Dear Amy: My husband and I (both retired seniors) belong to a service club. He joined well before I did.

After a few years of membership, I realized I would have been happier to just stay on the sidelines, but I hung in there because it was important to my husband for us to do things together.

I served in various capacities in our club and spent years in executive positions. I have now been doing this for 10 years. The last few meetings I attended were (to me) especially unpleasant and stressful.

I told my husband I am thinking of resigning as a member. He was initially understanding, but then he got upset and threatened to also resign if I did — his reasoning being: “We don’t do enough things together.”

In reality we never do much of anything separately, and it is sometimes stifling.

Before we retired, he was a member of this service club by himself. We are also members of one other club, which we both enjoy and would not think of leaving. We also travel together.

At this point in my old age, I just want to reduce stress and unpleasantness as much as I can. My health is not the best, I have serious family obligations, and want to look after myself.

Am I really being selfish? Where do I draw the line? — Stressed Out

Dear Stressed: This reminds me of the old joke: A couple is asked how often they have sex. The husband says, “Almost never — like once a week!,” while the wife says, “All the time — like once a week!” You two have different perceptions of “togetherness.”

Your husband seems to be adept at getting his needs met. You? Not so much.

“Self-care” has become a buzzy phrase. It can be challenging to understand what it really means to take care of yourself.

Many women who have given so much to spouses and children face the challenge of how to cope (and how others will cope) when they decide to stop giving it all away.

Your reserves are depleted, and you want (and need) to save something for yourself.

No, you are not being selfish. You should draw the line wherever you want to, and your husband, bless him, will have to adjust. You are not responsible for his feelings, or his behavior.

Carving out a few afternoons on your own at the library, the gym, or sitting by yourself quietly will revive you, be good for your health, and will likely be good for your relationship.

 

Dear Amy: My wife and I are in our late 70s and want to move into a senior housing facility.

We both are healthy enough to live into our 90s (both our mothers lived past 100), but we agree that she will probably live longer than I.

She wants to move into a senior facility we became acquainted with through older friends who lived (and died) there.

I don’t want to move there, but she thinks that since she will live in the facility the longest, her choice gets priority.

She doesn’t even want to check out other facilities to find a better or compromise solution.

What should we do? — Torn

Dear Torn: You two seem very practical regarding your futures, but I don’t think it is particularly useful to apply an actuarial table to your current situation. Right now, this is not primarily about where you will die, but about how you will live. Your wife is not making a rational choice about her future housing if she hasn’t explored the available options.

You don’t mention why you don’t want to move into the facility she prefers, but both of your interests and needs should have equal weight.

For the sake of your relationship, you should both work hard to have an open mind regarding options. You two should meet with administrators, take photos, and make pro and con lists. Ask her to leave her comfort zone and to look at four places with you, including the place she prefers.

 

Dear Amy: In your response to questions about workplace issues, you often advise people to “go to HR.”

I don’t know about your experiences with HR, but for many people Human Resources represents the interests of the company, and only the company. — Experienced

Dear Experienced: I agree that it is important to be aware that HR reps work for the same company the complainant works for. It is vital to document every meeting and encounter, even with HR.