My husband and I argue more than I'd like. I am pretty easygoing and passive; he likes his feelings to be known. Over time, I have become worn down, and my patience has worn thin.

We are starting to rebound from what I call "the year from hell." His drinking and poor choices nearly put us on the street, and I was ready to walk. Things are starting to get better, but what we can't seem to agree on is communication during the day.

Abby, I am on the phone for a living. I cannot stand being on it more than I must be. He calls and/or texts me up to 12 times a day. I can't stand it. Even when I'm busy or give him a certain time when I will call him back, he beeps in before I have the chance.

I am now at the end of my rope. With all that I have dealt with, worked through, and put up with, this is something I will not compromise on.

I feel it's more than sufficient to talk on my way in to work, maybe check in around lunch, then on the way home. He feels that because I don't feel the need to call or talk that much that I don't love him. I can't stand listening to the dead air or breathing because there is nothing to talk about. Am I being petty for letting this be the thing that will break us?

- Talk Too Much in Texas

DEAR TALKS TOO MUCH: If you want to save your marriage after everything you have been through, make the time for marriage counseling. What may destroy your marriage isn't your husband's talking; it's his neediness, insecurity, and insensitivity.

Frankly, what you have described strikes me as controlling rather than loving behavior. After the struggles you have described, you have already proved your love for him. Being at his beck and call during the workday should not be an additional requirement.

Kin's allergy is tiring

DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is extremely allergic to cats. We have six cats but live 1,000 miles away from her. When her 8-year-old son comes to visit, he has a Ziploc bag full of clean clothes that he puts on before he goes home. The clothes he wore here are sealed up at the end of his trip to be washed.

I'm OK with this. But I need some advice for an upcoming big family holiday gathering. We have all been courteously asked to wash our clothes before coming, to vacuum our vehicles, and to limit our contact with cats before arriving. Am I wrong to feel like it's her problem, not ours?

- Whose Problem Is It?

DEAR WHOSE PROBLEM: Yes, you are wrong. When a family member has a health problem that can be triggered by the others, it becomes everyone's problem. If the steps needed to keep her safe are too much for you, you should stay home.

Read but don't correct DEAR ABBY: Is it cheating to proofread your college-age child's final before he/she turns it in?

- Wondering in Orange, Calif.

DEAR WONDERING: To read it? No. To correct it, yes.