Husband’s change of heart wasn’t so sudden after all

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

DEAR ABBY: Three months ago, my husband of 30 years came home from work, told me he wasn’t happy anymore and said he wanted a divorce. He announced he was moving in with his brother until he could find a place. Six days later, I found out he’d moved in with a woman he’d been seeing for a few months.
I am devastated. He flaunts his new heifer all around town, forcing her on our granddaughters and rubbing her in my face. My divorce has been filed on the grounds of adultery. I can’t believe he dragged my adult children into the middle of this and made them lie to me.
I have been trying to let go, but how do you let go of someone who gave you so much to remember? I’m still very much in love with him. After such a long marriage, must I just let it end like this? – DUMBFOUNDED IN TENNESSEE

DEAR DUMBFOUNDED: I suppose you could talk to your lawyer and try to drag out the divorce, hoping your husband will “come to his senses.” But at some point, you will have to admit to yourself that the man you married isn’t the person you thought he was.
You have every right to feel pain and anger, but your time and money would be better spent in the office of a licensed mental health professional. That your adult children went along with keeping you in the dark is shameful. It will take time to work through this, and the sooner you start, the better.
DEAR ABBY: I moved to a rural area a couple of years ago and was surprised at how friendly my neighbors were. They seemed eager to help at first. I got sick and had to spend a few days in the hospital. I asked the couple to please feed and water my pets until I could come home. They did, but they also made a copy of my house keys, entered my home after I returned to work and stole several thousand dollars’ worth of stuff from me.
I am hurt and very angry over this. The police said I have to show receipts to prove ownership of the things that were taken. But most of it I have owned for years, and I no longer have the receipts.
I’m going to confront this couple, but how do I get over what they did? I can’t believe how trashy and low-class they are. They both have jobs. I live alone on one salary. A lot of the things they stole I had to save up to pay for. They are nothing more than liars and thieves. What do you suggest? – VICTIMIZED IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR VICTIMIZED: Please accept my sympathy. You trusted your neighbors, and they took advantage. But the horse is out of the barn. Change the locks on your house if you haven’t already done it. Install security cameras linked to your cellphone so you have a record of who enters your property when you are out. Photograph and list the serial numbers on your valuable items and store it away from home. (A safety deposit box would be a safe place.) And insure any items of value so you are protected in case it happens again.
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.
To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable – and most frequently requested – poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox