DEAR SJ: How can I get my husband to take it easy on shoveling snow?
Every time it snows, my husband goes out with his shovel and scrapes our driveway. Then he scrapes the sidewalks for about five or six houses each direction from ours. He says he “has to” because he knows there are people walking dogs and he wants to make a nice path for them.
The thing is, none of the other neighbors shovel their driveways or sidewalks, so he’s the only one in the area putting himself out. It’s a problem for me because after he’s done, his back hurts so much that he just sits on the couch all day and complains, making me bring him coffee and snacks. I’ve tried talking with him about it, getting him to ease up and just do our driveway, because that way he wouldn’t hurt so much, but he says it’s the right thing to do, so he’s going to keep doing it.
How can I get him to stop doing so much for other people who don’t appreciate it?
— Snowy Chloie
You don’t. You don’t get him to stop doing so much for other people.
That’s not the problem. Neither is his back pain, his complaints and demands on you, or the fact that others don’t appreciate his service. You wanna know what the problem is? It’s you. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
Don’t you see? The reason that we’re in this situation is not that other people don’t shovel their sidewalks and therefore your husband has to. We are here because you have this irrational belief that your husband, and you by extension, do not owe your community anything beyond not farting in front of them in line at the bank. That’s a ridiculously smooth-brained perspective that, up until about a hundred years ago, would have resulted in your starvation at the first bad harvest.
What has this world come to that we’ve gotten to the place where people doing something good for someone else is now a bad thing?