Her too-busy husband is too hard to live with

He criticized his partner's technique; now he's getting shut out.

DEAR ABBY: I am fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom. My days are spent doing chores and taking care of the kids, but I do find time for other pursuits.

My problem is my husband. "Bob" is the kind of guy who can't sit still. Because he's always on the go, he insists I should be equally "productive." He constantly wants to know what I'm doing, and if it's useful. He initiates big projects and then complains that he gets no help. He is incredibly neat and often insists that our immaculate house needs to be cleaned.

I dread the days he's home because I have to constantly justify my activities or feel guilty if I'm not busy the entire time. I'm afraid I will soon resent him to the point of dislike if I must live my life according to his unrealistic expectations. Any advice?

- Not a Loafer in Chicago

DEAR NOT A LOAFER: I agree that if this continues, it will have a negative effect on your marriage. The person who should explain it to him is a licensed mental health professional who can provide the counseling and/or medication he may need, because I suspect he may have OCD.


DEAR ABBY: I reconnected with my dad two years ago, after 10 years, following my parents' divorce. The problem is his wife, "Kathy." Ever since we reunited, I have felt she resented me. Kathy recently found a job across the country, so she and Dad sold their house and moved away. I can't help but feel she did it to put distance between Dad and me, and it hurts me deeply. How do I talk to my dad about it without damaging the relationship?

- Loving Daughter in Wisconsin

DEAR LOVING DAUGHTER: You don't know for certain that she accepted the job to separate you and your dad. Keep in touch with your father via cards and letters, texts and emails, video chats or other social media - whatever you and your father are most comfortable with. But I do NOT advise saying anything negative about Kathy.

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