DEAR ABBY: My husband is more interested in hanging out with his friends than caring about our 11-year-old daughter who has Asperger's syndrome. She's a great kid and smart, but she has challenges and needs help. It falls to me to do everything with and for her.
I need him to participate more where she's concerned, but he loses patience with her and with me. He resents having to pay for therapy and music lessons for her (she loves music), but he had no hesitation about buying himself an expensive sports car -- not for us but for him. He's actually going away for a weekend with his buddies!
I've thought about marriage counseling, but he isn't interested. I feel overwhelmed and very alone. Please help. — LIKE A SINGLE MOM IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR LIKE A SINGLE MOM: I'll try. Forgive my sarcasm, but it appears you married a real "winner" — selfish and lacking the compassion and maturity to deal with the challenges your family is facing. Because your husband is unwilling to go with you for marriage counseling, you would benefit from talking to a licensed therapist on your own. When you do, it may give you a broader perspective on what your options are.
DEAR ABBY: Eight years ago, my mother, then age 86, came to live with me. My life has changed substantially in the last two years, and I need to move to another state. My husband already lives there, and I want to be with him. My mother's anxieties and fears are what's holding me back.
I have told her she can live with us there, or at a brand-new assisted living facility that's about to open in the town. Alternatively, she could move back to our hometown where my retired sister lives and stay in an assisted living facility there. Her remaining in this city is not an option because I'm the only person she knows here, and it's eight hours from where I will be.
Conversations with her on this subject are difficult as she prefers to ignore them, choosing only to consider her own needs. Her overall health is manageable, and she's doing well cognitively. She has not been hospitalized in two years. What do I do? — TAKING CARE IN FLORIDA
DEAR TAKING CARE: Continue moving forward with your plans to relocate to be with your husband. Tell your mother you are giving her the choice of whether to reside with you or near your sister, but make clear she must make up her mind because you need to know whether you will have to accommodate her in your new home. Give her a deadline to let you know her preference, but if she refuses, make sure she understands that by default she'll be living near your sister.
DEAR ABBY: My ex and I went to my senior prom. I paid for everything, from the tickets down to his pocket square. It has been two years since the prom and one year since we broke up.
While packing away my prom dress, I realized how great it would be to have the bow tie and pocket square for future wearers as well as for sentimental value. I realize he may have gotten rid of them by now, but would it be wrong to ask for them if he still has them? — LOOKING BACK AND AHEAD
DEAR LOOKING: Wrong? No. Fruitless? Probably.
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.
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