Pawtucket Times

Husband feels powerless amid marriage struggles

- Abigail Van Buren


I married for the second time two years ago to a younger woman. Seven months after our wedding, she announced she didn’t like my dominating personalit­y, which is why she was stepping out of the marriage. She then went back to her deadbeat ex-boyfriend for six months. I went for counseling and have made a major change in how I treat, talk and make decisions with her. I love my wife with all my heart. I want to protect our marriage and move forward from the affair.

Our second anniversar­y is approachin­g, but she has been interactin­g with other men. She takes her daughter with another man on play-dates along with his daughter, and goes to the park with another man for three hours. (He was a single dad having a BBQ.) The third one is a guy she goes with to the park, splash pads, public swimming pool and a water-slide park. They text each other often. One guy is a married stay-at-home dad. He has cheated on his wife before.

Am I wrong to think this is unacceptab­le for a married woman? Any advice would be absolutely appreciate­d. -- BEWILDERED IN CANADA


It’s time for joint counseling, with a new therapist for you and your wife. I can’t think of a better way to drive her away than continuing to obsess about what she “may” be doing on these outings. It is hard to envision her carrying on flagrantly with a child in tow; the activities you describe seem distinctly family-oriented to me. It appears you still expect her to conform to your idea of how a married woman “should” behave, or you’re having serious trust issues. More counseling for you may be in order if your marriage is going to last.


I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years. Over those years, he has acquired an addiction to porn. He refuses to admit he is addicted and insists that it’s perfectly normal. I’m usually not one to judge, but it has reached the point that it’s affecting our sex life.

I can’t remember the last time we had a moment to ourselves that didn’t start with him spending all day watching porn. I tried getting involved with it myself hoping we’d find a common interest we could bond over, but he doesn’t seem to want me involved at all.

I feel like I’m being cheated on, as silly as that sounds. I’m struggling with my body image because of this. I feel like I’m never going to be adequate enough for him to focus on our sex life. How do I compete with porn?



You don’t. Tell your boyfriend that his reliance on porn is negatively affecting your self-esteem and you are no longer willing to be involved with him because of it. If he’s in love with you and willing to work on the problem, there are resources available to him. (Twelvestep programs come immediatel­y to mind.) If he isn’t, however, accept that this has NOTHING to do with your level of attractive­ness, and move on.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Today’s Birthdays:

Journalist Elizabeth Drew is 87. Blues musician W.C. Clark is 83. Actor Joanna Pettet is 80. Actor Steve Railsback is 77. Actor David Leisure is 72. Actor Miguel Sandoval is 71. Actor Marg Helgenberg­er is 64. Rock musician Mani is 60. Former pro tennis player Zina Garrison is 59. Former MLB All-Star pitcher Dwight Gooden is 58. Jazz singer Diana Krall is 58. Actor Harry Lennix is 58.

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