Dear Amy: My husband was recently laid off from a company he'd worked at for 15 years. He also recently had surgery and has high blood pressure.

While I am the primary income earner, if his income is not replaced it will require us to make changes.

I have tried to give him time to process this, even though I am the kind of person who (for good or bad) moves straight into solutions.

It has been eight weeks, and when I forward a job opening that looks interesting, or try to talk about him networking, he asks me not to, saying it increases his stress.

I think he wants me to trust him to work through this.

I do trust him, but I feel this is something we should work through together. I have suggestions that could help, since I have gone through a job transition before. Not talking stresses me out.

In our 20-year marriage, we've struggled with the difference between micromanaging or interfering — and working through something together. I say I'm trying to help, and he says it's hurting him. What do I do?

Amy says: If you want to completely paralyze an easily paralyzed person, then the thing to do is to push, push, push.

You know that you are trying to help him, but this is not the help he needs right now.

You are a proactive self-starter. He is not. This doesn't mean that he is incapable of making his next move, but he will not do it on your timeline.

Yes, offering up ideas is your idea of being a good team member, but another way to emotionally support someone is to say, "You've got this, and I've got your back."

I'm suggesting that you do something that will be very hard for you. Stop. Stop coaching and prompting. Stop asking. Try this for a week. After that, suggest that you and your husband set up a time each week for a "family meeting," where you open up your finances, see where you stand, and where he can share his latest efforts with you. He should volunteer this information. If he doesn't, do your best to resist your desire to press him.

A lower-stress part-time seasonal job (or volunteering) might be the best way for him to recover his health and self-esteem and kick-start his job search.

Gratitude attitude

Dear Amy: Because of the pandemic, a friend's daughter got married with only immediate family present.

I have no ill feelings that we weren't included. My issue is this: My wife, on behalf of both of us, sent a generous check to the couple as a wedding present.

A few weeks later, the bride called my wife to thank her for the money. The bride asked my wife to extend their thanks to me, as well.

Is this the new normal?

I personally haven't heard a word from the bride. I'm also upset that they didn't send a thank you card.

Amy says: Given the high volume of questions I receive on this topic, I'd say that if the couple received a gift and then actually reached out to thank the giver (even over the phone), they should get a parade.

I think your nose is really out of joint because the bride didn't thank you separately.

However, you state that your wife sent the check "on behalf of both of us." She accepted the thanks "on behalf" of both of you.

If you had sent the check on behalf of you and your wife, you would have been thanked primarily and personally.

Unfortunately, just as young couples don't seem to write notes often enough, maybe older men don't take responsibility for gift-giving often enough.

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