Woman who left abu­sive ex strug­gles with lin­ger­ing ties


DEAR ABBY: I was mar­ried to a man who ruled my ev­ery move. Af­ter years of tor­ture and abuse, I fi­nally be­came fright­ened enough to leave. Since then I have met a won­der­ful, car­ing, lov­ing man who I wouldn’t trade for the world. He treats me with kind­ness, re­spect and love. He makes me laugh and smile and ap­pre­ci­ate life. I am al­lowed to be my­self and func­tion how I will. I am hap­pier than I have ever been.

My ques­tion is, some­times I miss my emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally abu­sive ex. I have no de­sire to BE with him, but af­ter all those years, it’s hard to ad­just some days.

Is some­thing wrong with me? I would never leave my cur­rent re­la­tion­ship for my ex. I feel like I have found my soul mate. But these lin­ger­ing thoughts trou­ble me. Am I nor­mal? What do I do? I don’t have a girl­friend to con­fide in. -- FOUND MY SOUL MATE

DEAR FOUND: I’m touched that you would con­fide in me. Yes, you are nor­mal. Time has a way of dulling emo­tional pain, and with time we tend to gloss over un­pleas­ant­ness. Your ex may not have been bru­tal and con­trol­ling all the time, and you are re­mem­ber­ing the hap­pier times.

I don’t think that what you are miss­ing has much to do with HIM. What you may be miss­ing is the adren­a­line rush you got from the drama.

DEAR ABBY: I had an in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship with a se­nior of­fi­cer at the firm where I

TODAY’S BIRTH­DAY (Nov. 27). Your habit of think­ing ahead will give you a com­pet­i­tive edge when you need it. You’ll ap­ply your sharp mind to de­bate and pol­i­tics. When it comes to love, though, you don’t hold back or play it like a game. You’re all heart, and the love you give comes right back to you. 2014 will be one of your most ro­man­tic years. Libra and Can­cer peo­ple adore you. Your lucky num­bers are: 11, 40, 44, 25 and 16.

ARIES (March 21-April 19). You create an ex­pe­ri­ence for any­one who is get­ting to know you. It’s not that you’re try­ing to put on a show or make an im­pres­sion, but it’s what hap­pens nat­u­rally when you do what you feel com­pelled to do.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You don’t need to know how just yet. Just know that you can suc­ceed, and you will. Much good will comes be­cause you be­lieve on a deep level that this is true.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21). There may be a misunderstanding among friends. You’re not go­ing to view this the same way to­mor­row, so don’t make any big pub­lic state­ments about it.

CAN­CER (June 22-July 22). Love who you are work. It ended a year ago. I was mar­ried at the time -- I am now di­vorced -- and he is mar­ried.

Oc­ca­sion­ally dur­ing the past year, he has made ad­vances, but I re­jected them. How­ever, today his ad­vances were per­sis­tent and al­most de­mand­ing. For the first time, I felt a lit­tle threat­ened.

I don’t want to cause trou­ble for him, his job and cer­tainly not his fam­ily. But what do I do? I’d like to think he has got­ten the mes­sage, but what if it con­tin­ues? I like the guy; I’m just not in­ter­ested any­more. -- DON’T WANT TROU­BLE

DEAR DON’T WANT TROU­BLE: It ap­pears “Romeo” hasn’t quite got­ten the mes­sage, so it’s time to make EX­PLICIT your wishes in this mat­ter. If he con­tin­ues to per­sist, then you will have to re­port it to hu­man re­sources.

DEAR ABBY: I have a great hus­band who has only one quirk. He of­ten for­gets to zip his fly. At home, who cares? But it hap­pens in pub­lic too of­ten and cre­ates an un­com­fort­able scene when my friends are around.

