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DEAR ABBY: My wife has turned into a bona fide slug! We have been married 30 years. For half of them she stayed fit and trim, but over the past 15 she has put on 100 pounds and refuses to try to lose any of it. She also refuses to cook. I have to cook my own meals or we eat out. She no longer cleans (we pay a maid) or has sex with me.

She is obviously depressed and has taken several medications over the years to no avail. She has had lab work done, but nothing shows up. Because she doesn't have a job, she sits around in her pajamas all day playing on the computer or reading romance novels. She'll do laundry, but only after a month, when there's nothing left to wear.

The other thing my wife likes to do is travel. The more expensive the trip, the more she loves it. Does God really expect me to live like this until I die? I have tried everything I can think of to help her. I dread going home every night. Advice, please? -- LIVING IN HELL IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR LIVING IN HELL: The marriage you have described isn't "living," it is existing. Insist, as a condition of staying in the marriage, that your wife have a thorough physical and psychological evaluation. She appears to be depressed, withdrawn and possibly not in touch with reality. Her physical health is also at risk.

Not every medication works on everyone. Your wife's weight gain may have made the dose she was taking ineffective -- or she may need a combination of drugs and talk therapy. Clearly she isn't happy in your marriage anymore either, if she's escaping into romance novels instead of having a relationship with you. Please get her the help she appears to so desperately need.

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