Dear Annie: How do you deal with a husband who thinks the world revolves around him? “Donald” always has to be the center of attention and makes sure he is in the spotlight at all times. People have told me he is spoiled and self-centered, which I already knew from many years of marriage.
Several years ago, I tried to improve my life by eating healthier, losing weight and being more active. I tried, unsuccessfully, to encourage Donald to join me. So I cooked healthier meals and tried to make gradual changes that seemed to work.
Now, Donald has health issues. Everything centers around what he needs. Suddenly exercise is a top priority. He informs me almost daily of how his nutritionist wants him to eat. If food isn’t prepared properly, seasoned just so and fresh each day, it will hurt his health. If it doesn’t taste good, he won’t be able to eat it and it will cause problems. He claims he never eats in excess, yet he will grab candy bars and ice cream and think that’s perfectly fine.
Donald talks about his condition constantly to anyone who asks how he is. He delights in recounting all the details and expounds on his “excellent” performance in therapy and how hard he “pushes” himself at each workout.
Frankly, I am tired of it. He doesn’t care if I am sick as long as I still devote all my attention to him because he’s the most important person. He never says “please” or “thank you.” He just demands what he wants and loves being in total control.
I have no one to talk to in my small community. Where do I go from here? How do I continue to deal with Donald?
— Why Is It Always About Him?
Dear Why: Someone as self-centered as Donald thinks he deserves to be treated like royalty and have his every move lauded. Many wives in your position would simply humor him and ignore the rest. If you cannot manage that, there are online counseling services available. Ask your doctor for a referral.
Dear Annie: I have a son in his late 20s who has bipolar disorder. He struggles because he cannot afford the medicine, which costs upward of $350 a month. He was recently fired from his job since he couldn’t maintain his meds and control himself.
Is there somewhere he can get assistance with this? He is such a wonderful person when he is on his medication. But now, he is close to losing everything.
— A Family in Need of Assistance
Dear In Need: There are programs that offer medications at reduced rates for those with bipolar disease. First, your son should check with the drug company. They often supply their medications at a lower cost. Other suggestions are: prescription drug patient assistance programs (nami.org); Needy Meds (needymeds.org); Partnership for Prescription Assistance (pparx.org); RxAssist (rxassist.org); and The Medicine Program (themedicineprogram.com). We hope your son can find the help he needs soon.
Dear Annie: Let me add a different perspective for “Snubbed Co-Worker,” who felt she was being ignored and treated rudely. I could be her co-worker.
I work with a woman who never stops talking. If you give her so much as a nod or a smile, she will corner you and go on indefinitely. I long ago gave up being polite in order to avoid her verbal clutches. We work in close proximity, so I have the “pleasure” of listening to her incessant conversations (often with herself).
I have no clue how she gets her job done, but she sure makes it difficult for me to do mine. I ignore her, so she may feel snubbed, but it helps keep me sane.
— Snubbing for Sanity’s Sake
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.