DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are both active duty military. We have been married for three years and have an 18-month-old daughter together. My husband is sweet, handsome and a great father.
We got married very quickly, and I think that’s where our problems began. He isn’t good at communication or showing affection, which leaves me feeling lonely. This, on top of being separated several times due to the military, makes for a very shaky marriage.
I have cheated on him with eight different people since our wedding. The affair I am most ashamed of was when I was pregnant with our daughter. I’m currently in counseling, but I’m still unable to curb my cravings. He always forgives me and allows us to continue being married.
The problem is, I don’t know if he’s really the one for me. I know cheating is wrong and that I’m not only hurting him, but my daughter as well.
Should we divorce? Or should we continue trying to be together? We have talked about marriage counseling, but we are separated so much it makes it hard to get into a good groove. — IS HE THE ONE FOR ME?
DEAR IS HE: I’m glad you’re in counseling because it’s where you need to be right now. The questions you are asking me are ones you should be raising with your therapist.
Separation is part of a military marriage. I agree that for you and your husband to fix what’s wrong with your marriage, he will need to be present and accounted for. I do not think you should make any decision about divorce until he returns from his deployment.
But I DO think that until he’s back, if you cannot “curb your cravings,” you should take every precaution you can against STDs.
More Dear Abby:
• When do I tell my date I’m wearing a wig?
• My husband calls me a “freeloader” because I work part-time
• My in-laws verbally abuse me in public, and my wife doesn’t care
• My family thinks I deserve a better-looking boyfriend
DEAR ABBY: I divorced my wife eight years ago. But she still takes every opportunity to make me look bad in front of her family and mine.
I met someone recently, and we care deeply for each other. There are no marriage plans for the future, but I don’t want to keep our relationship a secret. I’m reluctant to tell the family about her because of the fallout it may create, and for fear that my son and daughter may prevent me from seeing my grandchildren.
My new lady is 19 years my junior, which won’t help the situation. I am at a loss about what to do. Can you help? — PANIC IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR PANIC: Eight years after your divorce it should surprise no one that you have finally met someone.
Because your ex-wife’s pattern of behavior all this time has been to try to make you look bad, your family should recognize it for what it is — the reaction of an unhappy and bitter woman who would probably do the same thing even if you entered a monastery.
Live your life and don’t let it be ruled by fear. You divorced your ex eight years ago, but fear is the ball and chain by which she still controls you.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who uses her elderly mother’s handicap placard to park in handicap spots even when her mother is not in the car.
My friend is able-bodied. I think this is wrong. Handicap parking spots should be reserved for people who truly need them. When she offers to drive me somewhere, how should I handle it? — UNSURE IN CLEVELAND
DEAR UNSURE: A way to handle it would be to tell your friend how you feel about what she’s doing and refuse to let her park in the handicap zone, or insist on doing the driving.
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 http://www.DearAbby.com 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 $7 (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.)