It's like he wants to punish both me and her because he can't be with his family.
He and I routinely see my mom — we go on walks and share dinners — but he says that if we don't have a meal with his family, then we can't have one with my mom, even though they have a great relationship!
I've even suggested that it doesn't have to be a full traditional dinner and that we could do something different this year, but he doesn't seem responsive.
I am so confused, because he and I both agree on how frustrating it is that people carry this mentality of "not my responsibility to care about anyone but myself."
I just lost my job, which provided health insurance for both of us, so we cannot get sick!
I don't know how to handle this. Can you help?
Upset: Your husband is sad and frustrated, for a variety of reasons, and he is taking it out on you (and himself).
His behavior isn’t mature, or kind, or hewing closely to the “holiday spirit,” and yet this sort of conflicted behavior forms the main plot of many of our favorite holiday-inspired stories, songs and movies.
The basic theme is: “I’m feeling hurt and disappointed, so I can’t do Christmas this year.”
In the movie version, you would be very understanding and patient, and — just before it was too late — he would come around.
I vote for the movie version.
Don’t trash his family or comment on their choices.
Plan something simple with your mother. Tell your husband about your plan and say: “We really wish that you would join us, but we understand if you don’t want to. I know this is a tough year for you.”
Dear Amy: My fiancee and I have been together for almost 10 years.
Unfortunately, during that time, there has been a lot of infidelity.
I was spending time talking to girls on Facebook after I said I wouldn't, even though I didn't really feel as though I was doing anything wrong at the time.
Obviously, by saying I wouldn't do it and then doing it, I was doing something wrong.
She has cheated on me three different times because I wasn't being affectionate enough, and I was very boring.
I've taken care of her for years between paying all the bills, including paying her child support.
After certain fights we've had, she has threatened to leave me but has never actually left.
Obviously, she can't survive on her own. She just got a job and doesn't make enough money.
Recently, I've had feelings for someone, but it was only for a short time.
I know I'm all over the place, but I guess I feel as if our relationship will always be abnormal and off.
What do you think?
Confused: Your fiancee can survive on her own. She just doesn’t.
And you two can be faithful to one another instead of weaponizing your mutual infidelity — but you aren’t.
You would be far less boring to your partner if you redirected your romantic energy. Imagine if all of that sparking were kept at home!
She has the responsibility to financially support her children. If she has the energy to cheat on you multiple times, then maybe she should direct her surplus passion and energy toward improving her financial situation.
My basic point is that you two can either behave like goldfish — bumping endlessly into the sides of your bowl — or you can get it together, be a committed couple and attack your lives as a team.
If your pattern of almost 10 years is based on goldfish drama, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for you as a couple, but I hope that you, as an individual, can change.
Dear Amy: Generally, you seem to recommend minding your own business, but you recently told "Everyone Knows But You" to repeat neighborhood gossip. What gives?
— Caught You
Caught You: This scuttlebutt directly involved a family member. I suggested telling the family member, “I am uncomfortable both knowing this and also repeating it,” leaving the choice up to the receiver.
2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency