Wife asks husband to do more to boost cash flow

Published 9:00 am Monday, December 18, 2023

DEAR ABBY: I’m a paramedic. My wife constantly asks me to pick up additional 12-hour shifts so we have more money coming in, but says she can’t do any more overtime at her job. She says she does so much work around the house that it makes us even.
She takes vacation time to go to theme parks and out with her friends while expecting me to save my time off and use it only when I can go with her. I don’t think this is fair. How do I address this without starting a fight? – TIRED IN THE EAST

DEAR TIRED: I agree that what your wife is doing isn’t fair. As to how to address it without starting a fight, a “fight” may be what you need to clear the air and work out your budget. A paramedic should not be working when they are exhausted. They need their wits about them, which may present a problem if they are not 100%.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 18 years, so I know his family well. His mother and I have a cordial, but not warm, relationship that’s sometimes a lot of work. She has always been hard to shop for, but the last two times I’ve given her gifts (at Christmas and her last birthday), instead of a thank-you card, she actually returned the gifts with a note saying she’d never use them.
Now I’m not sure what to do. It’s obvious we have different tastes. When I ask her what she’d like, she demurs and says something like, “I’m sure you’ll choose something nice.” If I don’t send her a gift, it’s sure to be taken as a rebuff. What are my other options? (For what it’s worth, my husband has been no help here and considers gifts to be wholly my territory.) – CLUELESS IN OHIO

DEAR CLUELESS: It is a HUGE breach of etiquette to return gifts the way your mother-in-law has done. Now, if you must give her something, you are free to ask her what she COULD use. (Might she like a gift card from her favorite store?)
DEAR ABBY: For years, my sister has been planning to retire and move in with my husband and me. She lives out of state, so this is a major move for her. It was never a problem – until now. She is a strong anti-vax advocate and refuses to get vaccinated for COVID. My husband said she can’t move in with us unless she is. How can I tell her diplomatically that she’s no longer welcome to live with us? This is really upsetting for me, and I would appreciate your advice. – DISTRAUGHT IN MICHIGAN

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DEAR DISTRAUGHT: Whether to get vaccinated is a personal choice. You have made yours, and she has made hers. Quit being “diplomatic,” and don’t debate this with her. TELL her the terms under which she is welcome to move in. If she cannot meet those terms, she will have to make other living arrangements. PERIOD.
DEAR ABBY: Is it obligatory for me to add my ex’s name to our son’s graduation announcements even though he doesn’t have to pay child support and isn’t there for our kids? – PROUD MAMA IN MISSOURI

DEAR MAMA: No, it is not. Do as you wish.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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