DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I have lived together off and on for three years. We met at a lesbian bar in Los Angeles, and it was love at first sight for me.
I suspect she has been seeing another woman. She has changed her dress style and even her cologne. When I confront her, begging her to tell me if she's been cheating, she laughs it off. We don't communicate well anymore, and she's sleeping in another room now.
I have cared for her for so long. We were going to be married. Now I feel she doesn't love me anymore. I have tried following her, but she disappears and sometimes doesn't come home for days. I haven't slept or eaten in weeks.
I love her so much. If she doesn't come back to me, I've had thoughts of suicide. I can't afford a shrink. I hope you can help. -- FREAKED OUT & CLUELESS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR FREAKED OUT: What's happening is painful, but you don't need a "shrink" to help you figure this out. People who love each other -- or even care about each other's feelings -- do not treat each other the way you are being treated. That your girlfriend has been seeing someone else is entirely possible. And whether she laughs it off or not, it isn't funny.
I know it's hard, but someone who acts the way she has isn't worth killing yourself over. It may be scary, but it's time for the two of you to separate. If you need emotional support, have friends with you when you tell her. And if you need more support than they can give, contact the nearest gay and lesbian center for counseling because they <,em>will be able to help you. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
DEAR ABBY: My wife has gotten herself into more debt than she earns in a year. She finally confessed to me that she can make only the minimum payments on her credit cards.
She has asked me for help, but she refuses to allow me to monitor her progress paying off her debts. I have refused to help her get out of the hole she has dug for herself unless I have access to her credit card statements. She had the gall to be upset with my request. I no longer trust her to manage her spending. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- NEEDS ACCESS IN TEXAS
DEAR NEEDS ACCESS: No, you are not wrong. Your wife has a serious problem and is refusing to take the "medicine" that's required to fix it. I'm not sure what kind of help she expects from you, unless it's money to bail her out of her situation.
Some people shop for the "thrill"; others do it to cope with depression. I have mentioned an organization, Debtors Anonymous, in my column before. It's for individuals who are unable to control their spending. The website is debtorsanonymous.org, and you should look into it. However, if your wife continues to refuse to allow her spending to be monitored, for the sake of your own financial future, you should consult an attorney.
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