Dear Amy: I was doing a deep clean in our bedroom, dusting and going through clothes to donate, vacuuming, etc.
My husband’s bureau is stacked high with papers and much more. I decided to move and remove everything on top to dust.
In a box, three envelopes with large sums of money fell out. I put the envelopes back in the box and finished dusting.
He was visibly furious when he came home: “Why did you touch my stuff, where is it?!”
He stomped off downstairs. I didn’t mention the money that night.
The next morning before work, he removed the money. I know this because I started moving his belongings and the box was empty.
He called later in the day and I mentioned, “Hey, did you hit the lottery?”
He responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
A few days later we were talking about purchasing a new appliance. I again asked about the money. He told me his privacy had been invaded. This kind of threw me off. I left it at that.
I have no idea what I should be saying/doing at this point. Your view would be appreciated. — Confused
Dear Confused: You and your husband seem to have a cat-and-mouse style of communicating. You describe the issue obliquely; he roars at you, you back off.
I suggest that you say these words: “Honey, as you know, I discovered three envelopes containing a large amount of cash. I believe I have a right to know what that’s about, and I know that if the situation were reversed, you would feel exactly the same way.”
Partners definitely have the right to privacy, but the top of (versus inside of) a bureau is not a private space.
Your husband might continue to aggressively evade your question and refuse to tell you about this cash. If so, you should table the topic, double-check any joint accounts or retirement accounts, and make sure your own finances are secure.
Dear Amy: A few months ago, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend announced they were taking my in-laws to the Caribbean on vacation.
They did not invite my husband and me to join them. (My husband’s family is small — it is just him, his sister, and their parents.)
My husband was nonplussed, but I felt it was rude to plan a family trip and not invite the whole family. No one in the family was shy about planning the trip in front of us and texting about how excited they were to go in our family group chat, which I felt was extremely insensitive, given that we weren’t included.
Once they were off on the vacation, our family group chat was flooded with messages coordinating logistics, dinner reservations and plans to meet up, which on top of being annoying was another reminder of how we had been left out.
During the trip, the boyfriend proposed to my sister-in-law, and the whole family (minus my husband and me) celebrated in the Caribbean together.
Am I wrong to feel offended that my husband and I weren’t included in the vacation and celebrations?
— Left out in New England
Dear Left Out: I give you permission to feel envious of these family members, jetting and sailing off into the warm sunset (whenever my sister-in-law posts photos on social media of her frequent trips to Italy, I experience an envious chill).
However, you do not have the right to be “offended.”
Every family operates according to its own relationship template. Your sister-in-law obviously wanted to share their intimate engagement news with her parents. It is her prerogative, and your husband doesn’t mind this because he likely would feel comfortable doing exactly the same thing.
Including all of their Caribbean comings and goings on a group chat is annoying and an unnecessary trigger for you. You should have asked to be taken off the chat-chain until they returned, or you could have responded, “Yes, let’s meet for the fire dance on the beach tonight!” with a smiling emoji, to let everyone know that you have a sense of humor, even when you’re feeling a little put-out.
Dear Amy: Yes, there is a definitive answer regarding whether to leave a toilet seat up or down.
The answer is … down. If there is a lid, that should be put down, also.
How many of us have fished our cellphones out of toilets?
Dear Wondering: I’ll take a show of (clean) hands.