Ask Laskas: Husband Won’t Help Around the House and More Questions Answered

You've got questions, Jeanne Marie Laskas has advice.

By Jeanne Marie Laskas | September 2008

Questions about pets, parents, partners or office politics? E-mail Jeanne Marie Laskas at advice@rd.com. Sending gives us permission to edit and publish.

Question
Help! I’m drowning in work … my husband’s work. He is a software manager, and he’s on his laptop all day at the office and all night at home. It’s to the point where he won’t help around the house. Bills, home repairs, kids’ homework-yours truly is stuck with it all, even though I work part-time too. I have rebelled by letting things slide: some laundry here, some cleaning there. But how far should I go? Please advise.
–Worn-Out

Dear Worn,
This isn’t about chores, sweetheart. Your husband is missing in action. Do you want a guy who can help around the house, or do you want your husband back? Think about what you’re asking of him. Maybe he needs more too. Sit him down. Tell him you miss him. Bring out a photo of the two of you from your dating years. Remind him why you married him. In other words, invite him back into your life.

Question
This is embarrassing, but my dad is addicted to pornography. When I was a little girl, I found his magazines under the bed. In high school, I caught him on the computer looking at inappropriate pictures. I’m now in college, and his habit has gotten worse. I said something to my mom, but she brushed it off. Should I alert my dad to the fact that we all know he likes porn, or is it none of my business?
–Disgusted Daughter

Dear Disgusted,
This is rough terrain, so I consulted some professionals. All agree: Stay out of your father’s business and focus on yours. No child-even a college-age child-should have to deal with this. Talk to your mother again. Let her know that you’re burdened by knowing way more than you ever wanted to know about your father. Remember, it’s not up to you to confront or “cure” him of an obsession. Your job is to grow into a healthy, productive adult. Don’t let your dad’s secrets get in the way of that. If they do, don’t suffer silently-visit a counselor.

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