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Dear Abby: I have been married for 40 years. Like all married couples, we have had our ups and downs, but we have a good marriage. We have two children and five grandchildren.

I wouldn’t change anything, except I never had an engagement ring. My husband has bought jewelry for me over the years, but never what I really want – a diamond ring.

I have hinted to him over the last few years, left jewelry store catalogs and enlisted my sister-in-law to TELL him. He can afford it. But he just won’t buy one for me.

He has been financially helpful to our children and is generous to charity. But when it comes to this, it’s becoming clear that he thinks I am just not worth it. I feel unloved and deeply hurt. It seems my needs always come last, and this is just one more. Any comments?

– Disengaged in Florida

Dear Disengaged: Yes. Diamonds are minerals that have been marketed to the public to seem like something more. Do not let this negatively affect your relationship with your husband. If a diamond ring is what you want, then consider buying one for yourself. You wouldn’t be the first woman to do it, and you won’t be the last.

Let girlfriend grieve

Dear Abby: My girlfriend of 18 months, whom I love with all my heart, just learned an ex-boyfriend passed away. They dated on and off for 10 years, and she’s inconsolable.

I am having a really hard time with how she’s handling this. Can you please help?

Current Mr. Right in Rhode Island

Dear Current Mr. Right: Your girlfriend may not be mourning the death of her former flame as much as she’s grieving a burial of 10 years of her history. Give her time and let her share her feelings with you. If you do, it will bring you closer. Do NOT allow jealousy to enter into the picture. (Remember, the man is dead, and YOU are her future.)