Dear Abby: As friend marries widower, I’m suspicious about how his other wives died

There’s no evidence that he caused their deaths, but it’s hard to trust a 50-year-old man who’s been unfaithful and widowed twice.

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DEAR ABBY: My best friend, “Laura,” had an affair with a married man for 20 years. He had been married twice before, and both wives died. He’s only 50, so I find it odd that both of his previous wives died. His second wife passed while Laura was his mistress. She is able to be married to him only because of his second wife’s death — he was never going to leave her.

I don’t trust this man, but I feel I must because Laura is married to him and so happy. I’m suspicious that he may have had something to do with his wives’ deaths, but I don’t know how to prove it. Am I overly suspicious for thinking this? I’m happy for my friend because she is very happy now. They are both retired and enjoying their lives. I’m just hoping he’s honest and truly loves her.

I’m not sure how to feel about this cheater, but it does take two — and Laura stayed with him for 20 years as his mistress. Please advise me. — SUSPICIOUS IN THE EAST

DEAR SUSPICIOUS: I wish you had mentioned where Laura’s husband got the money to retire at age 50. Could it have come from his late wives’ insurance policies? If the answer is yes, you may have cause to worry. However, if it didn’t, try to be happy for your friend. One caveat: If your intuition is warning you not to trust Laura’s husband, do not invest any money with him.

DEAR ABBY: I have an issue with my husband always answering his cellphone when we are out to lunch or out shopping. Instead of letting the call go to voicemail, he insists on picking up and talking for 10 to 15 minutes while I sit there. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s a friend just wanting to chat.

I asked him, if it’s not an emergency, to tell the person he is busy at the moment and will call back. I think his behavior is incredibly rude. It makes me feel I’m not important. Am I overreacting, like my husband says? He can’t seem to understand how I feel. — LEFT OUT IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR LEFT OUT: You are not overreacting, and there’s nothing wrong with your communication skills. Your husband does understand how you feel; he simply doesn’t CARE. Allowing a non-emergency call to turn into a gab fest while you sit and twiddle your thumbs IS rude, and you are right to call your husband on it.

If he won’t consider putting his phone on silent mode while lunching or shopping with you, you may have to resort to bringing something with you to read. Find a book on telephone manners or one that allows you to escape — I’m thinking about a paperback with Fabio or some other Adonis on the cover; the wait may be less boring.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her son’s father split up recently. They were together for 10 years. My dilemma is she has started dating another man and has invited me to a special-occasion dinner. I do not approve of this match and I don’t care for this person. Should I go to the dinner? — DISAPPROVING IN ARKANSAS

DEAR DISAPPROVING: Yes, you should. If you don’t, you may be seeing a lot less of your daughter and grandchild. Do not signal your disapproval by burning any bridges. The relationship may flame out on its own.

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 an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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