DEAR ABBY: I'm a 51-year-old man. Three years ago, my first and only marriage ended after 20 years. Over the past two years, I have been in a wonderful relationship with a very bright woman, "Toni," who told me she had been married twice before.
A year ago, her job required that she move out of state, but we have successfully maintained the long-distance relationship with frequent visits and daily phone calls.
A few days ago, I learned by chance that she was briefly married a third time while she was in her early 20s. I'm having a difficult time with this news -- not for the additional marriage, but for the fact that she chose not to share it with me. I have bared my soul to her and thought she had done the same. I'm sad and disappointed.
Toni doesn't know that I know this, but it has changed my feelings for her. Trust issues are in question. Do I bring this up now? If so, how? Do I wait for her to bring it up someday in the future? How do I reconcile it in the meantime? -- LET DOWN IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR LET DOWN: You say you visit each other frequently, so I assume you plan to be together soon. When you see her, tell her you were told she had been briefly married a third time. She may have told you she was twice divorced, and if the marriage in her 20s was annulled, that may be the reason she didn't mention it. If you were deliberately lied to, you will know by her reaction.
DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I dated this guy, "Craig." I tried to be the perfect girlfriend, and I was extremely close to his grandfather. When Craig went away to the Army, I would visit his grandfather regularly, and we developed a special bond. When Craig got back, we were supposed to get married, but he dumped me. The next day he had a new girlfriend.
Craig was hard to get over, and I didn't handle the breakup well. Because his grandfather asked, I tried to maintain a relationship with him, but Craig's then-wife didn't like it and asked him to end my contact with his friends and family.
Sometimes I wonder if I could have changed things. When Craig broke up with his wife, we exchanged emails on a dating website where we both apologized for what happened between us.
I just heard that his grandfather died. Would it be wrong of me to reach out to him? We don't talk. -- STILL NOT OVER HIM IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR STILL NOT OVER HIM: I see no reason why you shouldn't extend your sympathy to Craig for the loss of his grandfather, with whom you were close. However, keep in mind that there is a reason you haven't been talking and that communication is supposed to be two-way. Also, as much as you may wish it would, it may not resurrect your romance.
DEAR ABBY: We are a small group of senior women. Whenever we go to a restaurant, one member of the group insists on changing tables that are offered by the host/hostess. This can happen two or three times, and I find it embarrassing and annoying. It seems like some kind of control issue to me, and I don't want to be part of it. Any suggestions? -- TIRED OF THE MUSICAL CHAIRS
DEAR TIRED: I agree with you that it's a control issue. Because you find it embarrassing and annoying, ask the other women in the group if it bothers them, too. If the answer is yes, then the woman needs to be told to cut it out, or she'll be invited to join you less often.