SHORT-CUT COOKING IS SOURCE OF GUILT FOR BUSY NEW WIFE
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 prepare 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.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 29-year-old woman and I have been with my fiance, "Gary," for three years. We became engaged six months ago.
When I brought up wedding ideas recently, Gary responded with, "There are things that have to be resolved before I can even think about getting married." In the discussion that followed, he said I need to get a better-paying job so I can contribute to the renovations on the house, buy my own personal items and have a shorter commute.
I'm hurt because I believe marriage is about committing to the person you love. I also realize you can't live on love alone. Am I overly sensitive about this? Is Gary's request reasonable, or do you think he's just looking for an excuse not to get married? -- LOVE ABOVE ALL IN NEW YORK
DEAR LOVE ABOVE ALL: Pay attention to what your fiance said because it appears he has unilaterally mapped out your future for you. This sounds less like a request to me than a demand. Open your eyes and keep talking with him.
Did he specify whether your name will be on the deed to the house you will contribute to renovating? (I hope so.) I also hope you will be lucky enough to find a higher-paying job with a shorter commute, because not everyone is able to do that.
Because I believe in both love and practicality, I think it's important you and Gary have premarital counseling together to clarify whether you're on the same page regarding finances.
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