Dear Abby: Man's unsure mental health clouds vision of the future
Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Man's unsure mental health clouds vision of the future

DEAR ABBY: I recently started dating again after ending a very difficult marriage. To say I am guarding my heart for fear of getting hurt would be an understatement.

I have met someone that I can see having a future with, but some things concern me. He has been hospitalized for mental health reasons in the past. He's constantly saying, "I'm sorry I'm so screwed up" or remarking about being "crazy." He mentions his depression almost daily, and he hates being, as he puts it, "messed up in the head." 

I feel like he doesn't want to move forward and start living his life again. I have lived with depression for most of my life, but it doesn't define who I am. 

My question is, am I being overly cautious based on not wanting to get hurt again, or should I take a step back? -- GUARDED HEART

DEAR GUARDED HEART: You are not being overly cautious. You are asking yourself intelligent, insightful questions about someone who appears not as far along on the path to mental wellness as you are. Is this man still being treated for his issues? If not, he should be encouraged to talk with a licensed mental health professional not only about his depression, but also his glaring lack of self-esteem.

From your description, I would have to say he needs a friend now more than a romance, so take plenty of time if you proceed in this relationship. If he makes progress, see where things lead. If not, then in light of your own history, it might be better for you to find someone who is stronger.

DEAR ABBY: I have been in a six-year relationship. About two years into it, I found out that "Wayne" was separated, but not divorced, from his wife of 20 years. The fact that they are separated is not the issue. They live together and do things as a married couple. The wife and I have met each other several times, and I have gone to his children's graduation parties and family weddings.

He has told me every year that this is the year he will file for divorce, but it still hasn't happened. I don't know why he is holding on because I do not believe they are intimate. Their children are adults, so there is nothing keeping them together. He tells me he can't live without me, but his actions have proven otherwise. Do you think they are in an open marriage? Is there any hope for our future together? -- WASTING TIME IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR WASTING TIME: Not at the rate you are going. I suspect the reason Wayne hasn't followed through and filed for divorce may be financial. He and his wife may also like things just the way they are because they can maintain their social life, he's comfortable at home and he has you to sleep with, which may be a relief to her. You have my sympathy, but I think you have invested enough time. What's going on is unfair to you. This romance was based on dishonesty on his part, and you deserve more than you have been getting.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband of nearly 22 years and I divorced last year after he told me he didn't want to be married anymore and didn't know if he ever loved me. Since our split, he has bought a home with another woman -- the same woman I suspected him of having an affair with, and the same woman he encouraged me to befriend during our marriage. 

DEAR ABBY: I recently lost my mom. It was very sudden. We were extremely close, and she was the most wonderful grandmother to my children. My mother-in-law and my husband have a strained relationship that I have struggled to navigate for years. I have always reached out to her and made sure she sees the grandchildren.

DEAR ABBY: I am dealing with the worst heartbreak ever. I don't know what I did to make my boyfriend stop liking me. He won't talk to me or text me back, and now he has blocked me on Facebook. One minute he said that he would always hang out with me and the next he told me to stop messaging him and blocked me. All of this has made me go out of control, and now I want to hate on everyone. How can I stop this awful hurt? -- LOVE HURTS IN OREGON

DEAR ABBY: I have three beautiful daughters. The oldest moved to Wisconsin some years ago. About a year ago, my middle daughter went to visit her. My older daughter said something about politics that the younger one didn't like, and since then the younger one refuses to communicate with her, which is breaking my heart. My older daughter asked if I could help by talking to her. 

DEAR ABBY: I have a question about my daughter's new husband, "Brad." I haven't interfered with their marriage and don't want to, but he seems very moody and barely speaks to me. Just when I think I've found a common topic, on the next visit four or five weeks later, he doesn't say a word.

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