Dear Abby: Retiree’s plans to travel alone bug his working wife

While he’s still physically able, he’d like to go to music festivals on his own or with friends, but she considers that selfish.

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DEAR ABBY: I’m 62 and recently retired. My wife is 56 and still working. We have been married 32 years. She will retire at 60 to get a full pension from her company, and we have several million dollars in our retirement savings.

We travel together internationally once a year for about 10 days. I have talked to her about my desire to travel more often by myself or with my retired friends, since now is my “golden age” and I’m still physically able to do it. I enjoy classical operas/music and would like to go to some music festivals, such as the Salzburg festival, etc.

My wife thinks I’m selfish since she still works. I have explained to her that we can’t predict our future physical abilities (my knees are deteriorating). If, by the time she retires, I’m no longer physically strong enough to travel, I may regret it forever.

If the situation were reversed and she wanted to travel by herself or with her friends after she’s retired, I think it would be selfish of me to insist she not do it. Is she right? Is my desire to travel more before my wife retires selfish? — PONDERING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PONDERING: I don’t think so. You have worked hard for many years to be able to afford the luxury, and you should be “allowed” to enjoy the benefits of your labors with her blessing. In a few more years, she will have the same freedom.

P.S. I hope your health will allow you both to take many more vacations together in the future. And don’t count yourself out because of your “deteriorating” knees. As I’m sure you are aware, knee replacements are common now. Several individuals I know say the procedure has greatly improved their lives. (Hips, too!)

DEAR ABBY: I’m a very successful 55-year-old married man. I love my wife, but I have a girlfriend I also love. Both women feed my soul. I hate that society tells me I’m wrong for having the two of them. I spend quality time with both. I make enough money to go on expensive, extended vacations. I love my life.

These two ladies are the best thing that ever happened to me besides my three beautiful children. Why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy both of them without feeling like I’m sneaking around all the time? I know there are going to be naysayers who respond. But most women will probably never be the only woman in a man’s life. — HAPPY WITH TWO

DEAR HAPPY WITH TWO: This may seem like a silly, unimportant detail but — how do your wife and your mistress feel about this arrangement? You mentioned that you feel like you are sneaking around. Why is that? Isn’t your wife on board with it? And how about your mistress? Will she be satisfied with the status quo until she’s a senior citizen with the understanding that you will leave her a very rich old lady?

It’s not lost on me that nowhere in your letter have you asked me for “advice.” I’m printing this because we all know there are married men in the upper income brackets who, like you, feel entitled to enjoy the attentions of more than one woman. But all it demonstrates is that having money does not guarantee a person has character — or class.

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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