I've been married for 14 years and have two kids. Our youngest is 11. For the last nine years, it has been a loveless marriage. Luckily, he works a lot, but when he's home, I stay in my bedroom. The only thing we do together is eat dinner. Our kids are thriving in school, and I worry that leaving will hurt them terribly. Should I wait until our youngest graduates?
I am 47 and have multiple sclerosis that is slowly progressing. I do not have family and friends for support. Could I be even more lonely if I leave? The thought of divorce feels overwhelming, but I feel like life is passing me by. Hoping you can point me in the right direction.
— Living in Limbo in Missouri
I wish you had mentioned what it was nine years ago that created a rift between you and your husband. If it was your diagnosis, it is truly regrettable. In the interim, have you tried talking about this with a marriage and family therapist? If the answer is no, you should.
I am concerned about the degree of isolation you are feeling. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (nationalmssociety.org) offers virtual and in-person support groups that might benefit you greatly.
Divorcing one's spouse is not a guarantee that one's loneliness will end, as many divorced women and men can attest. The National MS Society may be able to provide what you need right now.
My husband and I are expecting our first child. We are over the moon about it, and have lots of support from family and friends near and far. My husband's family lives in another state and would need to fly to visit us. His parents are separated, and elderly.
I love his mother dearly, but I have an issue with her best friend, "Myra." Myra has always been passive-aggressive. She makes things difficult and makes rude, snide comments. My mother-in-law plans to travel to meet our new baby, but she wants Myra to be her travel companion.
Abby, after the stress and exhaustion of delivering a baby and any postpartum aftermath, plus the desire to keep our circle small due to COVID, I do not want to see Myra in the first few months after delivery. I have no issues with my mother-in-law, and don't want to prohibit her from seeing her new grandbaby. But she refuses to travel alone. Am I going too far in saying I won't be up for visiting with her snide best friend?
— Pregnant in Pennsylvania
I don't think you are going too far. You have the right to control who comes into your home. Tell your mother-in-law you would welcome her coming to see the new baby, but that Myra is not welcome in your home and will have to make other plans while Grandma is visiting your infant.
If she asks why, tell her the truth — that Myra is negative and snide, and you don't want to be exposed to that while you are in a vulnerable state. If she can't agree to your wishes, tell her you and her son will visit her when the baby is older, but you will make sure she has plenty of pictures and videos in the meantime.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Dear Abby: Woman faces uncertainty in marriage, health and future