Dear Miss Emily:

My concern is that legally I am married, but I haven't seen my husband in almost 3 years....he left before a year of the marriage. I don't know what to classify myself.  Sometimes when I have to fill out forms (the part that says marital status), I sometimes just leave it blank.  To think of it,  that's exactly how I feel BLANK! Even when people ask if I'm married, and I answer "yes," it would be where is your husband...when was the last time you saw him?  It's just so complicated to explain....can u help me?   I get so depressed at times.  I feel as if my life is on hold.  I don't believe in divorce, but my husband made it clear when he left that he does not want me, and NO ONE understands.  I try to forget about it and pretend that everything is ok...it works for a while but.......

-------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------

Well, yes, legally you are married, but I think the situation you're in would classify as abandonment if you do not know where he lives, and have had no contact with him since he decided to split.  I'm not going to chastise you for letting this go on for so long, because that would be cruel, and what you have already experienced is cruel beyond measure.  Beside the emotional hurt, because you are legally married, there are all sort of other legal issues to consider -- taxes, any mutual credit cards you had together that still may be in operation --that makes you liable for any debt not paid. Have you done a credit check on yourself lately to see where you stand? You might not like the idea of being divorced, but for the life of me, I can't understand why.  If it's for religious reasons, say you are catholic, I would consider seeking an annulment by the church.  But whatever the reason, you have suffered for far too long, and you need legal counsel.  If you can't afford one, seek a free-legal service offered to low-income individuals. Look in the phonebook, or ask a trusted friend or family member to help you.  Any false pride you have will continue to stall what needs to be done. You may feel helpless, now, but imagine what kind of legal problems you'll have if this ner'do-well you married suddenly owed back taxes and you are legally responsible.  You need to have a better life and, from what you have told me, this limbo state you're in doesn't classify as one. Please, if there is more to this story than you have told me in your e-mail, let me know.  Again, your trepidation for not moving forward on severing all ties with this man is troubling, to say the least.