Dear Annie: I need some advice. My wife has anger issues. A few days ago, we moved our youngest son to a different bedroom and the two of them got into it. She wanted him to do something her way, and he wanted to do it his way. She got mad and said, “I’m done, done, done.” Now she is sleeping in his old room and won’t talk to anyone.
Our oldest son, who moved out because of his mother’s mood changes, thinks she is bipolar. I talked to our doctor, who says my wife should be examined and probably needs to be on medication, but I know she won’t go.
I love my wife with all my heart, but I’m afraid if she keeps this up, she will alienate the rest of the kids. I’m trying my best to keep our family intact, but I’m tired of doing it alone.
I know if you print this I’ll be in the doghouse again, but I’ll take the chance, hoping it will make her wake up. – Lonely in Rockford, Ill.
Dear Lonely: If your wife has a mental health problem (and it sounds like it), she may not recognize that any of this friction is a result of her own behavior. She quite possibly believes everyone feels as she does. Don’t assume she won’t see a doctor. Talk to her about your concerns and ask her to consult someone. Explain that it could make a world of difference for all of you. Meanwhile, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at (800) 950-NAMI (800-950-6294) and ask for help.
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 60s and have been married for only a few years. We each had been single for a long time and are happy to have found each other. We both have children in their 30s. His daughters live across the country.
The problem is, the girls never remember his birthday and this hurts him very much. Mind you, the older one regularly sends him her birthday list a month in advance. This year I called to remind them, and one got mad at me because I hadn’t given her “enough time.”
One year I gave them calendars for Christmas with their dad’s birthday circled, and they still didn’t bother to send a card. It makes me furious how they treat him. Any advice? – Florida Stepmom
Dear Florida: Start small. The morning of Dad’s birthday, phone the girls and ask sweetly if they will give their father a call on his special day. The following year, phone them a week ahead and suggest they send Dad a card. If these suggestions fall on deaf ears, you’re out of luck. Try not to make too big a deal out of it, since that will just fan the flames. Instead, make special plans of your own.