Man who won’t com­mit has ev­ery rea­son not to

The Washington Times Daily - - Life - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN STEVE BECKER

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 45year-old mar­ried woman with four kids. I fell in love with a long­time friend, “Hugh,” two years ago. He’s sin­gle and has never been mar­ried.

I told him I want a re­la­tion­ship, but he says that since I’m mar­ried we can’t have one. I told him I love him, but he’s not sure he feels as strongly about it as I do. We have been spend­ing a lot of time to­gether and have started to get in­ti­mate.

I told Hugh I don’t want to just fool around — I want a com­mit­ment. He wor­ries about my kids, and that if I leave their fa­ther they won’t un­der­stand.

My hus­band is very cold and dis­tant. We don’t say much to each other any­more; we’re just two adults liv­ing in the same house rais­ing our kids. We have gone to coun­sel­ing, but it didn’t help. My hus­band says things are fine — but they’re not.

I’m an­gry be­cause Hugh is will­ing to fool around but not com­mit. He says this shouldn’t go on any­more and his heart isn’t in it. The fact that I’m mar­ried both­ers him. I told him to wait and even­tu­ally my hus­band and I will di­vorce. I’m hurt by his decision to back out. I feel he wanted the in­ti­macy but doesn’t want me, and I feel used. How do I sort this out? — USED IN MAS­SACHUSETTS

DEAR “USED”: You weren’t used — you threw your­self at Hugh, and what has hap­pened was by mu­tual con­sent. Why would you ex­pect a com­mit­ment from him when you haven’t shown your­self ca­pa­ble of stick­ing with one? I credit Hugh for his hon­esty — he hasn’t led you on. That you’re mar­ried should bother him.

When a man tells you his “heart” isn’t in it, trust me, the rest of him isn’t far be­hind. Don’t waste your time be­ing hurt. Learn from this. You have un­fin­ished busi­ness to at­tend to. Your mar­riage is a mess. If it doesn’t sur­vive, you owe it to the next man in your life to be avail­able be­fore you start prospect­ing. If you’re not, this will hap­pen to you again and again.

Part of the skill of good de­clarer play con­sists of in­duc­ing your op­po­nents to make er­rors. The more of­ten a de­clarer gives the op­po­si­tion a chance to make an er­ror, the more of­ten the de­sired re­sult will be at­tained.

Con­sider this deal, where South is de­clarer at six hearts. The con­tract can­not be made against best de­fense, yet there is a real pos­si­bil­ity to make the slam if de­clarer sets the stage prop­erly.

Let’s say you’re South and win West’s kin­gof-spades lead with the ace, East play­ing the five. You draw three rounds of trumps and then cash the A-K-Q of di­a­monds and A-K of clubs, end­ing in your hand. At this point, you lead a low spade to­ward dummy’s 9-4, and West, who holds the Q-10 of spades, must de­cide which of them to play.

If he makes the nor­mal play of the 10, you make the slam. East must win with the jack, and since his only re­main­ing cards are the Q-10-7 of clubs, he must lead one of them. This al­lows you to dis­card a spade from one hand while you ruff in the other, and the slam is home.

If West is smart enough to play his queen when you lead the spade to­ward dummy, he de­feats you, but it has cost you noth­ing in the process to present him with an op­por­tu­nity to make an er­ror.

Ac­tu­ally, West has a very dif­fi­cult decision to make when you lead the spade. From his point of view, he should play the 10 if he thinks you started with the J-6-3, and the queen if he thinks you started with 8-6-3. West might guess right, or he might guess wrong, but at least he should be given the chance to go astray. Lots of points — 1,530 of them — ride on his decision.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.