DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Mick" for 22 years -- most of them happy. My problem is his communication skills. I have always had a hard time contacting him. He has a cell phone, but won't take it out of his vehicle.
Recently, our daughter came home from college. We had planned to go to dinner with her and her boyfriend. When Mick didn't show up, I tried without success to contact him. My daughter tried and then my son did, too. This went on for an hour and a half. We were worried sick, so we started calling his friends and co-workers -- anyone who might know his whereabouts.
Abby, I have a serious heart condition that could send me to the hospital at any time.
Mick finally called back and said he had gotten distracted talking with an old friend. He acted like we were crazy for being concerned, and insists he did nothing wrong.
All I have ever asked is that my husband and kids give me a quick call to let me know if they're going to be late so I won't worry. My son and daughter do it, but Mick refuses. He says he's the breadwinner, and he should not have to answer to anyone. I have put up with this for years, but now I have had enough. What do you think? -- SICK AND TIRED OF IT, IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SICK AND TIRED OF IT: Candidly, I think Mick is acting more like a rebellious teenager rather than a caring husband. Because he has been this way for 22 years, I seriously doubt he is capable of change. That's why I also think you should talk to your attorney about adding another family member to your Advance Directive for Health Care, in case you have a medical emergency and your husband is -- as usual -- unreachable. Please give this the serious consideration it deserves because your life could depend on it.
DEAR ABBY: I married "Marge" 18 months ago. It was a second marriage for both of us. We agreed to sell our homes and buy something together. Mine sold and now I'm in her house.
Things were going fine until Marge's daughter and son-in-law moved back in. It was supposed to be a three- or four-day stay, but it's now into the fifth week. They always claim to be right on the edge of leaving.
Marge enjoys having her daughter near her, but this is stressful for me. They sleep until noon every day and stay up late. They enjoy all that we have earned throughout our lives, and offer nothing in the way of rent.
I am not allowed to complain. I have been given the option to say "Go," but I know it will cause hard feelings from them and Marge. I am to the point where I'm ready to move out. -- TRAPPED IN THEIR HOUSE
DEAR TRAPPED: More troubling than the fact you appear to have been invaded by freeloaders is that you say you are "not allowed" to voice your feelings about it. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership of equals, and if one partner is not happy, healthy couples work out an agreeable solution together. Because you have been unable to do this, I recommend marriage counseling before you pack your bags.
With counseling I'm hoping you and Marge can form a united front in telling "the kids" they have a deadline to be out instead of you being forced into the role of "bad guy." Moving out should be your last option, because once you do, the move may be permanent.
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