DEAR ABBY: I broke up with my girlfriend of almost two years last July because I thought I was going to be getting a job overseas and she would be staying in the States. We have always had a long-distance relationship (me being from New York and she from New Hampshire), and it didn't look like it would be any different for the next five or so years what with graduate school, etc.
I was becoming more and more distant in our relationship because I'd see her only for a weekend every other month or so, and the lack of physical contact left me feeling single but unavailable.
It has been many months now, and it turned out I didn't get the job after all. She's now living two hours away, and we're still on good terms. We talk occasionally but never about us. Our families loved each other, and we never had any deal-breaking fights.
Part of me wants to see if she wants to give it another shot, but the other half feels almost embarrassed to ask. What would you suggest I do?
— MUSING IN THE EMPIRE STATE
DEAR MUSING: Sitting around "musing" won't solve your problem. So get off the dime and ASK her before someone else steps in and does!
DEAR ABBY: I have been married a year and a half. My husband works three jobs because he wants material things. We spend very little time together and when we do, it's sleep and sports. We don't go out to dinner or movies. I feel like I'm just here so he can get the material things he wants.
— LONESOME IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR LONESOME: You and your husband are overdue for some serious discussions regarding priorities, goals and values because it appears you are far out of sync. Tell him that while you admire his drive and ambition, successful marriages take work, too.
While many people can hold down two jobs, trying to hold down three is a challenge. A person can't put forth his best effort if he's exhausted all the time — and fatigue leads to mistakes and inefficiency. For the sake of your husband's health, he should rethink what he's doing.
P.S. Speak up now, because if you truly believe you're just there so he can get the material things he wants, it doesn't take a crystal ball to see this marriage may not be one of long duration.
DEAR ABBY: Two years ago I met someone who became larger than life to me. I was happier than I ever dreamed, but it wasn't to be. He was killed six months later in a car accident. His best friend, "Tom," was driving.
I went to visit Tom in the hospital and from then on we became inseparable. At first, it was to soothe each other's pain of losing someone we both loved, but it grew into something more.
I currently live with Tom's family and work in their business without pay. Essentially, I'm one of the family. I could not ask for a more loving adoptive family, but I don't want to be "family." I lie awake at night thinking about Tom, blush if our hands touch and have to catch my breath when he looks at me.
How do I tell the man I love that I have fallen for him when he considers me like a little sister? Is what I'm feeling even appropriate?
— UNSURE IN NEW YORK
DEAR UNSURE: I think so. You suffered a devastating loss. Tom and his family have filled the void, so your feelings are understandable. You will never know whether Tom feels the same way about you if you don't bring up the subject. If you're afraid to do that, then talk to his mother. She'll be able to give you some insight — and perhaps some encouragement. But don't wait much longer, because if he doesn't feel the same, you need to move out and move on with your life.
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.