DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven years and have two young boys. My husband, "Cliff," and I earn approximately the same amount and contribute equally to our household expenses.
It bothers me that if we're on a family excursion, and he's driving my minivan and we get low on gas, he will fill the tank up only halfway. Additionally, when we met my friend recently for a birthday celebration, when we were leaving the parking garage, Cliff demanded my credit card to pay for the parking. (The fee was $13.)
Unlike his past girlfriends, I have never used his credit cards to buy fancy clothes at expensive boutiques. I pay for house renovations that I feel are important — porch repair, wallpaper, bedroom furniture for our children, recessed lighting, etc. out of my own pocket.
For our upcoming anniversary, when I asked Cliff where we would be going so I could plan accordingly, he asked me why I wasn't taking him out to celebrate our anniversary. What do you make of all of this? Frankly, it saddens me. — MONEY'S THE ISSUE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR ISSUE: You are short-changing yourself. If you and your husband agreed to split expenses equally, you should not be paying out-of-pocket for repairs and decoration. That your husband is so determined not to be taken advantage of financially that he would fill the gas tank only halfway saddens me, too.
However, on the subject of anniversaries, he does have a valid point, so why not alternate anniversaries with him? One year he'll do the planning and take you out to celebrate, and the next year you'll do it for him.
DEAR ABBY: My son moved back home after college two years ago. He had major surgery on his leg two weeks after his graduation and a 14-month recuperation, which I helped him through. He hasn't been able to find work in his field of study. He did work for about three months, then quit.
He bought an expensive rottweiler puppy while he was working, but now he's unable to pay for the shots, food and general care of this puppy. I'm struggling financially and cannot afford to help with the expenses.
The puppy is destroying my house, pulling my sofa cushions from the sofa, gnawing on my woodwork, etc. My son is accusing me of being "materialistic and selfish." I feel he should have waited until he had his own place before he got a dog. I already have one, "Siggy," that was my son's when he was 10 years old. He no longer wants Siggy because he's old now. I love Siggy as my own, and one dog is enough for me now. Please advise. — CARELESS IN TEXAS
DEAR CARELESS: Your son may be chronologically an adult, but he's acting like a spoiled child. Rather than call you names, he should be grateful you have supported him to the degree that you have. Start talking to him like the grown-up he is and tell him if he can't support his rottweiler, he must contact a rescue group that can find it a loving home with a responsible guardian who will ensure it receives the care it deserves. Unfortunately, your son does not qualify.