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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Gets the Silent Treatment After Credit Card Dispute

DEAR ABBY: My wife of 39 years decided two weeks ago to cease all communication with me. We had a sometimes-rocky marriage, but since becoming empty-nesters six months ago, we have enjoyed a rebirth of our relationship -- long walks, games, fun meals, concerts, etc.

Two weeks ago, we had what I thought was a minor disagreement about the use of a credit card. Since then she has treated me like I don't exist. She answers my questions with one word only or no response. I have begged her to talk to me about what's wrong; she just turns away. She has altered her daily schedule to avoid having contact with me. I am shattered. What can I do? -- CLUELESS IN TENNESSEE

DEAR CLUELESS: It's time to review why your marriage to this woman was "rocky." Stop begging, step back and count yourself fortunate that you have had this reminder. Counseling might help you and your wife to communicate in a healthier way if she is willing to try. However, if she isn't, you will have to decide how much more "punishment" you are willing to tolerate when you disagree, and what is realistic to do about it if you aren't.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money