I saw you on TV discussing football “widowhood.” You talked about setting boundaries and being honest about your feelings. But what if your husband doesn’t seem to care? He knows I hate how much time he spends on the couch, and yet he thinks it’s his right since he works hard all week. He doesn’t get that I’d rather him spend some time with me sometimes. —Football Widow, Va.
Blaming this issue on football gets tricky, as it might be more complex than that. On the surface, it’s simple: He wants to relax after working hard, and you want to be able to spend some time with him without losing out to men in spandex.
My automatic advice would be to plan inviolable times during the week that you spend together, and then for you to cultivate some additional interests to distract you on Sundays. But that might not get at the root of the issue, which is your feeling that your husband doesn’t value your feelings, or prioritize you to the extent that you prioritize him. Try the date nights, and see whether you start to feel more at ease. If he balks, it’s time for a deeper conversation about how you feel like he “doesn’t care.”
Your Willpower Versus Her Will
My mother-in-law and I have always been icy with each other. We survived the wedding planning process by not having much contact and plastering fake smiles on our faces when we did. But we’ve learned to live with each other. The problem is that lately after some health issues, she’s talking about her will. She’s told my husband she’s concerned that I will eventually inherit her money if my husband were to pass away, and she wants it to “stay in the family.” He is an only child and we have no kids, and the whole thing is just ridiculous. I don’t care about her money, but I hate that she is making this an issue, and I feel like I might finally let her have it. —Annoyed Daughter-in-Law
Where is your husband in this? Presumably, he’s the one relaying her feelings to you — I assume she’s not sending “You’re not in my will!” singing telegrams — and so he should be running interference. If you don’t care about her money, you shouldn’t have to hear about it, and there’s nothing more you need to do. Tell your husband it’s hurtful and gets you nowhere to be involved. Then plaster on that fake grin, same as always, and call it a day.