Dear Amy: I am a widow and have started dating again.
I am currently seeing a man who gets up early to go online. He is always complimenting women online, even telling them that he loves them.
He and I dated before, and I walked away because of his online activities.
He got back in touch, saying that he missed me. He asked if we could try again. During the time we were broken up, he went on a couple of dates with another woman. He promised that she would be gone! Nope. He still keeps her number and has her on his Facebook account.
I am not on his Facebook account, and his page still says that he is single, even though he tells me that we are in a relationship.
I have told him I will not be second to a computer and a bunch of single women.
I got married at 18 and was married for 32 years when my husband passed away. I don’t know what to do at this point. Should I walk away? I have told him that I do not think it is right to keep old baggage hanging around because it doesn’t give us a chance to move forward as a couple.
I have had a lot of other men interested in taking me out, but I have turned them down because I don’t believe in playing these games.
Please help. I’m thinking of just being alone!
— Worried Widow
Dear Worried: You say you don’t think it is right to keep old baggage around.
Has it occurred to you that in this scenario, you might be the baggage that he is keeping around?
You had a very long marriage, followed by a huge loss. Surely during your marriage, you learned that you are important. You should be the most important person in your world, certainly much more important than a skeevy guy who can yank you back into his orbit just by asking.
Please don’t “move forward as a couple” with this dude. He is showing you exactly who he is. You need to believe him.
You don’t want to play games, so stop playing this one. If you walk away from this person, you will (without question) be the winner.
Dear Amy: I am 68 and have been married to a 75-year-old alcoholic for 20 years. My husband continues to drink. I am his only friend. He can be a kind thoughtful man, and also a rude and socially inept jerk.
When he is drunk, he is extremely rude to me. All attempts at sobriety are short-lived.
Through the years, I have left him and then returned. I have seen three attorneys and considered divorce. Each attorney has let me know that for a variety of reasons I will be substantially worse off financially if I divorce my husband. This is because our home was purchased with assets he gained before the marriage, yet he is entitled to half my saved income from my business.
I also have a fairly benign but chronic health-care issue, which is in remission but flares up from time to time.
I go to Al-Anon, which has helped me, as I have built a wonderful life. I also know that alcoholism is a progressive disease and that his drinking and behavior can get much worse.
Do you have any advice for me?
— Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
Dear Waiting: I can’t tell you what choice to make, just as your support system from Al-Anon can’t direct you. Your lawyers can only deliver sound legal advice concerning the financial consequences of divorce.
I will say this: Waiting for the other shoe to drop is pretty much the definition of mental torture. I think it is vital that, at the very least, you have a “safe place” to retreat to if/when things get bad. Your husband has a serious, untreated illness, which unfortunately has a high and negative impact on you.
Dear Amy: “Confused” was upset when a recent stroke victim made a sexually inappropriate comment.
As a registered nurse who worked with brain injured in ICU and as a certified rehabilitation RN, I have witnessed many changes that can occur after a brain injury.
There are many ways strokes affect people. I’ve heard a preacher’s son use language that would curl your toes.
It would be of benefit to all to meet with the neurologist to discuss the aberrant behavior.
Dear RN: Great advice. Thank you.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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