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by Abigail Van Buren

Dad's Long Disappearances Give Family Cause for Alarm

DEAR ABBY: I am in a loving and rewarding marriage. Because we have no children, my husband and I are best friends who devote most of our time to each other. My issue is with some of his habits.

He is kind of clumsy, and this has resulted in the destruction of many things in our home -- our carpet (spills that can't be cleaned), coffee table (discolored from spilling a caustic material) and sofa (spilled wax and cigar burns). I know he doesn't do this intentionally, but nonetheless, it makes me irate. And it is constant. He apologizes for it, yet it occurs repeatedly.

Is there anything I can do to change this, or must I accept the incremental destruction of my home? And if that's the case, what can I tell myself to make me less angry about it? -- MRS. DESTRUCTO IN BALTIMORE

DEAR MRS. DESTRUCTO: A certain amount of wear and tear is normal. But your husband may be one of those people -- many people are -- who "lives" on the sofa. Much of your problem might be eliminated if you made sure that snacks are consumed in the kitchen and no beverages more colorful than water are enjoyed in front of the television. If that's not feasible, consider durable, stain-resistant fabrics when you re-cover your sofa.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce