Dear Amy: Recently, my husband said that for him, work will always be the first priority.
This is something that has never been "divulged" in our almost five-year marriage.
This pains me, as I would assume that our marriage/family would be the first priority, with work/career being a close second.
We have gone back and forth on this, and it seems he can't wrap his mind around my lack of understanding of his position.
He thinks that putting his career first is, in some ways, putting our marriage and family first.
We do not have any children yet, and I now find myself slightly sick to my stomach thinking about how I may have married a man that will never consider me his first priority.
I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel, but I'm wondering what your advice would be for me?
Heartbroken Wife: You should view your husband’s actions as being better indicators for where his priorities lie. Did this whole question come up in the first place because he is prioritizing his work over your marriage?
Both of you are responding to the whole “work” question in gender-traditional ways: He sees himself first as a worker and provider, and you see yourself first as a spouse and a family member.
It would be very easy for your husband to simply deliver a loving lie and say to you, “Well, honey, you will always be Number One.”
But realistically, and speaking from my vantage point on the far side of a very long career, there are times when work has to come first, but there are also times when I’ve simply wanted to put work first. There are also times — many times — when work takes a back seat. A more nuanced view for both of you would be to look at life as a waxing and waning of needs and interests through time.
By all means, do not have children until you are comfortable with the work-life balance in both of your lives.
Dear Amy: My husband is an emotional driver. Last weekend, there was heavy traffic and another car was basically tailgating us. He got so emotional that he decided to hit the brakes, turn on the emergency flashers and lay on the horn.
This is the second time that he pulled this kind of stunt. I've told him before that he cannot do this with our baby secured in the back seat.
The last time he did this, he never apologized for it, and I let him off the hook.
What can I say to get through to him?
Emotional Driver's Wife
Emotional Driver’s Wife: I think the conversation with your husband should start with: “You deliberately almost caused an accident. I will not let you drive with our child in the car until you acknowledge that you have a problem and make an effort to stop it.”
While I agree that being tailgated is dangerous (and very annoying), what you’re describing here isn’t emotional driving, it’s raging and aggressive driving, and it’s very dangerous. If this behavior is not checked, it could lead not only to a traffic accident, but to a tragic confrontation with another raging driver.
He should set up a challenge for himself, to see if he can drive for 30 days without reacting in anger toward another driver, even if that other driver is in the wrong (it’s always the other driver). Deep breaths and calming music or meditation tapes can help (a crying or fussy baby in the back seat can add to his stress). The last time I found myself furious at a tailgating driver, I found a safe place to pull over — removing the annoyance and also giving myself a minute to simmer down.
Everyone can benefit from a safe-driving course; you can find details for courses in your area on your state government’s website.
Dear Amy: "Grandma" was disgusted by her daughter allowing the family dog to lick their baby's high chair.
Your response was alarming: "If this baby is sharing its home with a dog, that dog and baby have probably been licking each other on the face for several months."
Typical dog-obsessed answer. Dogs present a huge danger to babies and should not be allowed to lick their faces.
Upset: I absolutely agree with you about the real danger of dogs around babies and children. This question was about hygiene, but I take your point.