DEAR ABBY: I am a loving father of two boys and have been happily married for six years. However, my wife and I are having a serious conflict.
I love to fish and hunt. About eight times a year, I take a trip to hunt or fish. The trip usually lasts from one afternoon until the next evening. I am gone about 32 hours. This infuriates my wife. We argue every time I get ready to go. This is the only thing we argue about, but the arguments are serious and affect both of us adversely.
Abby, I try to be the best father and husband I know how. I spend almost every day of the week with my family. We go places together all the time. We are both Christians and take our children to church every week.
I have offered to go to counseling to see if we could get some help. She says it's not necessary because the problem isn't that big. I can't help but believe that our problem is about more than just a question of hunting and fishing. I feel she wants to control me. She says she just misses me. She agrees that I spend more time with the family than most husbands do. I do this out of love.
Am I wrong? Should I offer to give up my hobbies? Is it wrong for me to go hunting and fishing on occasion? Abby, I would never neglect my family. Any advice you can offer will be appreciated. -- KENTUCKY HUBBY
DEAR HUBBY: Eight days a year of personal time devoted to hunting or fishing is not a lot to ask. Whether she will admit it to herself or not, your wife's behavior is controlling. By picking a fight with you she ensures that if you go, your pleasure will be lessened.
Since you feel that the arguments are serious, by all means talk to a counselor before the problems escalate further. You could both benefit by going, but if your wife continues to minimize the importance of this issue, go without her. You will gain valuable insight.
DEAR ABBY: What do you think of a family who refuses to take their 92-year-old grandmother to the doctor for her yearly checkup? They say it's "too far."
As far as I'm concerned, no distance is "too far" if you care. She has offered to pay for the gas, but they still refuse.
Are there agencies that will pick up people and take them to their doctor's office? -- A FRIEND IN CHICAGO
DEAR FRIEND: What you are describing is a form of elder abuse. Notify the doctor's office. They should be able to contact a local agency that assists seniors and others who qualify for free or low-cost transportation to medical appointments.
P.S. Since her family is unwilling to monitor the health of their aged grandmother, it's possible that she should be visited by a social worker from time to time.
DEAR ABBY: What do you think of a man who had affairs throughout his marriage and, after his wife died, put "Beloved Wife" on her tombstone? -- KNOWS THE TRUTH IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR KNOWS THE TRUTH: I think he's guilty of false advertising.
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