Dear Abby: A woman with health issues wonders if she should stay in a loveless marriage

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DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 14 years and have two children. Our youngest is 11 years old. For nine years, it’s been a loveless marriage. Luckily he works a lot, but when he’s home I stay in my room. The only thing we do together is have dinner. Our children are thriving at school and I fear that their departure will hurt them terribly. Should I wait for our youngest graduates?

I am 47 years old and have slowly progressing multiple sclerosis. I have no family or friends to support me. Could I be even more alone if I leave? The thought of divorce seems overwhelming to me, but I feel like life is overwhelming me. Hoping you can point me in the right direction. — LIVE IN LIMB MISSOURI

DEAR LIVING: I would have liked you to say what, nine years ago, created a rift between you and your husband. If that was your diagnosis, it’s really unfortunate. In the meantime, have you tried talking about it with a marriage and family therapist? If the answer is no, you should.

I am concerned about the degree of isolation you feel. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (nationalmssociety.org) offers virtual and in-person support groups that could be very helpful to you.

Divorcing your partner is no guarantee that your loneliness will end, as many divorced women and men can attest. The National MS Society may be able to provide you with what you need now.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are expecting our first child. We are thrilled about this and have lots of support from family and friends near and far. My husband’s family lives in another state and should be flying in to visit us. Her parents are separated and elderly.

I love his mother very much, but I have a problem with his best friend, “Myra”. Myra has always been passive-aggressive. She makes things difficult and makes rude and sarcastic comments. My mother-in-law is planning to travel to meet our new baby, but she wants Myra to be her travel companion.

Abby, after the stress and exhaustion of delivering a baby and all the postpartum sequelae, plus the desire to keep our circle small due to COVID, I don’t want to see Myra in the early months after childbirth. I have no problem with my mother-in-law and I don’t want to forbid her to see her new grandchild. But she refuses to travel alone. Am I taking it too far to say that I won’t be up for visiting her sneaky best friend? — PREGNANT IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR SPEAKER: I don’t think you’re going too far. You have the right to control who enters your home. Tell your mother-in-law that you would like her to come see the new baby, but Myra is not welcome in your home and will have to make other plans while Grandma visits your baby.

If she asks you why, tell her the truth: Myra is negative and sarcastic, and you don’t want to be exposed to that while you’re in a vulnerable state. If she can’t go along with your wishes, tell her that you and her son will visit her when the baby is older, but you’ll make sure she has plenty of photos and videos in the meantime.

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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.

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