DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 17 years. After several years, I realized he had some depression issues. Ten years ago, after he was diagnosed with PTSD, he stopped working and has been at home ever since.

I work full time, pay the bills, take care of the kids, run the errands, drop the kids off at practice, clean the house, everything! He does nothing but sleep. He stays in bed for days on end and showers once a week. We haven't slept in the same room in five years.

I'm so lonely. I hate being married to him, and I'm not sure how his depression affects my kids. He takes medicine but refuses to see a therapist. I want to leave and have a life. I feel stuck in this marriage out of guilt. What do I do? -- HAD IT IN KENTUCKY

DEAR HAD IT: Make an appointment for yourself with a licensed mental health professional to discuss your situation and your guilt. Please do this before you have a mental or physical breakdown from the stress you are under.

While I sympathize with your husband's mental problems, the fact that he refuses to do all he can to fix them tells me it is time to take care of yourself -- for your children's sake -- because you are all they have. Because your husband's meds are not working, he should have mentioned that fact years ago to the doctor who has been prescribing them.

DEAR ABBY: For a friend's birthday, I sent a $150 food delivery gift card, saying to put it toward meals when I visited for three days the following week. He called, told me I was "cheap" and said it was not a "gift" if it included money that would be spent on myself.

We are new friends and have never exchanged gifts. Please help me understand if I was inappropriate. -- MEANT WELL IN UTAH

DEAR MEANT WELL: You made an honest mistake. However, what you did was less inappropriate than your new friend's ungracious response, which was just plain insulting. On the next gift-giving occasion -- if you are still friends -- send him a book on etiquette, just for him.

DEAR ABBY: I am planning a trip to visit my friend in England. I studied abroad two years ago, and I'm excited to go back to my old stomping grounds and reminisce.

I got very close to this friend while I was there, and we talk on Facebook every so often. Obviously, because of the distance, we aren't best friends, but we still consider ourselves "trans-Atlantic sisters."

I'm on a pretty tight budget and want to start planning for expenses. Would it be rude to ask her if I can stay with her? Or should I just ask for suggestions on places to stay and see if she offers? -- TRAVELER IN TEXAS

DEAR TRAVELER: While it wouldn't be rude to ask, I vote for the latter option and see if she suggests it. (She probably will.)

 

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)