DEAR ABBY: Coin collector is blindsided by wife’s sale of gold piece

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

DEAR ABBY: My wife recently came back from a gold/silver/coin merchandiser event and told me she had sold an old U.S. $5 gold piece (for probably less than it was worth). I was hurt, not only because I have a coin collection and would have been interested in knowing about and seeing the coin, but also because she didn’t seem to understand how disappointed and hurt I was. She gleefully announced she was going to use the proceeds to purchase an exercise bike.

I took a two-hour walk to work off my feelings and then skipped dinner because I had lost my appetite. Sometimes I feel that my feelings don’t matter to her — that it’s “her way or the highway.” Should I let this incident go and move on, or is a long “crucial conversation” called for? — DISCOUNTED IN OHIO

DEAR DISCOUNTED: Of course you should discuss this with your wife. That coin was only a thing. The fact that the coin was sold without first consulting you is less important than your statement that sometimes you think your feelings don’t matter to her.

A key factor in successful marriages is the ability to discuss difficult subjects calmly. Your ability to relate to each other appears to need improvement. If you cannot work this out between the two of you, a licensed therapist may be able to help.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I bought a house and moved in literally the day COVID was announced as a national emergency. I had planned to go around to our new neighbors and introduce ourselves, perhaps with a small gift (I’m a professional baker). That obviously hasn’t been possible. We’ve had some overthe-fence interactions with a couple of neighbors, but I feel bad I haven’t reached out to the others.

My husband and I are private, introverted people, but I still want to make ourselves known as approachable. Is it too late? What’s the protocol on introducing yourselves to neighbors? Given that everything is in flux and we still don’t know if it’s safe, I don’t want to let that become an excuse to put it off indefinitely. — NEIGHBORLY IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR NEIGHBORLY: It is not too late. A charming way to introduce yourselves would be to deliver -- or have delivered -- a small plant to each of your neighbors, with a short note explaining that you are new to the community, you are a professional baker and you regret that the quarantine makes it impossible to reach out in a more personal way. Be sure to include your address and phone number.

DEAR ABBY: I met a wonderful man who was 14 years older who treated me like I have never been treated before. He opened doors for me, took me on actual dates, paid for things, met all my friends and family, and took me on my first vacation at 39 years old. He was very cuddly and such a gentleman. He even introduced himself as my “boyfriend” to some of my friends.

Seven months ago, we had our first argument and he asked me how I felt about him. I said I loved him and he returned with, “I like you a lot.” He said he didn’t feel as strongly as I did and doesn’t want a relationship.

When we broke up shortly after, he said he wanted to be friends. But he still called and invited me over for sex regularly for the next six weeks. I was very hurt, but I finally cut ties because emotionally I couldn’t handle it. He still wants to be friends but I cannot. He still will do anything for me and wants the benefits of being together without the labels.

It has been more than two months and I’m heartbroken. If I call him, he answers and talks like we are the best of friends, and it kills me. How do I get over him? Is it worth trying to see if we will work out? — BROKEN IN UTAH

DEAR BROKEN: This “gentleman” made clear that his feelings for you are not as strong as those you have for him. You are involved with someone who is honest about wanting nothing more than the status quo. If you’re willing to settle for being only FWB -- which, I suspect, you have too much intelligence and self-esteem to do -- go along with what he’s offering (which is very little). But if you do, know full well that it won’t “work out.”

DEAR ABBY: When I was a kid, I was called a “chatterbox,” and it continued until my mid-30s. Somewhere I came across the saying that it’s better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It made sense to me, so I shut up.

Now I’m close to retirement, and people complain that I don’t talk enough! I detest social gatherings where I must make polite conversation with people I don’t know. And with people I do know, I’m afraid of saying too much. Any recommendations? — FORMER CHATTERBOX IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR FORMER CHATTERBOX: Conversation isn’t supposed to be a monologue; it is supposed to be a dialogue — an exchange of information. If you find yourself dominating a conversation, pause, ask questions and listen to the answers. For those who say you don’t hold up your end, consider making a list in advance of topics you consider safe (excluding sex, politics and religion) and refer to it if you feel stuck. And, if you don’t know how to begin, lead off with a compliment.

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