Abby: Needy wife can’t let her husband out of her sight

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: This is my second marriage. My first husband died when our daughter was 5 months old. I met my current husband, “Robert,” when she was 6. We have a wonderful relationship as a couple and as a family. He’s an amazing husband and father. We now have another child who is 7 months old.

I fear I have become a problem for Robert. I’m so attached to him that I don’t ever want him to leave. He works from home — even though he shouldn’t — because I want him to be with me. I end up distracting him and he misses deadlines. His job is almost over because the grant is over, and he’s looking for a job. We are both very worried about this.

I know Robert will never complain about my need for his attention. I know he prefers us to be together, but he needs to work and I need to let him. I don’t know why I struggle with this. I have never behaved this way.

Can’t Let Go

Dear Can’t Let Go: I have a hunch that what’s going on with you is that you lost your first husband, and you’re terrified that if this one isn’t with you every minute, something terrible will happen to him, too.

Because this is having a negative impact on his career, it is extremely important that you learn how to manage this insecurity. The quickest way to accomplish it would be to talk this over with a licensed psychotherapist who can give you the insight and the tools you need. Please don’t put it off.

Dear Abby: I have had cancer for 12 years. This will be my last year. The chemo treatment was getting stronger and making me sick longer. I told most of my siblings that I decided on no more chemo. The doctor warned my daughter eight months ago that there will be no stopping the progression of my disease.

My daughter has a lot on her plate right now, finding and buying a house, getting a new job and planning her wedding for next year. I have tried to help her plan for my death, but it only upsets her.

I feel great and better each day since I have been off the chemo. I have a positive attitude about the short future that’s ahead of me. So how do I tell my daughter this is my last year?

Living And Loving

Life in New England

Dear Living And Loving: I’m sorry about your prognosis. Few people welcome the idea of their parents’ passing, but it is a subject that needs to be discussed.

A way to get the message across to your daughter would be to call a family meeting so that she will have emotional support when she hears about your decision. Announce that you are feeling better than you have in a long time because you are no longer having chemo, and make clear what your wishes are in the event of your death.

Right now your daughter is understandably focused on herself. Do not expect that she will take the news well, and be sure to have your plans in writing so there will be no confusion among family members later.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.