Workaholic husband neglecting her

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful man for 17 years. The drawback is he's a workaholic. We have not spent even one day together doing something fun in more than 10 years.

We both work full-time and live on a small farm. My husband is a carpenter. He collects tractors and works hay fields all summer long. Because he comes in late each evening, I often eat dinner alone. On weekends, he's working on his tractors or cutting and baling hay.

I do see him a bit more during the winter months, but he thinks it's a waste of time and money to go somewhere nice for dinner or take a weekend getaway. When I do travel, it is with my siblings because my husband prefers to stay home and work.

I love him, but I'm beginning to feel like I am not his top priority. I am lonely for his companionship. Help.

- Withering in Wisconsin

DEAR WITHERING: A husband who is unwilling to devote time to his wife doesn't sound "wonderful" to me. Perhaps you should consider having a snack after you return from work, so you can have dinner with him when he comes in.

You appear to have a communication problem. Tell him what you want, and don't be shy about it. Say you love him but need more of him than he has given you for a long time.

Tips for mental help

DEAR ABBY: I am married to a successful mental health professional, and I applaud how you recommend therapy or counseling when it is called for. I have noticed that some of your readers have written, "I tried it already, but it didn't work." To these people, my husband always says:

"Therapists are like shoes. Sometimes you need to try on a few before you find a good fit. And, like shoes, you can grow out of them and need new ones.

"Ask to TALK to potential therapists before hiring one. Ask questions. Get a feel for their personality and style. If a therapist's style doesn't match your needs, ask for a referral to someone else who might be a better fit."

Abby, please encourage your readers not to give up. There is help out there for everyone.

- Matt in Maryland

DEAR MATT: I like your spouse's analogy and suggestions for finding a psychotherapist who's a good fit. Thank you for taking the time to write and share the wisdom.