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I’m jealous my husband gives more attention to our dog than me

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together almost 20 years. I used to be happy in our relationship, but over the last year or two, he has changed. He gives me no physical affection and constantly showers love on his new dog. When I ask for more affection, he accuses me of being jealous of the dog. I’m not! I love the dog, too. I’m just sick of asking for more from him and not getting it. 

I used to feel hurt. Now I feel like maybe I should end our marriage. His lack of affection or compliments has turned me cold to him. What should I do? — CRAVING HUMAN AFFECTION

DEAR CRAVING: Something has changed. Your husband appears to be using the dog to stay away from you. If you can, try to get him to agree to a session with a licensed marriage and family therapist to discuss your issues. If he refuses, schedule some appointments for yourself, to help you rationally decide whether you want to remain married under these circumstances. 

If the answer to that question turns out to be no, gather as much information about the assets you and your husband share after almost 20 years of marriage, and contact an attorney.

DEAR ABBY: I was widowed 10 years ago and have been with my boyfriend (a friend of my late husband’s) for nine years. We live together. He’s legally married but lives his life as if he is not. I do not want a commitment, but I do feel his being legally married is interfering with furthering a true relationship. What are your thoughts regarding continuing this relationship? — COMPLICATED IN NEW YORK

DEAR COMPLICATED: Your boyfriend (of nine years!) may be separated, but he’s legally married. Although you say you don’t want a commitment, you deserve a partner who is not attached to someone else. You should have moved on as soon as you knew it wasn’t in his game plan.

DEAR ABBY: I understand sometimes people need time and space. I have a friend who, for the second time, has pushed our friendship aside, claiming he needs “time and space.” I haven’t heard from him in several months. The issue I’m having is, I don’t feel like HE should get to decide when it’s OK to come back into my life at HIS convenience. I’m not a hotel to check in and out of whenever he feels like it. 

If/when he decides to contact me again, like he did the last time, is it OK for ME to be upset with him this time? I don’t want him to think I am available at his convenience. — BACK AND FORTH IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR BACK AND FORTH: Not only should it be OK for you to express that you’re upset, but it would also be OK for you to tell this person you are not a yo-yo and sever the string. That way YOU get to decide whether you even want him back and not vice versa.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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