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A prolonged marriage now includes threats and ill will

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Dear Abby,

I am a 50 year old man, married for 25 years. My wife is older than me. At first it was great, but our relationship slowly started to fail, and now we argue about everything. I feel like I’m trapped in a cage. We no longer have a single thing in common.

I want a happy life with or without her, but all I see is darkness around me. When I file for divorce, I am accused of cheating and threatened to pay child support for the rest of my life. Marriage counseling does not seem to be an option. What should I do?

— Wants to be free in Oregon

If marriage counseling “isn’t an option,” that doesn’t mean you can’t get psychological counseling to help you become emotionally stronger. While you’re at it, it’s important that you speak with an attorney about the divorce laws in your state. Once you do this, you will be better able to decide if you want to “live in darkness” for the rest of your life, or what you may have to sacrifice to finally be free. You deserve to be happy, and frankly, so does your wife, who also seems unhappy.

Dear Abby,

My boyfriend of four years refuses to tell me the truth about his infidelity and cheating. I’ve given him countless opportunities to come forward, but he always denies it. I caught it with a girl who followed us the whole time we were together.

Abby, I did everything I could to get him to confess, but he’s not! What should I have done or what can I do so that my life can move on and I don’t have to worry about what he’s doing? I’m heartbroken and he doesn’t care.

— Twice in California

As you said, you were deeply hurt by your boyfriend’s dishonesty and he “doesn’t care” about your feelings. He is who he is and he won’t change. Obviously, one woman is not enough for him. You’ve now wasted four precious years of your life – time you’ll never get back – on a constantly lying cheater. Isn’t that enough? Do what you should have done years ago and MOVE FORWARD.

Dear Abby,

I’m a fifth grade student who is, say, good at math. I usually finish my math homework easily, but lately it’s piling up. The problem is that my classmates ask me for a lot of help. I like to help them, but sometimes it’s hard to explain things or I can’t find the time to do my own work.

The teacher usually does a math group with other students, so my friends can’t ask him. Should I fall behind helping my friends or focus on my own work and risk hurting them?

— Stressed out in Idaho

You shouldn’t help your friends to the exclusion of your own work. It is important for you and for your friends that you discuss this with your math teacher. She needs to know that she should devote more attention to students outside of her math group who need extra instruction instead of relying on you to do so. When you have finished your work, lend a hand to the other students if you wish.

dear Abby

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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Dear Abby: Extended marriage now includes threats and ill will

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