Dear Annie: I'm 60, divorced and currently seeing "Don." He's five years my junior and extremely attentive.
Don has a background of violence (one incident landed him in jail), but he now manages his anger. However, he still refuses to stand down to anyone who threatens him. He brags about being a Marine and that he has skills to make people disappear. He also brags about his sexual prowess and then tells me we have no passion in our lovemaking and that's why he has trouble in bed. He blames it on my hysterectomy, but my doctor says the problem isn't mine.
Don is a good listener and a versatile handyman and has a great sense of humor. He lives on his parents' property in an old mobile home in exchange for helping his parents around their home and with his dad's business. For this, he is paid hourly wages. He also earns a cut from a landscape business. He doesn't have his own car. He drives mine, comes and goes as he pleases, eats my food, watches my cable TV, and has scrapped material and tools from my house and sold them for cash. The bigger issue, however, is that he says he isn't ready to get married because he doesn't know me well enough.
Annie, I want some financial stability and long-term commitment in my life. None of my family or friends feels he's the right guy. We never do anything with other couples.I don't know who his friends are, but he said I wouldn't want to hang out with them. They are drinkers and dopers. He's a recovering alcoholic, but still smokes pot. And he's lied to me about it. He also spies on me, checking my email and phone messages and creeping into my home unnoticed to see what I'm doing.
We never argue. I love him for all his kindness and know beyond a doubt that he loves me. Should I give him more time?
Ready To Settle Down
Dear Ready: For the life of us, we can't understand why you want a lifetime commitment from a 55-year-old man who still lives with his parents, doesn't earn enough to have his own car, takes advantage of you, belittles you in bed, has a bad temper, lies to you, spies on you, smokes pot and hangs around with drinkers and dopers. You sound desperate. Please reconsider this relationship. There are worse things than being alone.
Dear Annie: One of my teachers recently passed away after a week in the hospital. The death notice was very short and made no mention of his teaching career or any of the great relationships he had. It only said, "He will be loved and missed."
I feel like writing a letter to the editor telling the small bit of his life story that I experienced as his student. Should I?
Dear Sad: Oh, yes, please do. And send a copy, along with a personal note, to his family. It would mean the world to them to know how much he mattered in your life. Too often these things go unsaid when the words would be much appreciated.
Dear Annie: You blew it in your answer to "Card Woes," whose husband received a card from "Betty," a former female co-worker. You said the husband was not being entirely truthful.
Not once did you suggest that checking the trash to look for "evidence" or opening an old briefcase to discover a phone number were wrong. You should have castigated the wife for her snooping.
Dear George: We aren't big fans of snooping, but we do support gut instincts. First, the wife finds out that her husband used to meet a female co-worker for frequent lunches. Then he tells her he's thrown out the co-worker's card when he has, in fact, hidden it and added a private phone number. He is not being truthful, and we can't blame her for acting on her suspicions.
Dear Annie: I have been through the same situation as "Road Worrier." My husband had multiple minor accidents, as well as less serious but equally worrisome misjudgments behind the wheel. I sat him down and very calmly asked what it was going to take to get him to stop driving. I offered different scenarios, from scratching another's vehicle to killing a child. I never raised my voice. One week later, he suggested we sell his car. Now I take him wherever he wants to go.
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