DEAR ABBY: "Ingmar" and I have been married — on and off— for 12 years. We have married each other twice. Ingmar loves "big" women.
The last time we separated was three years ago, after I lost 105 pounds. I lost the weight because my doctor said I had to for health reasons. When I first met Ingmar, I let him know my large size was not normal for me and was a result of some medications I was on.
After my weight started dropping, Ingmar told me I "grossed him out" and I was starting to resemble a "little girl." We have had no physical contact in four years, and we sleep in separate rooms. He often goes off by himself for two or three days at a time. I know he isn't involved with another woman because he can't do anything anymore and he's not willing to fix it.
I feel like a roommate instead of a wife. We don't eat together, watch TV together or kiss anymore. Although I care for my husband, I'm not in love with him anymore. But I'm scared of going out in the "dating world" again. I'm 46 and no longer a "spring chicken," but I crave affection. What do I do?
— AT A CROSSROADS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR AT A CROSSROADS: The dating world is no lonelier than the one you're living in now — but at least in the dating world there is hope that you'll connect with someone.
Your husband is punishing you for something that isn't your fault. The fact that he "can't do anything anymore" with you doesn't guarantee that he can't do something with someone else. Offer Ingmar the option of marriage counseling to see if he's capable of an attitude adjustment. But if he's not, recognize that even though you may no longer be a pullet, your best chance at happiness might be to fly the coop.
DEAR ABBY: Our daughter, "Daisy," had some really bad relationships in the past and held on to them far too long. At 33, she finally met a man, "Melvin," who was good to her and fun to be with. We were relieved that she had finally made a right choice.
Melvin was divorced with a son. He told Daisy he was a police officer who retired early because of the stress, and regaled her with stories about the many outrageous incidents he's been involved in. They married and now have a new baby. Daisy is happy, loves being a wife and mother, and we were pleased that she has what she always wanted.
My husband and I became suspicious about some of Melvin's stories about the wild and crazy situations that had happened to him on a daily basis. In them, he was always defending helpless people against brutal attackers, saving people in imminent danger, and he was always the hero. My husband decided to check out Melvin's claim of having been a cop. We were shocked and sickened to learn that he never was. All of his stories are lies.
I want to tell Daisy, but I'm not sure how or when. They live in another state, far from us. I don't want to expose him while she is not near us. It will crush her. But our daughter is married to a stranger! Everything Melvin told her about himself is a lie. How should we handle this?
— HEARTBROKEN MOM
DEAR MOM: First of all, your husband should finish what he started. If Melvin wasn't a police officer, what was he? Is he really divorced? How many times? Is his name really Melvin? Has he done time?
Once you have accurate information, you and your husband should pay your daughter a visit — proof in hand. How she chooses to handle things from then on will be her decision. But from where I sit, she could qualify for an annulment because whoever her husband is, he married her under false pretenses.
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.