Man likes to let others do the heavy lifting

DEAR ABBY: Our son plays a college sport for which he receives four complimentary tickets for each game. It works out well because there are four of us in his immediate family.

However, my husband has been asking friends of his to join us at games by offering them free tickets. Our son then must find a teammate with unused tickets and ask for them. My husband gives no warning. He just announces a couple of days prior to a game that he has invited so and so. Then, on game day, we are responsible for getting these friends in and seated with us.

More than once, we haven't been able to enter stadiums and see our son before games, or the beginning of a game, because his friends are late and he must stay behind to meet them.

My take is this: These are public sporting events. Our son is given tickets for IMMEDIATE family. If a friend expresses a desire to go to a game, send them the schedule and say, "Awesome! Here's the schedule. See you there!" and recommend an online ticket vending site.

I think it's inconsiderate to me and our son that my husband turns it into a three-ring circus. He thinks "the more the merrier" and isn't concerned about the hassle he creates for our son or my feelings. Am I being irrational? -- IRRITATED IN THE EAST

DEAR IRRITATED: You are not being irrational. Your husband behaves this way because HE doesn't have to bear the burden of the inconvenience he causes. If you would like to put an end to what he has been doing, make HIM responsible for buying his friends' tickets and missing the start of the game if they are late. Stop making it your problem and place it where it really belongs.

DEAR ABBY: I have a serious problem I have lived with for practically my whole life. I'm sloppy. I am incapable of keeping my surroundings clean and taking care of my belongings. Each time I resolve to get busy and clean up my house or car or whatever, I become overwhelmed with anxiety and nothing gets done. Being unable to keep my surroundings clean and take proper care of my possessions has led to some very unpleasant situations in the past. I can no longer afford to continue this pattern of behavior. Please tell me what to do. -- SLOPPY JOE IN INDIANA

DEAR JOE: You have already taken the first step, which is admitting you have a problem with which you need help. You might feel less overwhelmed if you take on these projects one at a time. Start with one drawer or counter before moving on to the next.

An important next step would be to tell your doctor what has been going on, and ask for a referral to a psychotherapist who can help get to the root of your anxiety. Talking with a mental health professional and possibly taking medication could be helpful, and I hope you will consider it. I applaud you for reaching out. You are not alone in having this issue.

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

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Andrews McMeel Syndication

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