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Friends chosen over wife

Dear Abby: My husband, "Ed," and I have been together for six years, married for two. This is the second marriage for both of us. We have children from our first marriages. Ed works offshore. He's gone 21 days and here 21 days. The three weeks he's gone, I work, take care of the house and the kids, do the yard work, etc. When he comes home, I want him to myself the first weekend -- I don't want to share him with his friends. I'd like to do fun things with him sometimes, just the two of us.

Ed says I have to understand his friends are important. He says I'm selfish and jealous. He doesn't show affection very well either (except behind closed doors), and I am a very affectionate person. Am I asking too much from him? I am considering counseling, but I'm unsure whether Ed would go.

-- Bored and Lonely in Mississippi

Dear Bored and Lonely: Counseling is an excellent idea, and if Ed won't go, you should go without him. Asking your husband to spend two days of one-on-one time with you when he returns from three weeks away isn't too much, and it's not selfish. He needs to reorganize his priorities and put you higher on the list than his buddies.

Affection is supposed to be spontaneous, and you shouldn't have to beg for it. What you describe going on behind closed doors sounds more like plain old sex and a whole lot less like affection. Unless your husband is willing to put more effort into your marriage, I can't see you living until death do you part on a starvation diet -- and you can tell both your husband and your counselor I said so.


Insult or compliment?

Dear Abby: My brother often tells me that I'll "make a good wife someday." Is this an insult or a compliment?

-- Baffled in Boston

Dear Baffled: I'd consider it a compliment. An insult would be you'd make a LOUSY wife someday. However, whether it's meant as an insult or a compliment would depend upon your brother's opinion of the institution of marriage.

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