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Man is weighed down by sadness four years after separation

Man is weighed down by sadness four years after separation

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Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I've been separated from my wife for about four years, at her request. It was justified. I wasn't the best husband. I wasn't abusive, but I was sad and feeling sorry for myself, like now.

I took her for granted and didn't show her the affection she deserved, but I have been going to therapy to work through issues that I had suppressed for decades that contributed to me being a bad husband. I wanted to try counseling with her, but she was done and refused, which I'm still saddened by.

As of today, she has a new boyfriend but still hasn't filed for divorce. I'm struggling because she and her new boyfriend hang out with people I grew up with. It's my own hang-up, I know, but it makes me feel embarrassed and like I can never hang out with my friends again. I get upset when I see posts on Facebook with her and her boyfriend that my family have added heart emojis or nice comments to.

Am I wrong for feeling betrayed in some way? Is my estranged wife belittling me by not filing for divorce and hanging out with my friends and a new boyfriend? Are my friends and family betraying me by being friends with them? -- BROKEN BEYOND REPAIR

DEAR BROKEN: Marriages end for many reasons. If I read your letter correctly, your wife left because she could no longer cope with someone who was in a chronic state of depression, not because you were a "bad husband" or had some flaw in your character.

You are doing your best to improve your mental state, and for that I applaud you. You should not feel embarrassed or humiliated because she has found a new relationship. Please discuss these feelings with your therapist so you can move beyond them.

It may also be time to take the initiative and file for the divorce. Quit avoiding your longtime friends. If you haven't started dating, some of them may know women to introduce you to. And because posts on the internet about your almost-ex and her boyfriend cause you pain, block or delete them rather than obsess.

DEAR ABBY: My friend has an adult child with a drug addiction. Sometimes when we are together, this child will call begging for money. My friend gives in every time. She feels terrible about doing it but can't seem to say no. She has attended several Nar-Anon meetings, but no longer wants to go because she says it's depressing. As a friend, what's the best way to support her? -- HER CARING FRIEND

DEAR FRIEND: Although those meetings may be "depressing," they can also be enlightening if someone is open to it. Point out to your friend that even MORE depressing would be losing a child to addiction and knowing that she was the enabler. Then volunteer to attend meetings with your friend until she gains the strength to act responsibly.

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