DEAR ABBY

The Western Star - - Life - Abi­gail Van Buren 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.

In-laws could pose a threat to cou­ple’s rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

DEAR ABBY: I have been mar­ried for 15 years and love my wife very much, but we drifted apart. Then I went and did some­thing re­ally stupid and had an af­fair. It lasted only a few weeks, and I re­gret it. My now-ex-wife and I are still work­ing on our re­la­tion­ship. Yes, it was the wrong thing to do, but be­cause of the af­fair, we have grown closer than we have ever been.

My prob­lem is her par­ents. She’s wor­ried how they will re­act. They dis­like me in­tensely now and would run me over with their car if they got the chance. They have also trashtalked me to our chil­dren. (My par­ents have never said any­thing bad about her and never would.)

It has been a year, and her par­ents don’t know we are work­ing on stay­ing to­gether. They keep try­ing to set her up on dates. I feel like I’m a se­cret. Help! — WORK­ING IT OUT IN IOWA DEAR WORK­ING IT OUT: I’m sorry you didn’t ex­plain more about how you and your ex are try­ing to work things out. From where I sit, her par­ents are not the prob­lem. The prob­lem is her re­luc­tance to talk to them like the adult she is and tell them your — and her — in­ten­tion to rec­on­cile. It’s nat­u­ral that they are an­gry with you for cheat­ing on their daugh­ter and are try­ing to in­tro­duce her to el­i­gi­ble men now she’s di­vorced. The two of you should en­list the help of a li­censed mar­riage and fam­ily coun­selor, not only to help you rec­on­cile, but also to re­pair the breach with her fam­ily.

DEAR ABBY: I am 26 and have been strug­gling with jeal­ousy and envy for the past few years. My friends and fam­ily mem­bers my age are mov­ing for­ward with their lives. I’m hav­ing trou­ble land­ing a full­time job, so I still live at home with my par­ents. I feel like I’m still in high school, where I must an­swer ques­tions about where I’m go­ing and whom I’m go­ing out with.

I love my par­ents and I’m thank­ful for them, but at times I feel that be­cause I’m liv­ing un­der their roof, I am no longer grow­ing as a per­son. I tell my friends and fam­ily my is­sues when they ask me what’s wrong, and they al­ways re­spond that I do have a pur­pose in life and that God has a path for me. Can you help me find new ways to cope? — HOW DO I COPE?

DEAR HOW: One way to cope would be to start ask­ing friends and fam­ily mem­bers why they think you are hav­ing such a hard time find­ing full-time em­ploy­ment. They may be able to of­fer some help­ful sug­ges­tions. An­other would be to con­tact em­ploy­ment agen­cies and ask what may be miss­ing from your re­sume and whether they can help you. (It may be time to start look­ing into fields other than the ones in which you have been work­ing.)

I agree that at 26, it may be time to es­tab­lish some in­de­pen­dence by ei­ther find­ing a room­mate to share ex­penses or rent­ing a room in a home other than your par­ents’.

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