Dear Abby: My sister-in-law and her live-in boyfriend, “Bud,” get together with us for dinner and outings. We enjoy each other’s company, but over the last couple of years, he has been making disparaging remarks on the subject of politics. We do not belong to the same political party, and his remarks make our blood boil.
Bud knows we belong to the other party but continues his barrage – peppered with profanity. It’s impossible to have an intelligent debate with him before the cursing starts spewing out. A difference of opinion is tolerated, but when it’s laced with profanity, it becomes hard to swallow. My husband feels the same way.
I would tell Bud to head south as far as he can go, were it not for my sister-in-law’s feelings. (She’s pretty close to my husband.) I thought it better not to say anything during these dressing-downs, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep my mouth shut without blasting him. How should I handle this?
– Ready to Blow in Idaho
Dear Ready to Blow: You and your husband should pick up the phone and call your sister-in-law. Tell her that as much as you love her and Bud, the political discussions have gotten out of hand, and therefore, there will be no more discussions about politics when you get together. Period. If Bud starts in, your husband should not take the bait. You are both to say, “We’ll never agree on this, so let’s change the subject.”
Not about shame, but privacy
Dear Abby: After 12 years of marriage, my husband and I finally have our first child, a little girl. Yes, I was very happy to have a child on the way, but I was also very depressed. My OB-GYN had to put me on anti-depression medication for it. I felt that only family should know, and, while I was pregnant, my husband went along with it.
But now, if someone asks about my pregnancy or jokes about us having a second child, he will tell them he’s not sure because during my pregnancy, I was depressed. When I ask him to please not tell people about it, he says, “Why not? You have nothing to be ashamed of.” How can I get him to understand that for me, it’s not about shame, but privacy?
– New Mom in Louisiana
Dear New Mom: While I agree that depression is nothing to be ashamed of, I also agree that some things should be kept private – and your medical history is one of them. Perhaps your husband would understand if you analogize it with a man using Viagra. While he might use the little blue pill with abandon, many men would prefer folks to assume that they didn’t need the pharmaceutical help.