Fi­nal years should be lived out some­where a per­son is com­fort­able

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: Two years ago, I made a big mis­take. I mar­ried a wid­ower and agreed to move into his house in a large city that is a 30- minute drive from the small town I love living in.

I now re­al­ize that I ab­so­lutely hate living in the city and, more im­por­tantly, living in the home that he and his late wife picked out and dec­o­rated to­gether. Ini­tially, he said I could make changes to the house, but the only changes he is will­ing to make in­volve re­plac­ing worn- out things with newer ver­sions of the ex­act same style and color. I thought I could re­dec­o­rate us­ing some of his things and some of mine to make a home of our own. In­stead, I feel like a per­ma­nent house­guest.

I love my hus­band, and our re­la­tion­ship is won­der­ful ex­cept for this is­sue. Here’s the real prob­lem: I re­cently learned that I have metastatic breast can­cer. I can­not bear the thought of living what’s left of my life in his house and in this city.

Three years ago, he said he’d move into a condo in five years. Last month, he said the same thing. I know he’s not ready. But he is 81, and I am 70, and it’s time to down­size. He knows how I feel, be­cause we’ve had quite a few dis­cus­sions about it. But be­cause he’s most likely go­ing to out­live me, I don’t feel it’s fair to ask him to move to an­other place when he doesn’t want to.

He owns a condo in my home­town that he rents out. I own a house that is rented out, although mine still has a small mort­gage on it. I’m think­ing of ask­ing him not to re­new the rental on his condo so we can stay there some of the time and in his home the rest of the time. I am so torn in­side. What do you think?

— T.

Dear T.: We think you have sug­gested an ex­cel­lent com­pro­mise — live in the condo part of the time, and in his house for the rest. You also could stop rent­ing your house and live there part of the time. Should your hus­band out­live you, he can move wher­ever he chooses. Right now, you should not be stressed about your living sit­u­a­tion, and we hope your hus­band cares enough to make you as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble. We think he will want to do what­ever he can.

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