DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Dick," moved in with me, into a home I have owned for 13 years. A year later, he accepted a job in a city two hours away. (There were no jobs in this area.) Dick lives in an apartment there during the week. We were later married.
The other day we went shopping, and I bought a decorator accessory for the house. Dick didn't like the color and became very angry at me.
The house is in my name only. Dick does not contribute to the house or its upkeep. He uses all the supplies in the house and never offers to pay for expenses. He gives me a check every month for less than half the utilities. Meanwhile, he earns a good salary and contributes to a 401(k).
Abby, Dick doesn't live here most of the week, despite my urging him to find a job that's closer. I am paying for most of the expenses for the house even though I'm battling cancer. I feel he has no right to complain. Which one of us is right? -- FRUSTRATED DECORATOR
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your marital problems go far beyond a disagreement about a decorator item. It appears your husband is not fully committed to the marriage, as demonstrated by his failure to support you financially or emotionally during your illness. It's time to reach a meeting of the minds and hearts about his job, your finances and your future together. A giant step in the right direction would be to consult a marriage counselor. Your physician can refer you to one. If your husband refuses to go, go without him.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 35-year-old wife, mother of two small children and caregiver to my mother. My husband has asked me to consider relocating to a distant state so he can advance in his career. I have no problem with it. I know I can start a life there, and I believe in supporting my husband.
The problem is Mom. She's confined to oxygen and is unable to enjoy the life she once knew. Nobody visits her. She just sits in her room, claiming to be too sick to do anything. When I told her we'd had a discussion about moving, Mom became extremely upset. I told her we love her, that she's a valued member of our family, and we would want her to come with us.
Mom says it's wrong of me to even ask such a thing of her. She says she's so hurt she feels like she has been kicked in the stomach. I should add she has panic attacks due to traveling. I have talked to her about everything we will do to ensure her safety and comfort. My husband is growing resentful of her. I have begged her to be open-minded, but she's very negative. What should I do? -- DUTIFUL DAUGHTER
DEAR DAUGHTER: Get your mother's doctor involved. She needs counseling, and possibly medication for depression and her panic attacks. While you're talking to the doctor, inquire about what arrangements can be made if your mother chooses to remain where she is.
Since you have already invited your mother to go with you, the choice where she wants to live is now hers. She could live for years -- and her health should not determine your husband's career choices.
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