Dear Abby: ‘Golden Years’ couples are looking bleaker

Dear Abby,

My husband, who is 81 years old and in excellent health, just suggested that when we feel we can no longer live on our own (I am 72), we should move closer to his daughter in another state so that she and her husband can help us.

Abby, I DON’T LIKE her husband, and I don’t want to depend on him, obey him, or even associate with him. In the 15 years that I have known him, we have never spoken. At first I tried, but he can’t relate to older women. Apparently, he did not have a relationship with his mother. His only topics of conversation are his dogs, weapons, or sports. I am not interested in any of these things.

It breaks my heart that my husband and I may not spend the last years of our lives together. I’m sure my husband would advise me to “get over” my dislike for his daughter’s husband. Should I agree to be around someone with whom I have nothing in common? I don’t like the part of the country they live in either.

— Nerves in New Mexico

My late mother once told me that parents who rely on their adult children to “take care of them” in old age often face a rude awakening. You and your husband should be equal partners in this marriage. If you dislike not only the man his daughter is married to, but also the area of ​​the country they live in, the law doesn’t say you have to move. I recommend that you discuss this complex issue with your spouse as soon as possible, preferably in the office of a licensed family therapist.

Dear Abby,

I had an intermittent relationship with a woman for three years. We live two hours apart. At first our relationship was great. We saw each other on a regular basis and corresponded and chatted via video calls almost every day. We even talked about the wedding.

But over time, she became more and more distant. She either did not answer me for a long time, or did not answer at all. Her excuse was work. She was always working and always doing something. Then I found out that she dealt with a couple of personal items. When I explained to her that relationships are communication, she seemed to disagree.

At some point, I was so upset, angry and upset that I said terrible things to her. I even used foul language because she didn’t communicate. Besides, she didn’t even bother to take two minutes of her time to wish me a happy birthday. I always remember her on her birthday.

She makes me look like the bad guy. I am so hurt and angry at her because of her refusal to communicate. Abby, what else can I do? Am I really a bad person here?

– uncertain in Pennsylvania

Although you refuse to admit it, this woman has been in contact with you. Her behavior indicates that she is nowhere as interested in you as you are in her, which should have become evident as she became more and more distant.

You’re not a bad person, and neither is she. She’s just afraid to tell you the bad news verbally. In such cases, there is nothing you can do but tell her that it is obvious that she is not as interested in a relationship as you are, and gracefully walk away.

Dear Abby

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.

This article originally appeared in Providence magazine: Dear Abby: ‘Golden Years’ couples are looking bleaker

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