DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 40 years. We were opposites who were attracted to each other and enjoyed a lot of the same things.
For the last 20 years, my wife has been taking an antidepressant (prescribed by her primary care physician, not a psychiatrist), and she has every side effect of the drug. For years I have tried without success to get her to seek help.
Although we still live in the same house, we have been going our own ways for the last year and a half. Even though my wife is a good person, I do not want to spend the rest of my life living with someone who is incapable of having a decent conversation, let alone being able to or having a need to be intimate.
I am going to move out. My question is, do I tell our children we are separating because their mom is addicted to a drug, or should I just be the bad guy and take the blame? — ENTANGLED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR ENTANGLED: Your wife is not addicted to her antidepressant, and you shouldn’t say that to your children. The medication was prescribed for her by a well-meaning physician who obviously didn’t explain that there are alternative drugs with fewer side effects.
Your wife needs to consult a psychopharmacologist, a doctor with expertise in brain chemistry. Before moving out, please offer her the option of talking to one. Her doctor or insurance company should be able to give a referral. Or, your wife may be able to find someone who can guide her by contacting a university with a medical school. I am hoping she will, because it could change both of your lives for the better.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I moved to a new neighborhood right before COVID hit. One of our neighbors is frequently out inspecting our lawn and has even trespassed through our gate into our back yard to offer his “reminder” about lawn maintenance.
We mow our yard every few weeks because the grass doesn’t grow terribly fast. We don’t feel comfortable going out to buy a better lawn mower until things improve in our state. We also both work with people who are affected by the pandemic so, frankly, we have bigger concerns. How do we handle this diplomatically? — GRASS ISN’T GREENER
DEAR GRASS: “Diplomatically” tell your neighbor you are maintaining your lawn as best you can, and from now on, you want him to stay off your property and in his own yard. Said with a smile, the message may be more easily accepted. If it isn’t, please understand that being direct is the only way to get through to this nosy, presumptuous person.
DEAR ABBY: How can I let someone know about my good fortune without appearing to be bragging? The intent is to hopefully form a business alliance, but I do not want to be misconstrued, misinterpreted or perceived as a braggart. — GOOD FORTUNE IN THE WEST
DEAR GOOD FORTUNE: Preface your announcement by explaining why you are sharing the news. Example: “John, I have some important news. I’m sharing it because it may present an opportunity for you. I just won $1 million in the lottery, and I’m thinking of starting a new business. Are you interested?” Approach this way and you will come across as generous, not braggadocious.
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