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Gardener chooses plants over family

Updated: October 22, 2012 6:02AM

Dear Abby: I am a 31-year-old wife and mother. My husband, “Jake,” works 40-plus hours a week, while I am a stay-at-home mom.

In the evenings and on weekends, Jake does yard work or works in the garden. I’m with our daughter all day, every day, and he expects me to watch her while he’s outside working. I dislike yard and garden work and don’t like being outside. I also have health/physical issues that keep me from being as active as I would like. Every weekend I feel my resentment and anger growing over this issue.

Jake says it is necessary for us to have a garden, and I agree. But why must I have all the responsibility of caring for our daughter? I’d like it if Jake would stay in with us and give up on some of the outside activities. What do you suggest?

Second To A Shrub In Oregon

Dear Second To A Shrub: While tending to the yard and the garden may be necessary, it is also very important for your husband to devote some time to nurturing his relationship with his daughter. You should not be saddled with all the child care responsibilities 24/7. Marriages are like gardens. If they’re not given care and feeding, they will wither as yours appears to be doing.

Dear Abby: I’m engaged and being married soon. I have always had very close non-romantic relationships with males. People told me that when I fell in love with someone it would be easier to let my male friendships fall by the wayside. These friendships are the ones I prefer now more than ever.

I love my fiance and he has been incredibly understanding about this, but I can tell it upsets him. I have been known to talk all night with friends, especially when I’m overwhelmed. My fiance is hurt that I don’t come to him.

Do I need to eliminate these friendships for the sake of my husband-to-be? Is it inappropriate for me to have close male friends after I’m married?

Prefers Men

Dear Prefers Men: Why are you presenting this as all or nothing? It’s not. Nor is it inappropriate for you to keep close male friendships after you marry.

However, I do think some behavior modification is in order. The first thing you should do is cut out the all-night dump sessions with these men.

The man you marry should be your BEST friend and the person you go to first to express your concerns when you’re overwhelmed. This is part of intimacy, and he may be feeling hurt and shut out because you are denying that to him.

He may have concerns of his own that he’d like to discuss with you. Being on the phone all night talking to someone else is really neglectful of the man you love.

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