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Time to clean house

I am a single dad with two kids. I work 60 hours a week to support them. I'm involved with the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, soccer, their school, etc. I am often on the go to the point that the vacuuming and dusting are postponed.

I have a lady friend I have been seeing for a few years, and our relationship is at a standstill. She is neat and tidy, and the moderate clutter in my house is a bone of contention. Her feeling is that housework comes first. I feel that being involved with the kids comes first.

- Slightly Cluttered , Washington

You seem to be a man whose priorities are in order. However, you should teach your children about housekeeping chores.

If they are mature enough for scouting, surely they can make their own beds and help dust. You are a wonderful father, but please do not overlook this important part of their education.

It's her choice

My parents have been married 43 years, and my mom has never been happy with my dad aside from their first years of marriage. Dad has never lifted a thumb for her. They had three children, and she raised us on her own. He was at work or away.

Now that the we're grown and have families of our own, Dad wants nothing to do with the grandchildren. This makes it hard for Mom.

In the past, she talked about leaving Dad, but now thinks that financially it would be hard.

How do we tell her that divorcing Dad would not be impossible?

- Freedom at Last in Florida

The most effective way would be for the three of you to tell her the next time you visit. I presume that you would all be pitching in to help support her if she did decide to leave your father.

However, don't be surprised if your mother refuses your generous offer. Her reasons for tolerating this lonely marriage may have nothing to do with money.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips.

Universal Press Syndicate