Dear Nicole: How do I get my husband to turn down the volume?

Dear Nicole,

My husband likes to blast loud music while he’s working in his garage. When I get home from a long day of work, the last thing I want to hear about is “b*%^7es and hos” at a 10 level volume. I want him to be able to unwind the way he does but I can hear everything. Help.

— Quiet Wife


So it sounds like hard work, avoidance and technology could be on your side. I think you are right too in not assuming that just because his music is ridiculously anti-feminist doesn’t mean that reflects his views. To each his own!

1) Think about a soundproofed wall (if it’s the wall that is against your house). Sounds like if your guy is working in the garage, he may be handy/like a project … especially since this benefits him very directly.

2) Sign up for a yoga class, go on a walk with a friend, etc. right after work. Give him an hour of rap time and when you get home, you’ll feel less bad asking the music get turned down. My husband is allowed one hour of reggae music on the weekends when I also have to listen to it; it’s our compromise.

3) Buy him a sweet set of headphones. Maybe they can even be wireless so his hands can stay free. Then he can groove as long as he wants.


Dear Nicole,

I think I have a friend who has gotten toxic. She’s really negative, a bit self-absorbed, and I honestly feel like I am getting nothing from this relationship. Sadly, she is a friend from childhood and it’s always given me a lot of pride that I have a friend from over 30 years ago. What should I do?

— Friendship Fading


Relationships of any kind have an expiration. Sometimes changed life circumstances (example: someone has a kid, moves away, decides she can only be friends with other vegans, etc.), sometimes more permanant ones (you know, death) can put an end to a friendship. Sometimes acknowledging every relationship ends at some point can allow you to feel better about ending something.

Now the idea is do you think this person should know how she is coming off to people? If you think she can take it and seems genuinely clueless, tell her how she has made you feel recently with a few concrete examples. Tell her that you want to preserve the friendship, which is why you are talking with her about this. You can’t control how she’ll react to this but if you say it in a very compassionate way, she will hopefully see it in the right light.

If this person will be offended by you reaching out, you need to mourn the loss of relationship and do the slow fade. No sense in angering her with a heart to heart if she will take it as a confrontation or use it as ammo later.

Only you know what kind of person your friend is. Listen to your gut and react accordningly. But good for you for noticing that something isn’t working in your life and being ready to do something about it.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]
Nicole Ouellette

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