DEAR ABBY: I’m a 59-year-old single man who was dating a 42-year-old woman for the past three years. The whole time we dated she was going through a divorce. I supported her and helped her through it. The papers were signed four months ago. Her relationship with her ex started when she was 16 and lasted 26 years. They have a 14-year-old daughter together. Their relationship was emotionally abusive.
We had a lot in common and loved doing things together, but our relationship was rocky. During the time we were together, we split up three times because she would get upset with me over simple things but would never have a conversation to try and work it out. She has a short fuse and her temper goes from zero to 60 in a heartbeat. Our fourth argument was our last. She told me to take my things and get out.
I love her, and when I told her so many times, she would respond the same. I love her more than I can explain in words. I’m not her ex. I’m nothing like him. I’ve done things for her that any woman would melt over. She told me on my way out the door that she doesn’t want a relationship and never did. She wants to be left alone.
After all the time I invested in us, I was crushed. We are still friends on Facebook. If I text her, she will read it but won’t respond. Should I give up and move on, or let her figure her life out and hope she realizes we had something special? — PUSHED ASIDE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR PUSHED ASIDE: When a woman with a fuse that goes from zero to 60 in a heartbeat tells you she doesn’t want a relationship with you and never did, it’s safe to conclude that for the past three years you have been used. Has it occurred to you that the verbal abuser in her past relationship may have been her? PLEASE, for your own sake, take the hint. Look for someone who will appreciate and return the love and kindness you offer. Although you may not think so now, you have just dodged a bullet.
DEAR ABBY: My little sister and I got along great as kids. We played together a lot, and even when we made new friends and grew different interests, we promised to always have each other’s backs.
In high school, I befriended and eventually started dating a girl my family adored, my sister included. After nine years, we have finally become engaged, but now my sister has grown hostile toward us. She never hinted that she disliked my fiancee before, and nobody in our family can get a reason from her.
My mother wants her to be part of our wedding, but with this change in her behavior, I’m not comfortable with the idea. Did I do something wrong? Should I question her to get to the bottom of this? — BAFFLED BROTHER
DEAR BAFFLED: Definitely do that. If you approach it privately, your sister may be more comfortable answering you honestly. It may be she’s afraid of losing the close relationship she has enjoyed with you all these years. If that’s the case, you may be able to reassure her. If it’s something else she might be reluctant to discuss in the presence of other relatives, talking one-on-one will better your chances of getting her to disclose what’s bothering her.
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.