DEAR ABBY: I'm in a second marriage, which was only for the benefit of insurance so my husband could get covered through my employer's plan. We were together for many years before getting married.
He received the health care he needed, and I'm ready to move forward with my life as a single person. However, he now says he's happy being married. That was not our agreement. I am not interested in spending any more time being dissatisfied with this relationship. What he brought to it was not all that I wanted, and he knew this.
I'm ready to move forward but don't want to lose his friendship. What's the best way to approach this? I have spoken to him about another procedure he needs, but he is stalling.
- Marriage of Convenience
DEAR M.O.C.: You have devoted enough to this man's welfare. In a marriage, both parties are supposed to be happy, and he already knows you're not. It may not be possible to move forward and keep his friendship. If he needs another procedure, give him a deadline to have it done. If he hasn't had it by then, feel free to file.
Adult son can't get over relationship's end
DEAR ABBY: My grown son has broken up with his girlfriend. They were together for five months. He feels his life is over. His dad and I have been helping him get over it. He has a 7-year-old son who lives with him, and we want him to be strong. He calls us every day and he's beginning to sound like a broken record, repeating the same story again and again.
I know time will make it easier, but in the short term, how do we help him tap into his inner strength and be an adult about this? He goes to work, so that's a blessing. How do people make it through breakups and cope with the grief?
- Sad for Him
DEAR SAD: They depend upon their friends and family to listen to them while they vent. And if that doesn't work, they do it in the office of a licensed therapist. Because what you're telling your son hasn't helped, please suggest it.
Mom's inclusivity lesson still resonates
DEAR ABBY: When I was 7, my mother hosted a birthday party for me. When we made out the guest list, there was a girl who wasn't popular whom I didn't want to invite. Mom told me to invite her or I wouldn't have a party. I invited her, but she didn't come.
That lesson of inclusiveness made a big impression on me. Later, in school, I became an unpopular girl. I missed many of my classmates' parties because of it, but the lesson stayed with me.
In high school and beyond, I have befriended people who were unpopular or who are seen as misfits. And you know what? My life has been richer for these experiences. So I would like to offer a belated thank-you to my mother for making me invite that little girl years ago, because it shaped my life.
- Kathy in Pennsylvania
DEAR KATHY: Your mother is a wise and compassionate woman. The lesson here is, popularity can be fleeting. But having compassion for people who need it is forever.