Q. I am married to a wonderful, kind, and generous man. We have a very good marriage. We’ve never had a real argument or nagged each other about anything. I am worried about his weight, however.
He had lost a lot of weight, but now he’s regaining it. This is because he has a glass of wine just before bed. I don’t mind his daily glass of wine, but I wish he’d have it at dinnertime so that his body has time to process it.
I know he enjoys his bedtime snack, so I’m loath to bring it up. How do I gently and kindly ask him to forgo it at bedtime without sounding like a nag?
A. If your husband’s nightly glass of wine makes him surly or uncommunicative, or interferes with his sleep, your shared intimacy, or sex life, then you get to bring it up.
In short, if his nighttime wine affects YOU, then you should initiate a conversation about it. If his glass of wine at bedtime doesn’t directly affect you (and it doesn’t seem to), then you should keep your thoughts to yourself.
In my opinion, your basic assumption is off-kilter. More likely, his weight gain is the result of a dozen little and large choices he makes throughout the day, not the timing of his nightly drink.
Furthermore, if he has struggled with his weight and has managed to successfully reduce, then he knows the basic rules of weight loss.
If you want to continue to support his weight loss, you should ask him, “What’s the best way I can support you as you work toward your goals?”
I hope he answers, “Just continue loving me, just as I am.”
I’ll offer an (unsolicited) opinion on how to have a happy marriage: Learn to fight. Learn to forgive. And try mightily to love one another through thick and thicker.
Q. My mom and I generally have a good relationship, but she does one thing that is really inconsiderate. I am a light sleeper. I normally wake up around 9 a.m. My mom is a very active person and insists on exercising every morning before she goes to work. Because gyms have closed, she has resorted to running on our home treadmill in the mornings. However, since the room with the treadmill is right beneath my bedroom, her loud running wakes me up from my sleep.
I pointed out that she can run outside or run on the treadmill at other times of the day, but she insists on her current routine.
I asked my dad to talk to her, but he is afraid that she will explode with anger.
I’ve tried to make compromises by asking her to run only after 8 a.m., but she will not budge, and often runs at 7 a.m. In response, she screams at me, saying that I am “not the only person who lives in this house.”
I am a college student. I need adequate rest in order to do well in school. With her disrupting my sleep, I am often tired and unable to focus well on my studies. I feel that it is common decency for people to respect others’ sleep.
How can I form an agreement with my mom without me sacrificing my sleep?
A. Asking your mother to run at a later time in the morning is not a “compromise” — it is merely you asking her to change. A compromise would be you agreeing to go to bed an hour earlier if she would agree to run an hour later.
Your hard-working mother is trying to take care of herself. You are responsible for your own health and well-being, and so the most obvious solution would be for you to adjust your sleeping hours, the way you would if you lived next to a construction site where they started jackhammering at 7 a.m.
If you went to bed earlier and started the day feeling rested, you might find that those early-morning hours were among the best of your day.
Q. “Desperate Daughter” was upset about her father’s habit of sending unwanted political e-mails, especially after he’d been drinking.
Instead of deleting those e-mails or having them go to her spam folder, how about her collecting them and having a heart to heart about him getting some help?
A. As I said in my answer, the problem wasn’t really about her father’s politics, but his drinking. I agree that confronting him might inspire change.
Amy Dickinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.