DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my soul mate for 25 years. We get along great -- she's my best friend and a good mother to our three kids. (She takes care of my mom who lives with us, too.) The only problem is, she loves to sleep.
She will do anything for us except wake up a few hours early without being mad at the world. She gets our kids off to school with no problem, but then returns to bed. I run a small construction company and need someone to answer the phones and do secretary stuff. Our books are a mess, the house is decent, but she won't let me hire a part-time secretary.
She gets up at noon and spends the rest of the day "catching up." It's driving a wedge in our marriage. My friends and their wives do things together on weekends, but not mine. She sleeps until 2 or 3 p.m. on the weekends.
I work a lot of Saturdays, and when I go to customers' homes and see the wife outside gardening, it breaks my heart. I have threatened to leave, and she works on it for a couple days and then falls back into the same old habits. Help! -- HURTING HUSBAND IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR HUSBAND: Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep in order to function. Some folks may be fine with five hours, but others need eight, nine or even 10. If your wife needs more than that, there may be an underlying problem of some kind that she should discuss with her doctor.
In marriage there needs to be compromise. If you are experiencing stress because you don't have enough help in your business, then you need to hire someone because your wife is already doing all she can taking care of three kids and your mother. And you shouldn't need her permission.