Wife with sketchy mem­ory de­pends on hus­band for help

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: When my wife was 17 (she’s now 54), she was in a car ac­ci­dent. She and her three friends were high and drunk. She suf­fered two skull frac­tures, which have af­fected her mem­ory.

She thinks it’s my job to re­mind her of things and be­comes an­gry to the point of hit­ting things when I don’t do it. I feel her sched­ule is her re­spon­si­bil­ity. But when I tell her that, she claims I am not be­ing “sup­port­ive.” — UN­SURE IN THE SOUTH

DEAR UN­SURE: In suc­cess­ful mar­riages the di­vi­sion of labour is usu­ally “each ac­cord­ing to his abil­ity, each ac­cord­ing to his need.” Your wife’s sched­ule should be her re­spon­si­bil­ity, and if your wife were ir­re­spon­si­ble, I’d agree with you. ‘

How­ever, be­cause she suf­fered a trau­matic brain in­jury, she may be un­able to be as or­ga­nized as you are and need your help. That said, “hit­ting things” when she be­comes frus­trated is not ap­pro­pri­ate, and she needs to find a less threat­en­ing and de­struc­tive way of vent­ing.

DEAR ABBY: Be­cause our coun­try’s mar­riage laws re­cently changed, my part­ner and I have de­cided, af­ter 16 years to­gether, to be mar­ried. If some­thing un­for­tu­nate were to hap­pen to one of us a few years down the road, what’s the proper way to ac­knowl­edge our mar­riage in an obit­u­ary?

Tech­ni­cally, we could say, “He is sur­vived by his hus­band of two years,” but that would dis­count the 16 years we were to­gether and would have been mar­ried had the laws per­mit­ted it.

But say­ing that he is sur­vived by his hus­band of 18 years seems mis­lead­ing as well. How can our many years to­gether be hon­ored with­out be­ing mis­rep­re­sented? — OBIT­U­ARY ETI­QUETTE

DEAR OBIT­U­ARY ETI­QUETTE: How about this: He is sur­vived by his hus­band and part­ner of 18 years.

DEAR ABBY: I have a prob­lem with my fam­ily that’s driv­ing me crazy. They are Face­book snobs. I pre­fer not to join Face­book for per­sonal rea­sons, and be­cause I haven’t, they don’t keep me up to date re­gard­ing spe­cial events such as births, fam­ily pic­nics, etc.

They each ex­pect the other ones to no­tify me, and no mat­ter how of­ten I ask, they’ll say, “Oh, ‘So-and-So’ was sup­posed to let you know.” It’s not like I am es­tranged from any of them; it’s just that they keep in­sist­ing I should join Face­book, and I’m tired of hear­ing it. Ad­vice? — NO SO­CIAL ME­DIA FOR ME

DEAR NO SO­CIAL ME­DIA: There are other ways to com­mu­ni­cate on­line than Face­book. Are you on the in­ter­net at all? If you are, you could be no­ti­fied of events through group email, group chat or group tex­ting. I don’t think it’s fair to ex­pect your rel­a­tives to make a spe­cial ef­fort to keep you in the loop.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -Let­ter Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

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