DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship for 10 years. We live together as husband and wife, but for personal reasons, we decided marriage is not for us. I have been married and divorced twice and have three children. One is 17, and the older two are grown. None of them have cars. We live in a rural area without public transportation.
I was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and given a six-month driving restriction. Before my diagnosis, my boyfriend signed up to do a sport over the summer that takes him away four Sundays, our only day together. He does a different sport that takes him away for Labor Day. It upsets me that knowing I cannot get around and feel "trapped," he hasn't altered his plans in any way. He says I'm not as "trapped" as I feel, and I should use expensive ride-sharing services or rely solely on friends, which I feel is an imposition. I don't have many friends, especially ones who live close.
Because he isn't willing to modify his plans, I feel like I'm taking a back seat to his hobbies. Is this fair? What advice can you provide so I don't feel as angry and resentful as I currently do? I still have five months to go on this restriction, and that is only if I am seizure-free. -- STUCK IN ILLINOIS
DEAR STUCK: Is it out of the question that you could accompany him to one or more of these Sunday games?
It appears your guy is centered solely on himself. Couples are supposed to have each other's backs. Although you never stood at an altar and pledged "in sickness and in health," after 10 years together, one would think the promise is implied. Consider this a wake-up call. It indicates that should you have more serious health problems down the line, this is what you can expect from him in the future.
That said, your present condition should improve by the end of the summer. Focusing on THAT fact may lessen your resentment right now. But don't beat yourself up for having the feelings you do; right now, they are warranted.
If your children have driver's licenses, perhaps they could drive you around so you're not so isolated.
DEAR ABBY: We have a large break room at work where we gather to have lunch. Usually there are six to eight nurses gathering at one time. Sometimes we bring lunch from home; other times we order out individually.
One co-worker constantly helps herself to others' food without it being offered. Example: If you order fries with your lunch, she will reach over and grab some off your plate without asking. It makes the rest of us uncomfortable. We feel it is rude and unsanitary. How do we politely ask her to stop doing this? -- HUNGRY NURSES
DEAR HUNGRY: Politely ask? Politely TELL the woman you don't want her removing food from your plates without permission. And if she does it again, use your fork to "discourage" her, and I'll bet it won't happen again.
DEAR READERS: Along with the millions of Americans who are observing this Memorial Day, I add my prayer of thanks for those courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. May they rest in peace. -- ABBY
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.