DEAR ABBY: My husband has a bad habit of forgetting to lock up our house at night when he's the last one to come to bed. On nine occasions I have gone downstairs after he's in bed or awakened in the morning to find our sliding patio door or a garage door unlocked.
I cannot understand why this isn't a priority for him. If I'm the last one to come up for the night, I make sure each door is locked, lights are off, etc. It takes me less than a minute. We live in a suburb, and while our neighborhood is relatively safe and quiet, I'm not naive. I realize anything can happen anywhere.
We have two large dogs, but I have no idea how they'd react to an intruder. Frankly, I don't want to find out the hard way. The most frustrating thing about this is, when I try to talk to him about it the next day, he blows it off and says our dogs would never let anyone get far, or he makes a joke about it. I've tried many different approaches, from being calm and sweet to solutions-focused: "How can I help you remember?"
Recently, likely because I'm 37 weeks pregnant with our second child, I lost it and chewed him out after I waddled out of bed to go downstairs and found our sliding door unlocked. Needless to say, it didn't work very well.
I'm at my wits' end. It was one thing when it was just the two of us, but now we're about to have two kids under 2, and I get furious thinking he could be putting all of us in danger. He has taken no responsibility or steps toward fixing this.
I have now reached the conclusion that when I'm home, I must be the one who assumes the responsibility of ensuring our home is secure before we go to bed. But what if I fall asleep early or if I have to travel for work? Any ideas on how to address this with him? -- LOSING SLEEP OVER THIS
DEAR LOSING: You have already addressed this with your husband. That he is so careless about the safety of his wife and children is shocking. He appears to be very immature.
Because he seems incapable of assuming any responsibility for locking up, you are going to have to do it. There are high-tech ways to remotely lock doors from afar, and you should explore that option.
Also, for your own peace of mind, have a professional dog trainer or other experienced dog person enter your home through the unlocked door while you and your husband are upstairs because, while the dogs might not attack a stranger, they might alert you to the presence of an intruder. I suggest this because many years ago my very tame German shepherd did exactly that.