Abby: Man’s talk of suicide keeps woman in relationship
Dear Abby: A year ago, after five years of marriage, I divorced my ex-husband, “Taylor.” We agreed to separate because I believed I had fallen out of love with him. We have remained friendly and communicate often.
Since the divorce, I have struggled with feelings of guilt and the creeping suspicion that I have made a mistake. I think I am still in love with him. Taylor desperately wants us to get remarried, and lately I have been considering it. However, I have another issue to consider.
For the past few months, I have been seeing another man, “Jacob.” Although he is sweet and affectionate, Jacob is needy, clingy and struggles with depression and anxiety. He often expresses suicidal thoughts over problems in his life, including the thought of me leaving him. He is in therapy, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.
I am terrified of breaking up with him to reconcile with my ex-husband because I honestly believe Jacob would kill himself, and I could not live with that. Any advice would be appreciated.
In A Hard Spot in Alabama
Dear Hard Spot: Jacob is in therapy. Write a letter to his therapist and explain your concerns. That way the therapist will understand in advance that his/her patient may be heading for a rough patch. Regardless of whether Jacob is serious about killing himself should you end the relationship, for your own sake, you must not allow yourself to become a prisoner of his illness. That dynamic is unhealthy for you.
I must caution you, however, not to allow yourself to be pressured into reconciling with your ex unless both of you have premarital counseling so you won’t fall back into the pattern that destroyed your marriage. Whether it was lack of communication, boredom, a dull sex life —you both must understand where it went off track and take steps to correct it before remarrying.
Dear Abby: My husband and I are close friends with another couple we love dearly. Lately the wife has been concerned about her husband’s continued weight gain. She makes comments when we are all out to dinner about what he wants to order and insists they share a meal or that he choose something lighter.
I know she’s concerned about diabetes and heart disease and all the other ills obesity can bring, but I don’t think this is helping. In fact, I think it’s pushing him to want to eat more. How can we as friends help them to overcome this? For the record, he now weighs more than 300 pounds.
Best Friends in Texas
Dear Friends: Your friend’s husband is dangerously overweight. She may be panicking at the reality that the load he’s carrying could shorten their marriage. What she doesn’t realize is that the motivation for him to deal with his weight problem has to come from him, not her.
Rather than second guess what he’s eating when you are all out to dinner, she should encourage him to talk with his doctor and a nutritionist about what he needs to do to get healthy. Please tell her that. It won’t happen overnight, and she should expect him to fall off the wagon sometimes. But with determination, it can be done.
Dear Readers: Well, 2018 is on the brink of being over! Out with the old, in with the new. Please accept my heartfelt good wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019. And, as I caution every year, if you are out partying to ring in the new year, please make appropriate transportation arrangements and be safe!
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.