DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a huge argument with my husband because I feel he doesn’t make enough time for me. We’re both working professionals, but we approach our lives and work differently. I will see to it that I set aside time for him to let him know I’m thinking about him and I'm always going to be there for him.
The other day, I told my husband about an important meeting, including the time and date. He decided to call during the meeting, but I didn’t have my phone on me. He got one of the secretaries in the office to interrupt the meeting. I was livid! How do I prevent this from happening again? Should I add my important meetings to his calendar, or would that be too much? -- Monday Meeting, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MONDAY MEETING: There are likely layers to the meaning of what happened between you and your husband. You called him on not being attentive to you and then shunned him for going out of his way to be attentive. Yes, he should have known that if you were in a meeting, he should wait. But his attentiveness is, at best, rusty. Rather than blowing up about this misstep with him, thank him for calling, but point out that the timing was terrible. Remind him that you had told him about your unavailable moments, and ask him not to interrupt a meeting unless it is a life-or-death emergency. Leaving a message would have made you happy because it would have shown his thoughtfulness toward you.
Suggest that he allow you to input key times in your schedule when you are unavailable to make it easier for him to know when he cannot reach you. But don’t do more. Your husband needs to do his part to strike a respectful balance. Tell your secretary that you should not be disturbed during key meetings, even by your husband.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I suspect that my husband is having an affair. I travel a lot for work, and recently, whenever I am away and I call him, he is out. Most often he tells me he is with a woman who is his friend.
I have known this woman for a long time. She has been divorced for a few years and is often upset about the reality of her life post-divorce. My husband and I have had a bit of a rocky relationship in recent years, and my gut says that he is finding solace with her. It is true that I have been frustrated by him and not at all attracted to him in that way, but I figured that’s part of marriage. Now I’m not so sure. Should I ask him if he is having an affair? I have no interest in playing games. -- What's the Deal?, Chicago
DEAR WHAT’S THE DEAL?: You sound pretty matter-of-fact about your reality. Do you know what you are prepared to do if your husband admits to having an affair? You need to be clear on that. Decide what you want in your marriage. Is it worth saving? How can you work with your husband to reignite some form of intimacy? Are you interested or willing to determine how to heal from such a breach of trust?
If he is not having an affair, it brings up even more questions. What is wrong with your marriage, and can you approach him about it to see what both of you can do to improve it?
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)