DEAR ABBY: My husband thinks he's better than I am because he earns money and I don't. I stay home with our three children.
During a recent argument, he spilled juice on our new carpet. When I asked him to clean it up, he refused, saying it's his carpet because he paid for it and it's my job to take care of his things.
I try to explain that it's hard work to keep up a home and care for the children, but he says he'd change places with me anytime if I could find a job that pays me the same amount of money he makes. He knows I don't have the skills to do that.
He says he loves me, but I don't think that you can love someone you don't value or respect because she doesn't bring home a paycheck. -- FEELING WORTHLESS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR FEELING WORTHLESS: In 1989, I printed a letter stating the dollar-and-cents value of a homemaker. At the time, it was $52,000 a year, and the Employment Cost Index has continually risen. Your husband should be able to do the math.
Later, I told another woman who described herself as "only a housewife": "In your home you are the director of health, education and welfare; the secretary of the treasury; the head of entertainment and public relations; the chairman of the House Rules Committee; and the chief operating officer of family planning. You'd have to be married to a millionaire to be paid what you're really worth."
Give your husband some food for thought. Schedule dinner a little later for him tonight, and leave this column on his plate for him to digest.