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Jeanne Phillips

Man has nonchalant attitude about locking up

May 25
DEAR ABBY: My husband has a bad habit of forgetting to lock up our house at night when he’s the last one to come to bed. On nine occasions I have gone downstairs after he’s in bed or awakened in the morning to find our sliding patio door or a garage door unlocked.
I cannot understand why this isn’t a priority for him. If I’m the last one to come up for the night, I make sure each door is locked, lights are off, etc. It takes me less than a minute. We live in a suburb, and while our neighborhood is relatively safe and quiet, I’m not naive. I realize anything can happen anywhere.
We have two large dogs, but I have no idea how they’d react to an intruder. Frankly, I don’t want to find out the hard way. The most frustrating thing about this is, when I try to talk to him about it the next day, he blows it off and says our dogs would never let anyone get far, or he makes a joke about it. I’ve tried many different approaches, from being calm and sweet to solutions-focused: “How can I help you remember?”
Recently, likely because I’m 37 weeks pregnant with our second child, I lost it and chewed him out after I waddled out of bed to go downstairs and found our sliding door unlocked. Needless to say, it didn’t work very well.
I’m at my wits’ end. It was one thing when it was just the two of us, but now we’re about to have two kids under 2, and I get furious thinking he could be putting all of us in danger. He has taken no responsibility or steps toward fixing this.
I have now reached the conclusion that when I’m home, I must be the one who assumes the responsibility of ensuring our home is secure before we go to bed. But what if I fall asleep early or if I have to travel for work? Any ideas on how to address this with him?

DEAR LOSING: You have already addressed this with your husband. That he is so careless about the safety of his wife and children is shocking. He appears to be very immature.
Because he seems incapable of assuming any responsibility for locking up, you are going to have to do it. There are high-tech ways to remotely lock doors from afar, and you should explore that option.
Also, for your own peace of mind, have a professional dog trainer or other experienced dog person enter your home through the unlocked door while you and your husband are upstairs because, while the dogs might not attack a stranger, they might alert you to the presence of an intruder. I suggest this because many years ago my very tame German shepherd did exactly that.

DEAR ABBY: Due to the coronavirus epidemic, handshaking is no longer being practiced. I have never been a fan of handshaking anyway. In the future, it may be acceptable to forgo handshaking altogether. What will be the best way to avoid it without seeming unfriendly or germophobic?

DEAR RESISTING: Try doing what I do. I place both palms together in front of my chest as though praying, smile and greet the person. No one has been offended by it, and it’s a common way people greet each other in India.

DEAR READERS: Along with the millions of Americans who are observing this Memorial Day, I add my prayer of thanks for those courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. May they rest in peace.

May 26
DEAR ABBY: I recently lost a lot of weight and finally felt confident enough to start dating. I met a wonderful man I’ll call “Teddy.” We’ve been together for eight months, and I can see a future with him. He has some quirks with intimacy that he’s working on and a few odd habits he is trying to break. I have my own eccentricities as well, but we are doing it together.
The problem is my sister. Ever since I started losing weight and trying to improve myself, she has become incredibly jealous. She has taken to making backhanded comments as often as she can. We had a huge fight where we didn’t talk for two months because she thought I had “changed too much.” The real reason was I wouldn’t let her borrow a super expensive dress of mine.
I used to spend every weekend at her house hanging out with her. I would do her grocery shopping, lend her anything she wanted and defer to her because I was lonely. But now I spend most weekends with Teddy generally enjoying my life. She seems bitter that I no longer let her walk over me like a doormat. She keeps saying I should break up with Teddy so I can prioritize her again, and she tries to start fights between Teddy and me.
Abby, my sister is married and has a kid. She doesn’t need me around so she won’t be lonely. I don’t want to cut her off because I love my nephew and would like to be part of his life. I also don’t want to have to choose between my family and having a life that doesn’t revolve around them. Please help me.

DEAR CHANGING: If your description is accurate, you exist in your sister’s universe only to fulfill her needs. That she would attempt to sabotage your relationship with Teddy is shameful. It should not be necessary to choose between Teddy and your family. What you must do is establish firm boundaries with her, enforce them and not knuckle under to the pressure she is exerting.

DEAR ABBY: I found $17 in the pocket of an old coat (great feeling — it felt like free money!) and used it to buy myself some fast food. My fiancée is upset (which I think is uncalled for) that I didn’t get her anything. That restaurant is expensive, and it’s hard to buy two meals for that price. Plus, it was my money.
I think I should be allowed to spend money I find, especially since it was in my coat. Unfortunately, she didn’t get any dinner that night. It has been a week now, and she’s still upset with me about it. I never get anything for myself, and I feel I deserved a treat.
When I told her that night if she wanted dinner she should have looked for her own $17 in a coat, she threw my Xbox controller at me. It missed. It hit the wall and broke. Now I have to search through all my pockets because those controllers cost a lot more than $17.

DEAR QUARANTINED: And your question is? This is how you treat your fiancée? The least you could have done was get her a side of fries to eat with whatever was in the fridge as a main course. If you and this girl are still together, it’s time for some serious apologies. On the plus side, now that the Xbox is history, you will have more time to work on your relationship.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.


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