Dear Abby: I just found out I’m the ‘other woman’ in married man’s life

Miss Manners answers a question about whether to wish a happy anniversary to an unhappy couple

I can't seem to walk away.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been involved with a married man for the last five years. He lied to me about his status. He told me that a woman he’d had a 15-year relationship with had left him. I recently learned he has been with her for more than 30 years, and she’s the mother of his kids. I have tried to walk away many times, but I always go back. I don’t blame him, but I am very hurt by the deceptions. I have been hospitalized for depression three times since I’ve been with him. I’m not a homewrecker. He’s not a demon. I just need help. I can’t go on like this. My mental health is deteriorating rapidly now. Please help me. -- HEARTBROKEN IN MARYLAND

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: You are stuck in a self-defeating cycle that isn’t going to change. In my book, this married man IS a demon. He is an awful person with no conscience. Seeing the effect this affair has had on you (three hospitalizations for depression!?), if he had ANY conscience at all, he would have ended it. If you don’t have a licensed mental health professional to talk with to help you disentangle yourself permanently from this destructive cycle, PLEASE ask for a referral to one now, before you have to be hospitalized again.

Abigail  Van Buren

Stories by Abigail Van Buren

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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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)


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