“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 18, 2014
DEAR ABBY: When my husband is sick or needs to have surgery, he refuses to tell his family and doesn't want me to. This puts me in a very awkward position. I'm damned if I do tell them because he will be upset with me, and damned if I don't because his family won't trust me, and I don't want things that way.

Invariably, when he gets home, he calls his family and tells them all about his surgery, and I'm left looking like I withheld the information, when it's not me at all. I have asked him what if he dies? His family will be upset not only by the tragedy, but also at me for having kept them in the dark.

I'm considering leaving him over this. I don't deserve this from him. And no, he won't see a counselor and I won't do it alone, so do you have any other advice than that?-- IN A DIFFICULT POSITION

DEAR IN A DIFFICULT POSITION: You should not be made to feel that you're stuck in the middle. It would be nice if your husband understood that when he is sick enough to be hospitalized that you might need the emotional support his family could offer. But since it's not going to happen, he should make plain to his family that he prefers to be the bearer of this kind of news, and the reason they aren't hearing it from you is because he wants it that way.

DEAR ABBY: I love my sister and enjoy chatting with her, but our schedules make it difficult to connect. When we do speak, her husband often interjects or starts another conversation with her, as if she isn't on the phone. She also settles spats between her toddlers and other things her husband could manage while we're talking.

When this happens I say, "I can tell you're tied up. Can we talk later when things settle down?" Her reply: "We can talk now. Things are always crazy around here."

As it stands, we speak only a few times a year, and I'd like her undivided attention. I have tried bringing this up a number of times, but she feels life doesn't stand still for anyone.

Is it too much to ask for 30 minutes, three times a year? We live several states apart, so having a face-to-face isn't an option. Any help would be appreciated, because I'm hurt.-- MISSING MY SISTER IN GEORGIA

DEAR MISSING YOUR SISTER: I don't blame you for feeling hurt, because apparently your sister isn't interested in having the kind of contact you would like. It may be that her husband is ultra-controlling -- hence the constant interruptions from him -- or that her household is so disorganized she's in the middle of a whirlwind.

If you haven't already, write her a letter and express your feelings. It's one way of getting your thoughts across without being interrupted. I don't think 30 minutes three times a year is a lot to ask of her. Propose setting a specific time to talk when her kids and husband aren't around. Then cross your fingers and hope she sees the light.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Aug 18, 2014
3 Of course the husband is ultra controlling! <eye roll> Here's a thought flabby....Maybe the LW is Ultra Controlling?? Maybe she is blowing it all out of proportion? Kids are fighting over the remote, must be that the father is drinking beers and ignoring them. Hubby hears a snippet of conversation about meat, and he mentions how Ribeye is on sale, so of course he in interrupting and trying to focus attention on himself.
I think you expect your sister to enclose herself in a vacuum when she speaks to you, so you have her undivided attention. Well guess what? It dont work that way, so go get laid, push out a couple of puppies and then try to have a Calgone conversation with your sister. She's flat out told you that things are always going to be hectic, and she probably enjoys it that way, she is immersed in her life and family.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Aug 18, 2014
OH, and you only call 3 times a year? Yeah, no wonder she does not drop everything when you decide to call, you two are just sooooooo close!

How come you cant even visit once a year? I know why, its because you cant stand all the dirty socks, dishes in the sink, and toothpaste tubes with no caps on them. It's called a life, they have one, you don't.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Aug 18, 2014
I promise you I did not write either of these letters.

L1. His family knows him longer than you do. When he has been sick and discloses things later all you have to do is say, He asked me to keep it private and I respected his wishes. Period. Not your fault.

Abby is far off base thinking that having your family around you when you are sick can be supportive. It can be a royal pain in the a*s, especially if there is a medical drama queen or someone who knows better than the doctors because she had a friend whose sister had just the same thing.

As we speak my mother is angry because she won't be allowed to attend her brother's neurosurgery consultation. My mother is 82,my uncle is 78. The only connection is that because my uncle can't drive, I am giving him a ride. Mother sees this as a family outing from which she has been excluded. If she were there she would ask the doctor about just the same symptoms she has had.

High drama at 6.

L2 My husband does the same thing but so do my cats. As soon as I get on the phone, he happens to wander past the den door and ask questions or make comments. The big cat jumps on the couch and starts meowing. I ignore them both or say, Later, I'm on the phone.

Tough to figure this out isn't it?

Hancock, NY

#5 Aug 18, 2014
1: Yes, hubby needs to tell his family that it's HIS decision not to tell them. It's possible that he knows how they'll react when he's in the hospital or is sick and he doesn't want to deal with their interference or hysteria. So it is HIS right to make this decision. But you have the right to be held innocent of his family's charges and he needs to tell them so. Otherwise, his behavior could be termed passive-aggressive against you and I can see why you might want to leave.

2: I agree with Abby but could't your do more than three times a year? Do you and your sister both have computers and internet access? There are ways to have face-to-face contact that way with no cost via things like skype. If she has toddlers, you must both be at an age where you are aware of this. So write the letter and suggest you both decide on a mutually available time slot to either phone or skype. It would also give you an opportunity to meet her kids.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Detroit, MI

#6 Aug 18, 2014
2- ultra controlling? What race said

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 18, 2014
LW1: How many surgeries is this guy having such that itís a common occurrence and to the point that you are considering leaving him? How odd.

If it makes his family upset, tell them that he doesnít want you telling them in advance and then they can take the issue up with him.

LW2: If you only talk to her 3 times a year for 30 minutes, it seems to me you should just deal with it for 30 minutes 3 times a year.


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Aug 18, 2014
L1: His decision. Like the others said, tell them he wanted it that way. End of story. If say you are considering leaving him over this, I'm wondering if there's more to it.

L2: Some people have to be into every conversation. The sister is probably used to the husband and kids interrupting her since she obviously hasn't told them not to. One sister is trying to change the household of another. Good luck.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Aug 18, 2014
lw1: the next time you are all together with these specific family members, make a point of telling them that these are his wishes and that any questions or concerns they have over this "policy", they can hash it out with HIM with then and there.

lw2: What a whiny unrealistic attention whore. I agree with the sister. Life is not going to stop because she is on the phone with you. You are not going to get her undivided attention unless she finds herself alone.

Makes me wonder what time this call is taking place? If someone calls me between the time I get home from work and before the kids go to bed, and expects THIRTY minutes of undivided attention, they are going to be sadly disappointed. I can certainly talk, but I got other stuff going on too. You MIGHT get 5-10 minutes of undivided attention. MIGHT.

Instead of being pissed off that she is not carving out alone time just to talk to you, why not ask her when she does have alone time and YOU make yourself available then. How much time does she have between when she leaves work and then picks up the kids/gets home to the kids? Talk to her then(and y'all can F off with the inevitable don't talk and drive comments. My wife's car has built in blutooth phone integration and its awesome).

As for the husband being controlling, go F yourself. If my wife is on the phone, and I got a question that needs answering, I need it answered now. I ain't sittin there with my thumb up my a$$ for 30 minutes, and I would not expect her to do so either were it me on hte phone.

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