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by Abigail Van Buren

Devoted Husband Never Gives Wife A Moment Alone

DEAR ABBY: I just married a wonderful man. "Derrick" is loving, considerate, helpful, smart, hard-working, and he wants to spend time with me as often as possible.

This is my second marriage. I have five kids ages 11 to 15, work full-time and try to fit in regular exercise. When my kids are with their dad, Derrick is home every minute I'm there and we do a lot together -- hiking, biking, running, movies, dining or just hanging out. He leaves for work after I do and comes home before I arrive.

My issue is, if I want any time alone, I have to leave the house. I used to have alone time before I met him, but now it's very rare. Abby, I need a little time for myself once in a while. I am very independent and don't need a companion every minute of every day. I'm becoming unhappy and depressed because I have no privacy.

I have told Derrick what I need, but how do I realistically get him out of the house so I can have some time to myself? He has a lot of friends, but he wants to spend his time with me. He isn't controlling or weird or jealous, but I'm feeling smothered. -- NEEDS SPACE IN NEVADA

DEAR NEEDS: Suggest Derrick schedule some regular dates with his male friends -- a golf game, card game, some other sporting event, etc. He might enjoy that, and it will give you the breathing room you need.

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