, indicated by his sleeping in the day though he’s done no work.
He knows he’s being unfair but sees himself as the greater victim. And there are many who feel similarly.
There IS hope ahead in the possibility of a safe vaccine sometime within the next year.
And there are also current sources of help.
Mental health issues seeming to affect your husband and you by extension, are a common pandemic effect.
That’s why Ontario, for example, has put a lot of effort into directing people to help from the difficulties they’re currently facing from Covid-related factors.
Check out the website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-support-people
You’ll find information on help for mental health and wellness and far more.
Tell your husband about how much you miss the feeling of teamwork, doing things in the house together. Tell him you worry about his low spirits/energy and want him to feel better and more hopeful.
Example of just one of the mental health/wellness programs available:
Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT).
It’s a practical, short-term program delivered online. It helps people develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression.
To learn more and get services advertised as free and available to Ontarians, contact either: AbilitiCBTby Morneau Shepell or MindBeacon.
I’m a woman, 39, who met a cute neighbour, 48, a few months ago. We quickly connected.
Neither of us has been married before, though we’ve both had serious relationships. I never wanted to be a Mom and he’s fine with that.
My problem is that I’m reluctant to introduce him to my family. They’re very judgemental about background and education.
This man’s very street-smart, has always worked at something decent, treats me wonderfully.
I’m an artist who sells well in a good market, but less now, so my parents sometimes help me out.
We seem to be falling in love. How do I deal with my parents?
Approach them as the adult you are.
Express confidence in him so far.
But, since it’s only been a few months, don’t announce heavy plans for the future. Let them get to know him.
You’ll also feel more certain of qualities he brings to your relationship.
My wife’s family is large and gregarious. That used to feel like great fun. Not now, as they pack together in the parents’ small house, hug and kiss and believe it’s okay because they’re related.
Some have kids going to schools. There are two new high-school girlfriends of the grandsons, also invited along.
So far, no one’s gotten sick, so they all believe they’re immune.
Frankly, I want to skip these gatherings. But my wife says her parents will be terribly hurt. What do you suggest?
Masked and Worried
Protect yourself without being rude and ignore any attempts to make you feel foolish or extreme.
Arrive extra early before there’s a crowd, bring something delicious and noticeable to add to the table (it spreads goodwill).
Consider bringing a game for the youngsters that’ll separate them off for a while to another space.
When you get uncomfortable, leave quietly, saying you came early.
Tip of the day:
Look into available and free mental health/wellness supports to combat anxiety, depression etc.