DEAR ABBY: My husband lies to me all the time. It could be about spending money or something as small as forgetting to start the dishwasher. He nearly went too far with a woman from work. I finally spoke up after I felt it was an emotional affair. His response? “Well, you and I weren’t getting along, so I didn’t see anything wrong with it.”
He doesn’t seem to be sorry for anything he does. He says the word “sorry” a lot, but there is no remorse. He also lies to the people he works with. I know I enable him because I threaten to leave and never follow through. I have asked him to talk with a counselor, but he refuses.
I’m not sure why I stay because he doesn’t act like he wants me to be around. He’s obsessed with video games and doesn’t act like he respects me. What should I do? Why do I feel I deserve to be treated like this? — FEELING LIKE MRS. STUPID
DEAR FEELING LIKE: You are asking excellent questions. Although your husband has no interest in getting to the root of his behavior by talking with a licensed psychotherapist, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consult one.
Understanding what makes your husband tick isn’t nearly as important at this point as understanding your reason for staying with someone like him. Once you do, your life will change for the better.
DEAR ABBY: I am a perpetual planner, unlike my family and friends. I joke that I live and die by my calendar. Like many families, mine constantly goes in different directions for school activities, work trips, doctor’s appointments, visits to/from out of town for family, etc.
Our “planned chaos” overwhelms others who live life on a whim. Although I’m busy, I still offer my help, take my child and the neighbor kids to/from school or sporting events, or make the occasional weekend trip out of town for family events while juggling everyday life.
My family and friends say I need to ease up and be more flexible when plans change. I try to be, but often another person’s lack of planning greatly impacts my day — e.g., carpool changes that force me to take conference calls while rushing to and from. Or friends showing up 35 minutes late for a dinner reservation.
I’m told to “relax,” but no one seems to see how disrespectful of my time they’re being. I try to be mindful of others, but everyone else seems to care only for themselves. What do you think? — SCHEDULED IN GEORGIA
DEAR SCHEDULED: If sticking to a schedule works for you and your family, I see nothing wrong with it — as long as you manage to remain gracious when unforeseen things come up. Keeping someone waiting for longer than 20 minutes is rude. (I would wait no more than 30 minutes for late arrivals before leaving.) Also, participating in conference calls while ferrying kids to events may be a safety risk not worth taking because you can’t fully concentrate on the road.
Don’t be a pushover, but resist the urge to shame others for their lack of calendar excellence. All any of us can do is the best we can when navigating through the demands of each day.
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.