Annie’s Mailbox – 2.15.12
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar
The Messenger 02.15.12
Dear Annie: My husband and I work comparable hours, but I earn less than half of what he does and have little discretionary income. I come home to my “second shift,” which includes cooking, cleaning and picking up after this man, who leaves his dirty clothes, snack packaging and other things strewn about the house. Meanwhile, he runs off to play golf. After dinner, he falls asleep in front of the TV. He doesn’t even mow the lawn or do routine household maintenance. He hires out for those things.
Anything he’s asked to do, he deflects by saying “I pay.” To an extent, this is true. He pays the majority of household bills. But I pay for most of the food and all of the household products (bathroom tissue, toothpaste, shampoo) that we both use. I even keep a garden to help pad our grocery bill in the summer months.
I’ve told him I feel like his servant. I don’t earn enough to hire a housekeeper. And don’t tell me to go on strike. I’ve tried it, and he is perfectly content to live in a pigsty. He says I’m a clean freak. I am not. I simply cannot live in such clutter and filth.
Other than this, he’s a good man, intelligent, fun, and he makes me laugh. I’m not ready to throw us away for this problem. But I admit there are days when the idea of living alone is very appealing. He reads you faithfully and respects your opinion. Please help. — Lake-Effect Wife
Dear Wife: Marriage is a partnership. Married couples who have disparate incomes and insist on splitting the bills often run into these problems. Since you work the same hours, you should both do equal amounts of housework and share laundry and cooking duties. Since he doesn’t do these things, however, and you are picking up his used food containers and dirty clothes, cooking the meals and doing his laundry, he should pay for cleaning help. And no, this does not mean you are a clean freak. It means you are avoiding a visit by the board of health.
Dear Annie: A couple of my friends are recovering from illness and accidents, and their family members keep us updated through CaringBridge.org, a wonderful website. I just don’t understand why some authors know no boundaries.
I recently read an update saying, “Johnny is now having a good solid stool every day.” Really? Did Johnny want that shared with the world? And on another site: “Mary is seeing a psychologist for help with her anger toward her family.”
There is no shame in bowel movements or psychology, but please, out of respect for the person, skip those details. Just tell us the basics of how they are doing and feeling. I have informed my kids and siblings that if I ever need such a site, they are not to mention my urine output.
I’m thankful for CaringBridge, as it is a great way to let people know how a friend is doing. But I am sad for the patient whose privacy is sometimes a casualty. — Not-So-Nosy Nellie
Dear Nellie: Thank you for pointing out that not all details need to be disclosed to everyone, a concept many people no longer grasp. And thank you, too, for giving us the opportunity to once again mention CaringBridge.org.
Dear Annie: “S.P.” said she no longer trusts her husband of many years. Yes, it’s possible he will someday stop his philandering. But she should also consider what any philanderer could bring home to a spouse: STDs.
A lot of things can be forgiven (and medically treated), but some sexually transmitted diseases are with you for the rest of your life. Our society may take casual affairs with a grain of salt, but we should be reminded now and then that affairs can kill you. — Another Side in California
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to email@example.com or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.