DEAR ABBY: I dated a guy long distance for eight months. Whenever he was in my state for work, I would go see him. Two months ago, he suddenly outshone me! Two days before that, everything was fine. We texted and had a wonderful phone conversation. I’m lost. At first I was sad about it, but now I’m angry. I want answers, which I know I probably won’t get. What do you think that happened? — LEFT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR LEFT: The long distance guy may have met another woman and cheated on you because he wasn’t man enough to be upfront about it. Another possibility is that he was never available in the first place. This is why long-distance relationships can be risky unless you know the person well, and why it’s a safer bet to focus on someone local.
DEAR ABBY: I will marry the most amazing man next year. We have been together for six years. I have always gotten along with his family and I know they will make excellent in-laws. However, as time has passed, I have noticed that my fiancé’s older sister is being catered to more and more. She’s almost 30, but she acts like she’s 13.
When she has an argument with her husband, she calls my fiancé and makes it sound so dramatic that he drops everything and runs to her rescue. Invariably, it turns out not to be as bad as she made it out to be. She also talks so badly about her husband to her parents that I feel ashamed for him. If she is sick or home alone (her husband travels for work), he sleeps at her parents’ house with her young son instead of staying at her own house, which is a city away. .
Her family does EVERYTHING for her, things that a capable adult should do for himself. Many times, my fiancé and I have gone on a date or spent time together, and then her sister calls and leaves me to attend to her. It hurts my feelings when she does this.
I know family is important and I’m not saying you shouldn’t help your sister. I’ve talked to him about this on multiple occasions, but he doesn’t seem to understand or is interested in talking about it. Am I being unreasonable? Is there anything I can or should do to feel otherwise? How can I cope with my feelings about this? — ANNOYING IN ILLINOIS
DEAR ANNOYING: What worries me about your letter is not that your fiancé would run to his sister’s side when he receives one of her “emergency calls”. What worries me is that when you tell him something is bothering you, he “isn’t interested in talking about it.”
If Sissy and her husband feel it’s safer for her to spend nights with her parents when he travels and the parents welcome her, I see no reason why you should criticize her for it. However, for her fiancé to interrupt a date or some other activity in which they are involved seems exaggerated to me if it is not a true emergency.
The way I see it, you can either accept this as part of your family dynamic or reconsider marrying into that family, because they’re not going to change, and once the parents are dead, Sissy may need her brother more than ever.
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 DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.