DEAR ABBY: A friend’s wife died six months ago after a 10-year battle with cancer. He was her faithful caretaker, as she was mostly homebound and bedridden. He told me previously that he has had a female friend for the last four years. He didn’t say, but I think she comes “with benefits” (i.e., they have been intimate). Her office and his workplace regularly interact, and he knows her family and her kids.
He likes me, and I like him. During this initial grief period — perhaps even for a year — I wish to only be friends, and I have told him we are not going to be intimate anytime soon. As his grief lessens, it is possible that he and I may eventually date. But I don’t feel good about his female friend, and I wouldn’t want her in our space at all, not even as a casual friend. If they have been lovers, I would want him to cut ALL ties with her.
Abby, how likely is a widower to carry forward the (likely) mistress he had during the wife’s protracted illness? — WAITING IN THE WINGS
DEAR WAITING: VERY likely! Although I wish you good hunting, you may be four years too late to bag this buck.
DEAR ABBY: My 28-year-old daughter is having our first grandchild. My daughter and I have a good relationship, but she doesn’t want me to be around when she goes into labor.
All her life I have been the most loving and caring mother I could be to her. She has a great husband. Should I take it personally that she doesn’t want me there when she goes into labor?
I have waited a long time to be a grandmother. I feel she should be happy to have me around. I’m deeply hurt that she won’t let me be with her during this beautiful moment in her life. What do you think? — SADDENED IN OREGON
DEAR SADDENED: This isn’t about you, and I urge you not to personalize this as you are doing. Childbirth may, indeed, be a “beautiful moment,” but it is also a challenge. This challenge is one your daughter may prefer to face with her husband at her side — if even he is allowed to be there because of the pandemic. There will be plenty of beautiful moments you can share with your grandchild in the future, so concentrate on those.
DEAR ABBY: I have stayed in contact with my college friends, but sad to say, many of my fellow students are now gone for good. I went to a reunion and met classmates I was close to back in the 1960s. How circumstances and personalities have changed.
Do you believe that once a person makes a move, either out of school or a job, that it’s all over? You can’t go back and relive old times, and if you return to the community, it isn’t the same as if you never left? — SENTIMENTAL IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR SENTIMENTAL: Time marches on, and people often grow and change as they mature. Some — not all — people maintain childhood and college friendships into their senior years. But geographical distance can cause those ties to loosen. Although we can’t relive the old times, we CAN reminisce. But as the old saying goes, we can’t go home again.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)