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My boyfriend and I have a 16 year age difference and I caught him texting other women.


DEAR ABBY: I have been with my live-in boyfriend for eight years. Over the past five months, he has started going out until dawn, preferring his friends over me, yelling at me when he talks and not wanting to be around me. We have always gone everywhere together and shared our friendships. There is a 16 year age difference, but it has never been a problem.

I left for a month last year when I caught him talking to another woman through messages (not platonic conversations). That month I did a lot of soul searching and set boundaries that I will no longer allow to be broken. Due to past failed relationships, I have learned to stand up and speak my mind and take care of myself emotionally. I guess my question is: should I be worried, keep trying to communicate my feelings to him, or move on with my life? I always put him ahead of anyone other than my children and God, but he doesn’t give me the same respect. – LOST BY RESPONSES IN ARKANSAS

DEAR LOST: Is your boyfriend the person who is 16 years younger? I ask because his behavior is certainly immature. In light of what he has written, it should be clear to you that he is no longer as committed to your relationship as you are. You said you have set boundaries that you will no longer allow to be broken. GOOD FOR YOU.

It’s time to restore because the treatment you have been receiving is not only disrespectful, but also cruel. You may have put years into the relationship, but from my perspective, you’ve invested enough. Tell him that you can see that he is not happy and ask He does want to break up. I have a strong feeling that the answer will be yes.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 20 year old gay man. I recently started a new job where I thought I would be replacing an elderly coworker who is supposed to retire “in a year.” Every time I mentioned something about her retirement, she corrected me by saying that she will only reduce her work to one or two days a week. When I was hired, they told me she would be leaving in a month. I feel uncomfortable because she is politically conservative, deeply religious, and sometimes moody, which makes her difficult to be around.

I have kept my mouth shut since I have only been here for a month, while she has been here for over 20 years. I recently discovered that two other people had been hired for my position before me and both quit within six months. Should I stay and wait or pursue the possibility of happiness elsewhere? — HOT AND HOT IN INDIANA

DEAR HOT AND ANNOYED: Talk to your employer about the circumstances under which you were hired. He was told that he would replace this woman and she would be gone in a month. Have her a little patience for about another month and, if she’s still there, ask her employer if anything has changed because she’s telling you that she won’t quit. It deserves a direct answer if circumstances have changed. If that is the case and the job is no longer what you thought it was going to be, then “pursue the possibility of happiness elsewhere.” after You have found a new job.

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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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