DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Robbie" for 25 years. He has had numerous affairs during most of our marriage. His most recent one has devastated me.
Robbie tells me he is in love with another woman -- but that he also loves me. Robbie is a good provider. I have everything I want or need. We are set financially. I have considered leaving him and starting over, but frankly, it scares me. I feel that he is staying because he doesn't want to "lose everything." I know in my heart he wants to be with the other woman.
We have been through counseling. I thought things were OK, but they weren't. I saw the signs again.
Now my other dilemma: I'm not sure I'm in love with Robbie anymore. I'm not sure if the reason I don't leave is because of him -- or the financial security. If I stay, I'm not sure I can forgive or forget again. I know if it's not this woman, there will always be another and another.
Should I stay, or hold my head up high and go my separate way? -- HANGING ON IN INDIANA
DEAR HANGING: You are asking intelligent questions. However, no one can answer them but you. Since marriage counseling couldn't resolve the problems in your marriage, it's time to talk to an accountant and an attorney to determine the financial reality of what separating from your husband would be. Armed with that information, you can then ask yourself whether your life would be better with or without him and arrive at a logical conclusion. This may be a new beginning instead of a sad ending. I wish you the best of luck.
DEAR ABBY: I was going through my dear mother's Bible recently looking for my aunt's date of birth. As I opened it, I discovered one of your columns -- a "recipe" submitted by Maxine D. Mother had clipped it without the date, but I believe it was from May 1961. The recipe was for happiness. That recipe is as timely today as it was 40 years ago. Perhaps you might reprint it for those who missed it before.
Interestingly, on the back of the recipe is an ad that advertises submarine sandwiches made with three meats, four sandwiches for a dollar. Can you believe it?
In April 1961, Mother was 48 years old. I have been without her for 20 years this year. -- JAN ROLLINS, CARROLLTON, TEXAS
DEAR JAN: Thank you for reminding me of the recipe for happiness. You're right -- it's due for a repeat. As for the ad offering four submarine sandwiches for a dollar -- my, how times have changed! They cost $4 to $6 per sandwich today. I wonder how much they'll cost in another 40 years. Read on:
RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS
Take 2 heaping cups of patience
1 heartful of love
2 handsful of generosity
Dash of laughter
1 headful of understanding
Sprinkle generously with kindness
Add plenty of faith and mix well.
Spread over a period of a lifetime
And serve everybody you meet.
DEAR ABBY: I am 18. I was involved with a guy for six years. I loved him deeply. I thought he loved me. One night he admitted he was only telling me he loved me because he thought that's what I wanted to hear. Our relationship ended.
I started dating another guy I had known for five years. Two months later, we slept together. Before I knew it, he left me and went back to his ex-wife. My third boyfriend cheated on me, and then lied about it.
Abby, my friends now want to hook me up with "Larry." He has had as much bad luck with relationships as I have. I am scared. I don't want to be hurt again. I have been hurt more in my life than loved. Larry seems like a nice guy, but I don't know what to do. Any ideas? -- THREE-TIME LOSER
DEAR THREE-TIME: Accept the fact that dating is risky business, and most dating relationships do not lead to marriage. Then take a break from dating for a while. Concentrate on school, or on your career if you have completed your education. You need to rebuild your self-esteem before getting involved in another romance. In the meantime, make a friend out of Larry.
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