Dear Amy: I am a wife to a good husband who is 12 years older than I am.
We recently lost his wonderful mother (at age 93), and mine (she was 80 when she died).
I loved both of these women and I miss them terribly.
My mother lived with my husband and me for the past five years, and I took care of her.
Now that she is gone, I am craving having some time alone.
I haven't had time to myself at all! My husband has retired and does volunteer work weekly, at two different places.
I have asked him to please let me have a day to myself every week.
I have yet to receive that. He just doesn’t seem to get it.
I keep telling him that I need a day to myself.
He isn't listening; he plans his days home with my scheduled days off.
Do I just tell him a lie (“oh I'm off this day”), and say I made a mistake after I get my day at home?
I feel overwhelmed with still working 40-plus hours a week, planning meals, doing laundry, and helping with yard work.
He does help with laundry and vacuums for me.
But I just want a day to myself! Is this too much to ask?
– Needing “Me” Time!
Dear Needing: No, getting time to yourself is NOT too much to ask. You have already asked, and your husband – for whatever reason – is not willing to grant you what you need.
So take it.
Ask your husband about his volunteer schedule for the week and then rearrange your work schedule to be at home while he is gone.
Just make your plan and then explain, after the fact. Say, “I HAVE to have some time to myself at home. It’s that simple. In fact, I plan to do this each week.”
Your husband might be one of those people who never needs to be alone, and so he doesn’t realize how necessary and restorative a few hours of alone-time can be.
I also highly recommend taking a mini-break and going to a nearby spot for a day and overnight by yourself, if at all possible. You will return feeling so much better – and you can hope that your husband will note and appreciate the positive impact on you.
Overall, it seems that your husband could do more to step up at home.
If he has the energy to volunteer outside the home, then why can’t he do more to ease your domestic burden?
Dear Amy: "Wondering" was unsure if she should tell her friend that the woman’s husband was having an affair. I appreciate she gave the husband the opportunity to tell his wife first, but he didn't.
It's interesting that people who possess such knowledge feel they will "destroy someone's marriage" or "ruin someone's life" if they share such information.
My husband lived in the basement, emotionally left our family, and basically ignored us (my two young boys and me) for five years.
He barely worked, destroyed our finances, and will never have to pay back the tens of thousands of dollars he "borrowed" from my parents.
I thought he was depressed. I didn't know that he was having an affair with one of my friends.
Mutual friends were very suspicious of their relationship but chose not to tell me. Yes, it would have been hard to hear the truth, but having the knowledge of his affair would have saved me from five years of him draining our bank accounts, five years of emotional hell, and five developmental years of my boys' lives. One son, now 18, told me, "You didn't want to leave Dad because you thought your boys needed a father, but we didn't have a father." Ouch. Telling someone about their spouse's affair could actually be life-giving. It is not a happy marriage and you are not the one destroying it, the cheating spouse is.
– Healthier Mom, Healthier Kids
Dear Healthier: Knowing the truth also enables a couple to work on repairing a marriage. Many relationships do survive infidelity.
Dear Amy: Recently, a mother-in-law (“Mom”) griped about her daughters-in-law, saying that one of these women was a “sassy” and the other was a “slob.”
I wish that you had pointed out that the daughter-in-law who is a slob at home is married to a man (her son!) who could certainly clean up their house if he wanted to.
Dear Disappointed: Absolutely. This particular mother-in-law sounded like a nightmare.
©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.