Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy nature.
The second night they were there, the husband went to bed very early and the three of us were visiting. At one point, my friend went into the kitchen. When she didn’t come out, I went to check on her and found her close to a diabetic coma.
It was very frightening. She hadn’t eaten much dinner and her blood sugar had crashed to a dangerous level. Fortunately, we knew what to do because my dad was diabetic.
We were an hour from the nearest hospital and had no cell reception. We did not know where her medication was. My friend was making no sense and couldn’t remember.
I want to respect my friends’ privacy, but if you travel with someone you know has a medical condition, is it OK to ask where they keep their meds in case of an emergency? How do you approach the subject?
Dear Caring Friend: Of course it’s OK. And a perfect way to lead up to that question would be to relate the story you have written to me.
Dear Abby: My husband, for the most part, is a happy-go-lucky, funny person during the day. But once we sit down to dinner, he starts criticizing and making mean comments about me. Once dinner is over, he’s back to being pleasant.
I have addressed this with him to no avail. I have tried ignoring his comments, changing the subject, asking calmly for him to make his concerns known before or after rather than during the meal. I have suggested we eat dinner away from the table or separately. I have sought the counsel of a therapist and tried implementing her suggestions.
I am at my wits’ end. I’m a well-educated, good person, a good wife and co-provider. I do not understand why he acts this way at the dinner table. Your thoughts, Abby?
It’s All Good, Until …
Dear It’s All Good: When someone tells me, “It’s all good” and then describes a marriage in which her husband beats her down emotionally once a day, I have to wonder what her definition of “good” is. For whatever reason, your husband appears to be trying to punish you for something by deliberately upsetting you every evening.
Was it his behavior that caused you to seek counseling or something else? I ask because I think the wrong spouse may have seen the therapist. Unless HE decides to get help and find a healthier way of channeling his anger/frustration, nothing will change, because as it stands, there have been no “consequences” for his actions.
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.