DEAR ABBY: I'm a lifelong New York resident; my husband is not. So when he had an opportunity to move to Houston to be closer to his only brother, he desperately wanted to move.
My children are grown and on their own, so no problem there. Although leaving my career, my mother and my children to move so far away was difficult for me, my husband doesn't have much of a family, so I knew it was important to him.
He never had children, and he wanted to be part of his niece and nephew's lives. So we moved.
Now we're treated like we don't exist! We're not invited to family events, they never visit us and we're not included during holidays. These are the people who begged us for the last 13 years to move to Texas.
I want to return to New York. He doesn't want to go. I'm afraid if I insist, I'll need to move back alone. Should I risk my marriage over it?
DEAR HOMESICK: There is a middle ground between moving back to New York and staying in Texas. One of them is making regular trips to visit your mother, children and friends. Another would be to understand that your husband's family cannot be your sole source of social activity.
You and your husband should join clubs and volunteer your time to some worthy causes. That's the way people meet each other. Texans are known for their hospitality, so give them a fair chance. But only as a last resort should you sacrifice your marriage.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Hank" for five years. He has always been a loner. He has never been married and has no kids. We lived together for four years and our relationship is wonderful other than his "just being him." He's kind of self-centered and not very communicative.
Hank just learned that his mother is terminally ill. He came home from work, told me to pack and move out, gave me five minutes of his time and then left! I packed some clothes and went.
I'm not sure if I should stay away or try to get him to talk this through with me. This is tearing me apart. I know he loves me, but I'm afraid that with what's going on with his mom, he's shutting me out because he can't handle it. I'm the closest person to him, but he is pushing me away. Please give me some advice.
-- Feeling Very Alone
DEAR VERY ALONE: Whether you should remain involved with Hank depends upon how great your tolerance is for pain. He isn't shutting you out; he gave you one giant kick in the fanny. He also isn't "kind of" self-centered; he's very self-centered.
If you're curious about his mother's health, call and ask from time to time. But do not expect to get back together anytime soon. To have ended the relationship with you the way he did was brutal.
DEAR ABBY: I became a widower two years ago and only recently started dating. Although I am in my early 70s, I'm in great physical shape and have all my hair. I am also financially well off and I think I'm reasonably good-looking. My concern is, how do I avoid becoming a trophy husband?
-- Potential Prize
DEAR POTENTIAL PRIZE: That should be easy. Don't reveal your financial status and don't propose.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
High Profile on 06/22/2014
Print Headline: She sacrificed for his family, now his kin excludes them