DEAR ABBY: In the last few years I have had a string of failed relationships. Nothing bad happened, and there were no fights or arguments. The ladies tell me I’m great and an amazing person. Yet they don’t want to be in a relationship, or they cheat or lie to me.
I’m a very open, understanding guy. I believe communication is key to success in any relationship, and that together, there isn’t much a couple can’t overcome. It seems many women come from abusive relationships or just plain toxic ones, and they are scared because I don’t exhibit any of those traits.
I’m a kind, caring, supportive partner. If you had a bad day, I want to hear about it. You had a good day? Let’s talk about that. You want to go out with your friends? Go for it. Have fun and be safe! You want to go out with me? Don’t worry about bringing your pocketbook — I got this.
I’m looking for a partner, someone who eventually may become my queen. These women love that about me but then do everything to distance themselves. It appears nice guys finish last. I’m not bad looking; I’m 34, go to the gym regularly, no kids, no marriages. I was engaged for four years previously.
I’m ready to give up on relationships altogether; the pain just doesn’t seem worth it. After a while, though, it gets lonely. Please give me some advice. — SOMEBODY’S BOYFRIEND IN MICHIGAN
DEAR BOYFRIEND: Something is clearly wrong here. Where are you meeting these women who cheat and lie? You may need to go fishing in different waters. And has it occurred to you that in your loneliness you may be trying too hard, which may scare them off?
Having never met you, I can’t guess what you might be doing wrong, if anything. It’s time to start asking your married friends why they think this is happening repeatedly. Perhaps they can suggest some “tweaks” or introduce you to women who will appreciate the fine qualities you possess.
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s first wife died 17 years ago. They were married for 20 years. We have been together 14 years, married for 12. He still insists that her family is his family because of their daughter, who is an amazing young woman. We have an ongoing disagreement about this.
He can’t understand why I refuse to attend functions that include only his late wife’s family. He doesn’t feel my family is his family, only his first wife’s family. When he attends these functions alone, he comes home very angry. He tells me I don’t understand and that I need to go where he goes.
After another intense disagreement, I’m ready to call it the end of the road. We are both in our 60s, and it’s kind of late in life for a divorce, so I would appreciate any advice you could give me. — ARGUING A LOT IN MONTANA
DEAR ARGUING: Unless your husband’s former in-laws have made you feel unwelcome, I think you should have made a greater effort to accompany him to some of those gatherings. Frankly, I am surprised you would seriously consider ending your marriage over the fact that he still considers them to be family.
If ever I thought a couple should get marriage counseling, it is you two. Please consider it before consulting a lawyer.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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