1) Dear Abby, I am 37, never married, and have never even dated much. I am quiet, shy, overweight and plain. I have been seeing a man who is 42 years old, and who has also never been married. He has proposed, but I haven’t given him an answer because I don’t think I really love him. He is very good to me and treats me like a queen, but there is absolutely no spark.
My question is: Do I marry him and “settle,” just to be married, or do I live the rest of my life alone? Is it better to take this chance and marry my best friend, or should I wait for a Prince Charming who might never arrive? Please answer this question in the newspaper. I don’t want anyone to know I’m such an indecisive fool.
2) Dear Abby, After six years of marriage and a beautiful daughter, my wife, “Chanelle,” demanded a separation. She said she needed time to “find herself.” She forgot to mention that she was having an affair with a subordinate at work, “Earl.” Eventually, Earl’s wife and I found out. Chanelle lost her job, her boyfriend and her self-respect. Suddenly she wanted me back. I wasn’t sure I could live with a woman who had lied and cheated on me. A year later, Chanelle became pregnant with our son, who is due in a few months. I’m positive the baby is mine, so we decided for the children’s sake to reconcile.
I still can’t forgive Chanelle for the affair. She used a string of lies to cover her activities, so I’m having severe trust issues. I was faithful throughout our marriage. While we were separated, I frequently lent her money and ran errands for her. At the time, she told me she hadn’t been in love with me since the birth of our daughter. Now I feel used. During our separation, I made sure our daughter called Chanelle’s parents every night. We spent holidays with them while Chanelle worked. Instead of thanking me for it, they insist that I drove their daughter into the arms of another man. To make things worse, my parents refuse to accept Chanelle back into the family.
In all fairness, Chanelle was the last person you’d think would have an affair. She was family-oriented and had conservative values. Earl was the last person you’d imagine she’d choose. He’s a married man with a history of infidelity. Both sets of in-laws are trying to sabotage the marriage, my feelings for my wife have changed, and I now realize I never really knew Chanelle at all. Can this marriage be saved?
3) Dear Abby, Several years ago, I won full custody of my two children, a boy, 12, and a girl, “Dallas,” who is now 14. A few weeks ago, Dallas confided in me that she’s attracted to girls, and has a long-distance relationship with a girl in a different state. It came as a shock, but I have tried to understand so that she doesn’t feel bad about it.
My problem is that Dallas insists on letting everyone know about her orientation. She even wears jewelry with the rainbow colors. I keep trying to make her understand that this is HER business, and it’s not something she should make public, but she responds by asking me if I’m ashamed of her. (I always reply, “Of course not.”) Am I wrong by telling her that? What’s the correct way to deal with this?
4) Dear Abby, My husband, “Russ,” and I have been married 13 years. During that time he has lost more than 15 jobs for various reasons—tardiness, not performing up to par, etc. I am working on my doctorate. I hold a job with other wives whose husbands have “great jobs,” and I sometimes don’t know what to say about Russ. He’s a good person, very loving and tries his best, but honestly, I do get frustrated and have a little bit of “husband envy.”
Russ is 50 and we have no children. How do I come to grips with the fact that he may never be a provider?
5) Dear Abby, My husband, “John,” and I have been married 12 years. My stepdaughter, “Diana,” who gave me a “My Second Mom” card on Mother’s Day, is getting married in September. Diana is very close to her mother, “Charlotte,” who resents me.
Because John and I are paying for half the wedding, we requested my parents and Diana’s stepbrother and stepsister be invited. Our request was denied. John and Charlotte will be taking part in the ceremony together, which is fine with me. Diana asked me to play a small role in the ceremony, but Charlotte became upset, so I was excluded. The engagement announcement also made no mention of me.
As things stand, I’m not sure where I will be seated, if I will be included in family photos, the reception line, first dance, grand march, etc. Out of deference to Charlotte, the wedding seems to have been planned as if I don’t exist. How do other second wives in this situation make it through?
I have tried hard to be supportive, keep my mouth shut and remember the birth parents take precedence, but being treated as if I don’t exist is hard to swallow. The more I try to be understanding of Diana’s position, the more I’m excluded and the more I feel our relationship is being compromised.
John and I discussed it, and I suggested maybe it would be best if I didn’t attend the wedding. He became very sad and said he really wants me there. How can I support John and stop all this from damaging my relationship with Diana? Your thoughts, please.
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