Dear Abby: My husband doesn’t celebrate my birthday

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for five years. My husband and I are past middle age and have been married before (me twice; him three times). My husband was ill for most of our early marriage. It required several surgeries and extreme care. I have never complained or felt any pain, but the slightest ache or pain I have is apparently “pain” to him.

As time goes on, there are things in our marriage that I frankly do not understand. We celebrate Father’s Day and his birthday, but never Mother’s Day or my birthday. My husband is nice and charming to everyone, but often ignores me or gets very angry.

He called out things he promised me he would never tell me. He makes excuses for not wanting to do things together. He spends more than 12 hours a day outside and seems to want to avoid me. He defends his friends when they say disrespectful things about me, saying that he “doesn’t want to lose his old friends.” He believes that what others – friends, family, etc – tell me is my problem and I should accept it. We saw a marriage counselor and it didn’t help. Please help me understand. – INCORPORATED IN NEBRASKA

Dear worthless: From your description, it sounds like your husband is selfish, self-absorbed, lacking in empathy and caring, and would rather be married than face his “friends” prefers to let them disrespect a woman. (What a reward!) I hope you felt some emotional satisfaction from taking care of her when she needed it most, because that’s all you get from this relationship.

My question to you: How long are you willing to put up with this attitude? Many women would rather be single than have a life with you. You deserve better than what you got and I sincerely hope you find the courage to do so.

DEAR ABBY: My youngest son and his wife invited me to live with them in Colorado. I am 68 years old and retired and was struggling to survive financially (and physically) and keep my home in Washington State. It made sense to sell it and move into their spacious home with them.

My son got fired and is looking for a job. He received an offer from a company in Pennsylvania. I want to get a large amount of cash from the sale of my house, more than I ever had at one time. My son came to me last night and asked me to lend him all of it for a down payment on a house in Pennsylvania. He says he will pay it back after the sale of his house in Colorado. He thinks it could take six months to get it back.

My phone is ringing and I don’t know how to answer. I believe he has my best interests at heart, but I hesitate to give him every penny. Am I stupid? He never gave me reason to doubt him. – BIG CHANGES ARE COMING

Respective changes: Discuss this matter with a lawyer right now! IF you decide to put some of the proceeds from the sale of your Washington home toward a down payment on your son’s Pennsylvania home, you should have plenty left over for yourself. But any agreement you make must be in a legal document in writing. It’s not “stupid” to want to protect yourself. In fact, it is very reasonable. Listen to your gut.

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


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