DEAR ABBY: I am a single man who recently met a widow who is nine years older. We connected via an online dating site.
At the end of our three-hour conversation, she said, “No man will ever share my bed.” This is because of her second husband, who died six years ago. She said if a man shared her bed, she felt it would be cheating on her late husband.
When she said it, I was surprised and shocked. I hadn’t asked her if she would share my (or another man’s) bed. What are your thoughts on this, and do a lot of widows adhere to this practice? Should this be considered a deal-breaker in a potential relationship? And would replacing the bed with a new one help? — SLEEPLESS IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR SLEEPLESS: Some widows — and widowers — become celibate after the death of their spouse. A phrase I have heard used is, “I’ve had the best, and no one can ever replace _______.” I also know women and men who, after their grief has lessened, have gone on to have happy, successful second or third marriages.
What the woman you were talking with was doing was eradicating any expectation you might have had about a sexual relationship with her. She should have specified on her profile that sex was off the table. Be glad she was honest.
This would be a deal-breaker for any man who is interested in maintaining his sex life. While replacing her mattress might have been a helpful suggestion, I doubt she would have been receptive. According to the mail I receive, amorous couples make love in many places besides the bedroom.
DEAR ABBY: I read you every day. My daughter, the oldest of four children, and I had a falling-out because I paid for her education but she couldn’t be thankful. She was very entitled as a child, but it was important to me that she graduated. She’s a schoolteacher now.
When she asked me to pay for her wedding, I said, “Will you be thankful this time?” She stomped out and said, “I’ll do it myself!” I learned today that she went gown shopping with my mom and her fiance’s mother and excluded me. I am so angry, hurt and sad that I don’t even want to go to the wedding anymore. I could use some advice here. — SAD IN ARKANSAS
DEAR SAD: I’m surprised you had to demand gratitude from your daughter. She may have not learned appreciation because she was always handed everything she wanted, so now she expects your role in her life to continue on that path. That she went gown shopping without inviting you was her way of punishing you for not forking over the money for her wedding. (I wonder if your mother and her fiance’s mother are contributing.)
I do not think you should skip her wedding, regardless of how tempted you may be. That said, it is important you realize a pattern has been established in your relationship with your daughter, and she may use your grandchildren as pawns to manipulate you, so be prepared.
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 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.)