DEAR ABBY: My wife of 37 years has an exciting career she loves. Unfortunately, her job is 80 miles away from home. We own a condo in her work city. So recently, when she was complaining about the commute, I suggested she stay there for a week, then telecommute from home for a week, etc. She loves the new schedule.
I, on the other hand, am kicking myself! I have recently started working again at 62, and I'm lonely. It's depressing to come home to an empty house every other week, but I'm the one who suggested it. Her job could last another two to five years.
We have five grandchildren who live close by, so moving to her location isn't an option. What do I do about this? -- MISSING HER IN FLORIDA
DEAR MISSING HER: You tell your wife that although you suggested she stay in the condo for a week at a time, it isn't working for you, and you're miserable without her. Or, you accept that a 160-mile daily commute may have become too much for her and fill your lonely hours by getting a hobby and baby-sitting some of those grandchildren whose parents might like some adult time together. But the one thing you shouldn't do is sit and silently brood because it isn't healthy.
DEAR ABBY: My niece had a bridal shower last March. When thank-you notes didn't arrive for the gifts she had been given, she said they were "lost in the mail" and she would thank everyone in her wedding thank-yous. Abby, she was married last May and she hasn't sent out thank-you notes for her wedding gifts, either.
The gifts my parents and I gave her were expensive, and I am upset about it. By the way, she wasn't too busy to write them because she doesn't work. Should I confront her or let it go? -- DISGUSTED IN MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO
DEAR DISGUSTED: Your sibling did a poor job of raising her daughter. If your niece didn't know that thank-you notes were supposed to have been sent for her shower gifts, she wouldn't have lied about them having been lost in the mail.
However, I see nothing to be gained by confronting her. If you do, it will cause your sibling to become defensive. Better to make note of it and respond accordingly when the baby shower invitations start coming in because that's what is sure to come next.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 19 and recently engaged. My parents refuse to acknowledge my ring or discuss my wedding plans. I have brought up the idea of moving to where my fiance is, but they think it's a horrible idea because they'll miss me. My grandfather has been trying to guilt-trip me into staying by saying things like, "We would miss you. But you don't care about that or us at all!"
It's not true, Abby. How do I keep my family informed about my wedding plans and move within the next three months without them feeling hurt? -- DETERMINED IN TEXAS
DEAR DETERMINED: Tell your parents and grandparents that you love them, but you're an adult and need to go where your fiance is. Tell them you and your fiance would love to have them present when you take your vows, and hope they will be emotionally supportive. Be sure to calmly explain that your decision has nothing to do with not caring about them; it's about building a future with the man you love. They may miss you, but in time they'll adjust.
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