DEAR ABBY: I was diagnosed with chronic heart failure seven years ago. It has no cure. I want to see and do more before my life is over. My husband and I have been married 29 years. After talking about this with my therapist, I was finally able to express it to my husband. He said he understands, but we will need to save for a trip and won’t be able to go until late next year.
I have told him I need to go somewhere to see more of the world very soon. I’d be willing to go by myself. He told me we needed to close out an old bank account in which there was $3,000. We have spent other money I don’t think was necessary. We are going to his sister’s wedding in a few months, which will cost around $2,500, and he’s already talking about how he’s going to take his annual vacation to see his family.
My sister said she and I should take a trip together this year to a destination four hours by car. It would be for about four days. My husband said “we’ll see” if we can afford for me to go. He doesn’t seem to realize that this is an issue about my mental health. I have explained my reasons several times. I’m tempted to just go and charge it on the credit card, but it might damage our marriage. I love him. What can I do? — WANDERLUST IN OREGON
DEAR WANDERLUST: Your medical problem lends some urgency to your desire to scratch some items off your bucket list. In light of the fact that you are unwell, perhaps “just this once” your husband could postpone his annual family visit? Please discuss this further with your therapist. Your husband should not be controlling the purse strings to the extent he has been because it appears he has been using the money to do only the things he wants to do.
DEAR ABBY: I am at my wits’ end about my marriage. Among many other issues, today feels like the last straw. My 8-year-old son stole a small toy from a store, and I made him go back into the store with me to pay for the item. My husband chastised me for doing so, saying I humiliated the boy. I saw it as an opportunity to teach my son a lesson about taking things, and my husband is worried about him feeling humiliated?
I have tried therapy for many other issues we have, but we haven’t made much progress. After today, I’m ready to give up. Fundamentally, we just don’t have the same values or want the same things. Please tell me your thoughts on what happened with my son. It breaks my heart because it is so confusing to the boy. — TRYING TO PARENT
DEAR TRYING: You handled the petty theft incident perfectly. You corrected your son’s misdeed and made him take responsibility for it. For that you should have been applauded, not chastised. But setting that aside for a moment, you stated that there are many problems in your marriage. Since they haven’t been able to be resolved with counseling, it may be time to weigh alternative options such as a temporary separation or divorce.
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 http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.