Amy: I've been married to my husband for 29 years. He's a great dad to our grown children and a good husband to me.
One aspect calms me down and sparks heated discussions: I would like to meet with my relatives and friends in Greece, where I am originally from.
He doesn't have as much time off from work as I do, and he dislikes taking lengthy trips. He's a homeman.
I have more time off from work, and I have the time and the ability to travel to my homeland for a voyage.
My husband and I have disagreements about traveling with our kids or leaving my girlfriends for a couple of days. He always guiltes me or makes me afraid to go, and sometimes he even threatens me with a divorce if I go. We end up having huge disputes.
Otherwise, he allows me to do whatever I like to do. He will absolutely not see a psychiatrist. I sometimes feel stuck because I have to make my case every time for reasons I want to go anywhere.
I wish I had a magic wand to help him understand that it is important for me to be with my family and occasionally take overnight trips to see people in order to stay connected.
Are you considering making a difference?
Outside of directing your time away from your house, your husband "lets you do whatever you want to do."
Yes, marriage is fueled by compromise, but one partner should not be effective in charge of the other.
Your husband feels extremely concerned about you being away from home, and he responds to his anxieties by acting out and trying to control you.
I suggest that you sit down with him and say, "I plan to stay away from home for a total of 14 [or whatever number] nights. This includes a trip to Greece, and an overnight or two with the kids or my friends. If you can swing it, I'd like you to come with me to Greece. I understand that this is difficult for you."
If your relatively brief sojourns away from home encourage him to contemplate divorce or emotionally punish you, then you must decide whether or not to tolerate that in order to stay with him.
Threats of divorce are an extremely improbable approach to try to get you under control, especially when approached by someone who feels completely out of control. These threats also damage your relationship. If this is his "go to" nuclear option, then you should call him on it.
Amy's best friend has the bothersome habit of sluggishly copying me.
She'll purchase the same phone if she upgrades its phone.
If I tell her I've had a good lunch in a nearby town, she'll ask where and then book a table.
I spend time researching what I get, where I shop, and discovering new places to visit.
It feels like she uses me as a concierge or personal shopper.
I used to say to my husband, "Let's see how long it takes her to purchase one like this." Over time, however, her behavior has worn thin. It has dissipated me.
Is she capable of being competitive? Envious? Clueless?
She sometimes does the same thing with her daughters.
I hope that you may provide a fresh perspective that will enable me to discuss the subject with her.
Dear Copied: The "appropriate" response is to feel at ease.
Your actual response is to feel outrage. Some of the joy of your curation-experience is to discover special items or experiences that you love.
Say, "I believe I'm not "supposed" to feel this way, but honestly, when you double my purchases, I notice it and... it disturbs me."
Amy, my wife and I are planning our anniversary celebration for the end of July, with more than 100 guests from nearby towns and a few from outside the country on our invitation list.
When should we send invitations?
Dear Wondering: It may be a busy month for those who may already be scrambling to put together their summer plans.
Now, send a "Save the Date" email, noting the details, and requesting that people include the data on their calendars.
Send your invitation in late-may or early June; this will give everyone several weeks to RSVP.
Amy Dickinson may send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.