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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom-To-Be in Third Trimester Needs Husband's Help at Home

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for eight years. He has always been independent. He works full time and goes to bars with (single) co-workers four or five nights a week and stays until I'm in bed. He also likes his weekends to be his "me" time to decompress from all the socializing he does during the week.

I have become "independent" myself in order to cope with the lack of attention and affection I have received over the years. But now that I'm 34 weeks pregnant, I'm running out of patience. Although I need my husband's help with things now -- things like setting up the nursery and helping with chores around the house -- he can't seem to fit it into his schedule. When he does, he ends up rushing through various tasks, and sometimes things end up in worse condition than when he started (or if I had just done them myself).

I'm losing energy in the third trimester, and I need him to understand that I physically cannot keep working, cleaning, cooking and being the patient peacemaker that I have to be when he's upset. Do you have any ideas on how to encourage him to spend more time at home and help me? -- EXHAUSTED AND EXPECTING

DEAR EXHAUSTED: I'll be frank with you. Your husband isn't "independent"; he's living the life of a single man. Not only that, he doesn't even contribute the way a roommate would be expected to. Did you expect fatherhood would change him?

It appears he wants nothing to do with you or the baby. He could not be more disconnected physically and emotionally from you unless he actually moved out. If I were you, rather than ask me to help you to convince him to act like a man, I'd be making contingency plans because you are not going to change him and things are not going to improve. Sorry to be so negative, but of this I am positive.

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