Now that he’s re­tired, my hus­band thinks he’s ex­empt from house­work

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - 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.

Dear Abby: I have been mar­ried more than 40 years. We are now re­tired and moved to a small town a few years ago. My prob­lem is my hus­band does al­most noth­ing to help out around the house. I do the house­keep­ing, shop­ping, cook­ing, bill pay­ing and most of the ex­ten­sive out­door up­keep. Al­though I was the pri­mary bread­win­ner dur­ing our mar­riage, my hus­band thinks his “work” is now over.

He watches TV all day long, but when he does want to get out and do some­thing, it must al­ways in­clude me. I’m sick of his face at this point. I’m sure I’m short-tem­pered at times be­cause ev­ery­thing falls on my shoul­ders. When I ask him to do some­thing or of­fer my “two cents,” he ac­cuses me of nag­ging and won’t talk to me for days.

I hate this life! I don’t think he would go to a mar­riage coun­selor be­cause he feels I’m the prob­lem. I think I want a di­vorce, but I don’t want this lazy bum to get half of ev­ery­thing I’ve earned and saved. Help! Irked in Idaho

Dear Irked: You have my sym­pa­thy, but you cre­ated this “mon­ster” by tol­er­at­ing your hus­band’s lazi­ness and con­trol­ling na­ture all these years. Be­cause he won’t talk to a mar­riage coun­selor doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. It’s im­por­tant you learn cop­ing skills to deal with his pas­sive ag­gres­sion, which is what the silent treat­ment is. If a li­censed ther­a­pist can’t help to re­lieve the pres­sure on you, then make an ap­point­ment with a lawyer to dis­cuss what op­tions you may have short of di­vorce. I’m cross­ing my fin­gers that you have some.

Dear Abby: My fi­ance and I have be­gun plan­ning our wed­ding for next year. We have both been mar­ried be­fore, so fam­ily doesn’t think we should have a “big” cel­e­bra­tion. Mom ac­tu­ally told me that it can’t be as spe­cial as my first one.

While ly­ing in bed the other night, we were dis­cussing how to ad­dress peo­ple’s opin­ions be­cause we don’t want our wed­ding day to be full of peo­ple com­plain­ing about be­ing there, choices we made re­gard­ing our cel­e­bra­tion and think­ing they need to give us a gift. We would like to in­clude a “dis­claimer” say­ing some­thing like, “If you’re not truly happy for us, stay home!” I re­al­ize that eti­quette would not al­low us to do it. Do you have any sug­ges­tions for our sit­u­a­tion? Our ‘‘Big Day’’

Dear ‘‘Big Day’’: Many cou­ples to­day have been mar­ried more than once. Your mother was cor­rect when she told you this sec­ond wed­ding should be more low-key than the first. Rest as­sured that no one will at­tend your wed­ding who doesn’t want to be there be­cause at­ten­dance is not com­pul­sory.

I’m glad you rec­og­nize that the “dis­claimer” would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate. If you pre­fer your guests forgo giv­ing you a gift, con­vey that by hav­ing some­one else de­liver it VER­BALLY — such as your mother or mem­bers of your wed­ding party — when guests call to ask where you are reg­is­tered. The word­ing should be: “They only want you to share in their hap­pi­ness on this spe­cial day. No gift is ex­pected or re­quired.”

I’M SURE I’M SHORT-TEM­PERED AT TIMES BE­CAUSE EV­ERY­THING FALLS ON MY SHOUL­DERS. WHEN I ASK HIM TO DO SOME­THING OR OF­FER MY “TWO CENTS,” HE AC­CUSES ME OF NAG­GING AND WON’T TALK TO ME FOR DAYS.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $8 to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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