DEAR ABBY: I desperately need some advice. I have been married for 12 years to a woman who is very self-centered. Her main concern is her job. She couldn't care less if we live in a pigsty. She feels that her long hours at work excuse her from any home responsibilities.
I realize that people have certain obligations to their jobs, but I have talked to her co-workers who have similar workloads, and most of them get their work done during regular office hours and don't have to stay late.
Abby, I am ashamed to have guests come to our home. She does clean before her co-workers come over, but otherwise she doesn't bother. You can't even get into our bedroom because of wall-to-wall clothes piled all over. And our children are patterning their lifestyles after hers.
I do more than my share around the house. I am the main caregiver to our children, and I'm the one who stays home with them when they're sick.
To make a point, I recently stopped cleaning. Now no one cleans.
I have talked to my wife about this. She assures me she'll do better, but nothing changes. This has begun to affect my feelings for her. I'm very family-oriented, but if changes are not made soon, our marriage may not survive. Do you have a solution for us? -- TIRED OF LIVING IN FILTH, PHILADELPHIA
DEAR TIRED: Your wife may be living under the delusion that she can be "supermom/superwife," juggling marriage, children, career and housework -- but she has dropped the ball. She is fortunate to have such a caring, responsible helpmate as you. However, it is unfair that you should be left to juggle all of the in-home responsibilities.
Since both of you are working, do yourselves a favor and arrange for a cleaning service to help you with the housekeeping responsibilities. The peace of mind will be well worth the financial sacrifice.