My Husband Holds Grudges
My husband cannot let things go – he holds grudges for way longer than the offense is worth. He brings up things that happened months/years ago to remind me of what he says are my faults. It’s not just me; he gives his sister grief for dropping him when he was one and she was three. Aside from pointing out that he’s being ridiculous when he gets going on some old grudge, do you have any suggestions on how I can make him stop?
Dear Nameless One,
News flash: You can’t change another person’s personality. Your husband didn’t start this yesterday. He was doing it before you married him. You heard him during the courtship and thought it wasn’t so bad. You married him anyway, thinking, “Aww, I can handle it.” It wasn’t cute then, and it’s not cute now. So, follow through on the decision you made when you said your vows (for better or worse) and live with it. It’s a part of his personality, and he ain’t gonna change. Nobody’s perfect, and if he’s been doing this with his family, it’s really just a continuation of who he truly is.
Your question should be: How do I live with it? Well, remind yourself of when it didn’t bother you so much early in the relationship. Funny how things switch after many years of marriage. What wuz cute is about to get on your last nerve. All of you longtime married folks know what I’m talking about. LOL. Anyway, back to my suggestion: When he gets going, leave him in his space. Meditate on things about him that make you happy. I’m sure he has many other qualities that you admire. That’s why he’s your husband. I can understand if this isn’t the answer you were looking for, but it will keep you guys united as one for many years to come. Your or my answer can’t change your husband. That Sweetie is an act only he can control.
Operating on a Tight Budget
My husband was laid off and I’m only working part time, so we’re having a hard time paying our bills and making ends meet. We hardly have enough money to pay the rent, and every day we worry about how we can make it. When my grandmother died, she left me some of her valuables – a beautiful ornate mirror, fine china and some jewelry. My husband told me to sell some of the jewelry so that we could get some money. I don’t want to do that, but I know we need to pay our bills. What do you think?
Awww, sweetie, I’m sorry. I know this is a difficult time for you and your husband. You didn’t mention any kids, so I assume it’s just the two of you. I think you guys should exhaust all of your resources and make selling your grandmother’s heirlooms the very last (about to be evicted) resort. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. The decision to sell something so precious should be your individual decision, not a joint one. She was your grandmother, so you have a ton of love invested in her memory. It’s really not his place to suggest you cut those ties that bind.
I’m sure, given the right amount of thought and sacrifice, you two can come up with other options. I’d suggest, if you haven’t already, putting yourselves on a super-duper strict budget. I’m talking about the oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ramen noodles every night budget! Vegetables will become a luxury and replace your meat options. You should also take a look at what I call your “side bills” and see what you can live without. Side bills are things like cable, wi-fi, cell phones and gym memberships. Cut back on gas, which can be expensive. Try walking places or taking the bus. Maybe you can work full-time until your husband finds a job.
Keep your head up. Things will get better; it won’t be like this forever.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.