Woman must regain self-worth to end affair

By Jeanne Phillips © 2016 Universal Press Syndicate

DEAR ABBY: I met “Edward” at work six years ago. We were instantly attracted to each other and soon began an affair. We are both married to others.
I never thought I could stray outside my marriage, even though my marriage has been very lonely. I love Edward more than I ever thought possible, but even though he has strong feelings for me, he says he will never file for divorce from his wife.
We are still involved, but I am heartbroken that he doesn’t want me enough to leave her. He has never said that he loves his wife, just that he doesn’t believe in divorce. I have never felt such a strong connection with anyone, ever!
My head tells me to forget him, but my heart won’t allow it. I am so sad and depressed that I can’t function some days. How can I move past this man and regain my self-worth?
NEED TO MOVE FORWARD

DEAR NEED TO MOVE FORWARD: You wrote that your lover has never said he loves his wife. You think he has strong feelings for you, but has he ever defined them as “love”? Has it occurred to you that what he “loves” may be his financial net worth, and that is the reason he will never divorce his wife?
I don’t blame you for feeling sad and depressed. If I were you, I’d feel sad and depressed too. You have violated your own principles and are in a relationship that, much as you might wish it, will never bring you the validation you’re looking for. When you start liking yourself again, you may find that you need him less. And that is when you’ll end this affair and reconnect with your sense of self-worth, because as it stands, you cannot have both.

DEAR ABBY: Our daughter came home for spring break from college with troubling news. She has been sexually harassed by a very large and aggressive lesbian in her dorm this year. When the girl first came on to her, my daughter told her no. Later, on two separate occasions, the girl pushed her to the floor and groped her in the lobby of the dorm.
My daughter was afraid to fight the girl because she’s small. She was also afraid to report it — I guess she thought it was an isolated incident.
Recently she found out that the girl has done the same thing to several other girls. They all went to the Title IX people on campus to file a complaint, but were told they won’t get any answers until late summer, which is after school is out.
Is this kind of harassment common in our schools? Should she take it to the campus police or city police? Our daughter really likes her college, but she shouldn’t have to put up with this.
TROUBLING NEWS

DEAR TROUBLING NEWS: I agree that your daughter — and the other girls — should not have to put up with being assaulted. I wish you had revealed a little bit more about what happened when the assaults were reported. Was the aggressor counseled? Warned to stay away from the girls she had harassed? Removed from the dorm?
If nothing was done, before informing the police, I’m advising you to discuss this with a lawyer because a school that would ignore what happened may be liable.
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What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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