She wants husband to share responsibility
Dear Annie: Several weeks ago, my husband and I found out we are pregnant with our third baby (kind of an "oops" baby). His first comment was, "I guess it's time for you to get your tubes tied." I was so stunned that I agreed, but after more thought and research, I asked him to get a vasectomy. He will not do it, that's it, end of story. He says I will be in the hospital anyway and that birth control is the woman's responsibility.
This isn't about convenience. It's about fairness and equality in our marriage. I was the one who assumed some risk in using the pill before our children were born, and I've carried and delivered two children. My body has been permanently changed. I think it's his turn to take one for the team.
He flatly refuses and won't discuss it. I've explained that a vasectomy is safe, effective and requires less recovery time than a tubal ligation, but he insists my facts are "skewed." I'm so disappointed to find out I'm married to someone who acted like he believed in equality in marriage, but obviously doesn't. He reads your column daily. Can you help? Disappointed in Louisville, Ky.
Dear Louisville: Vasectomy is much less invasive than tubal ligation, and the recovery time is quicker. Most men who have had vasectomies say the discomfort is minor and the resulting freedom improves their sex lives. We agree that your husband should do his part, but he seems irrational on the subject, and if he feels forced to have a vasectomy, it can create other problems. You should not be forced into surgery, either. There are other methods of birth control, and we suggest you consider all options.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married seven years and have two children. For years, I have been trying to get him to go through his old clothes, old toys, paperwork, etc., and toss out or donate what no longer fits or is broken. He insists on keeping everything. This "stuff" includes empty boxes, cellophane wrapping and clothing he can't fit into. Our closets and dressers are overflowing, and our two kids and I are being pushed out.
Yesterday, he sent me an e-mail, yes, an e-mail, saying, "This is how it's going to be," no discussion or compromise. There is also a trust issue. Every time he visits his family, he promises not to bring anything back, but returns with a van loaded with junk. He has every broken toy from his childhood and has even gone so far as to protect the toys in his will. I feel his "stuff" is more important to him than his family. I can't live like a packrat. What can I do? Misled and Untrusting
Dear Misled: Try to understand that this obsessive attachment is beyond your husband's control. He must recognize that it's a problem and admit that he may need psychiatric help and/or medication. For information, contact the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation (ocfoundation.org) 676 State St., New Haven, CT 06511.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Loving Daughter," whose father's girlfriend, "Sherry," is trying to alienate him from his family.
Your advice to "try to chummy up to Sherry" is off the mark. Sherry doesn't want to be friends. "Loving" needs to check further. There are women who prey on older men, only to rob them blind.
Older men don't always make the best decisions when it comes to younger, flattering women. She may need to contact the local elder affairs officials to get some help in this matter. Know Better
Dear Know: We agree Sherry is taking advantage, but sometimes, nothing can be done. There is no evidence that Sherry is abusive, and no indication that Dad is incompetent to make his own choices. In the meantime, we still say it would be in Dad's best interests for his daughter to get closer to Sherry in order to keep tabs on the situation.
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