Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Husband Ignores Reader After Stressful Day at Work

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband worked really late the other day. I called him throughout the day to make sure he was OK and to share a cheerful word or two. When he finally got home, I called out to say hello. He didn’t say anything, went into the back of the house and disappeared for hours. I know he was exhausted, but the least he could have done was to have said hello to me before holing up. I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but it hurt my feelings. I don’t know when the right time would be to bring it up. He is completely stressed by work. I don’t want to add to that, but I do want him to be kind to me. How can I get him to think of me? -- Stressed-Out Husband

DEAR STRESSED-OUT HUSBAND: I don’t think this is the right time to bring up your sensitivity. Stress shows itself in many different ways, including not being as thoughtful or kind to loved ones as would be preferable.

Instead of focusing on your husband’s inattentiveness on that one evening, do your best to stay positive. Try to talk to him to get a sense of how he’s doing. Remind him that you want to be there to support him in whatever ways you can. You should also tell him that this period is tough for both of you. Ask him if you can support each other as you go through this. This is how you can get across the message that you are worried and concerned and that it is important for you that he stay connected to you through this period.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I belong to a sorority that is active at my alma mater. Every year at homecoming, my sorority hosts a huge celebration, and people come back to participate even if they graduated decades ago. My sisters have contacted me every year to invite me to come back and hang out with them, but there has always been some reason that it hasn’t worked out.

This fall marks a big anniversary for us, and they have started calling again. Part of me wants to go, but then I realize that I don’t even know most of these women. We don’t look the same, and I haven’t kept in touch. I don’t want to be an embarrassment if I stumble over people’s names -- or worse. Should I just stay home? -- Homecoming Blues

DEAR HOMECOMING BLUES: Don’t let your distance from this group keep you away. Instead, go for it. Let them know you are coming, and then identify one person whom you may know a bit better and ask her to support you. Admit that because you have not been around, you don’t know most of the women. Ask if there is a document or file that has contemporary photos of your sorority sisters. You might even want to send a note in a group chat telling everyone that you are coming and apologizing in advance if you stumble a bit. Tell them your heart is in the right place even if your memory lags. By being upfront about your challenges, you open the door for them to welcome you warmly and support you. Go and have fun!

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)