Dear Barb – Life After Death

Dear Barb:
I was married previously but my husband of ten years passed away after a brief illness. We had a great marriage and loved each other very much. He believed women should be spoiled and treated special. The problem is that my present husband (of three years) does not share this philosophy and so treats me in a different way. For example, my first husband opened car doors for me and always tended to my needs before his own. Whereas my present husband takes care of himself first and feels it is not necessary to do things like open doors etc. I am having a hard time accepting this and we often argue about it. He says I should stop comparing him to my late husband. Am I wrong to expect the same treatment as I had previously? What do you think? Thanks, Marilyn.

Hi Marilyn:
Thanks for your question. Each person is unique and therefore treats people in their own way, however if you do not feel loved by your present husband that could create a lot of problems within your marriage. Perhaps you need to learn to accept him for who he is and possibly modify your expectations. Strive to appreciate the fact that you were fortunate to have experienced what you had with your late husband and move on. I’m sure in time you and your present husband will come to an understanding where you will be able to see his expression of love as unique to him and not compare him to your late husband. Hope this helps.

Dear Barb:
I have a cat that I love tremendously. She is nineteen years old and seems to be in a lot of pain. I am struggling with making the decision as to when is the right time to put her down. She is still eating really well and does respond to me, it’s just that she seems to be in a lot of pain when she walks and has a pronounced limp. My vet suggested we put her on a heavy narcotic. I tried that once but she was so strung out and paranoid that I don’t want to put her through that again. I wish she would just pass away in her sleep so I would not have to make this decision. I don’t know what to do! Cara.

Dear Cara:
Nineteen years is quite a long time for a cat to live, you must have been providing her with excellent care. You are in a situation that all pet owners will eventually find themselves. Unfortunately there is no easy answer. The most important consideration is whether your cat is getting some enjoyment from her life. As you say she is eating really well, so she obviously is obtaining some gratification from mealtime. Also, if she is enjoying the attention you provide, then she is also receiving pleasure from her interaction with you. As far as her pain level, I think you are the only one who can determine how bad it is, as you are with her every day. Ask yourself if she having more bad days than good days? If she reaches a point where she can’t stand up or use her litter, then the situation is quite serious. Undoubtedly it is a difficult decision to make, but you are the only one who can make it. I’ve heard it said that in regards to euthanatizing a pet, it is better to be a week early than a week late. Thanks for your important question Cara and best of 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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