Friday, March 26, 2010
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Dear Annie: I am a widow and have been going with “George” for almost 15 years. It began with me inviting George over for a homemade meal. Then he took me out to dinner, and it just grew from there. In the beginning, we did have sex, but that stopped a long time ago. George is 78, and I am 75.
We belong to the same church and have many of the same friends. George told me from the beginning that he never wanted to marry again. I also didn’t want to remarry and lose the military benefits I received through my late husband. Though we keep separate households, everyone considers us a couple. Our families feel we are practically married. I thought it was a relationship that would last a lifetime.
Three days ago, George delivered a shock. He said he has reconnected with an old friend and plans to marry her. She lives in another state, but they rediscovered each other about a year ago via e-mail, and when he attended a funeral in her area, he went to visit her. He says they are “in love.”
Annie, I have invested years in this man. We spend all our free time together. I have seen him through three serious surgeries and always go with him to his many doctors’ appointments. I am too old to start up with someone new. I love George, and we are so used to each other. How can I make him see what a fool he is being with this other woman? I want to get back to our regular life.
Wanda and Worried
Dear Wanda: Sorry, honey, but George is head over heels — and not with you. Your comfortable old relationship cannot compete with the excitement of the new one. We urge you not to cling to the remote possibility that he’ll change his mind. Wish him well, and move on. We know it won’t be easy, so please enlist the support of your friends and family to get through this.
Dear Annie: Eighteen months ago, my husband passed away suddenly. We had been married 42 years, with three children. My husband’s brother, who I thought cared about us, has vanished from our lives. I know he is also grieving, but I don’t understand why he would stay away. And it’s not just him. Some of his friends have abandoned us, too.
I am struggling to understand why this is happening. I put on a happy face for my children’s sake, but my world is gone. I still need some connection to my husband through his brothers and friends. After 42 years, I thought I could count on them to provide that.
Let people know that when someone dies, the loved ones they leave behind are still alive and feeling alone.
Grieving in Kentucky
Dear Kentucky: Grieving people can sometimes do inexplicable things. Your brother-in-law may feel too vulnerable in his own mourning to be around you. We hope time will bring him back into your orbit, but do continue to reach out to him and say that the children miss their uncle.
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