Man’s sloven­li­ness grows from a peeve to a prob­lem

The Progress-Index Weekend - - LIFESTYLES -

DEAR ABBY: I dearly love my hus­band. We’ve been mar­ried 33 years. We have raised three pro­duc­tive cit­i­zens, have five beau­ti­ful grand­chil­dren and live in the heart­land of Amer­ica.

Like most cou­ples, we’ve had our ups and downs. My prob­lem is my hus­band is a slob. He al­ways has been, but it’s get­ting worse.

He works. I stayed home and raised our kids and made the house a home. He brings home the ba­con, does the yard work, takes out the trash and fixes things (on his own terms). I pay the bills, clean the house, cook din­ner, and do any­thing else that needs do­ing (sched­ule doc­tor’s ap­point­ments, etc.).

He thinks that be­cause he doesn’t beat me, we have a good mar­riage. I have a se­ri­ous is­sue with his messi­ness. I am just about ready to chuck him to the door.

I’ve tried talk­ing to him about it, but we al­ways end up ar­gu­ing. He says I treat him like a child (well ... truth be told, he’s ACT­ING like one). I have ex­plained to him why I need him to pick up after him­self, but he takes it as a per­sonal af­front and storms off. I’m at my wits’ end. What can I do to fix

this? — TIDY SPOUSE IN OHIO

DEAR TIDY: To be hon­est, I’m not sure that at this point you can “fix this.” You and your hus­band have had an un­writ­ten con­tract for 33 years, in which his job was to bring home the ba­con, do yard work, take out the trash and fix things when he gets around to it. Yours was to per­form the du­ties of a tra­di­tional house­wife by do­ing all the things you de­scribed.

Your hus­band’s slop­pi­ness may be the legacy of a mother who never taught him to keep his room clean, and your own fail­ure to put your foot down dur­ing the first years of your mar­riage. Of course, you could al­ways stop pick­ing up after him. But if you do, I’m afraid the mess will reach pro­por­tions you — not he — will be un­able to tol­er­ate.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 50-year-old woman who has just learned that my first boyfriend, “John,” was killed in a freak shoot­ing ac­ci­dent shortly after he grad­u­ated from our high school more than 30 years ago. He was 18 and I was 16 when we dated. After grad­u­a­tion he moved away to at­tend col­lege. John was killed when his friend dropped a ri­fle that dis­charged.

I have just learned that John’s par­ents are alive and still live in the same home. Should I send some kind of sym­pa­thy card to them now? I truly cared for John and thought he had lost in­ter­est in me when I didn’t hear from him any longer.

My mother says I shouldn’t re­mind his par­ents of his death, but I think they’d like to know how fondly I re­mem­ber him. What should I do? — NEVER KNEW IN GE­OR­GIA DEAR NEVER KNEW: Write John’s par­ents a short note telling them ex­actly what you told me. Do not worry about re­mind­ing them about their son’s death. They are aware of it every sin­gle day, and I am sure that know­ing you took the time to write will touch their hearts. — 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.

JEANNE PHILLIPS

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