DEAR ABBY: My strongest “love language” is physical touch. For 23 years, my husband hugged all women, but never me. The word “never” is not an exaggeration. He recently started changing and trying to be better. Now he hugs me as much as I want. But when he kisses other women, I always feel like I have a knife in my heart.
He says hugs mean nothing to him but I wonder why if they were so insignificant he couldn’t even give me one for over two decades? How can I get over feeling hurt when he kisses other women? Is there something wrong with my point of view on this? I don’t know if I’m too sensitive. — FINALLY VALID TO BE CUDDLES
DEAR FINALLY: Too sensitive ? There is nothing wrong with your “perspective”. For 23 years, your passive-aggressive husband chose to withhold a gesture of affection that you asked for, while showering other women with it. It’s “nice” that he finally wants to make the effort to hug you but, frankly, it seems a bit late. You may need a therapist to help you work through your justified hurt and anger about this. My advice is to start now.
DEAR ABBY: My husband passed away suddenly three months ago. My family sympathizes with me; however, my youngest daughter thinks I need to move on and get over her death. How do I make him understand that his death has devastated me and that getting over it will take time? She reads tarot cards and claims the cards are telling me to get over this and move on. How can I make him stop reading cards? — THE BROKEN HEART IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR BROKEN HEART: Your daughter may be trying to be helpful. She may also be uncomfortable seeing her mother suffer. Obviously, she has no idea how grief works. There is no timetable for this, but three months is a relatively short period. Tell him that for the foreseeable future, these card readings will no longer be discussed. Then, if she brings it up again, change the subject.
DEAR ABBY: I am writing to ask you how do I tell my friends that we should not be exchanging Christmas presents this year. We are all retired. I’m not cheap, and neither are they, but none of us “need” anything. I suspect many of us want to say it, but we don’t know how. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. suggestions? — STOP HOLIDAY GIFTS
DEAR STOP: I assume that you see or communicate with these friends regularly. Bring up this subject during one of your visits well before the Christmas holidays. Many retirees try to let go of the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over their lifetime, and your friends may feel the same way. Don’t hesitate to talk about it. They may be as relieved as you to be exchanging nothing but cards and good wishes.
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.
New York Post