10/27/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency

Advice columnist Amy Dickinson advises a woman whose spouse demands immediate attention when he interrupts her texting or emailing on her phone.

Dear Amy:

When my husband enters the room and I am on my phone texting or emailing, he expects me to stop immediately.

I think this is unreasonable, demanding, and controlling.

I think he should be willing to wait until I finish the text or email that I had already begun before he walked into the room.

Waiting for me seems polite, and I believe it’s reasonable to be allowed to finish what I already started.

Or am I being unreasonable?

We are both retired. We are together most of the day – except when we can’t agree on what television show to watch – and then we enjoy our shows separately.

It’s not as though our time together is very limited!

Can you give me your take?

– Exasperated

Dear Exasperated:

You can’t anticipate exactly when your husband will enter the room, in order to leap to attention when he does.

If you are in the middle of sanding the floor, kneading bread dough, or talking to your mother on the phone, the person arriving onto the scene should wait patiently until you have reached a stopping point.

You, in turn, should arrive at that point and acknowledge the other person’s presence.

Your husband may not believe that your choice to finish a thought when you are typing on your phone – is the same as finishing a thought or a conversation when you are speaking on the phone, and yet interrupting a person is just that – an interruption.

The person doing the interrupting should respectfully wait, and the other person should then thank them for their patience.

Because I do most of my work via typing (versus talking), I have reminded members of my household that if I am typing when they enter the room, it would be best if they gave my typing the same consideration they would if I happened to be talking on the phone when they entered.

That having been said – you should also use this habit of his (and yours) to examine just how often you might let whatever is happening on your phone interrupt others. When you are engaged in a conversation with your husband, do you automatically let a text message interrupt you?

Obviously, having a regular “workspace” in your home might help to draw some distinctions between you completing some desired correspondence, and the homelife you two share.

Click here for even more advice from Ask Amy.

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In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from when a spouse demands immediate attention to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff