Dear Annie: I try to be an easygoing husband, but my natural inclination is to get upset about stupid things. This is a flaw that I’ve been working on, and I have made a lot of progress. However, there is one thing that sets me off, and I don’t know what to do about it.
My wife steals my iPhone chargers.
I know it sounds innocent or maybe even cute, but I assure you that it is not.
I admit that I am pretty militant about charging my phone. I never overcharge it. I let it get down to zero percent battery, charge it to 100 and then unplug it. I believe that this preserves the life of the battery, and it seems to work. As a result, when my wife renders me chargerless, my phone battery is on death’s door.
What makes things worse is that when I can’t find my charger, I have to ask — usually in an accusatory tone — my wife whether she has it. Usually, she responds by asking why I’m being such a jerk and either denies borrowing it (completely out of spite) or tells me to chill and not be so rigid about my charger.
I’ve done what I do best, throw money at the problem. No dice. I’ve bought her multiple new chargers, but she always misplaces them and uses mine. I’ve thought about identifying my chargers with a piece of colored tape, but I don’t want to come across as an anal control freak. (I am sure I sound like one.)
I know this is not a big deal to most people, but it is to me. I love my wife, but I also love my iPhone and don’t want to choose between them. (Mostly kidding.) In all seriousness, how do I keep my phone and marriage fully charged? — Charged-Up Spouse
Dear Charged-Up: You’ve made my job easy, as I think the colored tape is a great solution to this sticky problem. Though it wouldn’t be fair to your wife for you to indulge every control-freak impulse, you’re entitled to feel strongly about one or two household issues. Even if it’s something that might seem small from the outside, if it’s important to you, then it should be important to your partner.
Dear Annie: I recently read the response that “Anxious in New England” gave regarding the letter from “Feeling Neurotic.” They both described being struck randomly with the overwhelming sense that something bad is about to happen. I felt a responsibility to write in and say that the episodes being discussed may be a type of seizure.
I dealt with these same symptoms — an overwhelming feeling of fear that would start in the pit of my stomach and work its way up — for over 12 years, undiagnosed. Some days, I had two or three episodes. I started to chart them and concluded they were hormonally connected and increased when I was menstruating.
I visited a neurologist. He told me that my episodes were actually partial seizures caused by estrogen. The condition is called catamenial epilepsy.
Any woman who thinks she may suffer from this condition should log on to the Epilepsy Foundation’s website or call its helpline at 800-332-1000. I would further suggest that they make an appointment with a neurologist for a medical evaluation.
I know this is lengthy, but I hope you can make it work in your column. It is a serious situation that can be controlled by medications and natural progesterone. That college sophomore need not spend her life learning simply to deal with the episodes when there is help available. — Been There, Done That.
Dear Been: Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m printing your letter, as it may really help someone.