Carolyn: Im on Day 4 of the silent treatment from my husband of 20 years. While this doesnt happen often and is usually short-lived (a day or less), over those years he has kept this up for days and even weeks on a few occasions, and Im seeing signs that this will be another long haul.
Complicating things is our 14-year-old daughter, who is certainly old enough to see whats going on. She is rapidly losing respect for him, and for me, too, for putting up with him.
While counseling is probably the answer once hes speaking to me again, how the heck do I get him to that point?
You are running out of chances to show this 14-year-old how important it is to advocate for yourself, and to seek help when something is beyond your ability to solve. An appointment with a reputable therapist is the answer now, without him, to guide you through both this current silent stage and those that follow. The eggshell-walk is a learned behavior youre overdue to unlearn; good therapy will also help you understand why youve been putting up with him, and how to talk to your daughter in a way that unites vs. divides.
Carolyn: My sister was just diagnosed with emphysema at age 43, after nearly 25 years of smoking and insisting we were overly worried. How do I get past this frustration and this monstrous urge to tell her I told her so?
You dont need any I-told-you-sos; the diagnosis said it for you. Channel your anger as harmlessly as you can on your own time, then bring your best to your sister.
Email email@example.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.