DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship for four years. My partner has fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. When we met, he had just found out. He was still active, working, and we had sex regularly. Fast forward: He is now on disability, not working at all, we rarely sleep together and he never leaves the house. I love him still, but I didn't realize how hard this would be. I know he has a lot to cope with, but it's hard on me as well. I have to work, do most of the chores and beg him to go out. We are only in our mid-20s, and I'm afraid for our future. I feel like I'm already 80 years old. I don't want to leave him, but I also don't want to live this way. Any advice would be helpful. -- BAD DEAL IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR BAD DEAL: What a sad letter. You are both young, with many years ahead of you. You have a difficult decision to make. Because you feel you are not up to the challenge of taking care of a chronically ill individual, it may be time to end the relationship. If you are staying out of obligation or pity, it isn't fair to either of you.
DEAR ABBY: My mom, who is well-endowed, is in the habit of using her bra as a pocket. When we go out, she puts her wallet and change purse inside her left cup and then wears a tight-fitting jersey or tank top. The outline of what she is storing is noticeable. My friends and my sisters have noticed it and ask why she doesn't use a purse like others do. She also sticks her change purse inside her bikini top at the beach, pool or at a relative's cookout.
Mom says it's a convenient and safe place for her money and valuables. On a bus trip, she also stored a camera in there. It drew a few puzzled stares from other travelers. What do you think of this? -- NOT IN THERE, PLEASE
DEAR NOT: I have it on good authority that your mother is not the only woman who uses her bra as a pocket or filing cabinet. If it works for her, and she doesn't mind people asking her why she does it, stop judging her for doing something harmless that seems efficient for her.
DEAR ABBY: Fifteen years ago my sister-in-law and I had a mutual friend, "Barbie," who told me something unflattering about my sister-in-law. My relationship with my sister-in-law has been fractured ever since. I have since severed my relations with this "friend" for numerous other reasons, but Barbie is still good friends with my sister-in-law.
Recently, I have felt that I should let my sister-in-law know how this woman betrayed her friendship by telling me her secret. Should I tell my sister-in-law or leave it alone and let her find out for herself? Seeing her buddy up to this person makes me crazy. -- GOING NUTS IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR GOING NUTS: If a friend of mine leaked personal information about me, I would want to know, wouldn't you? Your sister-in-law is friendly with Barbie because she doesn't know she can't be trusted. Rather than tell your sister-in-law what you were told, approach it this way: "Is it true that ...?" And when she asks where you got such an idea, THEN tell her it's what Barbie told you.
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