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by Abigail Van Buren

Marriage Founders as Wife and Husband Drift Slowly Apart

DEAR ABBY: I love my husband very much. "Gary" and I have been together for 11 years. However, he seems to be less and less interested in me. We no longer spend time alone together.

Gary works long hours, so it's rare when we share a meal together. Every night before he comes home from his shift, he stops at the local diner and sits with his friends for an hour or so.

When we DO go out, Gary insists we patronize this same diner, so his buddies can sit and join us.

Recently, my husband had surgery. It has temporarily limited his physical activities. He claims to be in too much pain to do anything -- or go anywhere -- with me. But if one of his diner buddies invites him to go somewhere, he's up and out of the house in a heartbeat.

Abby, do I have a legitimate beef? Or should I leave our marriage "as is" and accept it? -- LONELY ON LONG ISLAND

DEAR LONELY: You are being isolated. A successful marriage must be worked on by both parties. If you don't speak up now, you and your husband will continue to drift further apart. So, speak up and tell him that you are concerned about your lack of communication, and offer him the option of marriage counseling.