DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married nine years and have four children, ages 5, 3, 2 and 9 months. For the past three years, my husband has been attending a weeklong music festival where he camps with a group of friends, many of whom are single. He met most of them attending this particular fest.
When they are at these shows, they partake in psychedelics and other party drugs. The arena is wild, with scantily clad women and people partying to the fullest. I have explained to him how this bothers me and that I don’t believe it’s the best environment for a married man and father of four small children. I feel it threatens our marriage. He says I can “come if I want,” but that I’d need to find child care for the week (an option we don’t have since losing our parents).
In truth, I feel like a burden to him, and he prefers going solo to “get a release” from the everyday responsibilities of our life together. Each year, I ask him not to go, but he does it anyway. I’d greatly appreciate your insight about this. — LEFT BEHIND IN REAL LIFE
DEAR LEFT BEHIND: You are not a “burden.” You are shouldering the entire responsibility of caring for the family while he goes off and indulges himself. If this trip is your husband’s one-week escape from reality, is he willing to agree to the same for you? I’m sure you could benefit from a week away from mothering three small children and an infant.
While I would equate your husband’s escape to the music festival with the hunting and fishing trips some husbands take each year, the difference is that there are fewer “temptations” on those other outdoor pastimes. If he’s a good husband the other 51 weeks of the year, and there is nothing you can do to dissuade him, then dwell on the positive. If he isn’t, you may have some serious thinking to do about whether you want to remain in this marriage.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have assisted a local youngster who was abandoned at birth and bounced through foster care. We helped him finish college and start his first job.
Here’s the problem: “Samuel” has become engaged to an attractive, professional woman my wife and I both like. However, he just told us she insists upon bringing her parents on the honeymoon. Her parents feel strongly that they should go, even to the extent of arguing with Samuel about it. I have never heard of anything like this. His fiancee is 28 years old. I’m very wary about it. What advice would you give him? — CROWDED HONEYMOON
DEAR CROWDED: Unless Samuel and his fiancee have been living together for a long time and he’s very close to her family, the advice I would give HIM would be to have plenty of PREMARITAL COUNSELING before he marches down the aisle. There’s likely more than one issue that should be ironed out before any vows are exchanged, and it would help to avert disagreements that could cause problems after the wedding.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)