Abby: Opposites share marriage despite leading separate lives

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 30 years. Although my husband and I are both positive people, we have not had a happy marriage.

He leads the life of a bachelor, including sex with other women and unilateral decision-making. He’s outgoing, generous and wellliked. I’m a homebody who often feels lonely and rejected.

Outsiders would be surprised at the true nature of our relationship. We have been to counseling, but it didn’t help. Why do I stay in this marriage? What’s wrong with me? Are there others like me? — INCREDULOUS IN INDIANA

DEAR INCREDULOUS: You wouldn’t have stayed married to your husband if you didn’t derive some benefit from it. Because counseling didn’t change the dynamic between you and your husband doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some independently.

Your problem may be lack of self-esteem or fear of being alone, a problem shared by many women in dysfunctional marriages. If you’re sincere about finding the answers to your questions, they await you in the office of a licensed therapist.

DEAR ABBY: My older sister recently passed away after a 22-year battle with lupus. She beat the odds for so long, and even gave us the miracle that is her son.

Logically, I understand that medically there was nothing left the doctors could do, but emotionally I feel like I killed her because I went along with the doctors. Is it normal to feel this guilt?

I have nightmares every night now because I hear her last words. I see how she was both on and off life support. When I make myself eat, I overeat. But honestly, I could easily go back to never eating like I did before. Is all of this normal for the grief process? — FEELING GUILTY IN OREGON

DEAR FEELING GUILTY: Yes, what you’re experiencing is normal to a degree. However, if the nightmares and feelings of guilt persist, discuss them with a grief counselor or a religious adviser.

You alluded to having “gone along with the doctors.” If by that you mean you agreed that your sister should receive palliative care at the end, you did her a favor, not a disservice.

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