Marriage teeters months after vows are exchanged

Published 8:21 am Friday, January 6, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 11 months. We’ve been together five years and have lived together for the last three. This is my second marriage and his third. I have put up with a lot from him and overlooked way too much. He isn’t affectionate, doesn’t kiss me hello or goodbye unless I ask, and doesn’t hug me.
He doesn’t seem to like sex either, although if I say it, he gets mad at me and says he does. We might have sex twice a month. I would like it more often than that, but I have tolerated his almost nonexistent sex drive. He never initiates. He is very moody and pouts and complains about things not going his way with his job, his life, his 16-year-old daughter (who doesn’t like to be with him), etc. Yet he doesn’t make positive changes.
Since the wedding, he has stopped sleeping with me in the same bed. He claims I snore and it wakes him up. I don’t like the TV on when I’m falling asleep, and he demands to have it on. He won’t go with me to visit my family but demands that I go with him on weekends and sometimes during the week to have dinner at his parents’.
I moved an hour and a half away from my children and grandchildren to be with him. When I mention that I would like to have the kids spend the night, he comes up with a million excuses why that isn’t a good idea, but when his daughter wants to spend the night, it’s perfectly fine.
OMG, as I write this, I’m wondering WHY am I with him? I feel like crying. I do love him, and when I think about not being with him, it feels like my heart is falling out of my chest. What should I do? — HEARTBROKEN & STUCK IN THE EAST

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: I know what I would do if I were in your situation, but I’m not you. You stated that you gained insight from writing this letter. You appear to be an intelligent person. I suggest you reread your letter several more times, because after you do, I am confident you will know what you need to do. It is possible to love someone and not be compatible.
DEAR ABBY: I am in my 40s and have been divorced for seven years after an awful marriage. I have two daughters who would love for me to meet someone and have the loving relationship I deserve. The problem is, I fell in love with someone after my divorce, and he decided to marry someone else. I have no way of knowing if he is still married. We are not allowed to have contact because of his new wife’s jealousy.
My heart is broken. I don’t know how to move on from someone I truly felt was my soul mate. How do you tell your heart to move on? It feels impossible. No one compares to him, so I feel like my only option is to settle for less than the best or stay single. — DOWNHEARTED IN OHIO

DEAR DOWNHEARTED: Either of those options MIGHT work for you. But a better one would be to realize that while this man may have been YOUR soul mate, you were not HIS. Then make a rational decision to move forward with your life. You are in your 40s, and it isn’t too late to meet someone with whom you can have a happy life.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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