Dear Abby: Former lawyer now shirks work, frustrating his wife

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I moved from another state four years ago. He went a year and a half before getting a job after we moved. Now he’s out of a job again.

It has been seven months. He sits on the sofa and lounges around the house. He looks briefly for alerts on new job postings. He does a few chores — not many.

He was an attorney, but he doesn’t want to go back into the area of law he was in. He is getting no interviews, we’re blowing through our savings and my job doesn’t cover all of our expenses. I think he is unmotivated and lazy. At this point, I don’t have much to say to him anymore except, “Did you look for a job today?”

It’s sad what he has done to himself and his family. He won’t discuss his career. I have told him just to get any job at this point, but then he gets very angry. I’m sure our children wonder why he is not working. I am afraid of the impact this will have on them and the example it sets.

I am close to hiring a divorce attorney. This is not the life I want. I’m emotionally and physically drained, and disgusted and embarrassed by his behavior.

I have no one to talk to about this. We live in an expensive area with many educated professionals who don’t behave like this. I’m sure if my friends and family knew, they would tell me to leave him. Help! — CRUSHED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CRUSHED: Even if your husband can’t find employment, he could be doing volunteer work and making contacts that could be valuable.

Rather than show the anger you understandably feel, continue to encourage him. Consider this: Could he be having a midlife crisis or a severe depression? Before divorce, I urge you to see that your husband is medically and psychologically evaluated to determine what’s going on. If he refuses, it may then be time to review your options.

DEAR ABBY: I was recently hired as a chauffeur in New York City. There was never any mention of how people should address me.

We are given information about the client we will be meeting. Some clients prefer not to be addressed as “Sir” or “Ms. X.” I was told to always address my passenger using formal introductions such as “Good morning, Ms. X,” unless otherwise instructed. I have noticed that all of my clients address me by my first name (the name given to them by dispatch).

I find it odd that it appears to be acceptable for the client to be informal with me, but I must be formal with them. Is this common? Should I ask the front office to give only my surname? — INFORMAL IN NEW YORK

DEAR INFORMAL: It is VERY common. However, since it bothers you to be addressed by your first name, by all means ask the dispatcher to inform the clients that “Mr. Jones” will be their driver that day.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby -—Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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