Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My husband is driving me nuts. I’m a teacher who just finished term
and is facing a shortened summer. He’s about to retire. I am happy
enough puttering in the garden for part of the day to get some alone
time, but he is ALWAYS HOME!! His idea of doing something on his
own is to go for a bike ride. But a 65-year old guy with a bad back can
only be gone for so long. How can I get him interested in involved in
volunteering, taking classes, or doing anything that gets him out from
underfoot. It will matter in summer, but even more so during the
school year, because I have a four-day teaching schedule and many
Fridays off. I’m afraid I will kill him if he is home on a Friday.
Too Much Hubby
Dear Too Much Hubby:
Getting alone time in a marriage or any live-in relationship is hard.
Many of us have activities we go out of the house to do with others,
but that’s not the same as sitting in a chair or chaise with a good
book, unplugging the phones, and knowing the only thing that might
interrupt us is a pet looking for a treat. Your husband is probably a
little afraid of all the times on his hands as well, and you are probably
somewhat of a security blanket.
The bad back suggests that taking yoga or joining a gym is a great
place to start. As for volunteering, sit down with a list of all the non-
profits in your area and talk about which ones interest him. Perhaps he
has always had a secret yen to learn something; find him a class.
Suggest that he tackle the list of honey-do projects that every
household has. He will still be at home, but then your together time
can be more playful. You are going to have to be more patient than
you feel this summer, but by autumn you should have established a
routine that gets you quiet Fridays and evenings.