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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
About four years ago, after 17 years of marriage (no children), working full time, having a part-time cleaning job , doing 90 percent of the housework and doing 80 percent of the yardwork , I asked my husband whether I could quit my part-time job .
I was 42 and in good shape but having painful back problems from the type of work I did . My husband had a good job, and with a little bit of corner cutting , we didn't need the money from my part-time job . He agreed, but after a while , he began to seem distant and started talking constantly about a girl at work --- how amazing she was because she worked full time and went to school while caring for her two children . 
After months of this , I thought a second job part-time job might make him treat me with more respect . Then my mother broke her arm and my father needed treatment for prostate cancer . So I helped them , along with working along with full time and a part-time job and doing the housework and yard-work . It didn't help . My husband hung out with that "amazing" girl . He also spent a lot of time with a guy that convinced him I was a freeloader .
After a horrible vacation where he bought earrings for Ms. Amazing and presents for her sons . I found emails between them . He admitted he was in love with her but said nothing had happened . He eventually moved out and filed for a divorce , but when he heard that I had moved to Hawaii , he tried to woo me back . After six months of promises that he had changed , I returned home . 
I recently found a text from this same girl , asking when he'll be working with her again so they can go to lunch . I left the house . He says the girl has a boyfriend and I'm overreacting . Am I ?
Hawaii Bound 
Dear Hawaii ,
You are/were in an abusive relationship. That doesn't mean your husband beats you. He is verbally and emotionally abusive. He does not love or respect you any more, if he ever did. And, unless you wish to live as miserably, as you were....until you have worked yourself to death, get far away from him. You have to give yourself a chance at happiness and see that there are people in the world who are not controlling, selfish and passive aggressive. Your husband is all of those.
The fact that he said he loved another woman is more than enough reason to leave.  It proves he has no respect for you because he was flaunting it in order to punish you for displeasing him, when you quit your part-time job. Please don't believe that any of this is your fault and that things will get better if you only do all the things he claims will make him happy. You will never be able to please him, no matter what, or how much you do. He has made you feel responsible for his happiness and you are not.
 When you left him, he realized his income had diminished, significantly, and he was used to having that money. And there was nobody to cook, clean, do his laundry and mow the lawn etc. All of a sudden he had to do these things for himself. And that, my dear, is the reason he would have told you anything in the world to get you back. He has no intention of giving up his girlfriend on the side. Or if he does, another one will come along.
You did the right thing, once, by leaving. Your instincts were correct. The only mistake you made is going back. 
If you would feel comfortable discussing this with a professional, relationship councilor to get your thoughts in order and move forward, you should do so.  Do it on your own. Your family physician can probably put you in touch with someone experienced in abusive marital situations. 
Take care of yourself.

Dear Maxy , 
My co-workers and I have decided to be healthier and bring a potluck style lunch for everyone on Wednesdays as opposed to eating fast food . Most of these lunches have been great and they allow us to see what our co-workers eat at home . One of my co-workers brings hongeo , a fermented skate fish dish from Korea . This dish is on lists of the smelliest foods in the world --- I did my research ! No one ever eats it and it creates a general revulsion around the entire event , which used to be very pleasant . My co-worker does not seem to care that her contribution turns off everyone to the idea of eating . It seems to give her a pass to eat all the other food while not worrying if hers will be gone . Drawing rules around this event would single her out , but this stench is impossible to be around . Should I just send out a potluck email with some guidelines ?
Hating Hongeo
Dear Hating Hongeo ,
Why not start  by speaking  directly  to your co-worker ? Talk to her privately, thank her for her participation in the potluck. Then explain to her that the dish she has been bringing has not been a group  favorite . Explain  that you have observed  that people are not eating  it  and  that the dish's pungent smell  overtakes the rest of the food .
If that does not work, you might send out  a group email  about the potluck, asking participants to vary what they bring so that  the group can try other food choices .  Also suggest that they take note of what the popular favorites are with the group, so they can repeat them. You will end up with a menu with something for everyone.

Dear Maxy ,
At a dinner party I attended last weekend , the group had an honest conversation about money . There was 10 people sitting around the table lamenting about not being able to afford something .Then debts , loans , earnings and savings worked their way into the conversation . I was very surprised . 
I had grown up in a town where talking about money was considered extremely rude and a major faux pas . I stayed quiet for the conversation except for when I was asked what I was saving up for , I simply answered , "a nice vacation."
I feel as though excusing myself is too dramatic and I would like a polite or funny response for when I'm asked about my financial situation . Any tips ?
Mum about money , Biloxi , Mississippi 
Dear Mum About  Money,
While the conversation may be uncomfortable and you don't have to take part, I suggest  that you make use of the knowledge, listen closely and learn . It's true that most people don't talk about  money at a dinner party but it is an important topic in every one's life.  You may pick up some useful tips. This particular group of people is always going to discuss these matters. Until  you  find  your comfort zone, you can honestly say, when asked , that  you are listening and learning .


Dear Maxy ,
My wife and I are in our mid-70s and have no children . However , we have had pets , mostly cats , for all our 50 years together . 
About 13 years ago , we bought an 8-week-old female Boston terrier pupy . A few months later a friend called us about a female Boston terrier that he could not keep and offered it to us . We took it on a trail basis and since it got along well with our dog (and our two cats ), we ended up keeping it . 
We loved them both like they were our children . They rarely barked , got along great with adult and child visitors and loved being in the car . They were the best pets we ever had . We loved them . Both dogs were under the regular care of a vet . About a month ago , Spunky died in her sleep . It was devastating to lose her . Then , two weeks later, Petunia died . We are truly heartbroken .
I want to get another puppy or young dog as soon as possible . However , the problem my wife . She misses these dogs as much as I do, but she feels we are too old to get another dog . What do you think we should do ? 

Grieving for Our Pets
Dear Grieving ,
My  condolences  on the loss  of  your beloved  dogs . I know it's like losing a family member or an old friend.
Multiple  studies  have shown that seniors  greatly benefit, emotionally, from having pets  to love and care for . It is also good for older people health-wise. Pets relieve stress, lower blood pressure, keep you walking and moving. But  do keep in mind  that puppies  are  generally more work than older  dogs . Your  wife  may  not  feel up  to the task . Please discuss  it with  her  and consider  the possibility  of adopting  an older  dog . You would also be rescuing a very grateful friend.  The dog would be less energetic and likely house broken.
You may  also want to take into account the likelihood
of your someday  moving into a senior  facility  that does not  allow animals . Some seniors  handle  this  by having a friend  or  relative agree  to take  the animals  when they can no longer care for them .
Share the love,

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