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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Fiance must pick up pieces after relationship crumbles

by Abigail Van Buren | January 20, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I am a 59-year-old man. My 50-year-old fiancee lives in a nice home, but after a 15-year relationship, she wanted to be with another man. She recently lost a great deal of weight, bought a new car and started to do things I felt were not age-appropriate.

She’s now staying in a weekly rental motel with him. It leads me to believe they both left relationships and had nowhere to go. She didn’t give me a chance to fight for us (counseling, etc.) or even a heads-up that she was unhappy. One afternoon when I got home from work, I found a note from her saying she was sorry for not being able to tell me in person, but she was doing this for herself.

I have always been an honorable person in relationships. This is hard for me to move on from. I’ve never been this hurt. She will only communicate through emails and texts. I feel desperate and lost. Please give me encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel. — Emotionally Drained In Maine

Dear Emotionally Drained: Although your lady friend didn’t give you the chance to fight for her through counseling, my first bit of advice is to see a therapist and fight for yourself. You may not have known your fiancee as well as you thought you did. Once you regain some perspective, you may realize that something changed when she started losing weight. (I’m guessing this was around the time she met the man she’s living with.)

The woman you invested so much time in was dishonest, cowardly and selfish to have treated you the way she did. I wish you had mentioned why the two of you hadn’t married in the 15 years you were together. But, my friend, you dodged a bullet. A psychotherapist will help you to realize how lucky you are.

Dear Abby: My brother-in-law recently moved near us. He never misses a chance to brag about what he has. We are all retired and living well, but comparisons are made. He has even referenced our kids “needing” their inheritance, while his kids don’t “since they have great jobs.”

I’m close to my sister and happy to have her nearby, but I’m unsure how to handle her spouse. I try to minimize my time with him and ignore him when he speaks. My husband wants nothing to do with him, and I don’t blame him. I don’t want to cause a rift between my sister and me. — Dealing With A Narcissist

Dear Dealing: There are two ways to handle this. The first would be to recognize that people who feel the need to do what your brother-in-law has been doing usually do it out of insecurity. The second would be to tell your sister how her husband’s remarks affect you and your husband — and that if he doesn’t knock it off, they’ll be seeing a lot less of you. Then let her handle it.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit


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