Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 35 years. We were in our late 20s when we wed. I was living on my own, and she was living with her parents and brother in a filthy house.
My wife promised that our house would always be clean. But after 15 years, it started looking like her parents’ house. She never throws anything away. I am retired and will toss things out while she is at work. Our only visitor is our daughter.
When my wife is home, she is glued to the TV, unless we are at the dinner table. I told her I’m ready to get rid of the cable box, but she said she would pay for it herself. I may take her up on that. Any suggestions will be appreciated. – Frustrated Husband
Dear Husband: Hoarding is a mental health issue. If your wife neither notices nor cares that you throw things away, it’s possible she is simply too lazy to clean. Added to the way she was raised, her housekeeping is not that surprising. We trust you do your share of cleaning. So, let her pay for the cable TV, and use the money from your pocket to get some cleaning help. It will be one less thing to argue about.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Missing Dad,” who didn’t attend his father’s funeral. I suspect there is more to it than his job. My husband and I are both self-employed and don’t make any income if we’re not at work, either. But customers are pretty understanding when family emergencies occur.
“Missing” is angry at Mom’s reaction but ignores the fact that his mother had just lost her husband. She needed her children there out of respect for their father and for her own support. His not going to the hospital or the funeral speaks volumes about his pre-existing relationship with his mother.
He made a mistake and needs to own it. He should forget about who’s restoring the car and restore his family ties. – Intend To Be There
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