DEAR ABBY: I've been with my boyfriend, "Rocko," for two years, but in the late months of last year, he became distant. He would disappear for days at a time, block my phone number and ignore me. I was sure he was seeing another woman or taking drugs because he is an ex-addict.
Two months ago, he was arrested. I was right -- Rocko was on drugs and had been hanging out with another woman. Like any man who's caught, he swears she was "just someone to get high with" and nothing happened between them. It has destroyed my self-esteem. I hate myself, and I can't stop wondering why I wasn't enough.
Rocko is currently in rehab and seems to be doing wonderfully. I have asked him a lot of questions and said I needed him to be truthful. So far he has been honest. However, he still denies anything happened between them.
He says he wants to save our relationship and start a new life together now that he's clean. How do I do this? I don't trust him! I'm already doubting everything he says and does. I know he needs to earn my trust back, but how do I let that happen? How do I even begin to forgive him for everything he has done to us? -- JUMBLE OF EMOTIONS IN KENTUCKY
DEAR JUMBLE: You wrote that the way Rocko treated you has destroyed your self-esteem. Work on rebuilding it, and once you have done that, ask yourself why you should continue to be involved with someone as unstable as this man.
Disappearing for days at a time, blocking your number and ignoring you when you reach out is brutal. It is abusive. Rocko has been around this track before and may again. If you don't have it in you to stay and see this through to a possibly positive conclusion, end the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: My neighbor regularly goes around gardening in her yard wearing yoga pants with huge tears in the inner thighs and an even bigger hole in the crotch. You can't miss it because she bends over, and stays bent over, for significant quantities of time while she is weeding. Her behind is frequently aimed in the direction of my house and yard.
Abby, you could fit both hands in that hole, and it stretches wide over her pear-shaped rear end! I have kids, and her other close neighbors have kids even younger than mine.
The first time I saw her, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed the tears were recent. But she wears this same pair of indecent pants every time she goes out to garden. Today, when I looked out my dining room window, there she was bent over, flashing her derriere, with a hole in her underwear right where the holes in her pants were.
She isn't poor. She spends lots of money on her garden and updating her house every year. This woman is in her 60s, semi-retired, and loves nothing more than to call the police and the city code enforcement people on any neighbor she dislikes, so I can't talk to her about it because I'm afraid she'll retaliate. Should I send her an anonymous letter asking her to buy new pants? -- EXPOSED OUT THERE
DEAR EXPOSED: No. Tell her calmly that you are concerned about your children and ask her to please wear something less "revealing." However, if she refuses, install a hedge to shield you from the view. And practice your "look away" skills.