Dear Abby: Talking about a previous relationship throws water on the current flame
DEAR ABBY: I am a widower who has been very happy in marriage. I decided to get back into the dating game. I met a very nice widow, and we connected. As I was alone, it made a big change for the better in my life. The lady I teamed up with is a wonderful, caring person, and we love to be together doing what people who are dating do. We are grateful to have found each other.
She had met a man she loved to be with a few years ago, but it was short-lived as he passed away. She told me they had a nice, but platonic relationship. My problem is how many times she talks to him. Something reminds her of him and she wants to talk about it. I can understand that he might come back every now and then, but last month she mentioned it a dozen times. I don’t think she does it to make me jealous, but I find it annoying.
I’ve tried a few times to subtly suggest that it would be better if she didn’t mention it. I’m not sure she understands that this could undermine our relationship. What to do? – WORRIED WIDOW IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR WIDOW: Discuss this with your friend as frankly as you have with me. If she appreciates the relationship she has with you, she will stop “raising the dead” in the conversation.
** ** **
DEAR ABBY: My sister did something that really bothered me. My niece (her daughter) took us to a restaurant that she had heard was really good. In this restaurant, you order and pay for your meal first. My niece paid for all the meals and we sat at our table to wait for our food.
My niece had to leave the table momentarily before our order was ready. While she was away, my sister said that I had to reimburse her daughter because she could not afford all the meals.
I have never made fun of anyone in my life. The $ 10 my niece spent is the only time I can remember someone buying me dinner in my adult life except on my birthday. My niece has a job that I know for a fact pays at least three times as much as mine. She has multiple pets, and I’m sure she spends a lot more per month on pet food than the cost of my meal. I don’t think my sister should have made this a problem. What do you think? – IRRITY IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR IRRITATED: I agree with you. You were a guest and, as well-meaning as your sister may be, she should have stayed out of it. I hope you will forget his bad manners.
** ** **
DEAR ABBY: Last weekend I was walking to the mall and met a man in a wheelchair. I was going down a long, graduated slope as he went up. I offered to help him and he politely declined.
My question is, what is the right thing to do when offering to help? Is it rude and does someone take offense when offered a helping hand? – JUST TRYING TO HELP
DEAR JUST TRY: I don’t think it’s ever offensive to offer a helping hand. What can be counterproductive is when a good Samaritan does something without ASKING first – such as grabbing the arm of a blind person and trying to help the individual cross a street – which can be not only scary but possibly unnecessary.
** ** **
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 www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.