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Long marriage in jeopardy after man’s lies come to light

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Dear Abby,

I recently discovered that for seven years – or more – my husband has been lying to avoid conflict. What he lied about upsets me immensely, but knowing he lied about these things makes it worse than finding out the truth at the time things happened.

The lies concern her relationship with her “friends”. He always had a wandering gaze. He lied so many times that I wonder what else he lied about and I don’t know. I know because he tells himself without realizing what he said.

I am now questioning our whole life together. We’ve been together for 31 years, and I think our whole marriage was built on his lies. When I confront him about it, he says he “never said it”, but he did. How to live with a lying spouse?

— Lied to Georgia

Strong marriages are built on trust. Unfortunately, yours is missing in this department. Your first task is to figure out if you WANT to stay married to a lying husband, who is trying to enlighten you by denying he said something you clearly heard. It would be in your best interest to schedule sessions with a licensed counselor who can help you gain enough emotional strength to make this decision rationally rather than emotionally. If you decide to end your marriage, discuss it with a lawyer BEFORE telling your husband so he can walk you through the process.

Dear Abby,

I am the eldest of four children. I am closest with my youngest brother, “Louanne”. I haven’t had a relationship with the other sister, “Emily”, for almost 10 years. I tried to reach out a few times and got rejected or received cold responses. My feelings for Emily went numb.

Emily now has mental issues and Louanne, who has a relationship with her, helps her almost to the limit. She’s now talking about moving Emily from South Carolina to New Jersey, and wants my help in arranging it. Until two weeks ago, Emily was living alone as she had for many years. She’s had her ups and downs, but Louanne considers this as if Emily is no longer able to take care of herself.

I find it hard to feel compassion for Emily, and Louanne is mad at me for not wanting to help. It destroys our relationship. I tried to explain my feelings to her, but she keeps reminding me that it’s about “family”, so I have to put my feelings aside. I feel torn and alone. No advice?

— Challenged to the East

It might help to look at this from a different angle. Although you are estranged from Emily, whom you admit has mental problems, you are close to Louanne. If you maintain your current position and refuse to help Louanne, the entire responsibility for Emily’s relocation will fall on her shoulders, and that’s quite a burden. You would be doing a good deed by helping Louanne with this burden she has taken on, and if you look at it that way, it can make it easier for HER to take on this responsibility.

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 www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Dear Abby: A long marriage in jeopardy after a man’s lies come to light

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