Wife can’t muster sym­pa­thy when hus­band gets a cold

Pawtucket Times - - AMUSEMENTS - Jeanne Phillips


I feel like a ter­ri­ble wife when my hus­band gets sick — not ma­jorly sick, but with a run-of-the-mill cold. Men can be ter­ri­ble ba­bies when they are sick. It is a COLD! He’s not dy­ing. I hap­pen to have a cold right now, and I am func­tion­ing just fine and not moan­ing and groan­ing about it.

Also, I am not his mother! When he whines, I shut down or be­come touchy and crabby. If he doesn’t whine, I’m happy to take care of him, but I can’t take the time dur­ing the day to lie in bed with him (I work from home, so I am ac­ces­si­ble to him) to keep him warm. I can’t stay up un­til mid­night rub­bing his back, and I can­not tol­er­ate the sappy whin­ing.

I made him aware of my dis­dain for the way sick men be­have a num­ber of years ago, but he still acts like the world is end­ing when he has a cold. How do I tend to him with­out feel­ing re­sent­ful?


DEAR NOT HIS MOTHER: Cold sea­son is in full swing now. Your hus­band didn’t catch one on pur­pose. When peo­ple feel frag­ile they need TLC, and he is no ex­cep­tion.

Here’s how to “tend” to him: Keep a sup­ply of chicken soup on hand, and in­sist he keep drink­ing it to stay hy­drated. (Chicken soup has mag­i­cal cu­ra­tive pow­ers.) If he has a headache, there are over-the-counter meds he can take, so sug­gest it when he com­plains. While you’re at the pharmacy, buy a heat­ing pad and an ex­ten­sion cord for him so you can keep work­ing if he has the chills. (You prob­a­bly caught his cold while you were cud­dling.) San­i­tize any sur­face he may have touched.

Even if you aren’t feel­ing sym­pa­thetic, try to ap­pear as if you are — and keep your sense of hu­mor. A fi­nal sug­ges­tion: Sleep apart un­til he’s no longer con­ta­gious, which may give him an in­cen­tive to re­cover faster.


Ev­ery year, my adult sib­lings and mother ex­change Christ­mas gifts. Since my hus­band died in 2012, my sis­ter has told me she has made a gift in our name to the Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy As­so­ci­a­tion. She also makes a pro­duc­tion of telling this to my chil­dren.

Abby, the MDA sends the per­son in whose name a do­na­tion has been made a no­ti­fi­ca­tion about it, but we have never re­ceived a no­tice of any kind from them. When I con­tacted them and asked, I was told a do­na­tion was never re­ceived.

I al­ways give my sis­ter an ex­pen­sive gift. Af­ter find­ing out what has been go­ing on, I am re­ally up­set. Is this ac­cept­able? I have no prob­lem with not ex­chang­ing gifts, but this seems to be a way to re­ceive with­out giv­ing. — HURT IN GE­OR­GIA

DEAR HURT: Ly­ing is not ac­cept­able, and your sis­ter should be ashamed of her­self if that’s what has been go­ing on. Tell her that, hav­ing re­ceived no no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the MDA ac­knowl­edg­ing her do­na­tion, you con­tacted them to ask why and were “shocked” to hear no do­na­tion had been made. If she can’t pro­duce proof of pay­ment, from now on agree to ex­change Christ­mas cards — if you’re still speak­ing.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Let­ter Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 610540447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

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