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DEAR ABBY

How to make my husband understand I can't take care of our house full time — and his business

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a business and work together. He takes care of sales, and I keep the books. I have raised his children, scheduled all appointments and taken care of everyone's needs, including the pets. I also do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc.

I tend to suffer from depression and need at least eight hours of sleep each night. Because of this, I work at the office only four to five hours a day. My husband cannot understand why I don't work eight to 10 hours a day. I get done what NEEDS to be done. Of the many other businesses we've known, the wives are expected to do this. How do I make him understand?

— WORKING ENOUGH IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR WORKING ENOUGH: From your description of your weekly activities, you are not only living up to normal expectations, but exceeding them. Explain to your husband that people are individuals. Human bodies don't all function alike. If he can't get that through his head, have your doctor explain it to him.

Has he considered what it would cost him to hire someone else to do all the jobs you are doing? Perhaps he should consider that before criticizing and flogging you to do more. Tell him you'll spend an extra hour or so at the office if he agrees to take up some of the slack at home.

P.S. I can understand why you "tend to suffer from depression." You are married to a slave driver.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

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