Posted in the Chicago Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 Jul 13, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have had our ups and downs, but the last few months have been hell. My husband lies about having paid bills. When I ask, "Have you paid the rent?" I mean "in full," not a partial payment. We have now been evicted for nonpayment of rent and are living in a hotel. Utilities have been cut off because of his partial payments and his lying about their having been paid in full, and I'm tired of it.
It's not just the two of us who have been affected because of his mismanagement of money, but also our two children who are caught up in this mess. I'm not one of those wives who sit around not knowing what's going on with the finances. I have bills I pay for the house, too, and after they are paid I give him money to pay other bills.
I am sick and tired, Abby, and I want to divorce him. What other choice do I have? The "for richer or poorer" thing is no longer working for me. How much should a person tolerate before walking away from marriage?-- HAD ENOUGH IN TENNESSEE
DEAR HAD ENOUGH: You say this has been going on for a few months. Where is the money going that isn't being spent on bills? You say you give your husband money. Is he bringing in any, or is he jobless? Before you decide to walk away, you need to understand why it is that your husband has been lying to you, particularly if this is recent behavior.
If you are better at handling money than he is, then you should be handling the finances and paying all of the bills. That would be a solution to your money troubles. But reading between the lines of your letter, it appears there may be a lot more going on between you and your husband than you have disclosed. And if that's the case, I'd recommend marriage counseling before I'd recommend divorce.
DEAR ABBY: When I was a child, my mother always told me to close the bathroom door after using the toilet so as not to allow any offensive odors to escape.
I'm an adult now, have a nice home and entertain often. I am dismayed that most of my guests leave the bathroom door wide open after each use. It is particularly offensive because of the close proximity of the powder room to the dining room. Like the habit of men forgetting to put the toilet seat down, I find this "open door" policy both disgusting and inexcusable.
Would you kindly advise whether my mother was correct, or am I being too sensitive? I'll post your answer on the door of my guest bathroom for my guests to see.-- GROSSED OUT, CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF.
DEAR GROSSED OUT: While it would be hard to argue in favor of offensive fumes wafting into a hallway, not everyone feels as strongly as you and your mother do on this subject. Your guests may be leaving the door open so other guests will know the bathroom is unoccupied.
Because you prefer for it to be shut at all times, rather than post a letter from me on the door, consider installing an automatic spring closer on it, or post a small sign that reads, "Please Shut Door When Leaving."
#2 Jul 13, 2014
LW1 - I see a divorce attorney for this couple in my crystal ball.
LW2 - Use air freshener.
#3 Jul 13, 2014
1: Find out what is going on in your husband's life that is keeping him from paying the bills. Did he lose his job and he's afraid to tell you? Try to talk to him in a nonconfrontational way if at all possible. Marriage counseling does seem necessary at this point and there may be a clinic offering it at a sliding fee. Meanwhile, do what Abby suggested and take care of all the financial stuff yourself. Hubby should be giving you his entire paycheck to deposit in your account and you should give him an "allowance" to pay for personal things he may need. Don't do this grudgingly. A lot of wives take care of seeing that the bills are paid even if they aren't the ones earning the money.
2: Your mom told you. Well moms aren't always right; they're human. My mom made me afraid to go to the bathroom in other people's homes because she felt this very normal need was something to be ashamed of. I was afraid to even ask my aunts if I could use their bathrooms. Of course, it would be the height of rudeness to use it without asking first. So even as an adult, I was reluctant to knock on a closed bathroom door to find out whether it was in use. I didn't want to announce my need to anyone who might be nearby and I didn't want to disturb or embarrass anyone who might be inside the bathroom or make them think they were taking too much time in there. So a closed bathroom door is still something of a barrier for me. I do not close a bathroom door completely anyplace. I prefer to leave the door just slightly ajar so that it just barely touches the door frame but does not latch. I feel that should take care of keeping odors from escaping yet also inform others that the room is free for their use.
For you, do as Cass suggests. Use an air freshener. I'd put up a sign that says "Please use air freshener and leave door only slightly ajar to let others know the bathroom is free."
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