DEAR ABBY: My wife of 36 years has never introduced me to a restaurant, bought concert tickets or planned a vacation. She seldom suggests movies she wants to see or introduces me to any form of music. She claps her hands like a little girl when I say we are going out for ice cream, a walk or to a festival.
I have encouraged her repeatedly over the years to be a more active participant in our relationship and to be my partner. Nothing changes. If not for my encouragement, she would have never gotten her degree, gone to concerts or on vacations or experienced life. I plan everything. To her credit, she's willing to go anywhere and do almost anything, but I'm increasingly resentful that my wife acts more like a daughter than a partner. I have been trying desperately for years to accept this, but I'm sick of it. -- TIRED OF IT IN OHIO
DEAR TIRED: Your wife appears to be a follower rather than a leader. You should have raised this issue a long time ago and included her when you were planning outings. Because the status quo is no longer working for you, you must tell her exactly what you have put in your letter. And while you are at it, show her HOW to do the research so she can suggest things to do, and things may improve. But do not blame her entirely because some of it may rest with you.