Dear Abby: An old flame returns, with old flaws intact

SHARE Dear Abby: An old flame returns, with old flaws intact

DEAR ABBY: I have rekindled a romance from my youth. “Jerry” and I were engaged to be married 47 years ago, but I felt he was too worldly and fast for me, so I broke off the engagement. I later married and had a happy marriage for 36 years until my husband died.

Jerry found me on Facebook and started writing. Abby, he has been married and divorced five times.

We eventually got together and have been seeing each other for almost two years now. He wants us to get married, but I am again hesitant because our lifestyles are so vastly different. I enjoy spending time with him, but I’m also glad when he leaves.

Many times I wish I had never answered his first letter. On the other hand, I have had some great times with him. We are so different in many ways — I’m not sure I can put up with some of the things he says and does.

What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I make up my mind what to do? I have broken up with him twice, but he manages to work his way back into my life. Please tell me what I should do or how to know what is right for me. — REKINDLED ROMANCE

DEAR REKINDLED: Listen closely to your intuition. If you are enjoying the relationship as it is, you should keep it that way. Because you are happy when Jerry leaves and have doubts about being able to tolerate things he says and does, it would be a mistake to wed a man who has struck out at marriage five times.

More Dear Abby:

My mood swings so dramatically, it’s scary

My 17-year-old daughter looks 10 years younger and can’t get a date

I wish my 62-year-old mother wouldn’t walk around naked

DEAR ABBY: After many years of fiscal responsibility, hard work and sacrifice, we are set to pay off the mortgage on our house this year.

I want to throw an old-fashioned open house/home mortgage-burning party and burn the mortgage in the smoker after the turkey is done. My wife and I never had a reception after our wedding so long ago. I think we are due a party to celebrate this milestone.

My wife is against it. She says too many of our friends and family have financial troubles, and a mortgage-burning party would rub their noses in it. She has “loaned” her brother $50,000 over the years, and more to her friends. Most of them have yet to repay.

I think a mortgage-burning party would be an example for them to strive for and achieve, and we deserve to celebrate. Your answer will determine if we have the party. If you vote “yes,” you are invited. — BIG ACHIEVEMENT

DEAR BIG: Mortgage-burning parties went out of fashion decades ago for many reasons. Among them, the fact that many homeowners no longer live in the same place long enough to pay their mortgages in full. Today many people choose to refinance their loan rather than pay it off.

As much as I’d like to attend your party, I have to vote with your wife. To invite guests whom you know are having money troubles to such an event would be insensitive.

If you are in a celebratory mood, by all means throw a party, but be discreet and refrain from flaunting your success in the faces of your guests.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors ‚ is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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