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Ask Amy: Husband says wife must not roam from home

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Your suggestions?

– Homebound

Dear Homebound: Other than controlling your time away from your home, your husband “lets you do whatever you like to do.”

Yes, marriage is fueled by compromise, but one partner should not actually be in charge of the other.

The kindest assumption is that your husband feels extremely anxious about you being away from home, and he reacts to his anxiety by acting out and trying to control you.

I suggest that you sit down with him and say: “Over the next 12 months, I plan to be away from home overnight for a total of around 14 [or whatever number] nights. This includes a trip to Greece, and an overnight or two with the kids or my friends. I’d love for you to come with me to Greece, if you can swing it. I understand that this is hard for you.”

 

If your relatively brief sojourns away from home inspire him to threaten divorce or emotionally punish you, then you need to decide whether you are willing to tolerate that in order to stay with him.

Threats of divorce are an extremely manipulative tool to try to control you, made by someone who feels very out of control. These threats actually weaken your relationship. If this is his “go to” nuclear option, then you should call him on it.

Dear Amy: My best friend has the annoying habit of copying me.

If I upgrade my phone, she upgrades hers. If I buy a designer purse, she'll purchase the same brand.

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