Man says he wants divorce, but doesn’t leave the house
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but always managed to work our way through them. Last year, he decided he no longer wanted to be married, saying the last 20 years “were not all that pleasant” and “we have never really gotten along.” (As far as I know, there isn’t another woman.)
My problem is, for the most part, he still ACTS like he wants to be married. He has made no attempt to leave, tells me his comings and goings, asks me to have dinner together, etc. However, he sleeps on the couch and there’s no sex. He says he does this because he hopes we can stay friends after the divorce.
I have yet to be served with divorce papers, so I’m thinking it may be a midlife crisis. Am I misreading his signals and he’ll snap out of it, or am I being strung along?
ANONYMOUS IN THE USA
DEAR ANONYMOUS: You are confused because your husband is sending you mixed messages. Could he be having performance issues? Do you still love him? I ask because nowhere in your letter did you mention it. The two of you are overdue for an honest discussion about whether your marriage is salvageable. If it isn’t, ask him when and if he plans to file for the divorce, because this situation has left you in limbo, which is unfair to you. Then consult an attorney to ensure you get a fair shake.
DEAR ABBY: I am a young adult who suffers from migraines, which make it difficult to have much of a social life. My family and close friends know about them and are supportive and understanding. However, I’m a private person and don’t like talking about it with new people.
It’s hard to make friends and go on dates when I know I might have to flake out at the last minute due to a migraine. What’s a good way to gracefully bow out of plans without seeming like a flake? Or should I just tell new people about my migraines?
HURTING IN NEW YORK
DEAR HURTING: Suffering from migraines is nothing to be ashamed of. More than 12 percent of people in the U.S. share your problem. While I don’t think it’s necessary to make an announcement about it when you meet someone, I do think you should tell the truth if you must cancel an engagement.
DEAR ABBY: I am the youngest of four children. Every Sunday, our family gets together for Sunday dinner, a tradition I have loved since I was a kid, although lately, I have grown less fond of Sundays. Here is why: I am now 30 and the tallest sibling in my family, yet I am made to feel as though I am the smallest.
No one listens to me; no one asks my advice. I could be at the table with my finger up my nose and I don’t think anyone would even notice. I say things and no one acknowledges me. Sometimes I feel as though I don’t even exist. It’s as if because I’m the youngest, I have no importance. What can I do to change this?
PATIENCE RUNNING THIN
DEAR PATIENCE: Allow me to suggest that at the next Sunday dinner you speak up loud and clear and say exactly that. And if nothing changes, make other plans for Sunday.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.