Introducing Dr Fanny Anny P.H.D (university of Life)
Monday Morning Divorce
Dear Dr Fanny,
Every Monday morning, when my husband and I return to our respective workplaces and independent lives I vow to call a lawyer and sort out a divorce. This is because our weekends are always ruined by my partner's selfish grumpiness. As soon as I see that look on his face (rigid jaw, ears sticking out, eyebrows set in a slightly surprised expression) I know he is in a MOOD. I have lost all patience for this selfish self-indulgence on his part, as we have 3 children, and so I tackle him and the weekend battle commences. By Sunday night we are barely speaking, the children are silent and sad, and family life seems a pointless effort on my part to no avail. I wonder if we would be better off splitting?
Dreaming of Divorce
As a seasoned expert, and one who has lived with a weekend grump for years, I advise the following. Tackle him about the impact of his weekend grumpiness during the week. Away from the kids and the tension. Talk to him firmly about how you are at the end of your tether and he needs to cheer up and participate in family life. If he has worries about work or anything else, he should share them with you. As long as he isn't concealing any deep secrets (redundancy, gambling/shopping debts, affair, homosexuality) then he has no reason not to just say "I am feeling grumpy. Do you mind if I go out on my bike/for a run/ to the gym/ Sainsburys/coffee/ Prada or whatever for an hour or two just to unwind". Dearest D.o.D, I know you will already be a kind, giving person, hence your concern for Moody Bum, so just send him out. Tell him you expect full-on cheeriness and participation on his return.
However, I must add that this is a long term problem with no solution. The battle must be fought endlessly and worsens as the grumpy gits hit middle age. Just pencil in your diary, every Thursday to have the Weekend Warning conversation. This has worked for me on and off for years except in times of extreme stress with His Miserable-ness. Also, there's one other thing you can always do sweetheart and that is make like Jamal in the final scene of this year's Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire – and phone a friend. 9 times out of 10 they will be going through the exact same weekend trauma if they are in a relationship over 1 year old.