By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK
DEAR WHYS GUY:
Why does my husband refuse to go on a camping trip with our son for his Cub Scout requirements? He has anxiety issues, but they don't seem to interfere with anything that is important to him, like hockey and work. You can't pick and choose when to claim "social anxiety"-or can you?
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DEAR REDBOOK READER:
I'm totally unqualified (lemme just reemphasize that point: TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED) to give you any accurate information on Social Anxiety Disorder. If it's something he's really struggling with, then you need to be informed on the subject so you're not forced to go to random advice columnists on the internet for answers to your questions. Talk to a professional. Maybe a few joint therapy sessions are in order; maybe you just need to talk to someone who can recommend some good and serious books on the subject. Whatever the case, if your partner is suffering from any sort of mental disorder, no matter how mild, it is probably a good idea to try to understand what's going.
With all that said, I personally would be totally unscrupulous in trying to avoid going anywhere for an extended period of time with a group of 12-year-old boys. They're like greasy hormonal zombie animals. I would pretend to be temporarily paralyzed if it meant I didn't have to spend an evening in the woods with them.
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Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.