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home : columns : dear harriette April 14, 2021

1/18/2021 8:22:00 AM
New husband doesn't respect wife's opinion

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are newlyweds in our late 20s, and we are just moving in with each other into his current apartment. We are planning to buy a home together. Before getting married, he was all for making me happy and letting me decide on things like the type of home that I want. Now that we are married, things are different. He is telling me that there are things to consider that I, as woman, do not understand. I get that he may have certain concerns about the homes I choose, but he will not share his thoughts with me.

He is trying to make the decisions for both of us, and that's not how we should work. I feel unseen and unheard. He's trying to control this whole situation, and I don't recognize the man I fell in love with anymore. It's like this role of being the husband has gone to his head. I just want my best friend back. How do I shake him out of this? -- Downhill Newlyweds

DEAR DOWNHILL NEWLYWEDS: The roles of husband and wife mean different things to different people, based on their upbringing and experience. Clearly, your husband seems to be drawing upon his understanding of what a husband should be and do as he navigates this big decision. You two need to get to an understanding of how you will work together as a married couple and family based on who you are. You need to talk. Ask him to explain to you what's in his head and what he wants for your marriage. In turn, share with him your vision of married life. Talk to him about expectations. Talk specifically about the house you want to buy. Work to get him to agree that you should both be part of that process. This is a key decision that should not be the sole responsibility of either of you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Last month I found out that my boss was an alcoholic. It came to my attention that he had begun drinking again, and it was clear to me that it was affecting his job performance. I work in a warehouse with machinery, and it is extremely unsafe to work under the influence. I went to the board to make a complaint, and he was removed temporarily from his position; our district manager offered the higher-up position to me. I never imagined being offered a promotion.

Now my co-workers are beginning to whisper, saying that I turned in my boss in order to steal his job, but that is not how it went. I want everyone to trust me and not think I am a sneaky liar. I was thinking about stepping down, but the salary and benefits are great, and I love having the extra responsibility -- despite the rumors. Was I wrong for accepting this job? Or should I work hard and ignore the whispers? -- Job Climber

DEAR JOB CLIMBER: You should keep your job and work to gain your co-workers' respect. Unless it has been made public to them what happened with your former boss, you cannot talk about his alcoholism. Instead, talk about safety and efficiency at work. Do not address rumors. Through your efforts and attitude, show them that you are a leader and that you can inspire them to do good work. Ignore the rest.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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