Dear Abby: Husband’s aid to family abroad leaves little money for us

Wife frustrated as the man puts no cash toward the couple’s groceries and other needs, and breaks a promise to contribute to their savings.

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DEAR ABBY: I am married to a man from a different country, culture and religion. We have an amazing relationship, and he is my best friend. We do everything together — grocery shop, date nights, travel, etc. He is a wonderful husband. The only problem is he doesn’t contribute financially. I have told him time and again that this is going to be a big problem for us.

In his country, the people are poor, so he sends money to his family. His parents are wonderful, humble people and I love them dearly. He doesn’t earn as much as I do, but I do not feel that should stop him from making some financial contribution to OUR LIFE. He makes a decent salary and could buy some groceries or pay for a dinner here or there, but he doesn’t. I pay for everything — cars, gas, living, groceries, coffee, phones, etc.

We had agreed that after he paid off his debts, he would put a certain amount of money in the savings, which would still leave him $1,000 for himself. A thousand dollars is half a year’s salary in his country. For the last three months he has made no contributions, and when I asked about it, he said he doesn’t know what he did with the money. He’s obviously lying.

I am so furious that I’m considering divorce. I have never told him not to help his family, and I have been very generous with them as well. But it worries me that he is only concerned with his family back home and not the well-being of the family we have built together. — MONEY’S THE ISSUE IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR MONEY’S THE ISSUE: Your “wonderful” husband has reneged on his promise to put money in the savings account and lied to you about where the money is going. Could it have gone someplace other than to his parents? You have a right to know. Marriage is more than a romantic adventure. It is also a partnership — and one in which your husband isn’t contributing his agreed-upon share.

You may be able to resolve this with the help of a licensed mediator or counselor, but if it doesn’t solve the problem, talk to an attorney about protecting yourself financially.

DEAR ABBY: I am a mother of two and grandmother of three. I have a few cousins I socialize with occasionally, but I can’t say I’m particularly close to any of them. I enjoy spending most of my time with my children, grandchildren and husband.

Recently, one of my cousins has been pestering me to have a family reunion. Every time we talk, he brings up the subject, as well as other family members we have lost touch with. I have told him and his wife repeatedly that I am not interested in hosting a family reunion, and quite frankly, wouldn’t be interested in attending one, either.

I don’t want to seem harsh, but I have little interest in reuniting with many of my cousins, and I find large family gatherings stressful. I feel like they are trying to bully me into hosting and/or attending something I have said time and again I’m not interested in. What should I do? — NAGGED IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR NAGGED: The next time he brings up the subject of your hosting a family reunion, laugh. Then tell him the folks who should do it are him and his wife because you are not interested. Then change the subject.

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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