Should I be hard on him, or just sym­pa­thize and keep my mouth shut? And what should I do when it’s clear that he’s the only one who doesn’t know? -- JUST ZIP IT

DEAR JUST ZIP IT: Has your hus­band al­ways now. You will al­ways be de­vel­op­ing into some­one new, but it’s wrong to save up all of your love for that per­son. Act now. Give your­self what you need. You de­serve it.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Today is best played con­ser­va­tively. Many of the risks aren’t worth tak­ing. Use your head and don’t be im­pul­sive. If there’s no prize, don’t com­pete. If there’s noth­ing to win by bat­tling, don’t fight.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You know your per­spec­tive is re­al­is­tic when you rec­og­nize that things have a be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end. An un­re­al­is­tic per­spec­tive is one that only sees one part of this cy­cle.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). What some peo­ple con­sider a cri­sis is just an av­er­age day in the life of oth­ers. Your stel­lar at­ti­tude al­lows you to ob­jec­tively de­cide what to get ex­cited or up­set about and what to laugh at, too.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You are tempted to for­got­ten to zip his fly, or is his for­get­ful­ness some­thing re­cent? If it is re­cent, and you have no­ticed other lapses in what should be au­to­matic be­hav­ior, then it is time he had a neu­ro­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion by a physi­cian.

Be­cause this hap­pens with some fre­quency, work out a code with him to re­mind him his fly is open -- or take him aside and qui­etly point out that he needs to make an ad­just­ment.

DEAR READ­ERS: To­mor­row is Thanks­giv­ing, and no Thanks­giv­ing would be com­plete without the tra­di­tional prayer penned by my dear mother: Oh, Heav­enly Fa­ther, We thank Thee for food and re­mem­ber the hun­gry.

We thank Thee for health and re­mem­ber the sick.

We thank Thee for friends and re­mem­ber the friend­less.

We thank Thee for free­dom and re­mem­ber the en­slaved. May these re­mem­brances stir us to ser­vice, That Thy gifts to us may be used for oth­ers. Amen. Have a safe and happy cel­e­bra­tion, ev­ery­one! -- Love, ABBY

TO MY JEWISH READ­ERS: At sun­down the eight days of Hanukkah be­gin. I can’t be­lieve how early it has fallen this year. To all of you I wish a joy­ous Fes­ti­val of Lights! do good deeds with hu­mil­ity so as not to draw too much at­ten­tion to your­self. This is a bad idea, though. The world needs to see peo­ple do­ing ad­mirable and help­ful things, be­cause oth­ers will fol­low suit.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You may have a dif­fi­cult time per­suad­ing peo­ple di­rectly, so try other strate­gies. For in­stance, present a num­ber of baf­fling al­ter­na­tives that will make your pre­ferred choice seem like the easy route.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Math al­lows us to grap­ple with num­bers that are too big or small for us to re­ally wrap our brains around. You’ll use math in in­ter­est­ing ways to fix some­thing today.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You don’t have to en­joy a process to find it fulfilling. Keep this in mind as you work. The joy may not ex­actly over­flow, and yet you’ll look back and feel sat­is­fied, even com­pletely so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You don’t like to base your emo­tional tone on ex­ter­nal forces, but some­times it just can’t be helped. Be­ing around some­one you adore will make you happy.

When de­clarer ap­pears to be in a hope­less po­si­tion, he might do well to re­mem­ber the old base­ball adage, “The game isn’t over till the last man’s out.” South did ex­actly that in today’s deal, and as a re­sult suc­ceeded in a sit­u­a­tion that many would have con­sid­ered a lost cause.

He ruffed the se­cond spade lead and cashed the A-Q of hearts. When West failed to fol­low to the se­cond heart, it ap­peared de­clarer would have to lose a trick in each suit and go down one.

But South did not give up, and con­tin­ued to play on in the hope that East had started with a 3-4-3-3 dis­tri­bu­tion, in which case the con­tract could still be made. At trick five, he led the king of di­a­monds, los­ing to West’s ace. West’s spade re­turn was ruffed by South with his last trump, and the Q-J of di­a­monds were cashed, East fol­low­ing suit to both.

At this point, East was known to have started with four hearts and at least three di­a­monds and three spades. De­clarer had to hope that East did not have an­other spade or the 13th di­a­mond, which would leave him room for at most two clubs.

With five tricks re­main­ing to be played, de­clarer cashed the A-K of clubs and then, with fin­gers crossed, led a third club, hop­ing East would have to win the trick. When East un­hap­pily won with the jack, he was com­pelled to lead from the J-9 of hearts into dummy’s K-10 at trick 12, and the con­tract was home.

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