DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Myra," and I have been married more than 50 years, and all she does is watch soap operas every afternoon. I have invited her to lunch and other outings only to be told, "OK, but I gotta be home by noon to watch my shows."
If the mailman or UPS arrives with a package between noon and 4 and I'm not there, Myra ignores the bell. We have three adult children. If any of them call during that time, she'll refuse to talk to them even if it's an emergency. Once, it was our older daughter calling to say our son had been taken to the hospital with a major heart attack. Myra's sister died of a stroke one afternoon two years ago. My wife didn't learn about it until the following morning.
On weekends, Myra is always in a bad mood because she says, "My soaps aren't on today." (The housecleaning doesn't get done then, either, unless I do it.)
What's wrong with people like her? It's not the housework, Abby. I just wish my wife would realize there's more to life than soap operas. Can you think of a way to convince her to get a life, so to speak? -- BORED HUSBAND IN AKRON, OHIO
DEAR HUSBAND: I'll try, but you have to realize that you are dealing with someone who is severely addicted. Your wife gets a "rush" from watching her "soaps," and as her behavior on weekends shows, she goes into withdrawal if she doesn't get her "fix."
There may be a solution to this problem. Cable television companies now offer cable boxes that allow viewers to record their favorite television shows on a hard drive for later viewing. I recommend you look into it. If it's not available in your area, visit an electronics store and see what recording devices it has in stock.
However, as to convincing your spouse "to get a life" and start living it with you, it may already be too late for that. So make sure you have a life of your own by inviting others to join you for lunch and other outings. That might be what it takes to sober her up.