Woman resists man’s efforts to improve her lifestyle

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LOVE ABBY: I met my wife when we were very young and partying. We’re middle aged now and we’re going in different directions.

I focus on physical and mental wellbeing. I exercise daily, eat healthily and have a positive attitude. She spends her free time lying around, drinking, smoking and constantly exposing herself to negativity via the Internet. She is now taking medication for depression and anxiety.

My attempts at discussion usually encounter anger and defensiveness or are dismissed as a “bad time to talk”. I believe we have reached a crossroads in our health. I want her to be as fit and healthy as possible so we can enjoy our golden years together. How do I get them to join me in a healthier lifestyle before it’s too late? – WILLING IN WASHINGTON

LOVE WILL: Your wife may have reached a fork in the road. If your description is correct, you are living with a woman who is depressed, angry, defensive, anxious, and self-destructive.

One way to encourage her to adopt a healthier lifestyle is to convince her that her own path to wellbeing begins with consulting a psychologist before it’s too late and the harm she’s doing to herself becomes irreversible. If you do, make sure she knows you are saying it because you love her and want to enjoy a long and happy life with her – something that is obviously not happening for her right now. If she still refuses, keep doing what you do and realize that you cannot save someone who refuses to help themselves.

LOVE ABBY: My best friend is retired and alone, just like me. She recently moved next door so we can help each other if necessary.

Since COVID, we feel safe when we see each other because we never go out in public places and all purchases are made with delivery or collection on the side of the road. She doesn’t like to cook, but I love it, so she’s invited to dinner most evenings. She comes in about four times a week and usually takes the leftovers home for the other nights.

What bothers me is that I usually have dinner at the same time and remind her every time I invite her, but she is always late. It was only a minute or two at first, but it keeps getting later. I waited for her for 20 minutes tonight.

I set my dishes to the minute and I like my food hot and not overcooked. I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but I’m getting increasingly irritated. Any suggestions on how I can get the message across without compromising our friendship? – FRESH MEALS IN THE MIDWEST

LOVE FRESH: Your friend may be disorganized or just plain thoughtless. The next time you invite her over, tell her that you will have to start eating at the appointed time and no longer have to wait for her because you like your dinner to be hot and not overcooked. You don’t have to be mean, just firm and then pull through.

Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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