Dear Blake,

My husband and I have no kids. His family (sister, cousins, etc.) hosts family gatherings two to four times a month. My husband and I both work. My own family does not have many gatherings. I have a hobby I would like to pursue, and I’m considering pursuing it more deeply when I retire. He complains that I want to spend what’s left of our weekend on it.

I can’t seem to get across to my husband that although I like his family, I don’t want to see them to the exclusion of my hobbies and our collective interests. He and his parents expect me at all of these events. I go, and when I do, I have a good time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want time to myself.

Unfortunately, my husband isn’t interested in my hobby. There are other activities we do together, although we don’t have a lot of time for them given his family events. How do I get across to him that he should be supportive?

Signed, Ebony
From Raleigh, North Carolina

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Ebony,

I don’t think it’s right that you are denied opportunities to follow your interests. I think you should start pursuing a hobby that would make your husband and his family want to keep their distance… indefinitely. Here are some ideas. Tell them you plan on starting a business regarding breeding wild animals, specifically skunks. Or, start taking a course in yodeling, and do it non stop, until your relatives begin running to their cars while covering their ears. Or this idea. Take a course as an auctioneer, and do it until people feel uncomfortable, when they feel they are forced to bid on some food at the dinner table. And lastly, this idea. Start collecting a lot of law books and legal opinions, and tell everyone that you are studying cases where people who were accused of dismembering irritating in-laws with an axe, somehow got acquitted. I hope this helps.