DEAR ABBY: My father actually cut out the letter you printed from "Second Thoughts in Texas" and mailed it to me. It was the one from the woman asking if she should break up with "Dale," a romantic, nurturing and supportive man who isn't as bright as she would prefer him to be.
I have been dealing with the same issue for the last eight years. I'm 32; my husband, "Jay," is 28. I divorced him two years ago for the same reasons "Second Thoughts" related.
While Jay and I were apart, I dated other men -- generally older. And I did find someone, "Bill," who fit the ideal I was looking for. My problem was, I could never get the "feeling" for Bill that I had for my husband, even though I tried. The breakup with Bill was terrible.
Jay and I are back together now and happier than ever.
I am still in college and I took a personality test. I gave the same test to Jay. We couldn't believe the results. It put a lot of things in perspective about the two of us. I can get intellectual stimulation at school or at work. It is much harder to find someone who is always there for me than it is to find a witty conversationalist.
She should never let him go. -- WARM HEART IN CHICAGO
DEAR WARM HEART: That letter generated a stack of mail. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: This is for the woman who has "Second Thoughts in Texas." Lady, you will soon realize that the man you have is the one you wished for, despite his lack of intellect. My husband is all you mentioned. I help him with his intellectual skills because he is worth every effort.
We have been married eight years, and I take pride in the fact that my husband makes the effort to impress me with his conversation and etiquette. We discussed it when we were first married, and things have been fine ever since. But I would never have considered giving him up because there were so many great reasons to stay with him.
Tell "Second Thoughts" that not every marriage starts out 100 percent. There is always an area that needs a little help, but you can work on it together. -- WORTH EVERY EFFORT IN NEW YORK
DEAR WARM HEART AND WORTH EVERY EFFORT: As I said in my reply to "Second Thoughts," for many women, Dale's positive qualities would be enough and he would be considered a prize. Your experiences prove the truth of that statement. But for someone to enter a marriage feeling that he or she is making a sacrifice because his or her partner is somehow lacking is unfair to the partner, and I would not recommend it.
DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law, "Gertie," lived with us for the last two years since she was no longer able to care for herself. We let her have the master bedroom. I moved into the computer room and slept on a cot while my husband, "Duane," slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room.
Gertie died two months ago, and now Duane refuses to move her belongings out of that room. He says that everything in there is sacred. My husband even turns her favorite nightlight on at night. What am I to do? I can't compete with a ghost! -- HELPLESS
DEAR HELPLESS: Your husband is grieving for his mother and is not behaving rationally. He needs grief counseling and possibly a support group. Consult his doctor and see that he gets it. Meanwhile, join him on the hide-a-bed.
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