Dear Abby: Now that he’s gained weight, I’m no longer attracted to husband

Should wife leave and feel happier, or stay for the sake of the children?


DEAR ABBY: I’m in my late 30s and have been married for seven years. My husband and I have two young children, a beautiful home, good jobs, etc. However, over the last few years, I have lost my attraction to him.

I’m not superficial, but he has gained more than 40 pounds since we met, and he refuses to eat healthy or exercise. He watched me spend countless hours working out to lose all my baby weight. We are rarely intimate anymore, and when we are I do it out of obligation.

I know these things happen, but he seems to be happy. I think if I told him I wanted to leave, he would be floored. Divorced friends of mine who have young children have advised me against it, and say my children’s happiness should come before mine. Others say if I’m not happy, the kids won’t be happy. I can manage living this life for them, but I feel like I’m too young to cheat myself out of some of my best years. Am I being selfish or smart? — WEIGHTY SUBJECT IN NEW YORK

DEAR WEIGHTY SUBJECT: Before your marriage deteriorates further, have a frank discussion with your husband. He seems to be happy because he doesn’t know what’s going on in your head. For reasons that go beyond animal attraction — including the welfare of his children — he needs to make some lifestyle changes and get a handle on his health. I am hoping that when you convey the message to him, he will be receptive. If not, please try marriage counseling before you consult a lawyer.

DEAR ABBY: I’m in my early 40s. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I keep reading the five-year survival rate is only 28%, and I’m concerned that despite receiving treatment (hormone therapy injections), I don’t have many years left. The cancer has been found in my spine and pelvis as well. I am a person of faith, so I’m not afraid of death. I’m just worried about leaving my daughter behind, along with friends and family.

My question is, should I make a will? I live in an apartment and don’t have many assets except for some savings. I plan to start a trust, so my daughter will receive that money at the appropriate time. I have never had a reason in the past for a will. I don’t know what sorts of things go into a will. I also have a 2-year-old cat, and now I’m worried he will outlive me. I don’t want him to have to go back to the Humane Society if I pass on. He’s like a child to me, and I only want the best for him. — MAKING PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

DEAR MAKING PLANS: Because you have financial assets, a daughter and a beloved pet you want to provide for in the event of your death, it’s important that you consult an attorney NOW about ANY end-of-life documents you need to have in place. You may decide you need more directives than just a will, which will give you peace of mind and guarantee your wishes are carried out.

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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