Dear Amy:

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost two years and have been living with him for about a year. About three months ago, he was diagnosed with a debilitating genetic disease. Before he found out that he had the disease, he was against marriage, but he told me that he might change his mind.

After he was diagnosed, he told me that he never wanted to get married to anyone.

Now that he is getting sicker and I've told him that I want to leave him, he is changing his tune and wants to marry me.

At the age of 30, I never envisioned myself as someone else's caretaker, but I owe him a lot of money that he lent me to pay off my credit-card debt.

So far, he has been the best boyfriend I have ever had. Before he got sick, I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him.

I know that I am not the best person in the world because I want to leave him, but am I crazy to want to do so?

I am seeing a therapist, but it is still not helping what I feel in my heart. What do you think?


Therapy can do a lot of things for you, but it isn't designed to make you feel better when you are in the midst of doing a bad thing to someone else. Therapy can make you understand your choices and motivations. It's up to you to figure out what to do with that knowledge.

Naturally, your boyfriend's illness will influence both of your points of view, but you don't mention how you would react to this if you two had married before his diagnosis. Would you still be "running" then? Obviously, that's an open question, but don't make your decision to leave contingent on his flip-flopping on the marriage issue. That's just passing the buck.

All relationships -- not just marriages -- have their own "for better or for worse" components. Your boyfriend's only crimes are lending you money, being the best boyfriend you've ever had, and getting a degenerative disease. He deserves better.

If you intend to leave him, then leave him, but please don't abandon him. You can leave the relationship but still be loyal and helpful to him. You also must pay back every penny of the money you owe him. That is the very least you can do.

Dear Amy:

One of my co-workers is getting married soon, so a group of women from work have been planning parties.

Last week these women planned a night out for the bride. They talked about it at work for weeks but only invited certain people.

When it was time for the shower, though, do you think they only invited the ones that got asked to the night out? No way! They invited everyone.

I notice that when it comes to gifts and money, people are rude, rude, rude! If they didn't invite everyone to the night out, shouldn't they keep their mouths shut about it at work?

Showered Out

Didn't you go to high school? The workplace is just high school writ large, accompanied by withholding taxes.

People are permitted to have special friends at work. I know that it annoys you that you're not necessarily a "girls night out on the town" sort of friend to your colleague, but what would you propose -- that people not make plans with their buds to go out? Your colleagues only blundered when they were so public about their plans. That was insensitive.

Workplace showers drive me crazy. They should never be held at the office. But if people are going to host a workplace shower, then they must invite all of the relevant colleagues. You can decide whether you will attend this shower. Perhaps your work on the Peterson account will keep you away from the festivities that day.

Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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