Dear Abby: My exceptionally self-centered husband didn’t tell me about our son’s birthday dinner.


DEAR ABBY: I refer to my husband as the “singliest married man” I know. It turns off the lights, turns off the heat, and turns off the TV while I’m still watching or planning to be home.

His latest “bachelor” is that he planned a birthday dinner with our son and other family members. Guess what? I learned it from the birthday boy. We have been married for almost 50 years. All our children are in their forties.

I’ve spoken to him many times about his forgetting about me being in a room, but I’ve never been kicked out of a family birthday so far. I’m thinking of writing a book called “The Singleliest Married Man I Know”. What should I do differently? — FORGOTTEN WOMAN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR FORGOTTEN: If this has been going on since you and your husband were married, accept that he is someone who is exceptionally self-centered. If it’s something relatively new, he may need to be physically and neurologically evaluated by his doctor.

If there’s nothing “wrong” with him, recognize that it’s time to go on your own. Don’t forget to watch the thermostat, keep a flashlight handy, and be prepared to explore the activities you enjoy in case your husband “forgets” to include you in the future.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend’s father recently passed away. A memorial was planned on the day of a wedding I had agreed to attend with my girlfriend. In this situation involving two significant events in a life, is it more courteous to rely on the living or the dead? — UNCERTAIN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

DEAR UNCERTAIN: It all depends on your relationship with these two people. Because your best friend may need some emotional support during this sad time, I’m inclined to suggest that you go to the memorial and have your girlfriend attend the wedding so that you are represented. If you explain the circumstances to the person who sent the wedding invitation, there should be no hurt feelings.

DEAR ABBY: I recently received a board game as a gift. The problem is that I don’t like the game. I live alone with a disability on a very limited income and I don’t have anyone to play with me anyway.

When I mentioned to the donor that I was thinking of returning it, they almost burst into tears. The donor is a relative of a close friend and lives with her. I could really use the money. What should I do? — WONDER IN WISCONSIN

DEAR TEACHED: I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: once a gift is given, it’s up to the recipient to do with it what they want. Because you don’t like the game, you don’t have anyone to play it with, and you need the money, give it back. Your mistake was to announce your intention to the donor.

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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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