DEAR ABBY: My lover, "Jim," and I are gay and have been together for more than 10 years. Jim is deeply involved with Republican politics. He belongs to several local and state-wide Republican organizations.
When Jim and I go out together, sometimes people approach Jim and say, "Hi." They are usually acquaintances he knows from his political activities. Although I stand right next to Jim, he never introduces me. When this first started happening, I would stand there and smile at the person. They'd usually give me a "Why are you listening to a private conversation?" look, so I would step aside and pretend to be doing something else.
Jim's excuse is always the same: "I would have introduced you, but I forgot (his or her) name."
This evening was the last straw. A woman came up to Jim while we were shopping. They started to chat and I was ignored again. I was so hurt and angry I walked out of the store and sat in the car. When Jim came outside he gave me the same "I forgot her name" excuse. Jim could see I was angry, so he changed his story and I caught him in a lie. Then he said he intended to introduce me, but I'd left the store before he had a chance. During the drive home, he told me several times that he really does love me.
Abby, Jim may love me, but I don't think he respects me. I'm seriously considering ending our relationship. Do you think I'm being too sensitive? -- "JULES" IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR JULES: You are not too sensitive; you may have been too tolerant. Your love is afraid he will lose his status among his political cronies by admitting that you are a couple, so he's being dishonest -- with them, with you and himself. How sad for all concerned.
DEAR ABBY: I am an athletic 71-year-old lady. I golf, snow ski and scuba dive. My new husband (No. 4), "Geoffrey," is involved in all those sports. When I met him 14 years ago I decided to take up these activities because I didn't want to sit at home while he played.
Geoff retired last year after 50 years as a physician in family practice. We immediately sold our home and moved to the beach. We have always enjoyed a loving relationship and since his retirement have been inseparable -- until I had surgery on my elbow for a problem caused by playing too much golf, which is Geoff's passion.
While my elbow is healing, I'm out of commission, so Geoff joined a private course. He chooses to play with other women, as that is how most tournaments are set up. Geoff is turning 81 this year, but looks and acts much younger. Abby, he's a big flirt, and talks to women constantly.
I am very depressed about not playing right alongside him, and I'm beginning to feel completely excluded. How should I handle this? Do I let him do as he wishes? (By the way, he's also been married four times.) Thanks for any guidance you can give me. -- ON THE SIDELINES IN VERO BEACH, FLA.
DEAR ON THE SIDELINES: Don't try to curtail your husband's activities because you are unable to participate. Become his biggest fan -- sit in his golf cart or in the gallery and cheer him on as he swings with the ladies! He'll love the attention, and it may make it more difficult for the women to score.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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