DEAR ABBY: My wife is in a nursing home and will be for a long time. While I was caring for her at home, I was very lonely. She wasn't there for me except to demand that I do this and that.
I did what I could to keep her happy, but nothing worked. I had no life of my own. My life was wrapped around her and doing the best I could to take care of her. I did all the chores that were required to keep the home running.
Would it be wrong to find a lady friend to do a few things with, like have dinner, go to a movie or just for a ride in the country or to the beach? My son thinks I shouldn't do it, but he doesn't know how lonely I am, nor do the other kids in the family. -- NO LIFE OF MY OWN
DEAR NO LIFE: You're asking me a question no one can decide for you. Much depends upon the quality of your marriage before your wife became ill. You promised to love and cherish her until death do you part. If she's still in her right mind, you owe it to her to be there for her to the extent that you can -- just as she would be if you were sick and in a nursing home.
You should discuss all of this with your children. While it is important that you spend enough time with your wife to ensure that she's being well cared for, you are also entitled to have a life. Some husbands want to spend every possible minute at their wife's bedside, while others do what you are contemplating. Only you can look into your heart and decide what would be best for all concerned, because it may affect your entire family.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of five years, "Spencer," has always been very sweet -- until this year. This year he has become verbally abusive, telling me I'm a drunk (I don't drink liquor) and insane. (No one else says there is anything insane about my behavior.) Spencer frequently tells me my opinions prove I'm a "jerk."
Until this year, I have been deeply in love with him. I know his verbal attacks on me are unwarranted. All I want is some peace and quiet. Please advise. -- BEATEN DOWN IN L.A.
DEAR BEATEN DOWN: Your boyfriend is showing all the signs of a man who wants out of a relationship, but doesn't have the courage to come out and be direct about it. If you want peace and quiet in your life, find a man who appreciates what you have to offer, doesn't make false accusations and treats you well. You'll find what you're looking for after you tell Spencer you're not drunk, you're not crazy and you're not in love with him anymore, so goodbye.
DEAR ABBY: I have been having a problem with my husband ever since his mom died. All he talks about is how much he misses her and how he wants to die.
I loved his mother like she was my own, but it has been a year since she went, and I'm getting tired of the attitude and the behavior he displays. He is so mean now that I am thinking of leaving him because I can't take it anymore. Can you help? -- TIRED OF IT
DEAR TIRED OF IT: It is one thing to grieve for a deceased loved one, and quite another to say you wish you could join the person. Your husband is "stuck" in his grieving process and needs professional intervention. Please urge him to get help.
Was he always mean and abusive? If the answer is yes, by all means give serious thought to getting away. If not, tolerate it a little longer -- providing he's willing to admit he needs to talk to someone and follows through.
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