Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 22 years. Two weeks ago, I took him to the ER because he had abdominal pains. After hours of waiting, his scheduled CT-scan was delayed. The doctor recommended I go home, since it was 4 a.m. My husband was supposed to call me as soon as he had the results.
Instead, he called his mother. I finally phoned, and he told me he needed a laparoscopic appendectomy. He then said his mother and sister would be driving up to visit (it’s 330 miles) and staying with me.
This didn’t exactly make me happy. We are doing some renovations, and I felt their visit was intrusive and unnecessary for a minor surgical procedure. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law did nothing to help around the house, so not only was I overseeing the workers and taking care of my husband (who was home within 18 hours after surgery), but also cooking and cleaning up after my in-laws. They left three days later, and my mother-in-law has called daily to see how her baby is doing.
I did not discuss my feelings with my husband until last evening, and it caused a big fight. I’m a very private person and do not easily share personal information with family members. Although I think my husband’s mother needed to know about his surgery, I believe he should have waited to call her at a later time or should have been more adamant about discouraging her visit. Did I overreact?
— Needing To Know
Dear Needing: A tiny bit. Your husband should have given you the results of his medical tests first, but Mom also deserved to know. He should not have encouraged them to visit without checking with you, but it’s understandable that Mom was worried. All surgeries, even minor ones, carry risk. Finally, Mom and Sis should have helped you out instead of being a burden.
Because you do not like to share this kind of information with family members, you reacted negatively. Because your husband loves his family and saw no reason to keep this from them, he doesn’t understand why you are upset. He needs to put you first, and you should work on being more tolerant of your in-laws.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA. 90045.