Dear Abby: Mom-to-be needs husband’s help at home

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for eight years. He has always been independent. He works full time and goes to bars with (single) co-workers four or five nights a week and stays until I’m in bed. He also likes his weekends to be his “me” time to decompress from all the socializing he does during the week.

I have become “independent” myself in order to cope with the lack of attention and affection I have received over the years. But now that I’m 34 weeks pregnant, I’m running out of patience. Although I need my husband’s help with things now — things like setting up the nursery and helping with chores around the house — he can’t seem to fit it into his schedule. When he does, he ends up rushing through various tasks, and sometimes things end up in worse condition than when he started (or if I had just done them myself).

I’m losing energy in the third trimester, and I need him to understand that I physically cannot keep working, cleaning, cooking and being the patient peacemaker that I have to be when he’s upset. Do you have any ideas on how to encourage him to spend more time at home and help me?

— Exhausted and Expecting

Dear Exhausted: I’ll be frank with you. Your husband isn’t “independent”; he’s living the life of a single man. Not only that, he doesn’t even contribute the way a roommate would be expected to. Did you expect fatherhood would change him?

It appears he wants nothing to do with you or the baby. He could not be more disconnected physically and emotionally from you unless he actually moved out. If I were you, rather than ask me to help you to convince him to act like a man, I’d be making contingency plans because you are NOT going to change him and things are NOT going to improve. Sorry to be so negative, but of this I am positive.

Dear Abby: I love my partner, “Dana.” We have been together for a year and a half. She had terrible roommates last year, so she moved in with me fairly early in our relationship. Now that Dana has new roommates, she wants to spend time in the space she pays rent for, which I think is valid.

The problem is, I can’t stand one of her new roommates. I’ll call him Benji. He has been rude to Dana in the past and has had violent episodes with women. I can’t be around him because I’m afraid of him (I am a small woman), and he makes me feel incredibly anxious. Dana has forgiven him for everything.

She moved some of her things out of my house today for when she sleeps there, and it broke my heart. I tried communicating this to Dana, but I don’t want to control the choices of a rational adult, and she isn’t changing her mind. I’m scared for her. I’m sad for me. What do I do?

— Sleeping Alone

Dear Sleeping Alone: You have voiced your concerns to Dana; the choice of where she lives is now up to her. As you stated, she’s a rational adult and can do as she wishes. Because you are uncomfortable around Benji, see Dana away from her place. That’s all you can do.

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