Dear Abby: Young wife troubled that she doesn’t like to cook
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DEAR ABBY: I am a full-time working woman, part-time student and new wife to an incredible husband. We're in our mid-20s and have been living together for a year, but I have a problem that I'm still unsure about. Growing up I never learned to cook. The first meal I ever made was spaghetti when my husband (then fiance) and I moved into our home. My issue is, I HATE cooking. I don't have the patience for it and neither does my husband. Should I be ashamed that I indulge in "box" dinners that take little time to prepare? Naturally, I cook meat and vegetables to go along with them, but is it shameful when a wife doesn't cook everything from scratch? My husband doesn't mind, but I worry. Shouldn't a wife cook real meals for her husband? — NEW WIFE IN NORTH CAROLINA DEAR NEW WIFE: Because many couples both work, many husbands and wives take turns cooking or prepare dinner together. ("Honey, I'll do the salad and vegetables; you fix the chicken/fish/chops on the grill.") The problem with prepackaged meals is that many of them contain more sodium and/or other additives that nutritionists say are bad for one's health when consumed on a regular basis, so I think you do have cause for concern. The most important ingredient in a lasting marriage is a partner who lasts, so if you want yours to last, be vigilant about what you put in your stomachs. DEAR ABBY: I'm a 29-year-old woman and I have been with my fiance, "Gary," for three years. We became engaged six months ago. When I brought up wedding ideas recently, Gary responded with, "There are things that have to be resolved before I can even think about getting married." In the discussion that followed, he said I need to get a better-paying job so I can contribute to the renovations on the house, buy my own personal items and have a shorter commute. I'm hurt because I believe marriage is about committing to the person you love. I also realize you can't live on love alone. Am I overly sensitive about this? Is Gary's request reasonable, or do you think he's just looking for an excuse not to get married? — LOVE ABOVE ALL IN NEW YORK DEAR LOVE ABOVE ALL: Pay attention to what your fiance said because it appears he has unilaterally mapped out your future for you. This sounds less like a request to me than a demand. Open your eyes and keep talking with him. Did he specify whether your name will be on the deed to the house you will contribute to renovating? (I hope so.) I also hope you will be lucky enough to find a higher-paying job with a shorter commute, because not everyone is able to do that. Because I believe in both love and practicality, I think it's important you and Gary have premarital counseling together to clarify whether you're on the same page regarding finances. 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.