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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Needs an Hour Alone Between Work and Husband

DEAR ABBY: When my husband, "Wyatt," and I first started dating, we both had jobs. Because I am a teacher, my workday ended about two hours before his, allowing me some much-needed time alone before he came home.

Just before our wedding three months ago, Wyatt was laid off, and he has not been able to find another job. Although he is in school part-time, he is always in the house when I return from work.

Abby, I have no time for myself! All day I work with my students, and all evening I am with Wyatt. I have tried to explain to him that I need a little time to unwind when I first get home, but he always finds some reason to stick his head in and chat while I'm reading or taking a bath. I desperately need some alone time. I love my husband dearly, but how can I tell him I need an hour away from him? -- PRIVACY PLEASE IN N.C.

DEAR P.P.: You are not the only spouse -- of either sex -- who needs some alone time to quietly transition from workday to home life. Explain this again to your husband, and do it just the way you have explained it to me. Unless you speak up, one of these days he will interrupt you, and you will erupt -- which isn't fair to him.

If he STILL doesn't get the message, start jogging after work -- for about an hour.