Betrayal Shatters Marriage At Beginning Of Retirement

DEAR ABBY: I’m in mourning for my husband. He’s still alive, but he up and left six months ago and sent me a text saying he’s done. He is living with another woman. I didn’t see it coming. We were planning our retirement move up to our cabin. One weekend he kicked me out of the cabin, and three hours later had her join him there.

I feel so lost. At this point, I don’t want him back because I feel he has committed the ultimate betrayal. I have started counseling because I’m so confused, grieving and upset. My counselor seems to think he is leaving the door open to one day return. He still comes once a month to pay the bills. However, when he does, he doesn’t want me there. He texts to make sure I will be gone for a few hours, so I leave.

I miss him, but I can’t get beyond the pain and betrayal. He has lost a ton of weight and looks terrible. He has aged so much. He’s 66, clinically depressed and an alcoholic. He’s also a narcissist. He would never admit he did something wrong; it was always “my fault.” I never knew what I would be facing after work.

I’m still in the house and slowly packing up his clutter that I was never allowed to touch. (He is a hoarder.) I’m lonely, but I’m enjoying my peace. We don’t communicate at all. My question is, do you think he is going to come walking back in like nothing happened? — ABANDONED IN MINNESOTA

DEAR ABANDONED: I hope not! And if he did show up, why on Earth would you want him back? (Frankly, I am surprised that your therapist would suggest you would open the door to him.) You are free. Consult an attorney, clear out the physical and emotional debris in your life and enjoy it.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I are preparing to move south because we’re tired of cold weather. The biggest issue is my cat, “Buster.” He isn’t a kitten anymore; he is 9. Buster’s in good health, but we are being advised not to take him from the apartment we share with my dad due to Buster’s age. My father is a mediocre caretaker at best. Half the time he doesn’t clean the litter box or even take out the garbage. I’m convinced Buster would end up being neglected. I have been accused of planning to steal him.

Yesterday, I found out Dad tested positive for COVID and didn’t tell anyone until we were in the apartment, too. He put us all at risk. This kind of carelessness scares me about leaving Buster with him. Should I take him with us, or heed the advice about not stressing an older pet and leave him with dad? I will be heartbroken if I can’t take him. — SAD, STRESSED CAT MOM

DEAR SAD: If the advice about “stressing an older cat” came from a veterinarian, it merits consideration. If it didn’t, then have no qualms about taking Buster with you when you make the move. It would be better to do that than to leave him in an environment where you would worry that he’s being neglected.

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