Tag Archives: Relationships

Ask Johanna: Husbands, Frustration, and Food Addiction

Dear Johanna,

My husband never seems to remember what I have said to him.  For instance, if I tell him I want him to take the garbage out, he nods his head and smiles at me, as if he knows what I’m saying and is going to jump right up and do my bidding.  But then, hours go by and the garbage is still sitting there, lonely.  How do I know if he is hard of hearing or has Alzheimer’s?

Ignored in Ithaca

Dear Ignored,

If  he doesn’t remember you telling him that dinner is on the table, he may need to get his ears checked.  If he wanders around the neighborhood in his boxer shorts, it’s Alzheimer’s.  If  he hears you when you tell him the game is starting on t.v. but doesn’t hear you when you ask him to unstop the toilet, he’s a man who has been married more than five years.

Dear Johanna,

Lately I am eating all the time.  I pig out at meals.  I sneak out for ice cream in the afternoon at work.  And, worst of all, I suddenly find myself standing in front of the refrigerator in the middle of the night, a bagel with cream cheese in one hand and Oreos in the other!  My husband is starting to say that I am  a food addict.  What do I do?

Fat in Florida

Dear Fat,

You go to your doctor right away and tell him/her you are not sleeping well and need Ambien.  Then you tell your husband you’ve been taking Ambien for the past few months, and apparently it has caused you to exhibit strange behaviors around food.  Works like a charm! 

Dear Johanna,

I am afraid I no longer love my husband, but I’m too tired to make any changes in my life.  I already have a separate bedroom.  I’ve told him we can’t communicate, so there is no use even trying to talk any more.  The other day, he fell down, and I kicked him–and felt no guilt.  Is this normal at my age?  I’m 65.

Anxious in Anchorage

Dear Anxious,

Your reactions may be a little extreme, but I get where you’re coming from.  I hear that in some cultures, once women are past childbearing age, they all live together happily–and boot the husbands out.  I don’t think that idea would fly in America, but I hear you, sister!  But no more kicking!  Just make him a “man cave” where he can go watch TV and drink beer while you hang out with girlfriends.  You’re much less likely to end up in jail!



On the Eve of My 31st Wedding Anniversary

 Annette Dunlap has been a guest blogger with Oops50 before.  Here is one of her latest writings from her blog.  I loved it, so I asked her if I could share it with our readers!  Jane
On the eve of my 31st wedding anniversary, I offer the following thoughts regarding marriage and the potential for marital longevity:

1. Marriage doesn’t get any easier. If you are still in the first decade of marriage (or the 2nd decade, for that matter), and keep waiting for marriage to get easier, forget it. You and your spouse will continue to change; you will each age; you may have health or physical problems develop that were not there in the early years; family members will die; family members will aggravate you; children will get older. With every new day there is another adjustment to make.

2. Find something you like to do together. Shared time is what creates a sense of bonding. Even if the “thing you do together” is eat dinner while watching “Jeopardy,” it’s the time you spend with each other, shutting everything else out that is important.

3. Create space for separateness. A good marriage should celebrate the phrase, “Vive la difference!” Being with your clone is no fun, and it’s no

4. Don’t expect the arguments to stop – just expect the topics to be different. There is absolutely no way that two people are always going to agree on everything, and sometimes one of you feels more passionately about something than the other and insists on getting his/her way. There are also the sore, unresolved issues from years and years that resurface – and when they do, they are crying for a resolution. Look for resolve, and then resolve to move on.

5. Compromise can be overrated. Sometimes compromise is damaging rather than conciliatory. On certain matters – where you live, how money is
spent, the size house you have, whether or not you take a vacation – someone may have to give in. But the one who gained the concession(s) needs to acknowledge the yielding made by the other.

6. Stay physical. It’s one of the primary perks of putting up with the foibles of another human being in the same bed/bedroom/house.

7. And remember, love is not a feeling, it’s a decision. Ditto for forgiveness. No comment necessary.

Readers:check out Annette’s blog at http://annettesobservations.blogspot.com/.

Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

Last week I had to take our dog Emmy to be pts.  I can’t even write out the words.  She was diagnosed with lymphoma last October, and, after researching it, we decided to try chemotherapy.

We had to take her to the vet in Clayton, an hour away from our farm in Rocky Mount, and she hadn’t been in a vehicle since we’d first gotten her.  We’d always had to drug her with Ace to get her there for regular visits, and even then, she drooled, panted and tried to escape from the truck for the first 30 minutes.  I figured that by the time we’d get there, she’d be practically asleep– but I knew it would be stressful on her system.  The vet wanted to try her coming without drugs.

On the fourth trip there, we made it, with just some hard breathing, and Ems was the perfect lady in the waiting room.  She let the vet techs draw her blood with no problem.  Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.It worked—for a while.  Her appetite returned.  We had read that a high-protein diet would combat the cancer, so she feasted on stew beef, pork chops, turkey burgers and chicken.  No more biscuits for treats: she had beef jerky.  As a vegetarian, I’ve never bought so much meat in my life.  Thank you, Costco!  My carnivore stepson, who became Emmy’s personal chef,  also benefited from this diet–probably not in a good way. Continue reading Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

On Gifts From Husbands

Dear Johanna,

For my 60th birthday, my husband decided to gift me with a new laptop.  Now, keep in mind that I have a lovely laptop that he gave me 3 years ago (with no consultation) that weighs 18 POUNDS–which may not sound like much but is too heavy for me to lug around because of my knee problems.  I have often complained about its weight and even left it behind when I would have liked to have it with me–but he has been happy to use it.  Anyway, guess what my husband got me this time!:  ANOTHER 18 POUNDER!  I asked him to return it for one that I could carry more easily, but, instead, he kept it for himself BECAUSE, in fact, his is not working right, so HE GOT IT FOR HIMSELF and got mad at me for complaining, with the old “I can never do anything right.”  I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but last Christmas, he got me a camera that I didn’t really want or need and said “well, if you don’t like it, I”ll use it.”  Any suggestions?

Heated in Hillsborough

Dear Heated,

My one suggestion to you is, don’t worry, you just figure out exactly what you want for your birthday–what you would have liked to have received–and give it to him for his birthday! That way, you’re both happy!