Dear Abby: I refer to my husband as “the most single married man” I know. He turns off the lights, turns off the heat and turns off the TV while I’m still watching or still plan on being home.
His latest “single” thing is that he planned a birthday dinner out with our son and other family members. Guess what? I found out about it from the birthday boy. We have been married almost 50 years. All our children are in their 40s.
I have spoken to him numerous times about his forgetting my presence in a room, but I have never been excluded from a family birthday until now. I am thinking of writing a book titled, “The Most Single Married Man I Know.” What should I be doing differently?
Forgotten Woman in New Hampshire
Dear Forgotten: If this has been going on since you and your husband were married, accept that he is someone who is unusually centered on himself. If this is something relatively recent, he may need to be physically and neurologically evaluated by his physician.
If there is nothing “wrong” with him, recognize it’s time to fend for yourself. Remember to monitor the thermostat, keep a flashlight handy and be prepared to explore activities you enjoy in case your husband “forgets” to include you in the future.
Dear Abby: My best friend’s father recently passed away. A memorial has been planned on the day of a wedding I had agreed to attend with my girlfriend. In this situation involving two significant one-time life events, is it more courteous to defer to the living or the dead?
Unsure in Northern California
Dear Unsure: Much depends upon your relationship with both of these people. Because your best friend may need emotional support during this sad time, I am inclined to suggest that you go to the memorial — and have your girlfriend attend the wedding so you will be represented. If you explain the circumstances to the person who sent the wedding invitation, there should be no hurt feelings.
Dear Abby: I recently received a board game as a present. The problem is that I don’t like the game. I live alone on disability with a very limited income and don’t have anyone to play it with me anyway.
When I mentioned to the giver that I was thinking of returning it, they almost burst into tears. The giver is a relative of a close friend and lives with her. I really could use the money. What should I do?
Wondering in Wisconsin
Dear Wondering: I have said this before, and it’s worth repeating: Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient to do with as they please. Because you don’t like the game, have no one to play it with and need the money, return the darn thing. Your mistake was announcing your intention to the giver.
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.