DEAR ABBY: I have made a decision (at least for now) not to date or try to find a husband. The reason is my fear that I would repeat my parents' horrible, abusive marriage. They're still together -- I have no idea why -- but that's another issue. I have decided the abuse will end with me. I know that if I ever met a really awesome guy and did get married, I'd have a hard time not repeating my parents' marriage.
I have told my parents, siblings, extended family and close friends that I'm not looking for a life partner. My problem is, they won't leave me alone. Can you help me get them off my back and allow me to enjoy being single like I want to? How do I fend off these matchmakers? -- HAPPILY SINGLE IN TACOMA
DEAR HAPPILY SINGLE: Please remember that your family and friends are trying to fix you up because they love you. So hang onto your sense of humor when they try to make a match. The magic words are: (smile) "Nope. Not interested."
Considering that you had such poor role models, your feelings are understandable. However, because your parents have had a terrible marriage is no guarantee that you would, too. The surest way to break the cycle would be to discuss this subject with a licensed mental health professional.