DEAR ABBY: I am 32 years old and have been divorced for about three years. My five-year marriage was a disaster. When my husband wasn't cheating, he was putting me down, telling me how fat and stupid I was, and that nobody liked me.
My life is 100 percent better now. I moved away and found a good job, and am once again at peace with myself. At the end of each workday, I enjoy going home, watching TV, turning in early -- then getting up for work in the morning and doing it all over again. The problem is that my family is worried about me.
On weekends, I go home on Friday night and don't leave my apartment until Monday morning. I am content with my routine, but my family disapproves. I don't usually worry about what others think, but I know they love me and are genuinely concerned. What do you think, Abby? -- PEACEFUL IN ARIZONA
DEAR PEACEFUL: That your family may have a point. There's an old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," and it also applies to men and women.
Before you completely cloister yourself in your routine, please make absolutely certain that you are not confusing an absence of pain and abuse with happiness. It is important to have a balance in life, and by that I mean there's far more satisfaction to be found than just work and television.
A step in the right direction would be to sign up for a lecture series, or volunteer one or two days a month at a hospital, library or shelter.