Dear Abby: Man I’m dating drops a bombshell — he and ‘ex’ are still married

The former couple has lived apart for three years but haven’t pursued a divorce because he can’t afford it.

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DEAR ABBY: I am currently dating someone, and although it hasn’t been that long, so far everything has been great. We each have two children from previous relationships. We have discussed the topic of marriage, having a child of our own and even adoption.

One day he told me he wanted to tell me something. He ended up saying that before going into the military years ago, he “had” to marry his ex. Problem is, although they have lived apart for three years, she isn’t his ex. They are still married.

He said they have no interest in being together and have both moved on. When I asked when he plans to divorce her, he said he hasn’t had the financial capability to do so. I don’t know how to take this news. Any advice? — THROWN IN NEVADA

DEAR THROWN: You need more information. Has this man been supporting his ex all this time, or is she self-supporting? Who is supporting the children? How much money does he think he will owe her if they divorce?

I’m not familiar with the divorce laws in Nevada, but an attorney who is licensed to practice there will be. It would be very much worth your while to make an appointment with one to discuss what your boyfriend has told you. You should do it before becoming any more involved with him.

DEAR ABBY: I’m writing in the hope you’ll print my letter and, with your response, raise awareness about male breast cancer. A male family member was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and in addition to the issues everyone recently diagnosed with cancer goes through, there are additional issues causing stress.

Because male breast cancer is so rare, all the pamphlets and information are aimed at women. As a result, my relative feels very alone. Besides family, he doesn’t want anyone, including members of his church, to know his diagnosis because he’s afraid of what they will think. Encouragement such as telling him his friends can offer additional support and prayers has gone nowhere so far.

Abby, can you share with your readers some information and resources for men with breast cancer? We would be very grateful. — CARING FAMILY MEMBER

DEAR CARING: There is information about breast cancer in men online. If your relative will visit and search on male breast cancer, he will discover an abundance of information on the subject. For suggestions about support groups, he should call the American Cancer Society’s helpline: 800-227-2345.

Your family member is NOT alone. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

DEAR ABBY: I work two jobs and took time off from my second job so I could watch my four grandchildren for a week when their parents had to go out of state. They did call the 14-year-old daily, but never once called or spoke to me during that time. Am I being cranky or is that disrespectful? — FEELING LIKE DIRT

DEAR FEELING LIKE DIRT: I don’t blame you for being miffed. It was thoughtless and ungracious of them not to ask to speak with you for a minute. However, if they didn’t respect you, I’m sure they wouldn’t have left their precious children in your care.

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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