Skip to main content

DEAR AMY: My husband and I were lovebirds in college. We had so much in common!

Unfortunately, an autoimmune disease struck him when he was in great shape and he lost most of the sensations in his body.

At the age of 37, he worked with an unusual paleo diet and conducted extensive research on the internet. He is now stronger and healthier than before illness struck.

Now he makes his own kale chips, toothpaste and deodorant.

Frankly, I feel like I can’t follow.

He thinks I’m not thin enough, while my doctor compliments my physique.

To avoid shame, I hide snacks and eat forbidden foods like oatmeal in the basement.

I thought helping her pay for and install a red light sauna in the basement was encouraging and cute, and now I’m forced to sit in it and absorb a health treatment I know nothing about.

I admit it, I haven’t watched the same YouTube videos as him.

If I had met my husband now, with all the health issues, I wouldn’t have continued the relationship, because of those big differences between us.

When I expressed my feelings about this obsession, he threw “eBay shopping” back in my face.

I have a ‘do you’ policy, but I’m beginning to think it’s not a two-way street.

I don’t want a divorce, just reverse leverage.

– Nutty Health

DEAR NUTTY: You don’t seem to be trying to coerce your husband into joining you in your eBay habit, but he seems to have the power (or you have granted it) to coax you into a red light sauna, which is currently having something for a while with its promises to cure just about any ailment.

Your habits are stealthy, and although you claim to have a do-it-yourself philosophy, if you accept his right to eat and do whatever he wants, then why don’t you accept your own right to eat and to do what you want?

In short, if you don’t want to eat and hang out in the red-light district of your basement, take your grits upstairs.

I suggest you apply the “reverse lever” to yourself.

Continue to accept and support her health journey – as you have been. And make the choice to take good care of yourself in your own way.

Health evangelists can be hard to live with. If he’s bullying you about your body or nagging you about your own confident personal choices, you should find a counselor who might be able to mediate.

***

DEAR AMY: I’ve been hired into a new team where I work closely with “Bruce”.

We are given group projects and submit our work together.

The problem? He’s an idiot. He’s a nice guy, but shoddy in his job, incompetent, irresponsible, and doesn’t know how to manage priorities and deadlines.

We’re both new and I’m afraid his poor work will do me harm.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I wonder how long to wait before approaching my supervisor.

I find myself managing it, even though we have the same job title.

What should I do?!

– Worried Worker

DEAR WORRIED: If possible, wait until you complete a project together. If you continue to believe that the quality of your work may be compromised by “Bruce’s” incompetence, you should approach your supervisor and ask to be reassigned.

You should be able to do this without throwing him under the bus: “Bruce and I have very different working habits and abilities. I believe I could do a lot more and be more productive working with someone else. Would that be possible?”

***

DEAR AMY: When people write to you, would you change the word ‘girl’ to ‘woman’ or ‘young woman’ when people refer to adults in their questions?

Calling a woman a “girl” is degrading and sexist. You have a powerful and feminist voice. I would like you to tell the world that you do this.

I think that would be eye-opening for a lot of people.

– Another Amy

DEAR AMY: I agree that calling women “girls” is demeaning and sexist. And yet, more often than not (at least in the questions put to me), other women use these terms, referring to: “a girls’ night out”, “girlfriends”, “a girl with whom I work”, etc.

I believe that this language reveals the fundamental attitude of the writer.

Overall, I enjoy how people tell their own stories, and I like to leave those stories in the writer’s voice.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

© 2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.