Dear Barb – Husband Issues

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have been taking my elderly neighbor shopping with us for the past few months. I thought everything was fine until last week when she told me she no longer wants to go with us. She said she doesn’t want my husband to be responsible for her; she needs to take care of herself. She also said something about my husband’s ego and was very critical of him. I just said well whatever you want and let it go, but it has been bothering me. Her husband of 40 years left her for a younger woman and I know that is still bothering her. Every time she gets in the car the conversation always ends up with her trash talking her husband. I think maybe she just hates men, which would explain why she did not want my husband helping her, what do you think?
Thanks, Catherine.

Hi Catherine:

It’s nice for you to take your neighbor shopping, but it does seem like she has some issues. I guess it would be very disheartening to have your husband leave after 40 years! She probably does have some resentment for men, especially since you mentioned she was critical of your husband. Obviously she fears becoming dependent on your husband, even for her groceries. She may be more inclined to go if you take her shopping, thus alleviating her fear of becoming dependant on a man. My advice would be to just let it go; sometimes it’s very difficult to figure out why people do the things they do.

Dear Barb:

I’m a forty year-old mom of three who is working full time and taking courses at AU. Life just seems to be so busy for me; I never have time to relax. My husband is very laid back and leaves everything up to me. I feel like I’m going through the motions of life and not enjoying anything. I was thinking of seeing my doctor to get some tranquilizers to help me relax, but I’m not sure that is the right thing to do. Everyone tells me to just relax, but that’s easier said than done!!! Do you have any suggestions on how I can learn to relax?
Stressed in Calgary!

Dear Stressed:

I am not surprised that you are stressed as your life is very busy with working full time, going to school and raising three children. Wow I’m exhausted just thinking about it! You say your husband is very laid back and that is fine, but he needs to help out. A lot of men are reluctant to take on a task for fear of not doing it the way their wife would like it to be done. Try making up a schedule so he is responsible for some of the chores and child care. Suggesting ways he can help out will give him the direction he needs. Also discuss your stress levels with your doctor; there may be other options for you besides tranquilizers. You need to learn to relax. Join a yoga or meditation class. While you are driving to and from work pop in a relaxation CD, it will calm you and give you quiet breaks during the day. Take care of yourself first, otherwise your family, marriage and work will suffer. Good Luck!

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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