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 preparing 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.