Wife tires of long marriage to a resentful curmudgeon

DEAR ABBY: I will soon be married 48 years, but it is not much of a marriage. There is no sex, no touching, no kind and compassionate words, only bickering and arguing. I can't figure out why I'm still here. I have thought about leaving many times.

I have written three books, and because of it, my husband has ridiculed me. I have also owned and operated two businesses. I'm active in the community, which he resents. He is an introvert, while I am an extrovert. He no longer accompanies me to activities, but when he did, he would make snide remarks to people who stopped to chat with us. So I no longer invite him. Help me, please!

- Sad, Lonely Wife

DEAR WIFE: I will try. If you are asking my permission to divorce your husband, I can't give it to you. Instead, I suggest you ask yourself why you have tolerated such a lonely marriage for 48 years and what you feel you would have to gain by leaving. As an intelligent woman, once you answer that, I think you will know what to do.

Stepmom's opinions

of little consequence

DEAR ABBY: I am a mother of two. I share 50 percent custody of my children with their father. My children also have two stepparents.

How involved in decision-making should the stepparents be? I value their opinions, but I think I know what is best for my children. Their stepmother isn't particularly involved in their activities or pickups and drop-offs, but never hesitates to interject her opinions about what I should do with their time. It causes communication problems between their father and me. I don't want to be rude to her. Where does the line need to be drawn?

- Momma Knows Best

DEAR MOMMA KNOWS BEST: Give your ex's current wife the benefit of the doubt. She may be trying to be helpful. Then, for the sake of your own sanity, simply ignore her comments and continue communicating with your ex in parenting matters.

Fit to be tied over male fashion trend

DEAR ABBY: Many years ago, as I was about to graduate from college and begin looking for a job, I read a book called Dress for Success. One of the things I remember from it is that a man's tie should be tied to a length that is between the last button of his shirt and the top of his belt buckle.

Since the last election, I have noticed that many politicians, our new president included, wear their ties several inches below their belt. Is this a fashion trend, or just them being unique?

- Chris in Washington

DEAR CHRIS: I brought your question to the attention of the Brooks Bros. corporate office and was told that what you read in Dress for Success (1975) is still correct. That some people wear their ties longer is an individual style decision, not a fashion trend.