Originally Published: July 17, 2018 8:40 p.m.
Dear Annie: In more than 35 years of marriage, my husband and I have had conversations on a wide variety of topics. However, almost every day for the past two years, he has ranted about political issues after watching a news program or reading an article on a website. During these rants, he sometimes gets emotional, even angry. I start feeling tense, and I’ve told him so.
Occasionally, he apologizes for getting so emotional, but he hasn’t stopped. Although I don’t agree with some of his opinions about the issues, I don’t expect him to change his views. I realize that he feels passionate about the issues, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I don’t want to listen to his political rants or discuss those issues every day. In addition to telling him that it makes me feel tense, I’ve tried ignoring him, tuning him out and going into another room. What else can I do? — Exhausted by the Onslaught
Dear Exhausted by the Onslaught: You and your husband are not alone. In the most recent Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 57 percent of Americans reported experiencing “significant stress” about the current political climate.
I would ask your husband (non-factitiously) what he’s really getting out of all the news. What’s the use in having so much information if all you do with it is get angry? Suggest healthy outlets for his passion about these issues. He could get involved in politics at the community level, join a political discussion group or book club (check out Meetup) or even just volunteer once a month at an organization he believes in. I suspect he’ll feel better once he channels his energy into being the change he wants to see in the world.
Dear Annie: I am a man in my 60s. I’m writing out of concern for my friend. “Will” and I are the same age; in fact, we share a birthday. He and I became well-acquainted in childhood and were very attached to each other. But then, in my early teens, our relationship took on a new and unanticipated aspect. We found that we shared an interest in girls, and as we grew through our teens and into our early 20s, we had many adventures together.
When I married, Will was there and always supportive. It wouldn’t have been the same without him, and I’m sure my wife would agree. I never minded in the least the interest he showed in her.
But now, Will seems to have lost much of his get-up-and-go. He no longer shows much interest in my wife or in any other woman. I’ve tried to get him to be more spontaneous, telling him stories and showing him pictures that he used to like, but I barely get a rise out of him.
I believe that Will is too young to be this listless. What do you think I should do? — Will’s Friend
Dear Will’s Friend: Thank you for this artfully crafted letter. Though the likelihood of erectile dysfunction does increase with age, it’s not an inevitable part of getting older, and it can be caused by underlying medical issues, such as high blood pressure. For Will’s sake, your own sake and your wife’s sake, talk to your doctor today.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.