Dear Abby: Man leaves wife, daughters at curb after birthday dinner
Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Man leaves wife, daughters at curb after birthday dinner

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DEAR ABBY: I coordinated and paid for a 70th birthday party for my terminally ill husband. Fourteen people were invited, and seven of them were related to my only sister, "Carla."

During the dinner, her husband was rude to the waitress and at the end of the party was screaming and yelling at Carla over the valet parking ticket. As they left the restaurant, he shoved her. He then got in their car and left my sister and her stepdaughters (from a previous marriage) standing there. They had to order a rideshare to get home.

I texted her later to be sure she and the girls had arrived safely. She said yes and told me she would talk to me the next day. When I didn't hear from her, I followed up. The next time we talked, she acted like nothing had happened! When I pursued the discussion and asked what prompted his strange behavior, she said, "I don't know what to tell you." I said, "You don't know?" and she replied, "I didn't say that. I said I don't know what to tell YOU."

After a lengthy discussion, I told her that unless we had some assurance that the incident wouldn't be repeated, we didn't want to see her husband again. She said it wouldn't be a problem. I have invited her to numerous family events, and she comes solo, but now she is blaming me for "tearing the family apart." What can I do now, if anything? -- IN A MESS IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR IN A MESS: Your sister is apparently married to an abuser with a short fuse and has resigned herself to it. She has my sympathy, but she should not blame you for any of it. She could really use some help from a support group for abused partners, because things will not get better. If you prefer not to see her horror of a husband, stand your ground and do not allow yourself to be guilted or coerced into it. He owes all of you an apology.

DEAR ABBY: I am engaged to a wonderful, sweet, hard-working 30-year-old man. We get along well and make each other happy. The trouble is how he comes across to others. He is so eager to be friends that he opens up much too quickly, revealing and venting about things like his work problems. It makes people uncomfortable.

He has been called out on it several times by various people (some even straight-up called him "creepy"), and he will stop for a while. But he falls into the same pattern the next time he meets somebody new. This whole thing is made worse by his anxiety; when someone calls him out on this behavior, he experiences crippling panic attacks. They cause him to apologize profusely, which only exacerbates the problem.

He refuses to seek therapy or treatment for his anxiety. I am at a loss about how to help him, other than listen to his troubles and offer support when I can. What should I do? -- CHALLENGED FIANCEE

DEAR FIANCEE: Your fiance may be a great guy, but unless you want to spend your life with a partner who refuses to get help for his emotional problems and doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes, it may be time to step back and reevaluate this relationship. Much as you would like to, you can't fix what's wrong with him. Only he can do that. If you marry him, the chances are you will wind up as socially isolated as he is. What a shame.

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DEAR ABBY: I am an 83-year-old mother of four. I have been living with my second husband now for 21 years. Nineteen years ago, my husband loaned one of my daughters and her husband a large sum of money so they could buy a house and pay off bills and judgments. All the necessary paperwork for the loan was signed at the time of the closing with a lawyer present, and it was agreed they would pay us back a certain amount every month.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Charlie," and I have been married for seven years. We are in our mid-60s. This is the second marriage for both of us. He was widowed some years before we met. We have a good marriage. He is sweet and caring, but one issue causes friction between us. It's about letters he and his late wife exchanged.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30-plus years cheated on me several years ago with one of his young private students. In our state, she would have been underage, but she was living in an adjacent state with different laws. I had just finished six months of nursing his mom to heaven. She had Alzheimer's, and he did very little to help.

DEAR ABBY: I have had a serious boyfriend for six months. He's wonderful, a dream come true. But I find myself more depressed and suicidal than ever. Mom tells me I don't have any reason to be depressed since I have a boyfriend. It's like she thinks I have no right to still be despondent over my twin's death because I now have a significant other.

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