DEAR ABBY: As the only income earner in our household of five, I work long hours. Sometimes I would enjoy talking about my day with my wife of 18 years. While she has no problem staying awake to watch TV or going out with her friends on the weekend, she usually falls asleep right in the middle of what I'm saying. It also happens in the car while I'm driving.
Contrast this to a recent trip she took with her friends where they talked and yucked it up for five hours straight. No matter how tired I am at the end of a long work week, I will do everything in my power to stay awake if there's something she needs to talk about. I can't figure out why she's not doing the same for me.
When I tell her it hurts my feelings that she doesn't think I'm important enough to make the effort to stay awake, or at least tell me she's too tired to talk, I get criticized for not being sympathetic to how tired she is. At first I thought it was true. But now I think her behavior is self-centered. Am I crazy to think this way? -- UNHEARD IN ILLINOIS
DEAR UNHEARD: You're not crazy. You seem perfectly rational to me. What your wife is doing when you try to tell her that you are hurt is accuse you of doing exactly what she has been doing. To prevent your anger from building over this, discuss it with her when she's wide awake -- in a marriage counselor's office, if necessary. Please do it before you encounter a lady who IS sympathetic and willing to listen, because there are plenty of them out there.