Dear Abby: Working husband won’t do chores or spend time with wife and kids

By Chicago 5 Min Read

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been with my husband, “Harry,” for 10 years, married for four, and already I’d like a divorce. We have two small children. I’m a stay-at-home mom while he works and pays the bills.

The problem is, he feels that because he works, he doesn’t have to do anything else. He doesn’t help around the house, help with the kids, spend time with us, anything! I only ask that he do these things on his days off, but his days off are reserved strictly for himself.

Some days I could use a hand with our children. While I’m doing absolutely everything, he just sits acting like he doesn’t hear or see what’s going on in front of him. Even after seeing me becoming overwhelmed and frustrated, he won’t help me.

I’ve had a thousand conversations with him about stepping up more when he’s home, but it goes in one ear and out the other. I’d rather be single than have him just sit around when he’s home because “he pays for everything.” Am I wrong to feel this way? I need help. — OUT OF BALANCE IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR OUT OF BALANCE: Offer your husband a choice. Either the two of you talk with a marriage and family therapist to help rid him of his selective deafness, or you hire someone to help with the heavier chores he’s unwilling to do. If he balks, remind him that you know he’s tired of your nagging and it would be cheaper than a divorce.

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my wife for 23 years, married 19 of them. We have two grown children, ages 22 and 20. I recently realized she’s still in love with the guy she dated just before me. How did I find out? Well, one day my wife and I were watching a TV show together, and out of nowhere, she asked me my opinion on open marriages.

I gave her a vague answer and started investigating why she asked me that question. That’s when I discovered text messages, phone calls and her diary for the last nine months. As far as I can tell, they haven’t had sex yet, but she wants to. I did not confront her about it. I felt bad for invading her privacy, but then again, she was being sneaky. I need to know if I should stay or go. — UNCOVERED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR UNCOVERED: Copy those texts and her diary. Then have a talk with your wife and ask her why she asked about your feelings on open marriage, because it was out of character. After she answers, say you have been thinking about her question and STRONGLY feel your marriage should be monogamous. THEN tell her you have seen the calls, texts and diary, and if she wants to have sex with her old boyfriend, you will file for divorce.

DEAR READERS: Time flies! Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour at bedtime tonight. While you’re at it, be sure to put fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. — LOVE, ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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