Dear Abby: Since meeting man, widow has cut ties with everyone else

The woman moved in with the new guy, and her friends and family are saddened that she’s no longer in their lives.

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DEAR ABBY: My dear friend “Rose’s” husband died five years ago, and since then she has struggled with grief and loneliness. She immersed herself in her church, friends and family. We usually talked three to five times per week and we traveled together.

Rose decided to explore online dating. She met a man and her entire life changed. She has become totally involved, dependent, isolated and controlled. He wants nothing to do with any of her family, friends or church family. Rose has ceased all communication with others. In two months’ time she bought a life insurance policy, moved in with him and sold her house. No one knows her address or contact information. She has deleted her friends from Facebook and has ceased all communication with her family.

If asked, I believe she would say she’s happy. Meanwhile, we are left saddened, shocked and angry. Must we simply accept her lifestyle choice and move on? — BAFFLED IN IOWA

DEAR BAFFLED: Your friend appears to have become involved with a man who is more than a little controlling. That she would buy a life insurance policy, sell her house (!) and move in with him within the space of two months is, frankly, shocking.

That said, however, Rose is an adult and has the right to make her own decisions, although it would have been immeasurably better had she run this scenario by an attorney or other trusted adviser before jumping in to the extent she has. If it’s any comfort to you, although you no longer have her contact information, I am sure she knows how to reach you and her family if she feels the need.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been divorced for 18 years. My sister is also divorced. Recently, she has been going out with my ex. He picks her up at our parents’ house, where she has been living. When I’m there, I have to see this. My parents don’t say anything to her about it, and I don’t know why. When I was married to him, they always told me they disliked him. So now that their other daughter associates with him, they are keeping silent?

This bothers me so much I no longer speak to her. I feel she has backstabbed me and cares only about herself. How do I make it through this? It haunts me. I need your opinion. Can you help? — HURTING IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR HURTING: It has been nearly two decades since you and your ex-husband parted ways. Surely your family has been aware of the reasons for it. That your sister exercises such poor judgment that she would become involved with him is sad.

While I understand why you are less than thrilled by this, rest assured your sister will learn her lesson sooner or later. A way to get through this would be to spend less time at your parents’ house and schedule an appointment with a psychotherapist to help you deal with your pain.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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