DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 17 years. After several years, I realized he had some depression issues. Ten years ago, after he was diagnosed with PTSD, he stopped working and has been at home ever since.
I work full time, pay the bills, take care of the kids, run the errands, drop the kids off at practice, clean the house, everything! He does nothing but sleep. He stays in bed for days on end and showers once a week. We haven’t slept in the same room in five years.
I’m so lonely. I hate being married to him, and I’m not sure how his depression affects my kids. He takes medicine but refuses to see a therapist. I want to leave and have a life. I feel stuck in this marriage out of guilt. What do I do?– HAD IT IN KENTUCKY
DEAR HAD IT: Make an appointment for yourself with a licensed mental health professional to discuss your situation and your guilt. Please do this before you have a mental or physical breakdown from the stress you are under.
While I sympathize with your husband’s mental problems, the fact that he refuses to do all he can to fix them tells me it is time to take care of yourself – for your children’s sake – because you are all they have. Because your husband’s meds are not working, he should have mentioned that fact years ago to the doctor who has been prescribing them.
DEAR ABBY: For a friend’s birthday, I sent a $150 food delivery gift card, saying to put it toward meals when I visited for three days the following week. He called, told me I was “cheap” and said it was not a “gift” if it included money that would be spent on myself.
We are new friends and have never exchanged gifts. Please help me understand if I was inappropriate.– MEANT WELL IN UTAH
DEAR MEANT WELL: You made an honest mistake. However, what you did was less inappropriate than your new friend’s ungracious response, which was just plain insulting. On the next gift-giving occasion – if you are still friends – send him a book on etiquette, just for him.