Dear Blake,

My wife of 36 years has never introduced me to a restaurant, bought concert tickets or planned a vacation. She seldom suggests movies she wants to see or introduces me to any form of music. She claps her hands like a little girl when I say we are going out for ice cream, a walk or to a festival. I have encouraged her repeatedly over the years to be a more active participant in our relationship and to be my partner. Nothing changes. If not for my encouragement, she would have never gotten her degree, gone to concerts or on vacations or experienced life. I plan everything. To her credit, she’s willing to go anywhere and do almost anything, but I’m increasingly resentful that my wife acts more like a daughter than a partner. I have been trying desperately for years to accept this, but I’m sick of it. What should I do?

Signed, Maurice
From New York City, New York

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Maurice,

What you are saying, is your marriage has become predictable and boring because everything happens per your suggestions due to your wife’s refusal to initiate plans for anything. Ok, here’s the solution. Put her in a position where she has to come up with an idea as if her life depended on it… and make sure that it does, literally. Tell her your latest idea is to fast from food, indefinitely. When she displays her usual enthusiasm, hold her to it, but secretly have hearty meals when you’re at work or late at night when she’s sleep. Eventually she’ll either suggest you two have a meal, or she’ll contemplate eating inanimate objects like furniture, cell phones, etc. Or, put a phony bomb on the dashboard of your that has a timer on it. And when your wife gets in, tell her you want to sit there to see if it is fake, or if that Mafia boss you spit on a day ago is holding a grudge. If she quickly exists the vehicle without demanding that you do the same, try to find out if she recently has taken out a large insurance policy on your life. See how happy she is about you wanting to spend a weekend in an Arizona desert, because you want both of you to learn how to juggle rattlesnakes. And if none of those work, try this last suggestion. Tell her you want to have a nice quiet picnic with her on the ledge of a skyscraper, that’s at least 40 stories up. If she agrees with that, after you two finished eating, grab her hand and tell you want to honor the request of the massive crowd gathering on the ground looking up and shouting “jump!” Keep in mind, there is no guarantee that she won’t “casually” push you. I hope this helps.