DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful, generous man for 33 years. Everything is great except for one thing. I have COPD. He's sympathetic, but it goes only so far. An example: Today I was having a terrible coughing spell. I was in the bedroom. He was in the den, one room away. The spell lasted at least 30 minutes. Not once did he come in to check on me, ask if I needed anything, etc. It was as if we weren't in the same house. After about half an hour, he did come in and said: "What do you wanna do this afternoon?" It really irked me. Am I making too much of this?
— IRKED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR IRKED: Your husband may be "wonderful," but he also appears to be a tad INSENSITIVE. He may have thought that as long as you were coughing, you were still breathing and didn't need his help. Because his failure to grasp the seriousness of your predicament irked you, take the precaution of telling him — BEFORE your next coughing fit — how you would like him to respond, and why.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.