DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my second husband, "Greg," for 3 1/2 years. Before we married, Greg took me out on dates, we had wonderful conversations and a satisfying sex life.
Now I spend every weekend cleaning, and when I clean the upstairs, Greg goes downstairs. If I clean downstairs, he goes upstairs. He says he loves me, but it seems we have become more like roommates than husband and wife.
Greg buys big-ticket items (big-screen TV and a computer, for example) without telling me. In fact, he never discusses anything with me. Do you think he married me only to cook and clean for him?
Before you suggest counseling, let me point out one more thing: Greg is a psychologist.
— SEARCHING FOR NORMAL IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SEARCHING: It appears you married a man who was terrific at sales and poor on follow-through. Because someone is a psychologist does not automatically make that person a good spouse, or parent — or even a particularly effective therapist.
You two have a serious communication problem. You need to tell him how you feel, and he needs to tell you why he's avoiding you and won't allow you to have a voice in "big" decisions. And I AM suggesting counseling, but not with anyone with whom your husband is affiliated in business.
DEAR ABBY: I have been going out with an older man for a year and a half. He is very nice and makes me laugh. He has a lot of faults, but I can tolerate them except for one — he cheated on both of his ex-wives. He has had affairs with his friends' wives, his employees and his customers. He even told me he slept with another woman the night before his wedding to his second wife.
He likes to flirt, and women like him because he has a great sense of humor. I love his company and we get along well — most of the time. He says he's sorry for his past behavior, but I'm not convinced he really is. I'm afraid he will do the same with me if he has the chance.
I have spoken to him about my concerns. He says he is "different" now. I have been hurt by men before, and I really don't want to have another emotional disaster. What can he do to gain my trust?
— HESITANT IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR HESITANT: Probably nothing. Face it — he's charming, witty and can't keep his zipper up. Recognize and enjoy him for who he is, but if you're looking for a lifetime commitment, he's not "the one."
DEAR ABBY: I was recently asked by a good friend to be one of his groomsmen at his wedding. Of course, I accepted.
His bachelor party was on the Oregon coast, so I had to fly out for that a few months before the wedding. The ceremony is in St. Louis, so I have to journey there as well. For both events I have had to pay for travel, accommodations, etc. I spent $200 for the tuxedo rental for the wedding as well as additional expenses.
By the end of it I'll have spent more than $1,000. Must I still buy my friend a wedding gift?
— BIG SPENDER IN PALO ALTO, CALIF.
DEAR BIG SPENDER: The answer is yes — but it doesn't have to be expensive. According to Emily Post, among the basic responsibilities of all adult attendants is to "contribute to attendants' group gifts to the bride and groom (and usually, give an individual gift as well)."
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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