DEAR ABBY: I am still madly in love with my ex-girlfriend, "Holly," but all she feels for me is friendship. We talk on the phone daily, and she confides in me about her "guy trouble." I should tell you, she dumped me for an older guy. He has strung her along for months, and according to what Holly says, she's afraid he's about to blow her off.
Holly is in a lot of emotional pain right now. I'm trying my best to console her, but this situation tears me up. I'm so in love with her, I'd do anything to be with her -- but she's made it clear she's got it bad for the other guy.
Should I continue trying to be Holly's friend and advise her how to "hold on" to this guy? Or should I hang on and hope that she'll see the light? I'd be grateful for any advice. -- LOVESICK IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR LOVESICK: If she's asking you for advice on how to hang onto another man, it's safe to conclude that your romance is over. Accept it, extricate yourself and move on. Unless you like having your molars drilled without anesthetic, to continue with Holly would be folly.
DEAR ABBY: When I read the letter from the faithful wife whose husband called her by another woman's name in his sleep, and who claims that his boss "demands" that he drive a female co-worker to and from work, I had to write.
My husband called me "Stephanie" at the dinner table for four years. He accused me of stealing money from accounts I didn't even know existed or was not a signatory on. He abandoned me for months on end, locking doors and sneaking out of the house. He called me filthy names and told me I was hideous.
At the time, his physician said his behavior was normal.
Three years later, after a divorce, loss of home, friends, status, club memberships and financial assets, my husband is in assisted living -- diagnosed with Alzheimer's and a rare bone cancer.
I miss certain aspects of our marriage. It is lonely being single. But I did not recognize, nor could I have known, what caused the disintegration of his personality. -- ROBERTA IN PALM SPRINGS
DEAR ROBERTA: You have my sympathy, and so does your husband. I advise readers whose family members exhibit a sudden change in personality or behavior to notify their doctors so the person can be physically and neurologically evaluated. However, in your case the physician missed the warning signs.
Yes, being single can sometimes be lonely. But it is better than living with the abuse you described.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I always gave our two children money whenever they were in a tight spot. Now that I am a widow, money is tight, and I've lost most of my savings in the stock market.
The "children" are now approaching 50 and still ask me to bail them out. (I can hardly pay my own bills.) I know I must put a stop to this, Abby, so please help me find the right words. -- PENNY IN SILVER LAKE, CALIF.
DEAR PENNY: Tell your children you don't want to be a "Hard-Hearted Hannah," but "You Can't Give Them Anything but Love." It's the truth -- so stick by it. It's time for your "children" to change their tune and accept the fact that they are adults and should stand on their own two feet.
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