DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married 22 years, and we had a good marriage until recently. Over the last three years she has become more and more consumed with her phone and tablet. She goes nowhere and does nothing without them.
Every night and weekend she sits engrossed in both devices until well after I have gone to bed. If I ask what she’s doing or who she’s texting, she accuses me of being controlling and not trusting her.
We can’t watch a movie, eat a meal (out or at home) or anything else without her constantly tending to at least one of her devices. She says she can multitask and I shouldn’t be concerned, but it has greatly diminished our relationship. I feel like when we’re together, I am really alone.
If that isn’t enough, I have seen her communications with other men, sometimes intimate, late at night. When I ask about them, she throws the same labels at me. What should I do? — ONLY HUMAN IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR ONLY HUMAN: What you should do is tell your wife you have seen the intimate late-night conversations she has been having with other men, and that you feel she has abandoned you. Do not let her accuse you of being controlling or untrusting. You have done nothing wrong.
If she is willing to come clean and deal with the problems in your marriage, which go beyond her addiction to electronic devices, you should agree to marriage counseling. If she’s not, you will then have to weigh whether this kind of marriage is enough for you, because it certainly wouldn’t be for many men.
DEAR ABBY: I’m in ninth grade and my birthday is coming up. I invited a group of friends to go out and eat dinner at a nice restaurant, assuming everyone would pay for their own meal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some of them said they expect me to pay. Others think I’d be crazy if I did that and even insisted on paying for mine.
If I pay for everyone to eat at a restaurant, it’s going to be pricy and my parents will be upset. I can’t uninvite anyone, and it’s not like I can take them to a cheap fast food place. What do you think I should do? — SAD BIRTHDAY GIRL
DEAR SAD BIRTHDAY GIRL: I think you should contact your prospective guests and start the conversation by saying, “Let me CLARIFY …” That way, anyone who wants to will be able to back out and there will be no misunderstandings. The lesson here is to never assume.
DEAR ABBY: I quit school in the 1970s and joined the service. I got my GED and I’m friends with a lot of the people I went to high school with. They constantly ask me to attend their high school reunion.
My problem is, I didn’t graduate with my class and don’t know if I should go. I don’t want to feel awkward, but I’d love to see the classmates from that part of my life. What is protocol on this? — UNSURE IN ATHENS, OHIO
DEAR UNSURE: Go to the reunion! I’m sure your former classmates will be as glad to see you as you will be to see them. It’s not as if this is a state dinner; it’s only a high school reunion, for heaven’s sake.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.