Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ISLAND WEEKEND - Abi­gail Van Buren 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. Abby shares more than 100 of her

Wife’s fu­ture is a dif­fi­cult sub­ject for dy­ing hus­band.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band has stage 4 can­cer and is in con­stant pain. A big worry for him is my be­ing alone in life af­ter his pass­ing.

Sev­eral months ago when the sub­ject came up, I told him that while I’m not a prophet, I know I’ll be OK. I’m a so­cial per­son. I have a nice sup­port group with var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions, and I’m close with fam­ily and co-work­ers, etc.

Four months ago, a high school friend and I re­con­nected. We have shared many con­ver­sa­tions and have built a mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ship. The gnaw­ing ques­tion is, do I share this in­for­ma­tion with my hus­band now, wait un­til he men­tions his leav­ing me alone again or say noth­ing? There is a fine line here be­tween putting my hus­band’s fears to rest and po­ten­tially mak­ing him feel he will be easily re­placed.

This is not a topic I feel com­fort­able shar­ing with my friends. I’m cu­ri­ous what other women have done in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions. Do they ex­plore the new sit­u­a­tion, have an af­fair or main­tain a celi­bate re­la­tion­ship? Your re­sponse will help with some of the stress I’m hav­ing at this junc­ture. — NOT EASILY RE­PLACED

DEAR NOT EASILY RE­PLACED: I know I will hear from my read­ers once your let­ter is pub­lished, and I’m just as cer­tain their re­sponses will in­di­cate that they have done each of the things you men­tioned.

I agree that there is a fine line be­tween putting your hus­band’s fears to rest and mak­ing him feel he will be easily re­placed. The re­al­ity is, whether things work out with your old school chum or the bud­ding ro­mance comes to noth­ing, re­la­tion­ships are not in­ter­change­able. You have shared history with your hus­band that can’t be du­pli­cated.

While your hus­band is a spe­cial man whose only con­cern is for you, in my heart, I don’t think news of this re­la­tion­ship should be shared with him. I don’t know how much more time he has on this earth, but I think you would feel bet­ter about your­self if you post­poned an af­fair un­til af­ter your hus­band is gone. If this old friend cares deeply for you, he should be will­ing to wait.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, “Jasper,” says I’m weird for talk­ing to my daugh­ter while I’m driv­ing to work and 90 per cent of the time on my com­mute back home. She’s a young mother with a one-year-old and a four-year-old. Her hus­band is “dif­fi­cult,” and there are also some per­sonal is­sues — but I am proud of how well she’s do­ing.

I work full time and she works part time, so even though we live in the same town, we don’t see each other as of­ten as we’d like. At 25, she is grow­ing into my best friend, and I love help­ing her through de­ci­sions, etc. I don’t agree that this is weird at all. I be­lieve most moth­ers and daugh­ters do this.

How can I get through to my fiance that this is nor­mal? Even if it weren’t, it isn’t get­ting in his way or tak­ing any­thing away from him. Don’t you agree he should just let it be? — GOOD MOTHER IN MAS­SACHUSETTS

DEAR GOOD MOTHER: Yes, I do. If your fiance had said he was con­cerned that you might get into an ac­ci­dent be­cause your con­ver­sa­tions were dis­tract­ing, I would an­swer dif­fer­ently. How­ever, that he would la­bel your close­ness to your daugh­ter “weird” makes me won­der if he might be jeal­ous of the bond you share with her. Are you giv­ing him his fair share of your at­ten­tion?

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