DEAR ABBY: I am writing this for those female readers who wish the men in their lives would share their feelings with them. What I have to say to them is this: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
My husband shares all his feelings and thoughts (mostly negative ones) with me all the time. Every night I am forced to sit for hours listening to him verbalize his thoughts and feelings. He has no time to do yard work or household repairs because he's either too busy thinking and feeling or verbalizing his endless criticisms.
He does hold down a steady (sedentary) job, and some of the ways he gets in touch with his feelings -- through music and poetry -- are positive. However, when I was in a car accident last year and should have been resting and recuperating, my husband "didn't have time" to help with housework because his piano had to be played and his novels had to be read.
When we were first married, we moved to a small rural town hundreds of miles away from our friends and families. It has been hard to make friends in this closed community. Once every few years a family member or friend is willing to come and visit us, but my husband almost always finds a way to alienate our visitors. He will start arguments, tell them what he didn't like about the Christmas presents they gave us, complain about how much money we spend on food while they're at our house, etc.
I'm afraid that soon I'm going to have no one left. I've talked to my husband about this several times, but he doesn't see it as a problem. Help! -- TALKED TO DEATH IN MINNESOTA
DEAR TALKED TO DEATH: I am all for sharing thoughts and feelings, but the person you have described is one who is self-obsessed, verbally abusive, and thinks no one's feelings are as important as his own.
By "sharing his thoughts and feelings," your husband is chipping away at your self-esteem and isolating you from friends and family. It's important that you give this some thought and not allow yourself to be his scapegoat. Also, I hope you have a job outside the home, because it may be your only way to have meaningful contact with others.