DEAR ABBY: My heart is broken. I don’t know how to fix it, and sometimes I want to kill myself. I’m in love with my children’s father and he knows it. “Brad” comes over to have sex with me, but we’re not together. He tells me he’s single, but I know he’s with someone else. I want him to be honest – give me that much respect – because I have two kids by him.

Brad is the only person I’m having sex with. I told him I’m getting too old to play games. I’m trying to get on with my life, but still we have sex.

When do I say enough is enough? I tell Brad I need to drop the kids off, and he tells me no. But I need some alone time, too. If I had known our relationship would turn out like this, I would never have gotten involved with him. I love him with all my heart. Please tell me what to do. – HEARTSICK IN KANSAS

For the sake of your mental health and for your children’s future, wake up and realize that you are not “in love” with Brad. You’re in love with the fantasy of who you would LIKE him to be.

The person you have described is immature, a liar and so selfish he doesn’t care who is hurt by his behavior – not you and not his children. He will never change. Allowing this man in your life is fruitless, and you will not become stronger until you finally accept that fact.

If you haven’t already done so, contact the social services department in your state to ensure that Brad contributes something to the children’s care. If you need alone time, trade favors with another single mother or a trusted friend or family member. But please, do not continue on the path you’re on because it’s leading you nowhere.

DEAR ABBY: I work in an office where there are more men than women. We all share one bathroom. Fairness would dictate that the toilet seat be left up, as more males will need it that way; however, I can’t escape the feeling that the seat’s natural position is down. Do you know what is proper? – JUST WONDERING

I’m glad you asked. According to Emily Post, “In a unisex restroom, don’t leave the toilet seat up.”

DEAR ABBY: Help me decide – should I stay or should I go? My companion, “Ted,” and I have known each other for more than two years and have lived together for a year. We have a good relationship and enjoy many of the same things. He pays all the bills, and if we go anywhere, he pays for our trip.

Friends keep asking when Ted and I are going to get married. He is 78 and I am 61. I would like to be married, but Ted says “never,” he’s “too old to get married.”

He was married to his late wife for 45 years. I have been married three times. My last two husbands died, so I understand loss. Ted says he now wants only a girlfriend.

Our family members get along well. One of his children even asked me when we’re tying the knot. Abby, is there really an age when it’s too old to marry? – YOUNG AT HEART IN FLORIDA

No, couples older than you and Ted have married. What your companion is telling you is that HE doesn’t want to make that kind of commitment again. If a live-in relationship with Ted is something you enjoy and his paying the travel expenses is enough, then stay. However, if a lifetime commitment is what you’re really looking for, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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