Dear Abby: Boyfriend shows true colors after lung cancer diagnosis

Advice column

Dear Abby: I need your opinion. I have been with the same guy for 27 years. We never married because we were both married before, and I wasn’t into doing it again. I have stuck by him through sickness, hard times and whatever else.

Four months ago I was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. I stopped by his house this week to pick up a rug scrubber and walked in on him having sex with some woman. I feel hurt, angry, mad, sad. It’s like, WHY? Do you think he has been doing this and he just got caught or what?

I didn’t say anything. I just left. He called me later and said it was over between us because I’m sick and “can’t do anything.” I’m in shock. I don’t know what to think. I have always been there for him. So why, now that I’m sick and I need him the most, has he turned his back on me?

— Blindsided in Ohio

Dear Blindsided: I am so, so sorry that you had to find out this way — when the chips are down — that the man you have been involved with for 27 years isn’t much of a man after all. I DO think he has been doing this all these years.

Now it is time to marshal your friends and family and let them know what’s going on. If you have been a caring and supportive friend or relative, they should be supportive during this challenging time. The American Cancer Society has support groups for people with cancer if you need someone to talk to. Its website is Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers for both a spiritual and physical recovery.

Dear Abby: My family is getting torn apart by my older brother’s issue with me. It has become worse over the years, even after his marriage.

He seems to be upset with how my life is progressing, and to upset me, he has been copying everything I do. He got engaged and married around the same time I did. He also got a dog right after I did, bought a car right after me and decided he wanted to start a family as soon as my wife and I announced we are having a baby.

My parents constantly make excuses about why his actions are justified. I no longer know what to do. I tried to reconcile with him, but he rebuffed me and says he hates me. It has reached the point that I don’t want to be around any of my family anymore because they defend him on everything, despite the facts. What should I do? I seem to be the only person trying to reconcile the relationship and fix/reunite my family.

— Sad Sibling in New Jersey

Dear Sibling: I find it hard to believe that your family would side with a sibling who declares he “hates” his brother and refuses attempts to reconcile. It’s important for your mental health that you separate emotionally from your brother. By that I mean dial back the resentment, live your life with your wife and child and stop obsessing about what your brother does. That he literally follows in your footsteps shows he either admires the choices you make, or that he has no imagination of his own. Neither of these should be a problem for YOU.

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

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