Dear Abby: Wife’s many church commitments make husband feel cheated

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral

He feels cheated by his wife's many church-related activities. Getty Images

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DEAR ABBY: My wife is an active member of her church, whereas I am a non-believer. It is, of course, her right to practice her religion and enjoy belonging to a community of like-minded people. The difficulty stems from the many hours spent every week above and beyond the services, such as prayer sessions, Bible study groups, etc.

I have begun to resent her heavy involvement in church administration that has nothing to do with worship, and the resulting lack of spontaneity in our relationship.

To plan an activity or vacation, she needs at least two months’ notice because of her never-ending, self-imposed commitments. This has increased over the years.

We have a large circle of friends, and our marriage has no other major issues. We try to find a balance, but it’s not easy. What advice do you have for us? -- FAITHLESS IN FRANCE

DEAR FAITHLESS: Does your wife realize you are so upset about the imbalance in her relationship to the church and to YOU that you wrote to an advice columnist for help? By all means, tell her.

The two of you are overdue for a serious discussion about the way she budgets her time since you feel cheated. Begin that conversation now and, if necessary, involve a mediator.

Abigail  Van Buren

Stories by Abigail Van Buren

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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