Dear Abby: The needy partner has no partner

Dear Abby
| Jean Phillips

Dear Abby: I have been with my boyfriend for 11 years. In all this time, he has never asked me if I’m okay whenever I’ve been hurt. I got used to it, you might say. Well, I recently lost the ability to walk and ended up in a nursing home for rehab. My boyfriend would come to visit, but he never asked me about the progress. Also, when I showed him my progress, he didn’t act happy.

Now I’m home and he treats me like trash. I don’t know why. When I brought it up, he said he didn’t know why. Do I need to end this relationship so I can find someone who will support me and help me get back to 100%? Or should I stay and work on this relationship? Every day I am less happy.

— Bad in the Midwest

Dear Hurting, Your boyfriend of 11 years is not a breeder. The fact that he doesn’t ask if you’re hurt or hurt shows that he lacks empathy. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say he’s treating you like trash now because he’s mad at you for needing his help and support. No amount of work on this will fix what’s missing from your character. Unless you want to be treated like this for the rest of your life, get rid of him.

Dear Abby: I have a co-worker with whom I share an office. We are cordial, but not friends. The problem is that he chews gum most of the day with his mouth open and occasionally takes it out. The noises it makes are extremely disturbing and disgust me. I’ve started wearing headphones and listening to music as often as possible to tune out his noises, but I find it a bit rude and impractical all day. I’m about to hook her up. Is there a polite way to let her know about the problem without disrupting our working relationship?

— About to explode

Dear Pop: Have a nice chat with that co-worker and ask him to let you know when he’s going to pop some gum so you can put on your headphones. Better to pop the cork in frustration.

Dear Abby: I am friends with a man in his 70s, 20 years older than me. I am concerned about his mobility. He is an independent spirit who lives alone. Lately, I’ve noticed that her strength and balance are waning, and I know that falls are serious for the elderly. I have shared my concerns with him, but he is proud and will not change his habits. Can you recommend a way to constructively talk to him about my concerns?

— Youngest boy in California

Dear Younger Boy: Have you tried talking to your friend about it? You may be able to contact him if you TELL him that you have noticed his balance problems and that there is help for them IF he tells his doctor what happened. A physiotherapist can help you with your problem, but only if you ask.

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