Husband burned by gaslighting wife


Dear Abby: My wife constantly gaslights me. We have four children (ages 1, 3, 4 and 6), and we both work full-time. However, I pull 90% of the weight at home. I do the majority of household chores and much of the parenting. She’s an awesome mom and owns the morning routine and the majority of the care for our 1-year-old, but other than that, I do everything. She’s an elementary school teacher and she goes to bed at 7:30 each night after the kids go down. When I ask her why, she says it’s because she has to serve others at work.

When she gets home, she complains endlessly about her job and makes me feel guilty, as though I force her to have one. When we moved to our current home, we agreed she needed to teach so our kids could go to school in the district. She admits she knows my desire is simply to spend more time with her. We have had a babysitter only four times in six years. Please give me some advice. — Dissatisfied in Alabama

Dear Dissatisfied: You and your wife both have busy lives, but she seems to have forgotten that it’s also important to have a relationship with you. As you stated, you mutually agreed to take on this heavy load for a reason — your children’s education. Things will not improve without compromise. A licensed marriage and family therapist may be able to help the two of you arrive at one. Your physician should be able to refer you to one.

Dear Abby: I have two grandkids — a 4-year-old granddaughter, “Emily,” and a 2-year-old grandson, “Earl.” My husband is not blood-related to them. He treats Emily like a princess, but treats Earl badly. She can do no wrong; he can do no right. Anytime I have them both over, my husband and I have huge fights because of how he disciplines and ignores my grandson. He doesn’t show Earl any of the love he shows my granddaughter. I have tried talking to him about it, and he says, “Why can’t you get it through your head? I don’t LIKE boys.” When I told him it hurts me, he just rolled his eyes. I see my options as not having my grandson over or ending my marriage. I’m now very resentful. What should I do? — Troubled Grandma in Michigan

Dear Grandma: Could your husband be going through a late case of the terrible twos? Has he explained the reason for his dislike of little boys? It’s peculiar since, at such a tender age, Earl hasn’t been in the picture long enough to have offended anyone. If your husband can’t restrain himself around Earl, he should absent himself when Earl visits Granny. Or, tell your husband he must either manage an attitude adjustment or pack his bags. I can’t imagine how, if Earl’s parents are aware of this, they allow it to continue.

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

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