Dear Abby: I’m in my second marriage ­— an arrangement I agreed to simply so my husband could get health insurance through my employer’s plan.

We were together for many years before marrying.

He has received the health care he needed, and I am ready to move forward with my life as a single person. But he now says that he’s happy being married.

I am not interested in spending any additional time in a dissatisfying relationship, but I also don’t want to lose the friendship.

What’s the best way to approach this? I have spoken to him about another procedure he needs, but he is stalling. — Marriage of convenience

Dear M.O.C.: You have devoted enough to this man’s welfare. In a marriage, both parties are supposed to be happy, and he already knows you’re not.

Keeping his friendship might not be possible. If he needs another procedure, give him a deadline to have it done. If he hasn’t had it by then, feel free to file for a divorce.


Dear Abby: Our grown son and his girlfriend broke up after five months. He thinks his life is over. His father and I have been trying to help him recover from the breakup. 

He has a 7-year-old son who lives with him. He calls us every day and is beginning to sound like a broken record.

I know that time will make it easier, but in the short term, how do we help him be an adult about this? He goes to work, so that’s a blessing. How do people make it through breakups and cope with the grief? — Sad for him

Dear Sad: They depend upon their friends and family to listen to them while they vent. And, when that doesn’t work, they do it in the office of a licensed therapist. Because what you’re telling your son hasn’t helped, suggest it.


Dear Abby: When I was 7, my mother hosted a birthday party for me. When we compiled the guest list, I didn’t want to invite a girl at school who wasn’t popular. Mom said to invite her or there would be no party. I invited her, but she didn’t come.

That lesson of inclusiveness had a lasting impression on me. Later in school, I became unpopular; I missed many parties because of it, but the lesson stayed with me.

During high school and beyond, I have befriended people who were unpopular, and my life has been richer for it.
So I would like to offer a belated thank-you to my mother for making me invite that girl years ago. Her insistence shaped my life. — Kathy in Pennsylvania

Dear Kathy: Your mother is a wise and compassionate woman. The lesson here is, popularity can be fleeting. But having compassion for people who need it is enduring.

Write to Dear Abby at Universal Press Syndicate, in care of The Columbus Dispatch, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069; for a reply, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Or visit