DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Leon" for 3 1/2 years. We have a 2-year-old daughter and are, for the most part, happy. However, one issue comes up frequently and seems to be the basis of all of our disagreements.
Leon is hung up on things being "equal." This can range from whose "turn" it is to do the dishes, change the diapers, put our daughter to bed -- to exactly how many days we spend with each set of parents. If we travel to see my parents, we must also travel to see his.
This "equal" obsession drives me nuts. I'm fully in support of "fair," but if I'm busy making dinner, it seems to me that he could change the baby's diaper even if it's my "turn." As for visiting the in-laws, he became upset with me when I wanted to plan a trip to see my parents without simultaneously planning one to visit his. He felt shortchanged -- until we added it up, and it turned out we've spent five weeks more with his family than with mine.
A marriage is a partnership, and I believe in picking up the slack when Leon is overwhelmed, sick or tired. Why can't he do the same for me? -- UNFAIRLY EQUAL IN PHOENIX
DEAR UNFAIRLY EQUAL: Because, for whatever reason, your husband is obsessed with the idea that he's going to get the short end of the stick -- if you'll forgive the vernacular. Either that, or he's obsessive-compulsive and also counts steps, turns and other meaningless minutiae. That he would expect you to stop preparing dinner to change a diaper is, to put it mildly -- yech! However, he isn't going to change until he realizes he has a problem. The incident involving visiting your parents should have been his first clue.