DEAR ABBY: I am turning 40 and have never been married. Lately, on dates, men have started asking me why I've never married. It makes me uncomfortable, and I don't know how to answer them.
I have always been attracted to emotionally abusive men and have always been the one to break things off. I was abused as a child and was also a victim of sexual trauma. I'm not sure if this is why abusive men keep showing up in my life.
I'd like to meet someone who is kind and stable. Is it too late, and how do I answer the question as to why I've never been married? -- FOREVER SINGLE IN CHICAGO
DEAR FOREVER SINGLE: Because someone asks a question does not compel you to do a psychological striptease. A way to answer without baring your soul would be to say that you haven't met the right man yet. (If you are attracted to abusive men, that's the truth.)
People are usually attracted to the familiar. Because of your background, you may not pick up on warning signs that might alert others that there is trouble ahead. This does not mean it's too late for you to find a caring, supportive life partner -- however, you might have an easier time of accomplishing it if you schedule some sessions with a licensed mental health professional. Old habits are hard to break, but it can be done.