Hubby proves he’s not a great carer

The China Post - - LIFE -

DEAR AN­NIE: My hus­band has the emo­tional IQ of a 10-yearold. I re­cently spent six hours in the emer­gency room for some tests to rule out a po­ten­tially lifethreat­en­ing prob­lem. I asked my hus­band to please drive me to the ER be­cause the doc­tors did not ad­vise that I drive my­self home af­ter­ward. His re­sponse was that he needed to stay home and take care of our dog.

This is the sec­ond time he has done this. Years ago, I had some out­pa­tient surgery. When the nurse went to look for him, he was nowhere to be found. He had driven 45 min­utes back to our house to take care of our dog and hadn’t re­turned.

Af­ter the six hours in the ER, I drove my­self home. I was ex­tremely tired, hun­gry (I had not eaten since break­fast) and stressed out. Due to nearby con­struc­tion, I had to walk sev­eral blocks in the cold and the dark to get to my car.

When I got home, my hus­band didn’t even bother to ask how I was. I had hoped (silly me) that he would buy me flow­ers or take me out to din­ner. What I got in­stead were stupid jokes and snarky com­ments. I blew my top.

He still doesn’t get that he let me down when I needed him. I told him he couldn’t have caused me any greater hurt than if he had hit me. (He’s not an abuser. Just stupid.) Talk­ing to a coun­selor is out of the ques­tion. I’m a very pri­vate per­son and would not be com­fort­able talk­ing to some­one about this. I only needed a lit­tle TLC. How do I make him un­der­stand?

— Dev­as­tated in Dixie

Dear Dixie: We sus­pect your hus­band is highly un­com­fort­able deal­ing with hos­pi­tals and sick peo­ple, so he avoids you dur­ing th­ese times. The dog pro­vides a good ex­cuse, but he shouldn’t be let off the hook. You need to be very blunt on th­ese oc­ca­sions: “Honey, I need you to stay with me at the hos­pi­tal be­cause I get scared all by my­self. Can you watch TV in my room?” If you know you’ll be there all day, make ar­range­ments for the dog with a neigh­bor. If th­ese ef­forts still don’t work, find a friend to ac­com­pany you so your hus­band’s emo­tional in­ad­e­quacy doesn’t leave you stranded and up­set.

DEAR AN­NIE: This is in re­sponse to “Weigh­ing on My Mind in Penn­syl­va­nia,” who said his sis­ter disowned him be­cause he didn’t at­tend a me­mo­rial ser­vice for her brother-in-law, with whom he didn’t so­cial­ize much.

I’d like to say this to him: Your sis­ter reached out and per­son­ally asked whether you would at­tend her brother-in-law’s fu­neral. That should have been a big clue that your at­ten­dance was im­por­tant to her. Your re­sponse, that you had “other things go­ing on,” was thought­less and self- cen­tered. Look back on your re­la­tion­ship and ask your­self whether this is the only time you’ve be­haved this way, or was it sim­ply the last straw?

— Prob­a­bly More to the Story

Dear More: You could be right. But we also think men some­times need to be taught (or put more ef­fort into learn­ing) the emo­tional nu­ances of what oth­ers ac­tu­ally want and need from them. This guy struck us as more clue­less than self-cen­tered. But you make some good points, and we thank you.

Happy Easter to our read­ers. An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@ com­cast.net, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA, USA.

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