DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are both schoolteachers. She hates to call in sick and often teaches class when she says she feels ill. I don't argue with her.
The problem arises when I am not feeling well. When I am sick and feverish, I'm not inclined to rise from my sickbed and go to work. On those few occasions, my wife objects strenuously. Apparently, her gold standard for staying home is the inability to stand.
This creates a problem for me at work because co-workers are concerned about catching my obvious illness. The last time I felt sick, my wife ordered me to go to work. When I saw a doctor afterward, I was told I had a virus and should be in bed. My wife still objected to my missing work because she considered it to be "just a cough."
Today a staff member called in sick with the same virus I had. Everyone looked at me as the responsible party. Help!
- At a Total Loss in Corpus Christi
DEAR TOTAL LOSS: It appears you married a woman who is not only lacking in empathy, but also is a controlling, slave-driving witch. Unless you can find the backbone to take control of the situation and stop acting like a victim, your wife will continue to punish you
DEAR ABBY: The adage "If you don't have anything nice to say . . . " is easier said than done. When I am tired or stressed, I have a tendency to be less tolerant of others' quirks, and sometimes I voice my annoyance. While my opinions do have a basis, I sometimes feel guilty about insulting or hurting the person's feelings. How do I allow these annoyances to roll off my back and bite my tongue?
- Can't Tolerate Fools in Des Moines
DEAR CAN'T TOLERATE FOOLS: When you are tired or stressed, and before shooting off your mouth, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it helpful? And if what you were about to say is not all three, bite your tongue, zip your lip, or walk away until you get a grip.