DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have demanding jobs neither of us is crazy about. I sell insurance; she manages a hairdressing salon for a large company. At day's end I keep the events of the day -- good or bad -- to myself. I have heard the saying "Don't bring your family problems to work, and don't bring your work problems home," so I don't carry any "baggage" home with me. If something positive happens, I may mention it.
How do I get my wife to leave her work problems at work? It's the last thing I want to hear about. If I offer an opinion or respond to her, I get criticized and accused of not appreciating how hard she works. She has actually said, "No one else in this world works as hard as I do!" I would like to have an enjoyable evening or weekend with her and not have to hear about HER work problems. -- BAGGAGE-FREE
DEAR BAGGAGE-FREE: There is another saying that may help you to be more understanding: A joy shared is twice a joy; a burden shared is half a burden. If your wife can't discuss her frustrations with you, who else can she safely confide in? A word to the wise: Women often just need someone to listen.
Because this is getting to you to the point that you would write to me about it, rather than offer suggestions or opinions, it's time you tell her exactly what you have conveyed to me. Maybe you can agree on a time when these issues can be discussed -- once you both have decompressed from your demanding jobs.