Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of firstname.lastname@example.org and include your title, initials and suburb.
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My husband has been working extremely hard, but last night he went next door and drank bootleg liquor. On his return, he was swaying and rambling. Eventually he went to bed, but then needed to throw up. He didn’t make the bathroom, instead projectile vomiting all over the new carpet. He said I’d neglected my duty of care by sleeping in the spare room because he could have died. Now he’s gone to work and left me with the mess.
Mrs TU, Anna Bay
Dear Mrs TU,
Bootleg liquor in Anna Bay? Vomiting husbands? What sort of suburb do you live in? I thought Anna Bay was full of sea changers and people sipping cappuccinos. Your dilemma has been an eye-opener in more ways than one.
First of all, that duty of care comment is emotional blackmail. He’s not Amy Winehouse. A drunk husband snoring in a room full of vomit is not a life-threatening situation, otherwise our population statistics would be very different. Did he expect you to clean it up? That is what is known as rescue behaviour, a very bad habit to get into. If you keep being a fixer like good old Christopher Pyne, your husband will not learn to stand on his own two (wobbly) legs and take responsibility for his actions. You need to empower him by saying, ‘You have made a decision to get rotten drunk, and I respect that. Now respect me as I book into a resort with my non-vomiting girlfriend. Call me when it’s safe to come home. Oh, by the way, the kids have two assignments due, AFL training and a dance concert.’
You mentioned new carpet. You know, polished concrete is the current floor covering of choice for a reason. It looks stylish and you can just hose out anything left behind by children, dogs and drunk husbands. It may be time to revise your decorating decisions.
Finally, I’ve got to ask why he didn’t make it to the bathroom. I was brought up in a family where my mother told me from an early age, ‘I don’t do vomit.’ Even as a three-year-old, I would have made it to the tiled floor. He could have at least thrown up on the quilt or himself. Tonight, before you leave for your resort, I suggest you make up a plastic chair in the shower for him, complete with pillow protector, till he learns a bit of self control.
Carpe diem, Jasminda