DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I shoulder all the responsibility in my family. I am married, and my husband works and comes home every day — but that’s about it. He rarely helps with homework, housework or anything else. Honestly, we don’t spend much time together. We will be in the house for hours at a time, but he will be in one room and I will be in another.
We basically coexist rather than having a friendship or close relationship. The most interaction we have is when one or both of us drink; then we argue. This is not the life I thought I would have after being married for a long time. I don’t want to accept that this is the best I can expect of my marriage. I have tried in the past to get him to be more engaged, but he just shrugs it off. How can I get him to want to spend time with me? If he won’t, should I think about getting a divorce? — At Wit’s End
DEAR AT WIT’S END: Stop doing everything, and start asking your husband to engage with you more.
He may not like this, but invite him to go to couples therapy with you. Tell him you feel lonely and sad, and you want your relationship to be reenergized. If he blows it off, push back. Tell him that you are not happy and that you need him to work with you to make your life together more fulfilling. Go to a therapist even if he won’t go at first. Continue to encourage him to join you. Don’t head for divorce yet. Head for professional help so you can sort this out.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I watch the show “Dr. Pimple Popper,” and I dream of having Dr. Lee remove a bump I have on my back. I’m serious. I’ve had this thing for years, and now it has gotten really big and uncomfortable. I have gone to the doctor many times to ask about it, and they all say the same thing: It’s not a big deal, and I shouldn’t worry about it. I am worried. It is unsightly, and I need it to go. I can’t wear certain clothes anymore because when people see it, they always ask me what it is. Also, when I lift my arm in a certain way, it’s uncomfortable. I
am embarrassed and tired
of having this thing on my body. When I saw that there is a doctor who actually specializes in removing
these types of growths, I
got excited. The problem is that I do not live anywhere near her, plus I imagine
she has a long waiting list. How can I find a doctor in my area who will take me seriously? — Big Bump
DEAR BIG BUMP: You are in luck. Growths like what you have — often lipomas,
or benign tumors — are common and commonly removed. Depending on
the size of the growth,
you may be able to see a dermatologist for removal. Other doctors that can help you include plastic surgeons or general surgeons.
Visit your primary care provider and ask for a referral to a surgeon. If your doctor shrugs it off and says the growth is no big deal, explain that it is a big deal for you, and you need it to be removed. Describe the physical discomfort
it is causing you. That
may be important for your insurance claim. Don’t give up. If your internist refuses to help you, go to a walk-in service and ask for a referral. Or do research and find doctors in your area who specialize in plastic surgery.