DEAR ABBY: My husband is in his 40’s and is permanently disabled from injuries sustained in a recent car accident. He is in pain, takes painkillers 24 hours a day, and sleeps most of the day. Her pain and stillness make intimacy impossible.
He doesn’t object when I go out with friends or participate in activities he is unable to do, such as hiking, biking, or kayaking, but I feel guilty leaving him home alone for five days a week, and sometimes all weekend. His mom thinks I’m a terrible person for doing this, but I can’t stay home with him after I get home from work because he falls asleep watching TV.
We both know this will be the situation for the rest of our lives. This personal care is very important for my physical and mental well-being, as the financial stress is also overwhelming. How can I continue to lead an active life while being the woman he needs?
— SAD DESTINY IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SAD DESTINY: If the situation were reversed, is this how you would like your husband to treat you? It’s an honest discussion you should have with him. I will be frank. Leaving a disabled spouse five days (nights?) a week or for a whole weekend on a regular basis seems excessive.
You promised to love, honor and cherish this sick and healthy man. Would it be possible to include him in an occasional outing – if he can bear it – so he can get some fresh air and a change of scenery? If you have to go out to preserve your sanity, it would be compassionate to have someone stay with him so he isn’t alone in an emergency.
** ** **
DEAR ABBY: I am a 28 year old female. I started falling in love with a girl I met recently. We talked for a while, expressed feelings for each other and decided to start dating. She lives in Minnesota and I’m in Texas. She is also in college. I think she’s 18 or 19. I know our age range is a little wide, but we didn’t care.
Things were going well, but recently she went quiet and didn’t speak to me as often. She said she just needed some time for herself and to think things through. I talked to her about it and she told me that she still loves me and wanted me to come visit her, which I plan to do soon. I feel like she has cold feet and I don’t know what to do. I love it. I want it to work between us, but I feel unwanted and unloved. What should I do?
— BEGIN TO LOSE FAITH
DEAR BEGINNING: What you should do is recognize that you and this young woman are at very different places in your life. You are ready for a serious commitment to someone. She is a student who is not yet out of adolescence. If she needs time to herself to figure out if she’s ready for the type of relationship you have in mind, give it to her. Don’t force it. If that means postponing your visit, so be it.