DEAR ABBY: My husband of nearly 22 years and I divorced last year after he told me he didn’t want to be married anymore and didn’t know if he ever loved me. Since our split, he has bought a home with another woman — the same woman I suspected him of having an affair with, and the same woman he encouraged me to befriend during our marriage. (I even took her on a trip to Europe.)
Our son is graduating from high school. We are planning a belated, socially distanced graduation party for my son, and my ex wants to bring her. My challenge is that I am with someone new as well, but he is someone who came into my life a couple of months after my ex and I separated. I want him to be at the party, but I don’t want her there. I feel our circumstances are quite different.
My son is my priority, so I am leaning toward asking my new significant other not to attend, and then asking that she not attend either. I’m still hurt by their actions. What is the protocol here, and what should I do? — PROUD MOM MOVING ON
DEAR MOM: I understand your hurt feelings, but, as you wrote, the party is a celebration of your son’s achievement and nothing else. If things turn out as it appears they will, your ex may marry this woman, and she would be to some extent in your life when your son marries, starts a family, etc. (Sorry!)
The saving grace through all of this is you have a new partner in your life who can help buffer you. Fortunately, you will be social distancing, so you won’t have to spend much time in her space. While you don’t have to welcome this woman with open arms, please observe the social niceties and devote the majority of your time to mingling with the other guests.
DEAR ABBY: I met a man many years ago. Shortly afterward, my husband passed away. I was in a tough spot, and this man came to my rescue. He offered me a place to live, but I refused. After a few months, I started receiving love letters from him. I carefully answered them, telling him I had gotten involved with someone else, but if it didn’t work out, I might consider dating him.
After about a month, he began showing up at my house. By then I was living with my new man, “Roger.” I explained I was in love and he should leave, but he still showed up at my house every couple of months.
I was with Roger for 11 years, but after a battle with heart problems, he died. This man showed up while Roger was in a coma. I told him with much anger several times to please stop coming to my house.
Two days after Roger’s death, he again showed up. He asked if it was OK to take me on a date now, and I lost it. I ordered him to never come to my door again and told him I would never date him. He has started sending me love letters again. I don’t answer them. He still calls or sends angry letters and still comes by asking if I would like to go on a date. Help! — FED UP IN WASHINGTON
DEAR FED UP: If you have a lawyer, have him/her write the man a formal letter telling him you have tried to politely discourage his attentions and that if he persists in harassing you, he will be reported to the police as a stalker. Then follow through by filing a report with the authorities.
P.S. If your home is not equipped with a security system, consider installing one. He is creepy.
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.