DEAR ABBY: I had an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman for three years. We live about two hours apart.
In the beginning, our relationship was great. We would see each other regularly and text and video chat almost daily. We even talked about getting married.
But as time went on, she became more and more distant. She would either take forever to respond to me or not respond at all. Her excuse was work. She was always working and always had something going on.
I then found out that she was dealing with a few personal things. When I explained to her that relationships are all about communication, she more or less agreed.
At one point I was so upset, angry and frustrated that I said horrible things to her. I even used foul language because she wasn’t communicating. Also, she didn’t even bother to take two minutes of her time to wish me a happy birthday. I always remember her on her birthday.
She makes me look like the bad guy. I am so hurt and mad at her for her refusal to communicate.
Abby, what else can I do? Am I really the bad person here?
UNSURE IN PENNSYLVANIA
BEST UNSURE: Though you refuse to recognize it, this woman has communicated with you. Her behavior indicates that she is nowhere more interested in you than you are in her, which should have become apparent as she became more and more distant.
You’re not a bad person, and neither is she. She’s just afraid to tell you the bad news verbally.
In cases like this, there’s nothing you can do but tell her that it’s clear she’s not as invested in the relationship as you are, and close her off gracefully.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, who is 81 and in excellent health, has just suggested that when we feel we can no longer live an independent life (I’m 72), we should move closer to his daughter in another state so that she and her husband can help us.
Abby, not me Like it her husband, and I don’t want to depend on him, oblige him, or even associate with him.
In the 15 years I’ve known him, we’ve never had a conversation. At first I tried, but he can’t deal with older women. Apparently he did not have a good relationship with his mother. His only topics of conversation are his dogs, weapons, or sports. I’m not interested in any of those things.
It breaks my heart that my husband and I may not be together in the last years of our lives. I’m sure my husband would tell me to “overcome” my dislike for his daughter’s husband.
Do I have to agree to be around someone I have nothing in common with? I also don’t like the part of the country where they live.
NERVE IN NEW MEXICO
BEST NERVE: My late mother once told me that parents who rely on their adult children to “take care of them” in old age are often rudely awakened.
You and your husband are considered to be equal partners in this marriage. If you hate not only the man his daughter is married to, but also the area of the country they live in, there is no law that says you have to move.
I recommend that you quickly have that difficult conversation with your partner, preferably in the office of a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.