Dear Abby: Man's slovenliness grows from a peeve to a problem

Dear Abby: Man's slovenliness grows from a peeve to a problem

October 8th, 2017 by Jeanne Phillips in Life Entertainment

Jeanne Phillips

Jeanne Phillips

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

DEAR ABBY: I dearly love my husband. We've been married 33 years. We have raised three productive citizens, have five beautiful grandchildren and live in the heartland of America.

Like most couples, we've had our ups and downs. My problem is my husband is a slob. He always has been, but it's getting worse.

He works. I stayed home and raised our kids and made the house a home. He brings home the bacon, does the yard work, takes out the trash and fixes things (on his own terms). I pay the bills, clean the house, cook dinner and do anything else that needs doing (schedule doctor's appointments, etc.).

He thinks that because he doesn't beat me, we have a good marriage. I have a serious issue with his messiness. I am just about ready to chuck him to the door.

I've tried talking to him about it, but we always end up arguing. He says I treat him like a child (well truth be told, he's ACTING like one). I have explained to him why I need him to pick up after himself, but he takes it as a personal affront and storms off. I'm at my wits' end. What can I do to fix this? — TIDY SPOUSE IN OHIO

DEAR TIDY: To be honest, I'm not sure that at this point you can "fix this." You and your husband have had an unwritten contract for 33 years, in which his job was to bring home the bacon, do yard work, take out the trash and fix things when he gets around to it. Yours was to perform the duties of a traditional housewife by doing all the things you described.

Your husband's sloppiness may be the legacy of a mother who never taught him to keep his room clean and your own failure to put your foot down during the first years of your marriage. Of course, you could always stop picking up after him. But if you do, I'm afraid the mess will reach proportions you — not he — will be unable to tolerate.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 50-year-old woman who has just learned that my first boyfriend, "John," was killed in a freak shooting accident shortly after he graduated from our high school more than 30 years ago. He was 18 and I was 16 when we dated. After graduation he moved away to attend college. John was killed when his friend dropped a rifle that discharged.

I have just learned that John's parents are alive and still live in the same home. Should I send some kind of sympathy card to them now? I truly cared for John and thought he had lost interest in me when I didn't hear from him any longer.

My mother says I shouldn't remind his parents of his death, but I think they'd like to know how fondly I remember him. What should I do? — NEVER KNEW IN GEORGIA

DEAR NEVER KNEW: Write John's parents a short note telling them exactly what you told me. Do not worry about reminding them about their son's death. They are aware of it every single day, and I am sure that knowing you took the time to write will touch their hearts.

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

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How To Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315