DEAR ABBY: My ex had a prior relationship with my cousin “Earl.” When she talked about her past relationships, a common theme emerged. Her partners were emotionally abusive — cheating, berating her, throwing rage fits where they screamed in her face and threw things. My own history is similar. My partners have done the same to me. (I do not engage in such behavior.)
Earl told her he still has feelings for her, despite the emotional abuse he had inflicted upon her. I confronted him and told him that what he did was inappropriate. Abby, when she heard about it, she dumped me and tried to get back together with Earl!
My cousin, having done work to remedy his issues, rejected her outright. He told her it would never work between them despite the lingering feelings. Now she has come back to me, saying she wants a serious relationship. Should I take her back?
— SO MIXED-UP
DEAR SO MIXED-UP: Heck no. This woman has made clear that you are her second choice. Please don’t take her up on her offer. You can’t fix what’s wrong with this very mixed-up woman, and you shouldn’t waste your time trying because if you do, she will only cause you more pain.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is smart, hard-working and a wonderful father to our young son. We hope to grow our family. However, my husband is a cigarette smoker and extremely defensive about any suggestion about him possibly quitting.
Both of his parents passed away from cancer relatively young, and his mother was a smoker, too. I’m terrified he will get sick and die young. Not only that, he constantly misses precious moments with our son, who stands at the window and cries when he sees his father go outside. I’m becoming resentful of the constant breaks he takes while I sit inside comforting our son.
I have tried reasoning with him and suggesting we ask a doctor for help, but he shuts me down and gets angry. How can I try to approach it again?
— ANTI-SMOKER IN COLORADO
DEAR ANTI-SMOKER: You fell in love with an addict. Your husband is addicted to tobacco and appears not to understand or care about how it may affect himself or you and his son in the coming years. My advice would be to stop pressuring your husband for now and ask your doctor to refer you to a support group for friends and family members of people with a smoking addiction.
DEAR ABBY: A man and a woman liked (and loved) each other in their teenage years, but they married different people. After a decade, the man sends wedding anniversary wishes to the woman on Facebook. Without any reply, the next day the woman blocks the man, and on the second day she deactivates her account on FB. What does it mean?
— MYSTIFIED IN THE MIDDLE EAST
DEAR MYSTIFIED: It means the long-ago chapter of your storybook teen romance is over. She has moved on and so should you.
DEAR ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.