Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Mother Finds It Hard To Be Only Woman in House

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a woman with a husband and a 19-year-old son, and recently I’ve been finding it difficult to be the only woman in the household. Sometimes it feels like I can be heard only when I raise my voice. What course of action can I take to convey these feelings to my husband and my son in a healthier manner? -- Mother's Voice

DEAR MOTHER’S VOICE: Start by talking to your husband. Remind him that this is an important time for you both to have a good rapport with your child, and you need his support. Tell him that you have noticed that the two of them often exclude you and that you find it necessary to shout in order to be heard. Ask your husband to help the family dynamics by noticing when each of them needs to stop and give you the floor, or at least welcome you into the conversation.

Next, talk to your son. Tell him about the importance of having meaningful conversation. Ask for his support. Be mindful not to ask too many questions. Teenagers don’t like that.