Dear Annie: I was married for 34 years and divorced two years ago. Within months, I married “Sam,” who I met through an Internet dating site. He treated me like I was all he cared about in this world.
Now I’ve discovered he drinks six to eight bottles of beer every evening. He also does not communicate with me at all, or uses profane and offensive language and says I’m an idiot. Sam told me he would provide for us in our old age with a pension and life insurance, but I’ve learned he has neither, and he tells me he can’t afford it. He is a totally different person from the man I fell in love with. I am hurt, lonely and scared.
Sam is 61 and retired. I am 55. I don’t expect him to be with me 24/7, but he’s never there at all. I am going through counselling alone. He won’t go because he says there is nothing wrong with him. When I try to talk to him, he starts an argument and then storms out. I am constantly walking on eggshells.
I am on disability, but a friend has made a tentative offer to take me in if I decide to leave. I have never lived on my own. I might add that I must have been blind. This man was married five times before me. He made me laugh all the time, and I never felt so happy. I was stupid. Any suggestions? — Scared
Dear Scared: You weren’t stupid. You were lonely and vulnerable. If you are unhappy and anxious being married to Sam, please consider a separation while you work with your counsellor on becoming less dependent on others. You are still young enough to change the direction of your life and find a positive outcome.
Dear Annie: I am a 22-year-old gay male and feel like none of my friends care about me. They invite me over because I am funny. They tell stories at my expense, but if I have a serious issue, no one wants to hear it or offer sympathy.
Four of my closest friends recently moved out of state for college, work, etc. I’ve made an effort to get to know my peripheral friends individually, but after making plans to see a movie and not getting a call back and similar such things, it feels as if I am forcing friendships with people who are already part of an inner circle that excludes me.
I was also raped a few months back and confided in a few of these newer friends, but no support was offered. As a result of the assault, I am awaiting the results of an HIV test, but no one seems worried. However, another member of the group just broke up with his girlfriend and got an amazing reaction. My mind feels fractured, and I have resorted to cutting. Sometimes I hope they can see the marks, but nothing is said. What can I do? — Wanting Someone To Care
Dear Wanting: You are crying for help, but unfortunately, your “friends” think you are only looking for attention. Rape is serious and, along with the cutting, merits professional help. Please ask your doctor to refer you to someone.
Dear Annie: “Little Sister” said her parents are helping her out financially, which has enraged her older, more successful sister.
I am the big sister in my family, and my parents did similar things to help out my younger brother. While I understand the feelings of jealousy and sibling rivalry, I am also a mature adult. Big Sister needs to grow up and realize it’s her parents’ money and they can do what they wish with it. My life is more peaceful and happy since I let go of my own jealousy. By the way, my brother is now pursuing a graduate degree at seminary. — Proud Big Sister
Dear Big Sister: Your brother is fortunate to have such a caring, sensible sister. Kudos.