Abby January 16 |  |

Abby January 16 | |

During the separation, he had to undergo surgery and needed to be cared for while he healed. I came back because, as his wife, I felt compelled to do the right thing.

I have tried to move on and restore my marriage, but I still don’t feel loved or appreciated. In the back of my mind, I can’t forget the way he treated me in the past. I feel stuck because he is not working and does not plan to return to work. He says he can’t, but I think he could do something that isn’t strenuous. How do I find my happiness and still do the right thing?

conflict in the south

Dear Conflict: Have you told your husband how you feel, especially? If so, and nothing has changed, make an appointment with an attorney to find out what your obligations may be to a husband who is no longer self-sufficient.

If you have no income, you may need to financially support yourself from now on. For some women, this might mean staying unhappily married but living their own lives as much as possible and not relying on their spouse for emotional or other support.


Dear Abby, I have to meet my fiancé’s adult children. They are not happy that he is in a relationship since his mother’s death two years ago. I’m really nervous about it, and so is he. what do we do?

taking the next step

Dear Policyholder: You meet them, and you do your best to relax and be friendly and open with them. Understand that they are still grieving the loss of their beloved mother and be prepared to hear a lot. Refrain from physical displays of affection with your fiancé until he meets you.

If necessary, your father should be prepared to make it clear to you that the two of you are getting married, and while he doesn’t have to “love” you, he expects you to treat him with courtesy, respect, and kindness.


Dear Abby, Is it customary to give a house cleaner or cleaning service lunch or offer them food if they are doing extensive cleaning work? I ask because my mother-in-law hired a cleaning crew. She takes care of my little daughter during the day. She doesn’t cook or clean, even though I pay her. Well, she gave the crew lunch. Mind you, she didn’t ask me if I was okay or if I wanted the leftovers for my own lunch. I wouldn’t mind, but I wonder if this is typical.

Cleaning crew lunch

Dear Cleaning Crew, Let me put it this way: It is smart and hospitable to offer lunch if you want a happy and energetic cleaning crew that is eager to return. The practice is NOT uncommon.

PS: If there are leftovers you’d like for lunch, take them with you before the housekeepers arrive.


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

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable and frequently requested poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus a check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, PO Box 447 , Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling is included in the price.)

© 2022 Andrews McMeely Syndication

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