Dear Abby: I was married to my wife for 29 years, and I have now been divorced for two. I have tried to move on, but I can’t because I still love her. She initiated the divorce because she thought I cheated on her. I didn’t fight her because I was too macho.
I don’t know if I miss her or feel sorry for myself because I haven’t been with a woman in more than two years. I’m attracted to women who are at least 15 years younger than me or who are married.
I have been on two dating sites for almost a year and even moved back to the state where my ex-wife lives hoping that one day she will ask me out. I’ve been throwing hints her way and have even written her letters, but she still thinks I cheated. I ache for her. What should I do? — Fighting Chance In The East
Dear Fighting Chance: Your marriage is history, and your “exaggerated masculinity” caused it. I am struck by the fact that nowhere in your letter did you deny what your ex-wife thought was true. I don’t understand what being “macho” has to do with not denying you cheated. What you should do now is learn from it, grow from it and move on.
Dear Abby: My husband and his father had a falling out. My husband’s father now has hired a lawyer to get the pictures and Vietnam medals back that he had given my husband as a gift years ago. This is his only son.
We have two sons whom my husband would like to pass the medals down to. He knows if he gives the medals back that he may never see them again because his dad has a girlfriend now who wants them. She’s behind him pursuing the issue with a lawyer.
How can I help my husband? Should he give in to his father’s demands and return the medals and pictures, or should he fight to keep them? — Middle Of A Mess
Dear Middle: How old are your sons? Because of this rift, do they still have a relationship with their grandfather? Would they appreciate the war medals and understand what they stand for?
My feeling is that you should stay out of the line of fire and allow your husband and his own lawyer to fight this battle. However, you may be able to sway the outcome if you or your sons write your father-in-law a warm letter telling him how sad you feel about the situation and that his medals are heirlooms they and their children would treasure in the future. Then cross your fingers.
Dear Abby: At what age does a person stop calling an older neighbor “Mrs.” or “Mr.”? I was born next door and still live here, so I don’t know what to call my neighbors anymore. — Grown Up North
Dear Grown: Before children reach adulthood, it is considered respectful to call adults “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Not knowing your neighbors, I can’t guess how formal they may be. Because using their first names has not been your practice and you don’t want to risk offense, ask them what they would like to be called in light of the fact that you are all adults. Erring on the side of respect will never be wrong.