My Wife’s Suggestion – A Support Group For Spouses

photo of Robb Lightfoot and Karin Lightfoot

Pity my wife. After all, for almost 35 years she’s been married to me. The guy who has never–not once–been able to sit through an entire meal without springing to my feet to go get that extra serving spoon or refill a cup of coffee or glass of water.

I just can’t sit down for more than about 5 minutes at a go. And the thing is, I don’t even realize I’m doing it until she either sighs or bursts out laughing.

So when I was putting together my site, and laying out the topics I want to write about, she had a semi-serious request.

“You need to offer a support group for wives.”

We both laughed, but she does have a point. People who are hyperactive don’t outgrow it as much as they find, more or less, ways to direct that energy into places it doesn’t irritate quite as many people quite as often. I’m thinking of my second-grade teacher as I write this. So, Mrs. Reyes, instead of sending me to the principal’s office, maybe you should have just had me walk your dog.

At least it would have freed up a space in the principal’s waiting room.

Yes, energy management is an issue, and the people who are around us the most still get more than their share of ‘excessive enthusiasm,” even when it is dialed down or a bit diffused. I am, as Karin will tell you, still a work-in-progress. So I have to work to address the more problematic parts of this. I don’t interrupt her quite as much as I used to. And I’ve learned not to supply the punch line to a joke she’s telling. Well, not often anymore.

But if you’ve got a hyperactive spouse, and you want to drop Karin a line, perhaps she’ll share her husband-managment secrets. I’m sure she’s got some behavior-shaping tools she keeps to herself. These do not include her sharp left elbow, which has been inserted, more than once, into my ribs when I was standing next to her, talking to a friend or new acquaintance, and about to make a problematic pronouncement.

You can leave her a message here, or I’ll pass it along at

Addendum: Karin said that you should not include names, or at least real names. She said this will “protect the not-so-innocent.” That’s the sort of loving support we all need.