ASK AMY: Spouse is home masseuse – Toronto Sun | CarTailz

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Dear Amy: My husband and I have been together for 16 years and during that time he has always been obsessed with getting his back massaged. More specifically, it’s his back, his legs (when we’re sitting on the couch) and even his neck when we’re driving in the car.

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I’m a people pleaser. I did this to show him I loved him and it just became the norm.

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Fast forward to two kids, a household to run, and a full-time job as a teacher, and I can’t stand him asking me to keep rubbing his back and legs during our free time together.

We have other issues in our relationship that I am working on with a counselor.

I had figured that once these issues were resolved I wouldn’t hate the idea of ​​being my husband’s home masseuse.

But after telling him no today — and seeing him sulk again — I realize I’ve just finished doing him that service.

I want to enjoy being next to him again without the anger I feel when he asks me to do this for him.

My husband says that this “time together” makes him feel loved.

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If that’s the case, am I doing my marriage a disservice by refusing to spend our time together rubbing his back?

– Burned out wife

Dear burnout: If being your husband’s “home masseuse” is the act of service that makes him feel loved, then what is his act of service that makes you feel loved? I suppose it could be something as simple as allowing you to sit quietly nearby without you having to do anything special – in short, let you do and act as you please.

There’s no question that people in intimate partnerships serve one another, and it’s helpful to recognize the things your partner could do—often without being asked—that make you feel loved.

The demand, anticipation and the sulk (on his side) and anger (on your side) make this seem less like an act of service and more like a toll to be paid. They do this to avoid a negative reaction instead of evoking a positive one.

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You might find it helpful to ask your husband if he can name other things you do that make him feel loved.

You should read both of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret of Love that Lasts (2015, Northfield Publishing).


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Dear Amy: With cellphones containing thousands of photos, I was held hostage by people who searched their phones for photos.

These are the people who, in the middle of a conversation, are happy to show a certain image.

Often they have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find it. When they finally do, they hold their phone in your face without asking if you even want to see their photos.

Not only does this interrupt the conversation, but it’s also very annoying to stand there and watch them fumbling and fumbling.

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How can I stop being an unwilling participant in this cellphone photo-pushing ritual?

Smiling and glancing at a photo only inspires them to search for more.

– Weary

dear tired: I consider these unnerving interruptions to be The Dead See Scrolls.

You could say, “Hey, why don’t you text me that photo later… so we can talk.”

Readers may have better suggestions. I will be happy to guide you.

Dear Amy: Twin Mom’s question really resonated.

We’re elders now, but when we were kids, my identical twin brother and I fought at least once a day.

We were constantly arguing about who was getting what portion of food and who was being “cheated”.

Mom’s solution was pretty simple. She didn’t want to hear anything about fighting, unless there was blood: “You two will sort that out.”

If there was blood, she would tend to the injured twin and ask the other to explain and apologize.

For the food portions, she said, “You two take turns. One of you divides the food and the other chooses which portion you want.”

– Problem solved.

Incidentally, my brother became a vascular surgeon and I became a lawyer and later a judge.

We’ve been best friends all our lives.

– Paul Conaway

Dear Paul: I enjoyed the dozens of answers addressing the fighting twins dilemma, but your story of the future vascular surgeon and the judge (with the very wise mother) puts everything into perspective.

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