Pawtucket Times

Husband handed out hugs to all women except wife

- Abigail Van Buren


My strongest “love language” is physical touch. For 23 years, my husband gave hugs galore to any and every woman, but never to me. The word “never” is not an exaggerati­on. He has recently begun to change and try to be better. Now he does hug me as much as I want. But when he hugs other women, it still feels like a knife through my heart.

He says the hugs mean nothing to him, but I question why, if they were so insignific­ant, he couldn’t give me even one for more than two decades? How do I get over feeling hurt when he hugs other women? Is there something wrong with my perspectiv­e on this? I’m not sure if I’m being too sensitive. -- FINALLY WORTH



Too sensitive? There is nothing wrong with your “perspectiv­e.” For 23 years your passive-aggressive husband chose to withhold a gesture of affection you requested, while showering other women with it. It’s “nice” that he’s finally willing to make the effort to hug you but, frankly, it seems a bit late. It may take a therapist to help work through your justified hurt and anger over this. My advice is to start now.


My husband died suddenly three months ago. My family sympathize­s with me; however, my youngest daughter thinks I need to move on and get over his death. How can I make her understand that his death has devastated me, and getting over it will take time? She reads tarot cards and claims the cards are telling me to get over it and move on. How can I get her to stop with the card readings?




Your daughter may be trying to be helpful. She may also be uncomforta­ble seeing her mother in pain. Clearly, she has no clue about how grief works. There is no timetable for it, but three months is a relatively short period of time. Tell her that for the foreseeabl­e future those card readings will no longer be a subject of discussion. Then, if she brings it up again, change the subject.


I’m writing to ask your advice about how to tell my friends we should not exchange Christmas gifts this year. We are all retirees. I’m not cheap, and neither are they, but none of us “needs” anything. I suspect many of us want to say it, but we don’t know how. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Suggestion­s?




I assume you see or communicat­e with these friends on a regularly. Raise this subject during one of your visits well before the Christmas holiday. Many retirees are trying to divest themselves of the “things” they have accumulate­d during their lifetime, and your friends may feel similarly. Do not feel shy about bringing it up. They may be as relieved as you about exchanging only cards and good wishes.

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:

Talk show host Dick Cavett is 86. Broadcasti­ng and sports mogul Ted Turner is 84. Former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is 83. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is 81. Fashion designer Calvin Klein is 80. Sportscast­er Ahmad Rashad is 73. Actor Robert Beltran is 69. Actor Kathleen Quinlan is 68. Actor Glynnis O’Connor is 67. Broadcast journalist Ann Curry is 66.

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