ASK DENISE: Wife says family feels neglected

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Denise Harrison

Editor’s note: Writer’s answers do not reflect those of the Mitchell News-Journal and are not meant to replace medical or mental health care.


Dear Denise: During the holidays, and whenever, it seems my husband and I do everything with his family, but when I suggest doing something with mine, it turns into an argument. He says my family makes him uncomfortable. My family feels neglected. What can I do?

Dear Reader: Has he ever said why he feels uncomfortable around them? Is it possible he is just so used to his own family he doesn’t want to stray away from them at all? Do they treat him like one of the family? 

I suggest you sit down and talk to him about this when you are both feeling calm and relaxed. Explain to him this unfair division of family time is unfair to you and is causing problems with your relatives. Propose a plan in which holidays and other visits are scheduled equally between your families. Hopefully, if he understands how important this is to you, he will be willing to compromise. Best of luck


Dear Denise: How can I get my friends and family to stop talking politics. I can’t stand the hatred and disagreements all the time.  

Dear Reader: I feel your pain – trust me, I do. The name calling and mud-slinging has gotten out of hand, and I unfortunately don’t see it ending anytime soon. 

I think people are feeling out of control and even apprehensive about the government and other issues right now, and their way of coping with this is to become argumentative and angry. On a personal level, I try very hard not to engage when people begin their political tirades, and I have gone as far as even blatantly changing the subject. Hopefully, someday people will understand just because they feel adamant about something does not mean everyone shares their feelings.


Dear Denise: I have been feeling sad and depressed all the time lately. Should I go on medication for this?

Dear Reader: I am sorry to hear you have been feeling this way. It is not fun to spend your days feeling down. I am unable to answer your question, however, without knowing anything about you. I will say while there are wonderful medications on the market, with new ones being developed all the time, that is not always enough.  

It is best practice to combine medication with therapy for optimal benefit. If your depression is stemming from an unresolved issue, then getting to the root of the problem will help dispel these feelings once and for all. I suggest you call a mental health profession and start this journey now. You deserve to be happy.


Denise Harrison is a Licensed Counselor in Spruce Pine. Email questions to or call and leave a message at 828-467-0037. Submissions are anonymous.