Dear Maura: I feel taken for granted at home

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from  Maura O’Neill

Try not to stress out over housework

Dear Maura: My husband and I are only together because of our child. Our son is now 20 and I have promised myself that I will leave when he’s a bit older. I want to leave because all I do is housework. We’ve had rows and then I give in and get back to my routine of doing everything. For them it’s college, work and usually sport most evenings. There’s so much I could have done with my life but I’m in a boring office job. I get home in the evenings, cook dinner, make the beds, clean up after the dinner, go to bed and start it all again the next day. I’ve started to drink when they’ve gone to their training. Sex is something that belongs to the past. I don’t even know if I have any feelings for my husband. I don’t resent my son, it’s just that he takes me for granted like his father. Some days I just picture myself heading off somewhere for a few months but I don’t have the money. Answer: You have all unwittingly contributed to this situation. You feel ignored and unappreciated for the work you do to create a home for your family. Your husband and son need to acknowledge that, but you also need to work out what you want for yourself. Your opening statement is very strong. Is that your assessment of your relationship with your husband or is it your cry for help? You need to talk to him and not just about the housework. Careful with your drinking — again, your way of coping instead of talking. What makes you happy? Find something that fulfills you, that gives you a goal, a challenge. And first on your list is to leave the housework. I’ll let you in on a secret: you never finish housework. Your husband and son need to help. Focus on you. When you begin to feel happy, you will see your life from a different perspective

I want to step in over brother-in-law feud

Dear Maura: My brother-in-law arrived home last month from America. Their mother is ill but not dying. He’s hardly been home to see her so we are all surprised that he is here for good, or so it seems.

My husband is raging because this brother has always been the troublemaker in the family, and he thinks he’s here to claim his stake It’s caused a lot of upset.

Nobody wants to say anything because he’s the mother’s favourite. My husband and other family always do everything for her. Nobody wants to say anything, but I feel that I should as someone outside.

Answer: This is between family, and you should not get involved, regardless of how you feel. I appreciate that you care about your husband and siblings but there are boundaries for you here. I think everyone needs to approach this situation in a more positive way and to stay calm.

The most important person is your mother-in-law. She certainly doesn’t need to experience her family fighting among themselves. Encourage your husband to talk to his brother and to find out what is going on.

There are issues between this man and his family which need to be resolved on some level for their mother’s sake. They all need to and to leave the rows in the past. Let the woman who is ill, at least her family united.

Email your problems to Dr Angela Brokmann Maura O’Neill All pictures are posed by models

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