DEAR ABBY: Presence of new girlfriend causes added pain for ex

Thursday, July 30, 2020

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of two years, “Kevin,” recently broke up with me. We’ve had problems in the past about me lying to him or withholding information. I didn’t lie because I’m an awful person. I lied because he had high expectations of me, and I didn’t want to be a disappointment. He is truly the first person I have loved unconditionally since the breakup with my child’s father five years ago.

Kevin and I are still friends — sometimes with benefits — but he has moved on to another woman. I’m heartbroken, and it has taken a toll on me. When I visited him the other day, I realized that she has practically moved in! She has her toiletries over there just like I did at one point.

I really want my boyfriend back! Kevin and I had talked about a life together, buying a house, taking trips, even getting married, the whole nine yards. But I’m worried this new woman will get the life with the man I love that I had been longing for for so long. What advice, if any, can you offer me? — LEFT BEHIND IN ALABAMA

DEAR LEFT BEHIND: I’m sorry to be the carrier of bad news, but it appears your ex-boyfriend is enjoying the benefits of being with two women, and you are getting your heart broken. It is time for you to move on because a new “chick” has all but moved into the nest you shared with Kevin.

One has to wonder if she is aware that he has a FWB in addition to her. (I am betting the answer is no.) And by the way, I have to wonder what kind of a man behaves the way you have described because he is not treating you or this new woman honestly.

In your next relationship, I hope you will realize that you are good enough just as you ARE, and there is no reason you must live up to anyone else’s expectations. That was your mistake this time around.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 10 years (we own a house together) has just announced he feels he should move closer to his ailing mother. She lives about 250 miles away, a four-hour drive. Is this a thing? Do people do this? He did not ask me to move with him.

We live less than a mile from my own elderly mother, and I do dote on her. He knows I wouldn’t leave her. If he goes through with this, I’ll be heartbroken.

We have no mortgage. I can afford to stay in our house and — then what? Wait for him? Wait for his mother to die? I could visit him once in a while, but my job, my mom and our cats are here. There’s also my yard work. Do you think this could be his oddball way of breaking things off? — MISERABLE OVER THIS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR MISERABLE: This could be your boyfriend’s attempt to end your relationship — or not. He may not have invited you to move with him because he understands how many obligations you have between your mother, your job, your pets and the upkeep of your home.

It’s time to ask him — calmly — how he views the implications of this move. Does he see it the same way you do? If his mom’s health improves, it could be years before he returns, if ever. Because you have invested a decade of your life with him, you deserve some straight answers, and the best way to get them is to remain calm and be direct.

DEAR ABBY: I need your advice about a problem I’m facing with a man I’ve been dating almost four years. When I met “Jeff,” he had two older Yorkshire terriers. Both were very territorial and relieved themselves in the house. I told him I was concerned about moving in with him because of his outof-control dogs, and he understood. They were older dogs, and I knew one day they would pass, so I waited patiently.

Then Jeff’s neighbor passed away, leaving a dog. He adopted that dog, and it has become a bigger issue than the first two. The new dog is very aggressive. It tries to bite me and won’t let me into certain rooms in the house! I expressed my concern to Jeff, but nothing has been done.

We are currently engaged but living separately. I told Jeff that we need to live together before getting married, so I gave him an ultimatum — try to find a home for the new dog and I’ll move in.

That was two years ago, and nothing has been done. At this point, I suspect that he adopted the third dog without me knowing in order to prevent me from moving in. I feel like he chose the new dog over me! What do I do? — OVERLOOKED HUMAN IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR OVERLOOKED HUMAN: Listen to your intuition and accept that where you are concerned, Jeff has a commitment problem. If he wanted you to live with him, he would not have taken in an aggressive animal. Without saying it in words, he is sending you a strong message. From where I sit, you may have devoted enough time to a romance that’s going nowhere. Give Jeff a choice: Kennel train the dog or the romance is over.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have about a dozen nieces and nephews on each side of our family. As each of them has married, we have given them generous gifts.

My wife and I have two adult children. When our daughter was married 10 years ago, she had a big reception, with all the best of everything. Our son chose to elope last year. He had a small ceremony when they returned — just parents and grandparents.

My wife is now very upset that no one has acknowledged the wedding with even a card — let alone a gift. Should we bring this up to our families? Is it customary to give gifts only when there is a traditional ceremony and reception? — EMPTY-HANDED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR EMPTY-HANDED: I can see why your wife is upset. Because you have been so generous with your family members when they were married, it would have been thoughtful had they reciprocated with your son. However, the rule of etiquette is that gifts are required when someone accepts a wedding invitation, and your son chose to elope instead of having one, which may explain the lack of response from your relatives.