Dear Abby: My ex sends mixed signals about whether we’re back together

She gets close, then pulls back, perhaps because she’s still mourning her second husband.

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DEAR ABBY: My first wife and I married in 1989, divorced in 1994 and eventually married others. My second marriage also ended in divorce; hers ended with the death of her husband. A year and a half after his passing, she invited me to dinner. We talked for hours, and we both admitted there is still love between us.

We decided to start seeing each other, but she told me she needs to go slow, which I understand. We have been seeing each other for seven months now, but she has been running hot and cold. She gets close, then pulls back. I haven’t said anything about it because I’m trying to be understanding.

Last month, she REALLY pulled back, and we haven’t seen each other since then. We text, but that’s all. Now I don’t know what to think. I’m sure last month was hard for her because it marked the anniversary of her husband’s death. This is also hard on me. I don’t know what to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have. — HOPING FOR THE BEST

DEAR HOPING: Your ex-wife may still be grieving the loss of her husband and, although she has feelings for you, may not be ready to make the kind of commitment you’re looking for. You are overdue for a face-to-face conversation with her about the fact that when you feel you get close, she backs away.

A lot has happened to both of you since your long-ago divorce. There could be any number of reasons for her behavior, and you deserve some honest answers before deciding whether or not to continue pursuing her. If she’s honorable, she will give them to you.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently hosted a dinner party for six close friends. I spent the day cleaning, cooking and setting the table nicely with flowers. Our guests were supposed to arrive at 5 p.m., but didn’t show up until 6. One couple brought their dog along, and proceeded to give it a bone on our newly cleaned couch.

The guests talked only with each other, and anytime my husband and I tried to talk, we were interrupted and the subject was changed back to their personal discussions, which included making plans for the next evening, cellphones ringing and calls being taken, etc.

One of the men was extremely rude. He complained about the ingredients of the food, demanded to move to the head of the table and made negative remarks throughout the meal, after which he abruptly announced he was tired and wanted to go home immediately.

My husband and I were very upset after they left, and my husband said he never wants to have them for dinner again. I need your advice because I’m close friends with the women and would like to clear the air. Meanwhile, I received two texts the next day thanking me for the “great dinner” and “lovely time.” — HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST

DEAR HOSTESS: The man who criticized your cooking and demanded to be moved to the head of the table should be stricken from your guest list. The couple who fed their dog a bone on your newly cleaned couch should be given the opportunity to pay for having it cleaned again if there are stains on it.

In the future, when you issue an invitation, it appears you will have to specify that you expect your guests to show up on time and leave their pets at home. If anyone is offended by that, perhaps they are not such “close friends” after all.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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