Mom feels guilt for re­fus­ing to rec­on­cile

Albuquerque Journal - - PUZZLES - Abi­gail Van Buren Con­tact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: My ex is a re­cov­er­ing drug ad­dict. We have a 2-year-old son to­gether. I re­al­ized he was us­ing drugs when I was seven months preg­nant and all our money was gone.

I stayed with him for a year after I learned about his ad­dic­tion. That was the hard­est year of my life. Choos­ing to leave was ex­tremely painful, and I still cry about it ev­ery day.

My ex was never the type of ad­dict who nod­ded off, cheated or had other issues; if it hadn’t been for the money dis­ap­pear­ing, we would have had a per­fect re­la­tion­ship. He fi­nally went to re­hab and seems to be do­ing well. He has a great job, pays child sup­port now and is in­volved with our son, who adores him. He wants us to get back to­gether.

It has been more than a year since we sep­a­rated — and I hate to ad­mit this, but I’m the hap­pi­est I have ever been. Abby, I feel guilty about it. Even though I love him, he broke me as a per­son with his lies, and I don’t think I can ever trust him. I love my life with my son, and the thought of us liv­ing as a fam­ily in one house again makes me sick. I feel ashamed for not want­ing to try, and these feel­ings are crip­pling.

I told him I want him to move on, but he says he will al­ways love me and will never give up. Do I owe it to him — and our child — to rec­on­cile?


DEAR HAP­PIER: No, you do not. You are in charge of your life now, and if that gives you peace of mind and makes you happy, then you are un­der no moral or eth­i­cal obli­ga­tion to change it.

Please re­mem­ber that you are not re­spon­si­ble for your ex’s hap­pi­ness. You may al­ways love each other, but that doesn’t ob­li­gate you. If he wants to “never give up,” that is his choice. If you want to move on with your life, that is your choice and your priv­i­lege.

DEAR ABBY: Can you set­tle a dis­pute be­tween my hus­band and me? Some­times, I take it upon my­self to hand­wash my car be­cause I en­joy see­ing my hard work re­flected in my shiny car. When I do, it sparks an ar­gu­ment.

His view is that since he’s the man, he should be re­spon­si­ble for wash­ing the car. He says there are cer­tain things “women just don’t do.” I think I’m per­fectly ca­pa­ble of wash­ing my car. Should I give up and let him take care of wash­ing my car, or should I stand my ground? — JUST AS CA­PA­BLE

DEAR CA­PA­BLE: If you want to wash your car oc­ca­sion­ally, it should not be grounds for an ar­gu­ment. Many women do, and it’s not an is­sue. How­ever, be­cause your hus­band seems to find it emas­cu­lat­ing, let me sug­gest that rather than ar­gue about it you al­low him to spoil you by do­ing it for you from time to time. And when he does, if you feel com­pelled to pol­ish some­thing, let it be your nails while he’s out there sweat­ing in the drive­way.

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