Parade of old boyfriends makes current beau uneasy

Published 8:51 am Monday, January 8, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend is the loveliest, smartest, most compassionate and supportive person I know. We have been together for a year and a half. When we first met, we hung out a few times. When I told her my feelings toward her, she responded that she was in an open relationship, so I backed away.
Months later, we met up again. I helped her with a carpentry project, and she said she was done with the open relationship stuff and wanted a monogamous relationship. I agreed. We have a caring, supportive relationship that means the world to me.
Multiple ex-boyfriends call her and want to hang out, and she wants that, too. What bothers me is worrying the exes’ intentions may not be good, yet she feeds into it and tells me I need to trust her. I struggle with jealousy, anger and distrust when this happens, and I have shared those feelings with her, but she can’t let these folks move on. She says I’m stealing her freedom and controlling her by asking her to ignore them. This is the biggest problem in our relationship, but everything else is great. Are my emotions wrong? – INSECURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR INSECURE: Your emotions are not “wrong.” Your emotions are your emotions. Sometimes there is sacrifice involved when we form new relationships. Your girlfriend may have many fine qualities, but if she can’t understand that you feel these former lovers are a threat to your relationship, rather than attempt to “control her,” realize she isn’t the girl for you. Sorry!
DEAR ABBY: I have developed several serious health conditions that won’t get better. I am at high risk for respiratory illnesses. Even a common cold can have a serious impact on my life. My family just doesn’t get it. My husband does not understand my situation and my needs. His social life puts me at risk, yet he continues to attend large gatherings and events such as concerts. I have had COVID twice, and avoiding hospitalization is crucial. I’m currently on oxygen and will be until I die.
There are places I would like to visit, and things I would like to do while I still can. But my husband balks, especially if his plans need to be changed. I can’t do these things or travel without assistance. I NEED him now. With every “not now” and “we will see,” I grow increasingly frustrated and depressed. What can I do? – BUCKET LIST IN KANSAS

DEAR BUCKET LIST: Recognize the person you married is selfish and self-centered. “Not now” and “we will see” mean NO. (What a guy!) His refusal should not mean you mustn’t enjoy the activities you dream about. You may, however, have to become creative and arrange for someone other than your husband to accompany you. He may not like it, but please consider it.
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.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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