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Dear Abby: Couple's bedtime disputes causing nightmares

Dear Abby: I am recently married, and every night my husband "tells" me when it's time for us to retire for the night. This can be anytime from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.

If I tell him — which is not often — that I am ready for bed before he is, he gets upset. However, if he is ready to go to bed, and I tell him I'd like to finish a book I'm reading or watch a little more TV, he gets upset.

When I try to talk to him about this, he says that married men and women should go to bed "together," period! But Abby, it is always on his timetable. What about mine? Needless to say, we have both gone to bed angry.

How do we deal with this? —Tired Of Being Tired, Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Tired Of Being Tired: It appears you have married a man with control issues. Being married does not mean being joined at the hip. People have different biorhythms, and a trip down the aisle does not magically transform a night person into a day person or vice versa.

Your husband needs to learn the art of compromise because it appears he is being extremely heavy-handed.

Dear Abby: My girlfriend, "Lauren," and I are both 16. She has a 12-year-old sister I'll call "Crystal" who makes no secret of the fact that she has a crush on me. When I'm at their house, Crystal is all over me and won't leave me alone.

I don't want to be mean to Crystal and hurt her feelings, but being nice to her just makes things worse. Lauren has tried to tell her sister that I'm not interested in her, but she won't listen and claims that Lauren is jealous.

How can I deal with this and not hurt the girl's feelings? —Larry In Cicero, Ill.

Dear Larry: Because Lauren has spoken to her sister and tried to discourage her without success, the next person to have a talk with Crystal would be her mother. The girl's behavior is inappropriate.

First love can be an overwhelming emotion — especially when the object is unattainable — but she has no right to be "all over you" to the point of embarrassment, and Crystal's mother needs to explain that to her. After that, you will have to be the one to set her straight.

Dear Abby: My dad owns a restaurant, and he doesn't want to hire any more employees because he thinks my mom can do all the jobs. She rarely gets a day off. Yesterday was her first day off after working 14-hour days for an entire month. Mom keeps telling Dad she wants a few more days off because she needs to do other things — like laundry or cleaning the house.

Is there anything I can say to him to make him understand that she gets tired and needs a break? —Worried About Mom In Irving, Texas

Dear Worried: Not knowing the economic constraints your father is under in running his restaurant, I'm not sure there is. His reason for needing your mother in the place may have less to do with greed than necessity.

Of course, the person who should impress upon your father that she's tired and needs a break is your mother. If she is unwilling or unable to do that, it would be more helpful if YOU took over some of the cleaning and laundry chores.


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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