Dear Mrs. Crabby,
My Sidney has been enjoying watching the Olympics. I’ve joined him for some of the events that I enjoy, like the gymnastics. We are not generally sports enthusiasts, but this has been an exciting Olympics this time around.
Until yesterday. Sidney was transfixed by the women’s beach volleyball. Mrs. Crabby, I could not get his attention to find out what he wanted for lunch, or to tell him his mother called and that she’s fallen again and is in the hospital waiting for surgery that she might not survive because of the rash and skin infections.
OMG, Mrs. C!! It was awful. THEN, when it was done, Sidney turns to me and has the gall to say, “Lois, sweetie, you might think about those Zumba classes at the church,” and then he pats his belly while looking “meaningfully” at mine.
Mrs. Crabby, I am 52 years old and have kept myself in good health and reasonable shape while raising our three children and catering to Sidney’s every whim, while also maintaining my career as a cashier at the race track. And instead of ever being grateful, as I certainly am with him about his contributions to our marriage and family, NOW he wants me to look like a twenty-something beach volleyball player!! The only thing washboard for me is in the laundry room. I am livid.
What should I say to him, Mrs. Crabby? I am very hurt but can’t tell him because he “doesn’t do feelings,” as he’s said often enough over the years!!
Pleasantly Plump in Peoria
You are not alone in this, hon. I’ve been hearing this all morning from other women. And I even had my own encounter with Fenwick over this, similar to yours. Here’s how I handled mine and also here’s some advice about “feelings.”
I told Fenwick that my body is a reflection of his true devotion to our marriage. My “love” handles were created as he held on while trying his best to make his “happy ending” on whoopee night. My tushie spread a bit while waiting on him to come home late from boys nights out, keeping his supper warm. My bustline sagged from his progeny using it for breakfast, lunch and dinner during infancy. So I said, finally “Hon, if you want yourself a twenty-something looking hot little beach volleyball number, go out and get yourself one,” as I patted his prodigious belly and pinched him on his fat ass. Then I added “Of course, you realize, you’re going to have to do your own cooking, cleaning and errands, because she’ll be at the gym all day long, hon.”
Well, he surprised me this morning with flowers and a lovely cubic zirconia pendant and told me how beautiful I am.
As to not “doing feelings”, hon, this is not at all uncommon. Of course he does feelings. He just doesn’t do them the same way you do. If you call them something else, and come back with an answering action, it will go much better for you. When you are angry with him about being out late, for example, try “Sid, coming home at 3 a.m. with no believable excuse isn’t working for me. So starting today here’s how it’s going to work: 1 hour with no excuse will result in 1 hour of my shopping at Neiman Marcus; 2 hours with no excuse gives me a 2 hour spa appointment; and 3 hours means my mother will be staying the weekend. So, please, hon, knock yourself out.” Then walk away. Chances are good Sidney will be more respectful and come home earlier, if not supply you with believable excuses. If the excuses are not believable, then renegotiate. We ladies need our self-care. If our men are not willing to provide us with emotional support, this does not make them bad men, hon. It just means we have to think outside the box, as it were.
Good luck, hon,