The Oklahoman

Star-crossed lovers keep dating other people instead

- Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My soul mate, “Ted,” is marrying another woman. When we met 10 years ago, we fell madly in love. We had absolutely everything in common but couldn’t take our relationsh­ip to the next level because we were both married at the time. Ted’s wife eventually left him for another man, but we still couldn’t be together as I was still married. During that time, he met a woman named “Shelley.” I eventually got divorced because my husband left me for another woman, but I still couldn’t be with Ted because he was now with Shelley. We are perfect for each other in every way, but our paths could never come together. Ted has admitted they have nothing in common and he’s not in love with her, but he feels he has an obligation since she has been there for so long. I’m devastated at the thought of losing my soul mate again. I don’t want him to marry her. Help!

– Such Bad Timing in Tennessee Dear Timing: I am going to assume that Ted knows you are devastated at the thought of his marrying someone else. If you haven’t told him, do it now. And when you do, point out that marriages entered into out of a feeling of “obligation” rather than love don’t usually last. If he was being honest with you about his feelings for Shelley, she deserves better than what she’ll be getting. Keep in mind that Ted has had time to end that romance since your divorce. My advice is to take a break.

Dear Abby: My dad used to beat my mother badly. Back then, it was “don’t tell.” Well, I guess she got tired of it because she had him shot. I was 15 at the time. My brother and sister were 8 and 6, and they don’t remember it well. But they were in my care until they were in their 20s. Now they are older, and I am treated like the black sheep. They act like I’m beneath them, and it hurts. My brother ended up in prison and was out for only two months before he put his hands on me. Am I petty for having nothing to do with them? My mom was in prison for a long time and died two years after she was released. What am I supposed to do? Any advice would be appreciate­d.

– Drifting in the East

Dear Drifting: Abusers have sometimes been victims themselves, or they grew up witnessing abuse, which is why they think it is normal behavior.You can’t fix what’s wrong with your relatives (the younger ones included). Although you have been through much trauma at an early age, it is within your power to heal. Counseling can help you to do that. It is available in most communitie­s through the Department of Mental Health.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby. com

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