DEAR ABBY: I am 28 years old and have recently quit my job of six years to return to college full time. My husband is working and supporting both of us for the next two years. We always paid for everything equally and shared household responsibilities, until now.
My question is, now that I am not "working," should I be expected to do all the housework, laundry, cooking, taking out the garbage, paying our bills, etc.? This is what the situation is right now.
Whenever I start to get annoyed or think about mentioning anything to my husband about sharing these duties, I remind myself how generous he is being. I would feel guilty if I said anything, since he is footing all the bills. Yet I am starting to resent being the maid. What do you think? -- LISA IN ITHACA, N.Y.
DEAR LISA: The problem with harboring resentment is that it builds until the dam bursts, and then it is usually expressed inappropriately. In a sense, you and your husband are both "working." Therefore, I strongly recommend that you and he have an adult conversation about the household chores, and what a fair division of labor would be. He sounds like a doll, and I'm sure you can reach a fair agreement.
DEAR ABBY: I am 13 years old. My brother, "Chris," died a month ago at the age of 16. He was killed by a drunk driver.
I would like to talk about the good times Chris and I had together, but people avoid the subject. If I bring it up, they either make an excuse to walk away or change the subject. Even my mom and dad won't talk about him! I know they're uncomfortable, but it makes me feel like no one cared about Chris.
Sometimes I get really depressed about it and almost suicidal. I am seeing a counselor, but it's not the same talking to a counselor as to your friend. How do I deal with these people? -- GRIEVING SISTER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR GRIEVING SISTER: Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. I'm sure that being able to talk about your brother would make it easier to deal with the feelings you have about his death. However, your parents may be in too much pain themselves right now to talk about it without breaking down. And your friends may feel unable to handle the emotions you are experiencing.
Please tell your therapist that you would like him or her to recommend a grief support group that you can join. In these groups, everyone has suffered a loss –- and if you are willing to listen to them, they will also listen to you. It's not the same as confiding in your contemporaries, but you may find that you will make friends within the group.
DEAR ABBY: In replying to "Unofficial Stepmom in Texas" you concluded, "If you want to teach the children good morals and values, the way to do it is to stop nagging, set a good example, and refrain from making nasty comments about their 'trashy' mother."
Abby, that woman needs to heed the words of George Bernard Shaw: "If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example." -- ARTHUR IN MEMPHIS
DEAR ARTHUR: Well said. George Bernard Shaw was not only a wit, he was a very wise man. And so are you.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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