DEAR ABBY: I am a woman in my early 40s, and I have been involved with "Rick" for so many years I have lost count. He has been separated from his wife since before I met him, but he has not divorced her. Rick is at my place all the time except when he sees his son. Neither his son nor any of his family knows about me. His mother died recently, and it hurt not to accompany him to her funeral. But, of course, I couldn't attend because his family would find out he has a girlfriend.
Sometimes Rick has different days off work than I do. I don't know what he does on those days, but I've heard that he sees other women. I know for a fact that he keeps in touch with his former girlfriend.
Rick thinks I am content with the status quo, but I feel my life is one big lie. I'm tired of being nothing more than a convenience; however, I've been with him so long, I don't know how to move on.
Abby, please tell me how to get on with my life -- sans Rick -- without hurting his feelings. Sign me ... TIRED OF THE STATUS QUO
DEAR TIRED: Why should you be concerned about hurting Rick's feelings? He has no qualms about hurting yours by denying your existence to his family and friends. Face the fact that Rick has no intention of making a commitment. If he did, he would be divorced and dating you openly.
Since you are no longer content to be hidden, summon the courage to leave, and give yourself the opportunity to meet a man who will make a commitment to you. You may suffer for a while, but time is a great healer, and when you find your Prince Charming, you will be glad you cut Rick out of your life. Trust me.