DEAR ABBY: My wife has been away for a while caring for her ill parents. Because I was alone, I decided to experiment with wearing women’s clothes and found that I really enjoyed wearing leggings. They make very comfortable pajamas. I also found that sports bras not only provide compression that feels good, but also serve a purpose because I have rather enlarged breasts. Should I hide everything and put away my leggings and bras, or should I let her in on some of my secrets? — DRESSED UP IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR DRESSED UP: I’m not sure what other “secrets” you have been hiding, but if they involve cross-dressing, you’re not the only man who has discovered he enjoys wearing women’s clothes. It may surprise you to know their wives help them do it. Your reasons for wanting to wear a sports bra and leggings seem practical. I see no reason to try to hide it from your wife.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a widow. I totaled my car four months ago and asked a friend, “Stan,” for the type of help my husband would have provided. Stan was great and did so much. I felt bad that he refused my offer of money, so one day I took him out to lunch.
A few weeks later, he invited me to dinner and took me to my favorite steakhouse. He and his longtime girlfriend were parting ways because she was selling her home and moving to live with her son. We started going out to eat once or twice a week.
Abby, after two months, he disappeared. I think I fell in love with him without even realizing it. Now he’s gone every weekend, and I’m in so much pain. I am trying to set myself free. How could I fall in love so easily? — WASN’T EXPECTING THAT
DEAR WASN’T EXPECTING: You were vulnerable, and Stan was there and seemed willing to step in and fill the void left by your husband’s death. That’s how you fell in love with someone who was, I assume, a longtime trusted friend.
Stan may have met someone, have other commitments or felt unready to make one with you. That he hasn’t given you a reason for his disappearance is disappointing, but it happens. Please don’t beat yourself up over this. You did nothing wrong. These disappointments are a part of life.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married to a verbally abusive woman for 49 years. To the outside world she seems perfect, but behind closed doors she’s nasty. She overreacts angrily to the tiniest problem and jumps down my throat when I ask her the simplest question. She complains about my poor memory and hearing. I am 75 and in good shape except for a belly, which she often makes fun of. I have recommended couples therapy, but she refuses to go. Please help me. — EXHAUSTED IN ARIZONA
DEAR EXHAUSTED: Therapy would be a good idea. Because your wife refuses to go, it might benefit you to talk to a mental health professional. While it won’t solve her problems, it could help you get to the bottom of yours. Chief among them would be figuring out the reason you have tolerated your wife’s verbal abuse for nearly half a century, and deciding what, if anything, to do about it. Please don’t wait.