I have been in a seven-year relationship with "Maddy," which will probably end soon because she can't seem to stick to any kind of routine. Maddy is in her mid-30s, the youngest in a large family, and grew up without any kind of responsibilities. She's always misplacing and losing things - watches, cameras, jewelry, etc. Her mail goes unopened and her bills get paid late even though she has plenty of money.
Maddy thinks I'm "controlling" because I get frustrated when we have to be somewhere at a specified time and she's always late. I think she's selfish to put her needs ahead of everyone else's. There's always an excuse; it's always someone's fault, never hers.
In my line of work, if I have a meeting to attend, I arrive on time. Maddy thinks that unless it's her boss telling her what time to be at a meeting, everything else is when she "gets to it." I have planned entire weekends with dinner reservations and events scheduled and let her know what time we need to leave. When the time comes, she's not even packed yet. Worse, she can't understand my irritation. Is this relationship worth saving - or my sanity?
- Losing Patience
in the Pacific Northwest
DEAR LOSING PATIENCE: Maddy must have many amazingly good qualities for you to have tolerated her lack of organization and consideration for others this long. Because you have let her know how you feel about it and nothing has changed, it's time to accept that no changes will be forthcoming. My advice is to save your sanity. You'll be happier and less frustrated if you find someone more like yourself.
DEAR ABBY: I have noticed over the past few decades that fewer and fewer people have heroes (I mean real heroes, not celebrities who are famous for being famous). I'd love to hear from your readers about who their heroes are and why. These heroes should not be family members, but someone outside the family - a teacher, doctor, artist, writer, mentor, statesperson, etc.
Without positive role models to emulate, it's no wonder the majority of our young people are losing their way.
- Alison in Ashland, Ore.
DEAR ALISON: While I do not agree that the majority of our young people have "lost their way," I do think you have posed an interesting challenge. Readers, if you'd care to chime in, I'm sure it would make an inspiring column.
I would nominate the New York City police and firefighters who searched for survivors after 9/11, the reporters at the New Orleans Times-Picayune who stayed at their posts to report the news after the terrible flood that decimated their city, and the men and women in our military who put themselves at risk in service to our country.
DEAR ABBY: I need your help with a problem I'm having with my husband, "Fred." He is very territorial over his laptop and other personal items such as his phone. It is so bad that I'm not even allowed to hold his phone - even if he is trying to show me a video on it. His laptop is password-protected.
I have asked Fred numerous times why so much privacy, and he says, "Because these things are mine." I feel as if he is hiding something. I know I shouldn't be paranoid, but since he was unfaithful in the past, I have my suspicions. Please let me know what I can do to solve this.
- Left Out in Little Rock
DEAR LEFT OUT: Did you and Fred have marital counseling after his infidelity? If not, you should have. If you did, you both need more. Your husband's behavior also makes me suspect he may be trying to hide something that could embarrass him if you were to get your hands on the phone or have access to his password. Insist on marriage counseling or your suspicions will only increase - and rightly so.