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DEAR ABBY: I am almost 30 years old and have been married for seven years. My husband and I have two young children, a nice house, good jobs, etc. However, over the past few years, I have lost my attraction to him.
I’m not superficial, but he’s gained over 40 pounds since we met and he refuses to eat healthy or exercise. He watched me spend countless hours training to lose all of my baby’s weight. We are no longer rarely intimate, and when we are, I do it out of obligation.
I know these things happen, but he seems to be happy. I think if I told him I wanted to leave, he would be devastated. Divorced friends who have young children have advised me against this and say that my children’s happiness should come before mine. Others say that if I am not happy the children will not be. I can manage to live this life for them, but I feel like I’m too young to deprive myself of some of my best years. Am I selfish or smart? – SUBJECT WEIGHT IN NEW YORK
DEAR SUBJECT WEIGHT: Before your marriage deteriorates further, have a frank discussion with your husband. He seems to be happy because he doesn’t know what’s going on in your head. For reasons that go beyond attraction to animals, including the well-being of his children, he needs to change his lifestyle and take control of his health. I hope that when you pass the message on to him, he will be receptive. If not, please try marriage counseling before consulting a lawyer.
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DEAR ABBY: I am in my early forties. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I keep reading that the five-year survival rate is only 28%, and I’m worried that despite the treatment (injections of hormone therapy), I don’t have many years left. Cancer has also been found in my spine and pelvis. I am a person of faith, so I am not afraid of death. I’m just worried about leaving my daughter behind, along with my friends and family.
My question is, do I have to make a will? I live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of assets other than some savings. I intend to set up a trust so that my daughter will receive this money at the appropriate time. I have never had a reason in the past for a will. I don’t know what kinds of things go into a will. I also have a 2 year old cat, and now I’m afraid he will survive me. I don’t want him to have to go back to the Humane Society if I die. He’s like a child to me, and I only want the best for him. – MAKE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
DEAR WHO MAKES PLANS: Because you have financial assets, a daughter, and a beloved pet that you want to take care of in the event of your death, it is important that you consult with a lawyer NOW about ALL of the end-of-life documents you have. must have in place. You may decide that you need more direction than a simple will, which will give you peace of mind and ensure your wishes come true.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married intermittently for eight years. My husband drinks every day. Once he gets to a certain alcohol level, he curses me and talks about my family with garbage. He is no longer affectionate with me. Our marriage is toxic. We live as roommates instead of husband and wife. He’s not going to AA and is very disrespectful, and I’m going to leave him. What do you think? – CANNOT DO IT ANY MORE IN GEORGIA
DEAR CANNOT: I think your husband has shown you that he won’t change for the better. After eight years of living with his alcohol problem and verbal abuse, the time has come to see a lawyer and get free. If you’re looking for validation from me, you’ve got it.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for over 25 years and have children. I am also gay. I always have been, but when I was a teenager it was not acceptable and I always thought I was just going to get past it or learn to live with it. Then came the age of computers and the Internet – things I never dreamed of growing up. They changed my life, but I’m still locked up.
I had two same-sex relationships. Both lasted less than a year. I feel like my whole life has been a lie, and I pretty much messed up my wife because of it. I provided him with all the financial comforts and gave him two beautiful children.
I don’t know if it’s worth going out at this point in my life. I’m also reluctant because I don’t have a guy in my life right now, although I’m looking. It is so difficult. I’m torn about how to live the rest of my life. Please help. – CLOSED IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR FARM: Because you are looking for a mate, it looks like you really don’t intend to stick around once you find one. Tell your wife the truth so that she can decide how she would like to spend the rest of HER life. She may need the help of a licensed therapist to deal with the ramifications of your disclosure, so be prepared as it can come as a shock when she learns that the person she has spent the past quarter century with has failed. isn’t exactly who she thought he was.
DEAR ABBY: I was adopted and recently ran into my biological family. It’s enormous. I suffer from severe depression and now know that most of my birth family has it as well.
Over the past year, my husband and I have decided to tackle it head on with medication, and there has been a noticeable change in me. My husband is very supportive and we are close. Problem is, I want to meet my organic brother out of state on my own. He’s the only full brother I have, and our connection is weird.
My husband is a hyper extrovert, and I don’t want his charming antics to distract me from this moment (although I usually like it). He says, however, that he cannot agree. He is afraid that something with the new family will trigger a depressive episode and that I am too far away for him to reach me. It’s understandable. But what am I doing? I still feel the same. Is he right or me? – CONNECT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONNECTOR: Not knowing the severity of your depressive episodes, my gut reaction is to advise you to listen to your husband. He surely wouldn’t have to be with you every minute and could stay in a nearby hotel or motel while you see your brother.
That said, if there is a chance that an episode could lead you to become self-destructive, it is important to discuss this visit with the therapist who is prescribing your medications before considering going. Tell your husband that if he is accompanying you, you would like him to reduce his need for attention so that he does not distract from your experience or that of your brother.
DEAR ABBY: My husband works out of town with his brother, who is married. Although I am not close to my sister-in-law, I like her.
My problem is that my husband keeps telling me his brother is unfaithful while he is traveling, and I heard it on a call with my hubby trying to show my hubby nude photos of others women. I can’t express how much it makes my blood boil. It’s not just from the perspective of someone who’s been cheated on before (not by my husband), but also that his brother’s bragging with photos shows that he doesn’t respect ANY marriages or relationships.
I feel compelled to decide if I should share this information with my sister-in-law, or if it would cross some kind of line where it’s none of my business. Because I don’t often speak with her, I’m afraid of causing drama where I shouldn’t have put my nose. But I believe she is a good wife and a good mother, and I feel horrible and overwhelmed to know that her husband is not loyal to her.
Do I keep this to myself and trust “karma” to ever reveal her transgressions, or do I give her the information I have? (This does not imply any tangible evidence except for my husband’s word and what I heard.) My husband thinks I should shut up and says he would be uncomfortable about to be put in a position to “take out” his brother. – ATTEMPTED IN TENNESSEE
DEAR TENT: Your brother-in-law is an immature and unconscious swagger. “Karma” will not protect your sister-in-law from syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV, to name just a few of the STDs her husband has exposed her to. Tell her that it is important that she make an appointment with her doctor to have them tested all. Isn’t that what you would want if the situation were reversed?
DEAR ABBY: I have two adult daughters. One of them is egotistical and refuses to give gifts for my birthday or for Christmas, even though she really enjoys receiving them.
If that’s her position, then I guess it’s okay because I don’t need much, and it’s really the thought that matters. I like to give gifts, but I feel like I’m being taken advantage of.
This is exacerbated by the fact that in the past I have saved her from certain sticky situations. I know it’s a different problem – and I’ve set limits for it – but this giveaway story has frustrated me twice a year for the past 10 years, and it’s time for a better plan. Help me please. – GOOD PAPA IN OREGON
DEAR DADDY: If the situation had gone well, you would not have written to me about it. I believe in communication. Have a long-awaited conversation with your daughter. Being considerate isn’t supposed to be a one-way street, your daughter has made it. More important than a tangible element, it is the thought behind it. From where I’m sitting, if she doesn’t bother to call or text you on those special occasions, I think your generosity has been put to good use.
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 www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069