DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are both enlisted Army (he — 20 years, two Iraq deployments; I — 15 years, one Iraq deployment). We met in the service and have been married for 10 years.
Three years after our wedding, my husband told me he was no longer physically attracted to me. It hurt. A lot. It has been seven years since that day, and we’re still together. I don’t feel loved, appreciated or valued. I’m a logic-driven person. Emotions don’t come easy for me. I have always been open about my thoughts and feelings, even the painful ones.
Since that day, I resent him, and I have told him such. He doesn’t understand why I can’t just “get over it” and continue to live our lives. He has refused therapy multiple times. I don’t have a family of my own, and we have no children together. Must I appreciate the friendship we have, or is it time to push for a meet-in-the-middle resolution? — UNAPPRECIATED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR UNAPPRECIATED: That you would feel resentment after what your husband told you is normal. It appears that intimacy is either unimportant to him, or he is finding it elsewhere.
Your self-esteem may be below ground level, but you have a right to be able to feel loved, appreciated and valued. Since you are receiving none of those, there is no “meeting in the middle.” Where you need to meet is a lawyer’s office so you can officially end a marriage that died seven years ago.
DEAR ABBY: My dad has never been great at communicating. I’m the only one who seems to communicate with him, even though I’m across the country. Over the last few years, until recently, his new wife, “Dorie,” helped to bridge the gap. I loved having Dad around even if it was second hand from her.
When my aunt, his sister, died suddenly, somehow I was appointed to write the obituary. Having never written one, I inadvertently omitted Dorie’s name in the article. She became enraged and defensive. I apologized, but I also showed my teeth a bit because she was so rude about an honest mistake. Now communication with Dad is as strained as it was before. I think she screens and answers his messages, so I’m unsure if it’s him replying.
Dad was sick recently, and she didn’t bother to tell me. I learned about it through Facebook. I’m a nice person, but she really upset me. I have already apologized and explained it was a mistake. I want a relationship with my dad. Should I apologize again? — FRUSTRATED DAUGHTER IN THE WEST
DEAR DAUGHTER: Yes. Apologize for reacting the way you did (showing your teeth) after the obituary “disaster.” Dorie’s feelings were already hurt because of your omission. If you can, smooth over what happened. However, recognize that your relationship with your father didn’t make him a better communicator. You were keeping tabs on him through the efforts of his wife.
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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