February 22, 2024
Twice we've gone to counseling. Then I found out what he did while I was out of town.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 18 years. It’s a second marriage for both of us. He cheated on his ex with me.

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Dear Abby: Do I owe an apology to the restaurant owner after this blow-up?

Soon after we were married, he told me that, given the chance, he would cheat on me, but that I shouldn’t worry because no really pretty woman would ever want him.

Six years into our marriage, I needed to find something on his phone and saw he had signed up on a dating website for married people looking to cheat. We went to counseling. He said he wasn’t planning on following through; he just wanted to see what was out there.

Not long afterward, I noticed he had checked a website for dating foreign women, but he needed a credit card, so he gave up. Off to counseling again. I told him that was strike two.

Last week, he accidentally deleted something on his phone and asked me to find it. What I also found were emails from women offering their services, all of them sent last month while I was on vacation with my daughter (“Send money, I’ll send more titillating photos”). He claims he didn’t ask for them. There are eight or 10.

My question: Is this strike three?

— FOOLISH LADY IN MARYLAND

DEAR LADY: It should be obvious to you by now that your husband isn’t interested in being faithful.

If you’re looking for a reason to leave him, this is strike three. If not, it’s strike 2½. (Please get yourself tested for STDs.)

DEAR ABBY: My beautiful daughter has a great job, two lovely sons and a fiance who loves her. She seems to have it all. But since she’s been with him, she has gained weight.

I would estimate that she now weighs around 250 pounds. She has no energy, doesn’t walk at all, and sits in front of the TV when she’s not at work. She refuses to allow her picture to be taken; she always insists on being the one taking pictures.

I know she’s bothered about her weight. I know I am bothered because I’m afraid she won’t live 10 more years.

Last weekend, we were at an outside self-service restaurant with a steep terrace. We wanted another drink. She asked me to get them because she would be too out of breath. I made two trips bringing things down to our table.

How can I say I think she needs to lose weight? Of course, she does, but will this ruin our relationship? I almost feel like she needs an intervention.

We would be as worried if it were alcohol that was threatening her life. But it’s food. Her fiance is also overweight. I think he’s an enabler.

I’m stressed and depressed over this. They plan to be married next year, and I wonder how much they will weigh by then. Any advice?

— PROTECTIVE MOM IN MISSOURI

DEAR MOM: Your concern is valid. Your daughter’s weight gain and sedentary lifestyle could lead to serious health problems if they aren’t addressed. That said, the intervention should come from your daughter’s doctor, if she has one, rather than from you.

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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Dear Abby: I want to leave my wife but I’m afraid she’ll hurt somebody if I do

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