Dear Annie: I am 44 years old and have been dating a 48-year-old man for 2 1/2 years. I met him three weeks after he got out of a 16-year relationship.
There are some things I need help with. For most of the time we have been together, he has been talking to other women — sometimes his ex-girlfriend — on Facebook. He has told these other women that he loves them and misses them; he sends them heart and kissing emoticons. He "likes" their pictures on Facebook and leaves comments — for example, "Looking good!" — along with heart emojis. The thing is that he barely ever says these things to me.
I see him only on weekends, and we have takeout and watch a movie. He barely ever holds my hand, and our sex life has all but stopped. He says he's too tired. He makes me feel as if I am the one in the wrong. He thinks it's perfectly acceptable to talk to all these women when he says about four words to me a day. He holds actual conversations with others. I can't tell you how many times I have fallen asleep beside him crying, and either he doesn't notice or he doesn't care. I just can't handle this anymore. Should I just let him go and move on? If I did, I would most likely be alone. I am an amputee with not a lot of friends. I love him with all my heart, but I am tired of being walked all over. What should I do? — Confused in Small Town in Pennsylvania
Dear Confused: You know exactly what you should do. But before we address the issue of leaving this louse, I want to encourage you to work on your self-esteem and make friends. Get involved in your community. Check Meetup, a website that connects people through shared interests, to see what clubs are in your town, or even start your own!
Now, back to the louse. This man does not deserve the love and affection you've given him. I promise you that it feels much better to be single than to be with someone who doesn't love you back. With time, you will find another mate. And do not sell yourself short in that regard. There is someone out there who will make you fall asleep smiling instead of crying.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Crybaby," who cries at everything. I have the opposite problem. I never cry. I feel things deeply, and I well up, but I never spill over. It might be an overestimate to say that I cry once a year. There have been times — e.g., funerals and when a sad story is being told — when tears have been the appropriate response and I have been the only one not visibly crying. It makes me feel as if I am perceived as cold and unfeeling, when that is not the case. It is just that I have a strongly developed resolve not to cry, for some unknown reason. "Crybaby's" problem embarrasses her, but my problem embarrasses me! — Dry-Eyed but Not Unfeeling
Dear Dry-Eyed: I've received many responses to the column with "Crybaby's" letter. But until yours, all of them had been from fellow criers who wanted to let her know she isn't alone. Your perspective may help those excessive criers to feel thankful for their tears. You might want to talk with an ophthalmologist about your problem, in case it has something to do with the functioning of your tear ducts.
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