DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship and agreed to split our visits 50-50 between our cities. Initially, it worked great. Unfortunately, his work schedule has changed, and for the past year he has come here to visit me only once every month or so, while I frequently drive for hours to see him.
He says that because he's away from home for work, it's only fair that I travel to see him since it's "less trouble" for me. I understand that he puts in a lot of time with travel for work, but at what point does the ratio become unbalanced and unfair?
I miss weekends in my city with my friends, and it makes me sad that he won't make the effort to see me. What do you think is right in this matter? -- UNCERTAIN IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR UNCERTAIN: "What's right" is the original agreement you had with your boyfriend, or something close to it. Because he is no longer willing to live up to his part in the bargain, consider seeing him less often.
Perhaps if he has a chance to miss you, he will feel impelled to make more of an effort. And if he's not, then you won't have to cut off your social relationships at home -- relationships you may need if this romance doesn't work out the way you would like.
DEAR ABBY: My wife of 32 years has delusional jealousy. It is so bad that she has checked my genitals and questioned the neighbors' wives. I have stayed in this marriage only because of our children, who are now adults.
I am at a crisis point where I want a divorce. I detest throwing 32 years away, but I have no love for this woman. We have sought counseling three times. However, once I start describing her delusions, the sessions quickly stop. -- WANTS OUT IN COLORADO
DEAR WANTS OUT: Nowhere in your letter could I discern a question, but from my vantage point, I disagree that you would "throw 32 years away." You used that time to make sure your children were grown and independent.
I'm sorry about your wife's delusions, but because she is unwilling to follow through with counseling, there is nothing you or I can do about them. If you want my permission to end this marriage, I can't grant it; only you can do that for yourself.
DEAR ABBY: My sister is engaged to a severe alcoholic. I host the annual Christmas dinners and I feel stuck. When he was here last year, he broke a wine glass that held special meaning for my husband and me and generally made a fool of himself.
Should I invite my sister and tell her that her fiance isn't welcome? (They live together.) He has gotten even worse this year. He broke three bones because he was so drunk he fell, and he left rehab three times in one month. I'm a cancer survivor and do not need the stress in my life. -- NERVOUS IN NEW YORK
DEAR NERVOUS: I agree that you shouldn't subject yourself to unnecessary stress. Your health must come first.
If you haven't discussed this with your sister, do it now. A way to include her and her fiance would be to serve no alcohol during your Christmas celebration. However, if that isn't feasible, then tell her that until her fiance is able to stay "dry," you regret that you will be unable to entertain them.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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