DEAR ABBY: I am 33 and married 10 years with two children, 8 and 10. I earn enough so my wife, "Jenny," doesn't have to work. My problem is Jenny, our children, my parents and all of my friends have forgotten that I exist.
I have asked Jenny and the kids hundreds of times to call me during the day, but they never do. On weekends, the only time they come near me is if they want something. When I leave for work, nobody says goodbye. When I return home, nobody even bothers to say hello.
I started keeping track. The last time my parents called to speak to me personally was almost a year ago. My mother calls and speaks to Jenny at least twice a week. When I answer the phone, all she says is, "Hi, it's your mother. Is Jenny there?" The same goes for my friends. I used to call them a couple of times a month. Then I realized they never called me, so I stopped calling. It's been a few years since I have spoken to any of them.
Last Thanksgiving, we invited our entire family of 25 to come to our house. Not one person other than Jenny struck up a conversation with me. But three weeks before Christmas, Jenny handed me a Christmas list for her, the children, her parents and all her siblings.
It has reached the point that I want to pack up and leave everyone behind and start over. I have never done anything to cause this. Please tell me what to do. -- THE INVISIBLE MAN IN ANAHEIM
DEAR MAN: What a sad situation. However, this didn't happen in a vacuum, nor did it happen overnight. Packing up and leaving will not solve your problem, but facing it and bringing it out into the open will. Please talk to your physician about your long-term depression and lack of self-esteem. Not only should you get professional counseling to help you with your personal issues, I strongly recommend family counseling for your wife, your children and your parents.