Dear Abby: I keep taking out my anger on my wonderful husband because we can’t have kids

DEAR ABBY: I am 34 and recently found out I have started menopause. I knew it might come early for me because most of the women in my family began in their 30s and were done by 50. I have no biological children and now probably never will. I guess I waited too long for the right time, the right person, etc. I was always careful to use birth control when I became sexually active and never left it up to my partner. 

I am now having a hard time coping with this feeling of loss. I know I shouldn’t be grieving something I never had, but I find myself tearing up thinking about it. I’m angry at myself for missing out on it. I have been married to a wonderful man for almost two years, but we have been together for 10. I wanted to be married and financially stable before having children. 

I feel like I’m being punished. My poor husband takes the brunt of my frustrations and anger, which isn’t fair, and I apologize when it happens, but I find myself slowly drifting into isolation because of it. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m sad, angry, frustrated and empty. I wish I had an answer or anyone who understands to just hear me. Any advice? — GRIEVING IN OREGON

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DEAR GRIEVING: Your feelings are understandable. It’s time to seek counseling for help to stop blaming yourself or your husband and cope with your feelings of sadness, anger and frustration. Once that is done, it may be time to consider your options for fulfilling your maternal instincts. These include fostering, adoption, surrogacy and volunteer mentoring. Please consider them.

DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, I discovered I was being excluded by my co-workers. I have tried to not let it bother me, but it’s starting to wear me down emotionally. I work in a dental office with a staff of seven women. I have worked with two of them for almost 20 years, and I always thought we had a friendship because we would go to lunch together and occasionally do things outside of work. 

Three years ago, I learned they have a group chat with two of the other women and have gotten together outside of work and didn’t include me. What bothers me most is they laugh and talk in front of me about the funny memes and videos they send each other. 

I’m tired of being excluded, and I don’t understand why they have done it. We all get along, so I’m not sure why this is happening. Any advice on what I should say or do? — APART IN ILLINOIS

DEAR APART: Folks are entitled to socialize (or not) with anyone they would like after work. However, to treat you the way they have been seems insensitive, bordering on rude, and you have every right to say so the next time it happens. It may lead to a “difficult” discussion, but you have a right to tell them how it affects you. Do not depend upon your co-workers to be personal friends, which may not be possible. I encourage you to cultivate social relationships outside the office from now on.

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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