Dear Abby: Do I have a future with a compatible man in terrible health?

Reader doesn’t want to be a caretaker and debates staying with a heart patient whose defibrillator goes off during an intimate moment.

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DEAR ABBY: I am 62, very healthy and youthful, and work full time as an R.N. I recently started dating a 67-year-old man I met on a dating site. We go out, do various things together, laugh and seem to be compatible. My concern is, he has significant heart disease.

He has had stents put in and is on multiple meds. He also has moderate kidney failure. I’m realizing he’s actually very preoccupied with the state of his health because he talks about it often, and he sees physicians as well as a naturopath and myofascial release specialist.

We were taking my dogs for a walk recently and he said he didn’t feel well. He fell, and his defibrillator went off. Another time we were on a trip and he couldn’t walk far before saying he needed water, and he also wanted to be sure there was a bathroom close by. Another time we were attempting to have some intimacy and his defibrillator went off, which put a damper on the mood.

Should I stay with this guy when his general health is so poor? It is affecting me — and us. I do not want to be a caretaker, although at the same time, I do have compassion for him. — HEARTSTRINGS PULLED

DEAR HEARTSTRINGS: What a sad situation. It shouldn’t take a medical background to see what the future holds, at least for him.

This is a new relationship. Not once in your letter did you mention the depth of his feelings for you or yours for him. He does — and probably will continue to — need looking after. Because you stated you are not prepared to do that, tell him NOW while he’s well enough to find someone who would be.

DEAR ABBY: I have been on and off with a man for two years. In all this time, he has never spent a holiday or Valentine’s Day with me, or introduced me to his family or friends. He told me to stay in the bathroom at his office when his friends showed up unexpectedly. When I objected, he said, “It’s only for 20 minutes.” I was horrified.

He accuses me of picking fights and says I will never be happy with anyone when I try to talk with him about it. He breaks up with me at holiday time, never calls when he’s on vacation and our dates are always last minute. I realize he is using me for sex, but he insists I am wrong and he is a decent man.

Two birthdays passed, and he didn’t even wish me a happy birthday, yet he buys presents and cards for every occasion for his friends and family. He blocks my number if I don’t “behave properly.” He calls me “Miss” in public, but calls waitresses “Sweetie” the few times we have gone out.

Narcissistic and emotionally abusive? Am I wrong? He tells me no one will stay with me once they know the type of woman I am. I’m not always at fault like he wants me to believe. He buys me nothing to drink or eat when we are together. I pay my own way. I regret the day he entered my life. How can I make him see what he does is wrong? — ALMOST DONE IN NEW YORK

DEAR ALMOST DONE: This shameless man may never view what he has been doing as wrong, so don’t try to “make” him see anything. End this sorry excuse for a relationship now, because it is degrading, a waste of your time, and it’s very likely that he is married and cheating on his wife.

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 $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)


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