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Dear Abby: My husband doesn’t appreciate everything I do for him

A woman is frustrated that her husband doesn't pull his weight.
A woman is frustrated that her husband doesn't pull his weight.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for three years. In that time, he has refused to step up. He shows up late for work 90% of the time, and sometimes doesn’t show up at all. He has been fired because of his behavior. He does what he wants with no regard for others, although he says he feels bad about hurting people when he does.

I do a lot for him, and I feel like he doesn’t appreciate anything or even acknowledge it. He recognizes that he needs to step up, but refuses to put in the effort. For Christmas, he bought me earrings. The earrings were cute, but I don’t have pierced ears, and I feel it’s a detail he should have known after three years. Am I wrong for feeling like I should return the favor and stop putting in effort? — FATIGUED IN UTAH

DEAR FATIGUED: Let me put it this way: You are wrong for not telling your husband of three years that you are tired of him not pulling his weight and of his self-centeredness and lack of appreciation for you. Express those feelings. Be glad you haven’t had a child with him. If he doesn’t start turning over a new leaf, start “reconsidering” your marriage, unless you want this to be your future.

DEAR ABBY: A month ago, I reconnected with a woman, “Fran,” I have known since seventh grade. We are both divorced (I, 20 years; Fran, four years) with grown children and live 90 minutes apart. We have enjoyed hour upon hour of telephone conversations and have spent two weekends together. We have been very emotionally intimate, but not sexually, by choice, as to not distort the “purity” of our relationship.

My problem is, Fran has a large, high-energy dog that has free roam of her home (and her bed). “Goliath” travels with her virtually everywhere she goes, including when she visits me.

Goliath is good-natured and extremely fond of me, but I don’t have pets, nor do I care to have her dog jump onto the furniture and sleep with us in my bed. She thinks it’s cute, but Goliath sheds black hair ALL OVER the place, including in my bed (I have white bed linens so the contrast makes it all the more obvious).

I care deeply for Fran and will likely be in an exclusive, meaningful relationship with her for a long time. But I don’t want her dog to be a reason for anger and frustration. How do I politely “enforce” any restrictions on her beloved pet without possibly creating friction between us over Goliath “just being a dog”? — VACUUMING AGAIN

DEAR VACUUMING: The way to “politely enforce” restrictions in YOUR home is to have the conversation you were afraid to have with Fran the first time she and Goliath came to visit. TELL her that while you adore her, you are not as much of a dog person as she is, and you are not comfortable having Goliath share a bed with the two of you. (Notice I didn’t say jump on your couch, because a compromise may be necessary.)

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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.