DEAR ABBY: I'm 39 and have been married for nine years. Three years into our marriage I got sick and lost a lot of weight. I now turn heads everywhere I go. All except the head I want to turn -- my husband's.
He drives a truck and all he does is talk to and sext larger, unattractive older women. He has gone to counseling and 12-step meetings, and I've told him to get out numerous times. Nothing has helped.
I'm now getting to the point that I feel I can work again. Is it wrong for me to be making an exit plan for when my son from a previous marriage turns 18? -- TURNS THE WRONG HEADS
DEAR TURNS: If I told you it was wrong, would you stop doing it and remain in an unhappy marriage? I doubt it. If your husband is attracted to other women and acting on it, you should absolutely prepare yourself for the day you declare your independence. It's far more sensible than being unprepared.
DEAR ABBY: My brother got married a year ago after dating for less than a year. His wife started calling my parents Mom and Dad from the get-go. I didn't realize how much it would bother me, but it does and, frankly, I resent her for it.
I'm very close to my parents, and I view our bond as sacred. To me, Mom and Dad aren't names you use lightly, to be cute or as a term of endearment. The relationship is earned and unique.
I would never think of calling my husband's parents Mom and Dad, and I don't feel that I'm offending them by not doing so. Is there a proper way to discuss this with my brother and sister-in-law without hurting feelings or creating tension? -- ANNOYED SISTER-IN-LAW
DEAR ANNOYED: Calm down and curb the attitude, because if you say anything you will appear to be jealous and petty. What your sister-in-law is doing is very common. Regardless of what she calls your parents, you are still their daughter and she is not. If they didn't like her calling them Mom and Dad, I'm sure they would let her know they preferred she choose something else.
DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a really great guy for five years. He is wonderful to my son and treats him as his own.
The problem is, I don't think I am capable of truly being in love with anyone. I care deeply about him -- as much as I am capable of loving. My question is, would it be unfair to him if I agree to marry him knowing he loves me more than I love him? -- TO MARRY OR NOT TO MARRY
DEAR T.M. OR N.T.M.: I'm not sure many couples love each other equally. More often one loves the other more. If you think you can be a good wife to this man, then marry him. Obviously, you have a high degree of compatibility, or he wouldn't be considering marriage to you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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