Widow re­con­sid­ers ro­man­tic over­ture from an old friend

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/FEATURES - Abi­gail Van Buren Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby. com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: This is some­thing I can’t talk about in my grief sup­port group. I’m a 70-year-old widow. I lost my dear hus­band of 35 years 17 months ago. I al­ways was more sex­ual than he was. Since the fu­neral, I have had a one-night stand with a nice younger man, but it was a fail­ure for me phys­i­cally. Since then, I am leery.

Last night, a dear friend vis­ited. He knew both of us for years. I had flirted with him last year, but noth­ing hap­pened. Last night he came on to me. I was up­set about my fail­ure to per­form with the nice young man, so I turned him down. Now I don’t know what to do.

If I sleep with him, will it de­stroy our friend­ship? Will I be able to keep him from be­com­ing a ma­jor pres­ence in my home? — WON­DER­ING WIDOW

DEAR WIDOW: Please ac­cept my con­do­lences for the loss of your hus­band. That your first ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter your hus­band’s death wasn’t all that you fan­ta­sized it would be isn’t un­usual.

Good sex is all about com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It takes time for cou­ples to ad­just to each other and feel com­fort­able enough to talk frankly about their in­di­vid­ual needs.

If you sleep with this old friend, I can’t see why it would de­stroy your friend­ship. You are both adults and, I as­sume, avail­able. Sex with him may — or may not — bring you closer for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons.

How­ever, if you would not wel­come some­one be­com­ing “a ma­jor pres­ence in your home,” al­low me to point out that it might be bet­ter not to go to bed with him.

Once a door is opened, it’s not un­usual for a guest to be­come com­fort­able and crave more “hos­pi­tal­ity.”

DEAR ABBY: I am a mother of two, and I’m afraid the baby’s dad is with me only for them. He pays no at­ten­tion to me un­less he has some­thing to com­plain about. When he does, he says hurt­ful things that make me cry and then he tells the kids to call me a cry­baby. It’s al­most as if he is try­ing to turn them against me.

I want a re­la­tion­ship with him. I want love and at­ten­tion, but I don’t know how to get it. Please help! — NOT WANTED IN THE EAST

DEAR NOT WANTED: What your part­ner is do­ing is un­healthy not only for you, but also for your chil­dren. He is emo­tion­ally abus­ing you, while at the same time en­cour­ag­ing those chil­dren to dis­re­spect you and min­i­mize your feel­ings.

For your sake — and theirs — you must not al­low this to con­tinue. If you do, they will think the abuse is nor­mal be­hav­ior and per­pet­u­ate it in their own re­la­tion­ships when they are older.

Of­fer your part­ner the op­tion of cou­ples coun­sel­ing to re­pair your re­la­tion­ship. If he re­fuses, go with­out him. If you do, I prom­ise you will find it en­light­en­ing. Please do not pro­cras­ti­nate, be­cause his ver­bal abuse could es­ca­late.

DEAR ABBY: Is there a way to re­spond to in­di­vid­u­als who use swear words of­ten and loudly in a pub­lic place such as a restau­rant? Hear­ing the F-word used by peo­ple at the next ta­ble ru­ins my en­joy­ment of my meal. — OF­FENDED IN THE WEST

DEAR OF­FENDED: I don’t ad­vise you to ap­proach the “of­fend­ers.” If you have a com­plaint, direct it to the man­ager of the restau­rant, who can then in­form the “F-worders” they are dis­turb­ing other pa­trons and to please keep it down. And if they don’t, ask to change ta­bles and sit in a qui­eter sec­tion of the restau­rant.

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