Dear Abby: I have been married for 27 years to a man who is a church pastor. We have had to move every six to eight years, partly because he was repeatedly unfaithful. We have gone through his alcoholism, gambling and womanizing, and my two suicide attempts. We have been trying to work things out, but I suspect that he’s back to his old ways.
I work part-time, but haven’t been able to find a full-time job after our most recent move, so I am financially dependent on him. I have two adult children who don’t live near me. Most of the people I know are through the church, and they are all great supporters of my husband.
I feel trapped, and I don’t know how to fix my life at this point. Have you any suggestions?
Trapped on the East Coast
First talk with a licensed therapist who is not associated with the church. It will help you to clarify your thinking and become more emotionally stabilized.
Next, continue looking for full-time employment. If necessary, start by volunteering. It will help to widen your circle of acquaintances and perhaps lead to a job.
Then, once you are feeling better about yourself, you will be better able to decide what to do about your unhappy marriage.