DEAR ABBY: I am fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom. My days are spent doing chores and taking care of the kids. I also volunteer extensively at their schools, but I do find time for other pursuits, such as reading and writing.
My problem is my husband. "Bob" is the kind of guy who can't sit still. When he's home on weekends or taking a day off, he constantly needs to be doing something. This involves projects around the house. Other than spending time online, his hobbies are active ones. Because he's always on the go, he insists I should be equally "productive." He constantly wants to know what I'm doing, and if it's not something he thinks is useful, he becomes passive-aggressive.
Bob initiates big projects and then complains that he gets no help and has no time for himself. He says my volunteerism takes away from time I should be doing things around the house. In addition, Bob is incredibly neat and often insists that our immaculate house needs to be cleaned.
I dread the days he's home because I have to constantly justify my activities or feel guilty if I'm not busy the entire time. Don't misunderstand -- Bob is a great guy, a good dad and my best friend. But I'm afraid I will soon resent him to the point of dislike if I must live my life according to his unrealistic expectations. Any advice other than to seek counseling? -- NOT A LOAFER IN CHICAGO
DEAR NOT A LOAFER: Nope. It appears that your great guy, good dad and best friend is so controlling he makes you miserable when he's home. I agree that if this continues, it will have a negative effect on your marriage. The person who should explain it to him is a licensed mental health professional who can provide the counseling and/or medication he may need, because I suspect he may have OCD.Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Mental Health
DEAR ABBY: I reconnected with my dad two years ago. I hadn't spoken with him for almost 10 years, following my parents' divorce. I'm thankful he's back in my life again.
The problem is his wife, "Kathy." Ever since we reunited, I have felt she resented me. It's like she doesn't like sharing Dad with me. She had him all to herself for 10 years, so I guess I kind of understand.
Kathy recently found a job across the country, so she and Dad sold their house and moved away a few weeks ago. Her family lives here and she had job offers closer to home, but she chose the one farthest away. I can't help but feel she did it to put distance between Dad and me, and it hurts me deeply. How do I talk to my dad about it without damaging the relationship? -- LOVING DAUGHTER IN WISCONSIN
DEAR LOVING DAUGHTER: What do you think talking about it to your father will accomplish? You don't know for certain that she accepted the job to separate you and your dad. Remember, he agreed to the move.
The problem with family estrangements is that you can never get back the time you lost. Keep in touch with your father via cards and letters, texts and emails, video chats or other social media -- whatever you and your father are most comfortable with. But I do not advise saying anything negative about Kathy.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce
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