Dear Abby: Wife who returns to unhealthy marriage wonders why she can’t move on
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married for 34 years. During most of them, I was unfaithful. I never felt like I was truly married because my husband never gave me the time of day, but I liked my marital status because, I guess, we were companions. As soon as my kids married and the nest was empty, I left. I didn’t feel I needed to stay and be unhappy, so I moved out. Why I didn’t divorce him during those eight years is beyond me.
We are now back together, and I don’t know why. We’re not physically attracted to each other, and he is manipulative, selfish and sarcastic. Why, Abby, am I afraid to move on from this? I hate it when we’re alone at home. I’d rather spend the day with my grandchildren. I didn’t miss him at all when I was away, but he called me often and I felt obligated and guilty. What should I do? — SEARCHING FOR HAPPY IN ARIZONA
DEAR SEARCHING: If you really want to find “happy,” the place to start would be in the office of a licensed psychotherapist. Once you figure out why you were willing to settle for marriage to a manipulative, selfish, sarcastic man to whom you are not attracted, you will figure out what your next move should be. From where I sit, it should be in the direction of the office of a lawyer who can help you untangle yourself from your unhealthy marriage once and for all.
TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATE ROSH HASHANA: At sundown tonight, the Jewish New Year begins. During this time of solemn introspection, I wish my Jewish readers, “L’shana tova tikatevu” — may you be inscribed in the Book of Life and have a good year. — LOVE, ABBY
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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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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