- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband is coming home from Iraq later this month. Guess what? My in-laws are bringing a caravan of people with them to welcome him home. They are planning to stay a whole week!

Why can’t they just chill and let us enjoy each other for a while? It’s like they have no respect for our marriage. When my husband was home for R&R, they came and stayed the first four days he was home.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law have each other and no one interferes with that. I think they should do the same for us, but no, they are bringing the whole state with them and expect me to make arrangements for hotels and roll out the red carpet.

Is it wrong for me to tell my husband to tell them not to come here so soon, not to bring 50 other people with them, and certainly not to stay for a whole week? Why can’t we wait until my husband has leave and go see them for a couple of days? Could you offer some advice? — Wife with Pushy In-Laws

Dear Wife,

What I hear you saying is you would like to spend the first few days with your husband alone without any other interference. That’s understandable. Your husband’s family obviously wants to do the same thing.

It’s important not to put your husband in the middle of this situation. Communication is paramount. If you feel you have a good relationship with your in-laws, try discussing your needs with them. I’m sure you have been overwhelmed during this deployment and have been worn out emotionally many times. Talk to your mother-in-law woman to woman. Let her know you would like to have the first few days with your husband to rekindle romance, and you did not picture that happening with a host of relatives present.

Give them a time that would be better for a visit from them or for you both to visit them. Perhaps your husband could speak with his parents about the visit, and advise them that another date and time would be more appropriate for their visit.

If your husband returns home safe and unharmed, consider yourself fortunate that you are able to share the joyous occasion with your husband’s family. Many families would love to be in your shoes.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I love my husband more than anything; we’ve been married for 12 years and have three children. Everything has revolved around my husband and the Army. I wasn’t bitter or anything, I just figured I would support my husband as best I could. He’s had a great career so far.

My husband has always looked up to other professional women by giving them compliments and letting me know how much he admired them for their careers, for maintaining their figures, for being able to run five miles straight, etc. I know my husband loves me, but he always asked me to lose weight, go to the gym, go to school and get a job.

Well, I did just that while he was deployed. I finished my bachelor’s degree, lost 30 pounds, work out every day and currently have a great position with a great company. You guessed it, he hates it!

Now he wants me to stop working, brings me home fattening foods and tells me I work out too much. The biggest thing is he says I’m being neglectful of him and the children. Am I headed for divorce court? I love my husband, but I’m not willing to go back to the way things were. How would you handle it? — Better Off Since Deployment

Dear Better Off,

Well, I’d hate to think you are headed for divorce court. It sounds as if you made a great connection with yourself during the deployment. I applaud you for your successes and encourage you to keep it up.

Your husband may be feeling a little insecure with your weight loss and new career. Maybe you should try working out with your husband sometimes. I’m sure he’s busy working in his position, but invite him to lunch or to visit you at work.

You also should address his attempts to sabotage your weight loss and his feelings that you are neglecting your family when at one time he wanted you to do all of the things you’re now doing.

Let’s hope his feelings and insecurities will subside. Before you consider divorce court, however, consider marriage counseling.

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