April 13, 2013 in Features

Husband’s not social with family

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: I have been married to “Dennis” for eight years. Early on, Dennis couldn’t do enough for me. Now, if my car won’t start, he yells at me and says to call a tow truck. If I ask him to spend time with me, he always has other things to do. On the rare occasion when we attend a social event together, he abandons me so he can “work the room” and have a great time with everyone else. We arrive together and leave together, and the rest of the time, I sit alone, miserable and forgotten.

Dennis will go above and beyond for others. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night, raining, snowing, spending money we don’t have, missing meals, birthdays, holidays and our daughter’s school programs. If it’s a chance to make himself look good, he’s there with a smile and compassion. I get the repairman to take care of me with a handshake and a bill. But when I ask Dennis to treat his family with the same enthusiasm, he calls me a selfish nag.

Yes, I resent all the people he helps, because they get the side of my husband that belongs to me. I’m told to take care of myself because he’s too busy helping others and inflating his ego. I get whatever is leftover. I love Dennis, but I’m starting to feel that he only gave me his adoration and helpfulness because he was trying to win my heart. How do I deal with this? – Wife of the Plumber with Leaky Pipes at Home

Dear Wife: Some people put on a good show for others, but at home, they let down the facade. We recommend counseling, preferably with Dennis, but without him if necessary. We also suggest you stop relying on your husband to provide your social life. Instead of sitting “miserable and forgotten,” develop your conversational skills. Get involved in some local activities that interest you so you are less dependent on Dennis’s availability. You need to take better care of yourself.


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