Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to “George” for 35 years. I was pregnant when I married. We had dated only five months. We came from families that believed you had to “do the right thing” and get married. I love my husband, but never as deeply as I thought I should.

I had feelings for someone else (“Dennis”) before I got married, but we were always in different relationships when we’d see each other. He was my husband’s best man at our wedding, and they were friends for many years. He moved away and we had not seen each other for 25 years. Dennis and I recently reconnected, and when we first saw each other, it was like I was hit by a truck full of emotions.
Dennis makes me feel ways I never felt before. We have long talks about how much we missed each other. We can tell each other anything. I’m the happiest I have ever been in my life, but once again, things are complicated. I still live with my husband, although I’m in the process of moving out as soon as I can. Dennis has to take care of his mother and can’t just walk off.
We want to be together. We have never done anything more than hug and share passionate kisses. George will be hurt, but should I keep putting my happiness last just to please someone else? When do I deserve to be happy? — ABOUT TO FLEE
DEAR ABOUT TO FLEE: You have a right to be happy and so does George. Have you and Dennis been discussing marriage during any of those long talks? Does George know you are planning to move out and why? How does Dennis’ mother (who is very much in the picture) feel about his romance with you? How do you plan to support yourself if your romance should not work out?
Be sure you have answers to these questions before you pack your bags, because if you don’t, you may find you slammed the door on a satisfactory marriage to a man whose only flaw was that he wasn’t Dennis.
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DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband is dying of cancer. I got pregnant shortly before we divorced. I left him because he physically, psychologically and emotionally abused me. I never told him about his son. In fact, I lied and told him the child was someone else’s. I did it to protect our child.
Now that my ex is dying, I feel guilty. He never had any other children. Should I tell him he has a son? — FEELING GUILTY IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR FEELING GUILTY: That’s an interesting question. My first reaction is to let sleeping dogs lie. From your description of your ex-husband, he would have used the child as a pawn to further abuse you. However, you didn’t mention whether your son knows who his father is. If he does, he might want to meet him before he expires. This is something only you can decide.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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