Abby Advice: Fiancé must pick up the pieces

DEAR ABBY >> I am a 59-year-old man. My 50-year-old fiancée lives in a nice home, but after a 15-year loving relationship, she decided last week to be with someone else. She had recently lost a great deal of weight, bought a new car and started to do things I felt were not age-appropriate.

She’s now staying in a weekly rental motel room with him. She didn’t give me a chance to fight for us (counseling, etc.) or even a heads-up that she was unhappy. One afternoon when I got home from work, I found a note from her saying she was sorry for not being able to tell me in person, but she was doing this for herself.

This is hard for me to understand and move on from. I have never been this hurt and emotionally drained. She will not communicate with me verbally, only through emails and texts. I feel desperate and lost. Please give me any encouragement that there is light somewhere at the end of the tunnel.

— Emotionally Drained in Maine

DEAR EMOTIONALLY DRAINED >> Although your lady friend didn’t give you the chance to fight for her by getting counseling, my first bit of advice is to make an appointment with a therapist and start fighting for YOURSELF. You may not have known your fiancée as well as you thought you did. Once you regain some perspective, you may realize that something changed when she made the effort to start losing weight.

I wish you had mentioned why the two of you hadn’t married in the 15 years you were together. But, my friend, you dodged a bullet.

DEAR ABBY >> My brother-in-law recently moved near us. He never misses a chance to one-up others or brag about everything he has. Others have noticed this as well. We are all retired and living fairly well. However, comparisons are made, innuendos are tossed around and he has even referenced our children “needing” their inheritance, while his kids don’t “since they have great jobs.”

I’m close to my sister and happy to have her near me, but I’m not sure how to handle the situation with her spouse. My husband no longer wants anything to do with him, and I can’t say I blame him. Advice?

— Dealing With a Narcissist

DEAR DEALING >> There are two ways to handle this. The first would be to recognize that people who feel the need to do what your brother-in-law has been doing usually do it out of insecurity. The second would be to tell your sister how her husband’s remarks affect you and your husband — and that if he doesn’t knock it off, they’ll be seeing a lot less of you.  Then let HER handle it.

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