DEAR ABBY: I just found out my husband of 18 years has been going to "hook-up" websites. He says he was just looking at the pictures, but I don't believe him. I have caught him cheating twice in the past, so it's hard to trust him.
My problem is, he knows I can't leave him because I have no job, no skills, no money -- nothing. I went right from my parents' house to living with him after our wedding. We have six kids and one on the way. He will continue to go to these websites because he knows I am stuck. What should I do? -- SOON-TO-BE MOTHER OF SEVEN
DEAR SOON-TO-BE MOTHER OF SEVEN: The first thing you should do is see your doctor and be checked for STDs. If you are well, thank your higher power. If you aren't, get treatment, get well and talk to a lawyer. Your situation may not be as hopeless as you think.
Have you any relatives or friends you can stay with when you leave, change your life and become self-supporting? It may require job training and time, but please consider it.
I doubt your husband will have much time for philandering if he has six kids to take care of by himself in addition to his job. I also doubt that few, if any, women he might be hooking up with would welcome becoming the instant mother of six. And one more thing, from now on, please use birth control.Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money | Work & School | Sex & Gender
DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for 30 years. During this time, my ex-wife has rarely spoken to me, and in the last 10 years said not one word to me. There have been many occasions and events at my son's home to celebrate my granddaughter's birthday, etc. My ex and many other people attend, but basically, no one speaks to me. I am totally ignored.
I have a strong hunch that during the divorce my ex told people I hit or abused her. (Not true!) She told my sister something to this effect. I believe it was a ploy to distract from the fact she had been cheating on me. Regardless, this situation is extremely hurtful and unpleasant. Any ideas how to deal with this? -- OSTRACIZED AND PARALYZED
DEAR O. & P.: Have you tried to initiate a conversation? Have you asked these people why they give you the silent treatment? They're fair questions.
After 30 years, it is a little late to correct the mindset your ex may have caused these relatives to have about you. But if at this late date you try to spread the word that she was cheating, it will accomplish nothing positive, and I don't advise it.
P.S. If the silence continues, then I recommend you bring someone -- a friend or a date -- with you to these gatherings. At least you will have someone to talk to.Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Abuse | Holidays & Celebrations
DEAR ABBY: I have an acquaintance I see occasionally. He recently told me he is getting married. When I congratulated him, I wanted to ask who the lucky groom is because I have often thought he was gay, but I found out he's marrying a woman. What's the appropriate way to ask this question nowadays since all of us can marry, I am happy to say. -- PONDERING IN NEVADA
DEAR PONDERING: A subtle way to ask that question would be, "Congratulations! What's your lucky fiance's (-ee's) name?"Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics | Sex & Gender
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