DEAR ABBY: I have been married for more than 10 years and have two children. My wife has a hard time making decisions, which has resulted in some issues such as hoarding, never having gotten a living room set, not replacing old carpets (which is causing potential health issues), not buying a new car or painting the house.
She is always saying, "I'll decide tomorrow, next week, etc.," but it never happens. She refuses to accept that she has a problem and seek help. I'm ready to give up on her, but I'm worried for the children. What should I do and where can she find help? -- CAN'T MAKE A DECISION
DEAR CAN'T MAKE A DECISION: Give your wife a deadline by which to make a decision about the deferred "projects," then make the decision for the both of you. Your wife can find help by asking her doctor for a referral to a licensed mental health provider, but it won't happen until she is willing to admit to herself that she needs it and finally decides to deal with her indecisiveness.
DEAR ABBY: My mother and I haven't spoken in five years. She didn't go to my wedding, nor has she met my children. I want to make up with her and the family, but our argument is not the reason preventing me from reaching out. It's my stepfather.
He has been my dad since I was 5. When I was a teen, he got caught "peeping" at me inappropriately. When my brother discovered it, they got into an altercation. The whole family knows about it, but my mother took no action other than blaming me and telling me to be more careful.
Now, with my own daughter, I worry it could happen to her one day. I miss my family, but am I better off leaving things how they are and remaining strangers? -- ESTRANGED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ESTRANGED: Yes, because you know your stepfather is a peeping Tom -- which has been known to escalate -- and your mother was willing to tolerate it rather than insist on his getting the help he needed.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are retired and can schedule our lives pretty much as we like. However, one thing we disagree on is the scheduling of meals. Formerly, we ate at 7 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. Now my husband wants to eat lunch at 10:30 and dinner at 4 o'clock. It's making me crazy! Pretty soon we'll be eating breakfast the night before.
I have tried talking to him about this, but it makes no difference. Since he does most of the cooking, he just goes ahead on his own schedule. I married him "for better or worse," but not for "brunch"! Help, please. -- ANNOYED IN VIRGINIA
DEAR ANNOYED: I think much depends upon why your husband has changed the schedule. Has he told you why? If it's health-related, accommodate him. If you're not ready to eat when he needs to, have him put some food aside for you to reheat and eat later -- or prepare your own meals.
DEAR READERS: I wish each and every one of you a joyous and meaningful holiday. Merry Christmas, everyone. Love, ABBY