I have been married for 22 years. My husband is 60 and retired from the military. Ever since I have known him, he has always needed recognition and pats on the back, which I have tried to supply. However, over the past three years, it has become hard to put up with. He wants lots of applause for any accomplishments and posts daily announcements on Facebook, which have become an embarrassment. It’s childish! Should I mention that he needs to go lighter on his praise-fishing expeditions or remain quiet?
From Madison, Wisconsin
* * * * * * * *
It sounds to me as if your husband has a huge ego that he wants fed on a regular basis. I would suggest that you feed it sarcasm, which will starve it to point where he is emotionally anorexic and a shell of the empty man, that he currently is. Here are some suggestions. No matter what he’s wearing, tell him he looks like he should be on the cover of GQ Magazine, and then add if anyone else was wearing those exact same clothes, you’d assume they were homeless. If he ever gains weight in the middle, tell him his pot belly looks like very expensive cookware that Martha Stewart would probably endorse. Or if he ever goes fishing (literally) no matter how big the catch is, tell him he would make Herman Melville jealous, and hopefully he’s not too stupid to understand the cynical reference. And finally, if he ever cooks for you, tell him it is the best food you have ever tasted. And then tell him you are not worthy of such eloquent cuisine… as you scrape your plate into a dog dish. Also let him see you put on speed dial, the number of a local veterinarian, explaining you are doing that just in case the family pet gets sick enough to where it needs to be put down. I hope this helps.