Husband has nickle-and-dime approach to family finances

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married for more than 30 years. My husband and I split all bills and everything else. This has worked because, in life, I have always taken care of myself. My issue is his cheap attitude about every little dime. He always makes sure I pay my fair share TO THE PENNY, but when it comes to his reimbursing me, he usually rounds down to the dollar.
While he’s tight with the family, he’s generous to everyone else. He is generous not only with his money, but also his time. His stinginess toward me makes me feel I’m unimportant to him. (I am very generous to him.) Why are our family and I lowest on his priority list while he’s so generous to everyone else? – FEELING SLIGHTED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR FEELING: Your husband may have cultivated the reputation of being benevolent and munificent because he feels it is to his advantage. He may not feel the need to impress you and other family members because he sees no advantage in it. What a miserable, miserly husband you have. I’m surprised that rather than write to me, you haven’t confronted him about it. Things might have been different if had you spoken up decades ago.
DEAR ABBY: My wife passed away six months ago after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. I was her primary caregiver. Since she passed, her brother has been showing the same symptoms of paranoia she started with. Contact with him brings back sad memories, but I don’t know how to talk to him about it without starting a big family upset. Your thoughts? – SEES SIGNS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR SEES SIGNS: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your wife. Her relatives should be aware that this disease can run in families so they can watch for it. It may be counterproductive to talk to your brother-in-law about this. Start by talking to his closest relatives (spouse, siblings, children if he has any) about your concerns and the signs you are seeing. He will need to be evaluated by medical professionals to determine what, if any next steps, need to be taken.
As you probably know, if your former BIL does have Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association is there to provide emotional support and practical advice. The association’s website is at, and its 24/7 Helpline is 1-800-272-3900.
DEAR ABBY: I was at a semiformal dinner party with my wife and five other couples. During the first course, I found a large green caterpillar (alive) in my salad. What’s the best way to handle this type of situation? – YIKES! IN TEXAS

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DEAR ‘YIKES!’: It goes without question that the “uninvited visitor” be evicted. A way to do that without embarrassing your host would be to quietly pick the critter up, excuse yourself from the table and release it into the wild out a window or the back door. If you are a devout animal lover, take a bit of lettuce with you so it won’t go hungry.
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.
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