DEAR ABBY: Over the years you have published letters about the hard work done by wives who stayed at home and advised that husbands should share some of the load.
I am a male. When I was married I got up with the kids, made breakfast, packed their lunches, cleaned the kitchen and left for work. I did 90 percent of the grocery shopping and prepared dinner four or five nights a week. On weekends, I cut the grass, trimmed shrubs and repaired whatever needed fixing. I took care of the cars and found time to have fun with the kids.
My wife liked late-night TV and was too tired to get up in the morning. She also loved the morning talk shows and shopping. She did laundry, but I paid for a cleaning lady because vacuuming hurt her back.
When I resisted her controlling ways, she would become violent. She was jealous, dependent, possessive and angry. After 29 years, I finally decided to get a life. She got the house, the money, the anger and the dog. And me? I got the happiness! -- FREE MAN IN FLORIDA
DEAR FREE MAN: It is no longer shocking to hear about long marriages being dissolved. In your case, while the financial penalty may be sizable, it appears to have been worth it. When a relationship becomes one-sided and counseling can't resolve the conflicts, divorce is the answer.
Because of the years of domestic abuse you endured, I hope you will consider counseling so your future relationships will not be adversely affected by your long, unhappy marriage.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, "Tammi," is attending college in a neighboring state. When I text or call her, she doesn't respond. I have asked her to please just text me back saying she's OK. She says my texting her once a day is "overkill" and I should stop doing it so often -- once a week is often enough. I feel it is disrespectful of Tammi not to respond to my texts, even with a simple "OK" or "fine." She texts her friends all the time, so I don't think five seconds is too much to ask of her.
I'm willing to compromise and text Tammi every other day or every three days. She is my only child and I want to know that she is well. Am I being unrealistic or asking too much? -- TAMMI'S MOM IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR MOM: Tammi may be your only child, but she's a young woman now, and she needs room to grow up and establish some emotional independence. What you're demanding is an example of helicopter parenting. If you are worried for your daughter's safety, ask her to carry a card in her wallet identifying you as the person to be notified in case of an emergency.
DEAR ABBY: Would you settle a small disagreement? When we are being seated in a restaurant, my husband thanks the maitre d', the server when he is handed the menu and again when his order is taken.
He also thanks the server when his meal arrives at the table, when his iced tea is served, when it is refilled and when the bill is handed to him. As we are on our way out, he again thanks the maitre d' or hostess. Isn't this overdoing a good thing? -- SUFFERING IN SILENCE
DEAR SUFFERING: I don't think so. Your husband was taught to verbally express his appreciation when something is done for him. He takes nothing for granted. And that is an admirable trait, not something to complain about.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)