Dear Abby: When my brother and I were 6 and 10, our parents sat us down and told us they were going to divorce because dad was having an affair. Mom was, to say the least, incredibly hurt. His pain and resentment have not subsided to this day. Dad never apologized to her, but has supported her financially ever since.
Mom tried therapy, but the minute a therapist upsets her, she stops going. My parents now both live close to my sister to help her take care of her twins. Mom is constantly angry at things Dad does or because he isn’t being friendly enough with her. She says he is nicer to strangers than to her.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but they’ve been divorced now longer than they’ve been married. It’s exhausting, and you start to feel like you’re allowing it. I hate that what happened defined the last two decades of his life. Is there anything I can say to communicate that it’s high time to get it over with, but in a nicer way that might be helpful, and maybe won’t let her too much space to tell me that I blame the victim? — What is past is past
Dear What’s Past: I, too, am sorry about what happened at your parents’ wedding. That your mom was unable to move past the divorce and quit therapy the minute a therapist says something she doesn’t want to hear is very sad – for her. What you need to understand is that some people cling to their “victim” for comfort. This saves them from having to acknowledge their own contribution to their failure.
Because you have tried unsuccessfully in the past to help your mother let go of her bitterness, I advise you to stop trying. In your own interest, when she starts complaining about your father, change the subject, end the conversation, or log off. Turning it on doesn’t help either.
Dear Abby: My husband and I have a business and work together. He takes care of the sales and I keep the books. I raised her children, scheduled all the appointments, and took care of everyone’s needs, including the pets. I also do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc.
I tend to suffer from depression and need at least eight hours of sleep every night. For this reason, I only work in the office four to five hours a day. My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t work eight to ten hours a day. I do what MUST be done. Of the many other companies we have known, wives are supposed to. How to make him understand ? — Work enough in California
Dear Working Enough: Based on your description of your weekly activities, you not only meet normal expectations, but you exceed them. Explain to your husband that people are individuals. Human bodies do not all work the same way. If he can’t understand this, ask your doctor to explain it to him.
Has he thought about what it would cost him to hire someone else to do all the work you do? Maybe he should think about that before he criticizes you and whips you into doing more. Tell him you’ll spend about an hour more at the office if he agrees to take over at home.
PS I can understand why you “tend to suffer from depression”. You are married to a slaver.