DEAR ABBY: “Jake” and I have been together for five years. He finally proposed last summer. Well, I made a mistake and complained about the ring he’d bought. He took it back, but still agreed to marry me – without the ring.
I have apologized to Jake every day since for what I said, but we are now split up. (We still talk and see each other once or twice a week.)
Abby, Jake refuses to forgive me and make up. I spend all my time alone while he goes hunting with his friends or out drinking with them. I’m tired of not being forgiven. I know what I did was wrong. How long can you say, “I’m sorry”? – BROKENHEARTED IN ALABAMA
DEAR BROKENHEARTED: If you have apologized every day since last summer and it has fallen on deaf ears, you can apologize until the cows come home and it will get you nowhere. Please step back and take another look at this situation.
Most men take their fiancees with them when they purchase an engagement ring, so she can select something she likes. You were tactless to complain about the ring he bought, but it wasn’t a cardinal sin.
Recognize that Jake is enjoying punishing you – and the hunting and drinking with his friends would have happened after your marriage regardless. Jake has done you an enormous favor by showing you how self-centered and unforgiving he is. Please be smart, realize that you have dodged a bullet, stop apologizing and run for the hills.
DEAR ABBY: My wife, “Darla,” and I have been married for 10 years. We have three children. I have always worked hard to provide for my family.
Darla is very concerned with material things and likes to “keep up with the Joneses.” I work two jobs to maintain this lifestyle, sometimes literally from sunup to sundown. Lately, I feel burned out.
Darla promises she will get a job, but in the 10 years we’ve been married she has had one job. It lasted three months. Each time she’s supposed to find a job she develops some mysterious illness – one that no doctor can cure or identify, but that stops bothering her as soon as her job search is forgotten.
I am becoming increasingly resentful toward her for making empty promises as well as making up illnesses. It is beginning to spill over into my work environment, and it is also keeping me from growing spiritually. What should I do? – FRUSTRATED IN PHILLY
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Recognize that your wife does not regard your marriage as an equal partnership. In her view, your role is to support her in the manner to which she aspires regardless of its effect on you. Her role is to enjoy it.
My advice is to offer her the option of marriage counseling, and if that doesn’t work, consult a lawyer. It may be expensive, but at least you won’t be responsible for her debts. And it could add years to your life.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Sy,” snores so loud it keeps me from sleeping – and no, it’s not sleep apnea. Sy has said many times that he wouldn’t stay in a marriage if the wife slept in another room, like some of his friends’ wives do, so that’s out of the question.
I love Sy dearly in the daytime. At night I want a divorce. Last night I was asleep (finally) and had a nightmare that a growling animal was stalking me. I awoke to the sound, and it was coming from him. In the past, I have told Sy he snores, but he denies it. Help! – TERESA IN DAYTONA, FLA.
DEAR TERESA: You have my sympathy. Before another night goes by, tape-record him. It may not solve the problem, but it will eliminate his denial. This should be discussed with his doctor – even if it’s not apnea – because it might be treatable. Please don’t wait.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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