Dear Abby: I’ve rekindled love with an old flame, but she’s married

Former high school sweetheart, now in her 60s, says she’s unhappy with her husband.

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DEAR ABBY: After being divorced for 18 years, I have reconnected with my high school sweetheart. She got in touch with me, and we started talking and seeing each other. She says she loves me, and to be honest, I love her, too.

The problem is, she’s married. She has grown kids and is raising her 8-year-old granddaughter. She says she’s sorry about what happened to us years ago and that she and her husband have had nothing in common for the past 16 years. They sleep in separate rooms and don’t do anything as a family.

I know it was wrong to get involved with her because she’s married. I asked her why now and why me. She said it’s because she never stopped loving me and had tried to find me in the past. (I work in construction and have been in different places over the years.)

I told her I don’t want to break up her home, but she insisted that she’s not happy. She told me that a few years ago she moved out but returned because of the granddaughter. We are both in our early 60s. I’m not sure what to do. I know we have fun together, and I haven’t laughed this much in a very long time. I have been with others but never like this. Help! — LONGTIME LOVE IN FLORIDA

DEAR LONGTIME LOVE: Tell your lady friend you care for her, but what’s going on isn’t fair to you or her husband. She has some important decisions to make about her future — and possibly yours. Would her husband raise the grandchild if she left? Could she take the girl with her? Do you want to help raise the child? Unless you plan to sneak around until her granddaughter is no longer a minor, stop laughing and get serious.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old divorced mother of one adult child and one teenager. I suffered years of abuse at the hands of my toxic ex-husband, and I’m finally enjoying life for the first time in more than 20 years. My elderly parents were also abusive, so my relationship with them is limited.

My parents think I’m going to take care of them when they can no longer care for themselves, but when my son graduates in a few years, I want to move away. I have offered to help, but they insist I should be willing to do more when the time comes. My parents are on Social Security and have little money. My only sibling is worthless and abusive as well, and I know he won’t do anything. What’s your advice? — EYE ON FUTURE IN OHIO

DEAR EYE: If your parents had children in order to guarantee they would be taken care of in their old age, they were misguided. Having children is no guarantee. That they now live on a limited income is their issue; do not allow them to make it yours.

I assume you have warned them that you will be able to give them limited financial help and that you plan to leave the area.

Let your children know what has been going on. Impress upon them the importance of planning for financial independence early on, and if you haven’t already, start saving for your own retirement because children often emulate what they see their parents do.

Make your parents aware that there may be programs to help them lower costs in many areas, enabling them to stretch their dollars. AARP has a state-by-state breakdown on help for low-income seniors. (Go to and search “Public Benefits — Senior Assistance.”)

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.

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.)

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