DEAR ABBY: I am a 54-year-old single woman who recently started dating again after four years of total abstinence. My two adult daughters, ages 18 and 22, live at home with me.
My dilemma: I am smitten, to say the least, with an attractive, supportive and very loving man. I have invited him over and introduced him to the girls, which went well until the other night, when my 22-year-old overheard us being intimate (her bedroom is next to mine). There was no screaming or anything lewd, no nudity or PDA, but I happen to have a slightly noisy bed.
She now refuses to sleep in her room and sent me a text telling me she wants to live with her dad because she thinks it’s disgusting. I’m not sure how to feel. On one hand, I think she needs to grow up, but at the same time, I don’t want to be the cause of her discomfort.
I explained to her that I’m happy after being alone for so long and perhaps she could be happy for me. My partner thinks she’s jealous of our new relationship. The 18-year-old couldn’t care less.
My question is, am I behaving inappropriately? Don’t I have just as much right to enjoy my home as they do? — GETTING BACK TO IT IN NEW YORK
DEAR GETTING BACK: I can see how your young adult daughter might be uncomfortable being confronted with her mother’s sexual activity, to the musical accompaniment of squeaking bed springs. Most people have a hard time accepting their parents as sexual beings. You didn’t mention whether your daughter’s father would welcome this daughter moving in with him. If he’s all for it, that would be the way to deal with her discomfort.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been happily married for 13 years. Over the last few years we have experienced our brushes with the prospect of infidelity, but we remain committed to each other. While our marriage is a healthy and happy one, our commitment to each other has recently come into question, and we have been fighting more than usual.
Recently, a good friend of mine since almost childhood — and brief lover in my early 20s, with whom I have maintained friendly contact over the years — propositioned me. He said he has never fallen out of love with me and will continue to wait. I cut off my relationship with him without agreeing to an affair (or anything else) and have moved on with my marriage.
My concern is, now I feel this urge to let my husband know about the exchange, mostly to reinforce my commitment to him and maintain transparency. But part of me is afraid that bringing it up will cause more upset, and maybe I should keep it to myself. What should I do? — NEEDING SOME GUIDANCE
DEAR NEEDING: Not all of our urges are meant to be acted upon. Be honest about your motive. What do you think telling your husband will accomplish? Will it bring you closer to each other, or remind him that you are attractive to other men and make him jealous? Will it anger him enough to want to punch your old friend and former lover in the nose? If this is a possibility, some things are better left unsaid.
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.
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