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Neglected Wife

CD Knowles 9 months ago

Dear Knowles,

I’m married to a very stodgy man. It’s not a bad marriage (quite the contrary). We’ve been together since 1990, have two grown children and are now free to live our lives and enjoy ourselves. The problem is my husband never wants to do anything. Night after night he’s in front of the TV watching sports, FOX news (ugh!), and crime stories. That’s cool. I don’t like it, but I go hang with my girlfriends and we have a good time. Last night, however, was different. It was New Year’s Eve and I really wanted to do something special, but my husband was planted in front of the TV as usual, refusing to budge. I told him he was a boring old man and stormed out of the house, really quite upset. Feels like, as far as he’s concerned, I might as well be part of the decor. Not that I want to make changes in my life, but frankly I need more stimulation and by that I don’t mean taking up a new hobby or attempting to learn Mandarin Chinese. I mean I want my husband to pay attention to me and start taking me out. What should I do?

Neglected Wife

neglected wife

Dear Neglected,

Sorry to hear your woes although you sound like you know exactly how to handle your stodgy husband. I would be curious to learn how he reacted to your storming out of the house New Year’s Eve. Clearly you both have your own agenda after all these years, and it all boils down to whether you can teach an old dog new tricks. So maybe no nice home-cooked meals for a man who can’t be bothered to take his wife out on the town every once in a while. Maybe no sex if that’s still going on. Or no creature comforts like freshly laundered shirts, towels, underwear. Pick your weapon and use it ‘til he gets the point, which is that you don’t want to  be taken for granted. Be mean as a snake if you have to. If this guy has treated you like doo doo in the going-out-on-a-nice-date department, then you have every right to hit back as hard as you like. Should be interesting.

Good luck and happy New Year,

CD Knowles


Dear Thoughtless,

I was a shameless re-gifter till I realized I was getting a bad reputation for it and quit. Frankly, it took a long while before people stopped thinking I was kind of a chintzy person. It wasn’t pleasant and it certainly wasn’t worth the savings in money or time. I don’t recommend that behavior.

Sarah T., Oakland, CA


Dear Thoughtless,

I have been a re-gifter all my adult life and see nothing wrong with the practice as long as one is open and honest about it. It doesn’t only save money, it saves things being thrown in the trash.

Sam P., Greenwich, CT


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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.

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