Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Husband Always Backs Out of Date Nights

DEAR HARRIETTE: Every time I get tickets for a special event and invite my husband to go with me, he reneges on the day of. Like clockwork, he finds some excuse for not being able to join me. I get these great, free tickets through my work. They are often for special cultural experiences, and the ticket price is high. I find myself scrambling to get someone to go with me. I know I should probably give up, but I want him to go out with me on fun dates. We have been married for a long time, and he seems satisfied with going out to dinner once a year for our anniversary. How can I get him to want to go? -- Date Night

DEAR DATE NIGHT: Do your best to give your husband enough lead time to be available for the date you have in mind. Sell the idea to him so that he may get excited about it. Try that next time to see if he will budge. If not, stop inviting him to these events that you really need to attend, since they are attached to your job. Instead, invite girlfriends or family members.

Meanwhile, ask your husband what he might like to do with you. Think about what he’s interested in as well. Sports? A particular cuisine? Does he have hobbies? If you can think of something that genuinely interests him, you may be able to get him to break his habits and go out on a date -- even now, at this mature stage in your married life. Good luck!

DEAR HARRIETTE: I come from a wealthy family. My mother says I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. The only problem is that the silver spoon was never given to me. As a child, I grew up in a small studio apartment located in a damp basement infested with roaches. My father made a lot of money, but he never used it for me. I always called him “Mr. Krabs” due to how greedy and stingy he was with his money. He was a former producer for the news. Plus he owned a business with my uncle in Trinidad.

My father was sick for a long time, and during his final days, he talked about how I would be set for life. That was a flat-out lie. My mother and I were left with nothing, unless you call thousands of dollars of debt an inheritance. I later found out that my uncle, who I thought of as another father figure, is richer than my father ever was. He lives in a giant mansion in the mountains. He uses it to support his 30-year-old children. I, a 19 year old with barely enough to survive, was left with nothing. I struggle to help my mom pay off my father’s debt. My uncle barely helps me. I feel abandoned by the people I trust most. I am barely surviving, but I am managing. I am just hurt by my family ignoring me and running off with my father’s money. As a person with a lot of pride, what should I do in a situation like this? -- Poor Little Rich Girl

DEAR POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL: If you are certain that your father did not leave you money in his will, legally you have no recourse to get money from your uncle or any other family member. Given that your family never supported you, there is no reason for you to believe they will start now. It is time for you to stop thinking of yourself as something that you are not.

Find a lawyer who may be able to detangle you from your father’s debt, and start to build your own life.

(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.)