DEAR ABBY: I am a 40-year-old woman who feels like a single mother. My husband is lazy, has a negative attitude and hasn't held a job in four years. I provide everything in our marriage -- the money, the education for our 8-year-old son, plus I do all the housework, etc.
My husband graduated from a famous university with a bachelor's degree. I have a master's degree and am now studying for my doctorate.
When my husband had a job he would give his money to his parents or spend it on lottery tickets. His parents have more money than mine do.
To me, family is like a bank account into which you must deposit your love, your money and your responsibility. Unfortunately, my husband is always spending -- never saving.
There is no love between us. I think about divorce but worry that my husband will have no house to live in. Maybe I am being too kind. What words of advice do you have for me? -- Y.L. IN BEIJING, CHINA
DEAR Y.L.: It's time to stop worrying about your husband and start thinking about the example he is setting for your son. Do you want him to grow up thinking your household is normal?
Speaking woman to woman, since nothing else has worked it is time to try "tough love." Your husband will not be homeless -- he can stay with his parents until he decides he wants to act like a responsible spouse, finds a job and stops gambling his money away. If he straightens up, you can reconcile. Marriage is supposed to be a working partnership, and from where I sit you have pulled the entire load long enough.
DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Mandy," and I decided to buy a home. (We moved in together last August.) Mandy didn't qualify to be on the loan, so it is in my name. No matter what I do, she says she feels like the house won't be "ours" until I put her name on the deed. Abby, a week hasn't gone by that we haven't argued about this to the point of not speaking to each other.
I want to marry Mandy, but I would like us to reach a point that we're able to get along first. She says we won't be able to do that if I don't put her name on the deed. Am I wrong to want to be more comfortable in the relationship before doing that? If something happened and we didn't get married she'd have as much right to the house as I do -- without having paid any money toward it. -- "IN DEED" IN ATLANTA
DEAR "IN DEED": Listen to your gut, because it's guiding you in the right direction. A house is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Putting Mandy's name on the deed will not magically fix the shaky foundation of this relationship. You may love her, but please continue to think rationally. It appears she is trying to emotionally blackmail you. Before entering into any contract with Mandy (or anyone else, for that matter), talk to your lawyer.
DEAR ABBY: I recently reconnected with a friend on Facebook whom I hadn't seen in 40 years. The photo she posted is from high school. Usually there's a reason for that, but after meeting her again, she's still as pretty as I remembered -- but she looks like she's frozen in the 1960s. She desperately needs a "makeover." How can I politely help my friend update her look with a new hairdo and more flattering makeup? (One of my daughters is a stylist and the other is an aesthetician.) -- STILL SMITTEN IN KANSAS
DEAR STILL SMITTEN: Introduce her to your daughters, let nature take its course and the inevitable will happen.
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