SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

October 6, 2012

Dear Abby: Man does the right things, but wife still feels wrong

(Continued)

The best advice I can offer is to think long and hard about what you have now and what you “might” have in the future. Believe me, there are NO GUARANTEES and expectations have changed a lot since you were in the dating and mating market. If you really cannot love your husband the way he should to be loved — and counseling won’t help — then let him go. He deserves better.

Dear Abby: My mother died recently after suffering a stroke. Immediately following her death, one of my father’s more painful tasks was notifying various agencies: Social Security, retirement benefits and so on. Dad shook his head in amazement as all but one of the people he notified simply fired off a series of questions, thanked him curtly and hung up. Only one civil servant proved to be truly civil, prefacing the conversation with, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Abby, I know people who work in government and private pension departments receive many calls about deaths every day. That doesn’t make each death less sad, or each call less difficult for the person picking up the phone and dialing. We can connect on a human level even through layers of officialdom and technology. A few simple, sympathetic words can make a world of difference in the dark days following the loss of a loved one.

Nancy In Oakland, Calif.

Dear Nancy: Perhaps it’s a self-protective mechanism when people who work with case numbers, files and statistics lose sight of the fact that behind that information are broken hearts and grieving families. Thank you for the reminder. I’m sure no one meant to be cruel. What you have described is an example of people who have become desensitized.

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

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