Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Kent," and I have been together almost three years. It started out as a long-distance relationship, but my children and I have recently moved to his town.

When we were long-distance, we'd talk several times a day and say how much we loved each other. Now we don't talk that often except when we fight over stupid things, and the "I love you's" are almost nonexistent. I say it to Kent all the time. During a couple of our fights he actually told me he doesn't love me, and his actions sometimes show me he means it. When I try to discuss it, he says he was just mad and that he really does love me.

Abby, what bothers me is when we have "alone time" — the kids are asleep or away — Kent would rather watch sports, play on the computer, go out to the movies with his best friend or sleep. When it comes to romance — it doesn't happen more than twice a month or unless he's drunk.

When we first got together, Kent wanted to do everything with me. Now I have to fight for us to spend any time at all together. What can I do?

— NEGLECTED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR NEGLECTED: It's time to take a giant step back and reassess this romance, or what's left of it. If Kent asked you to pick up your children and move to his town, then it appears he has either had a change of heart or he's a heel. If he didn't, then your going there was a miscalculation on your part.

It is crucial that you understand how important it is that a person's words and actions match. Kent may tell you he loves you occasionally and under pressure, but his ACTIONS prove otherwise. What you have described is a romance that's going nowhere positive, and if you still have the option, you should pack your bags and go back where you came from.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married three years. My wife comes from a large family, most of whom are here on the East Coast. She is close to all her sisters. One of them, "Kate," is gay and moved out west to be with her girlfriend, "Leslie."

Kate and Leslie break up every year. Then Kate flies back to visit the family. Everyone tells her not to reconcile with Leslie and to start a life without her. After a few weeks, Kate goes back, gets back together with Leslie, and the cycle starts all over again.

It's always the same story: Leslie initiates the breakup. Kate gets lonely and calls us for comfort at all hours of the night because she doesn't work a "normal" job, and it's still early for her. My wife and I both work and we have to get up very early.

I have told my wife that Kate needs to break this repeating cycle. I want to speak up but don't think it's my place as a non-blood relative. Is there anything anyone can do to get through to her that what she's doing is not only hurting her, but other family members?

— SLEEP-DEPRIVED IN SPRINGFIELD, VA.

DEAR SLEEP-DEPRIVED: Sorry, but Kate needs to figure that out for herself. In the meantime, you and your wife need to agree on what time to turn off the ringer on your phone. Sleep is important, and your health could depend on it.

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.