Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Partner Becomes Invisible Man to Lover's Political Friends

DEAR ABBY: I am an athletic 71-year-old lady. I golf, snow ski and scuba dive. My new husband (No. 4), "Geoffrey," is involved in all those sports. When I met him 14 years ago I decided to take up these activities because I didn't want to sit at home while he played.

Geoff retired last year after 50 years as a physician in family practice. We immediately sold our home and moved to the beach. We have always enjoyed a loving relationship and since his retirement have been inseparable -- until I had surgery on my elbow for a problem caused by playing too much golf, which is Geoff's passion.

While my elbow is healing, I'm out of commission, so Geoff joined a private course. He chooses to play with other women, as that is how most tournaments are set up. Geoff is turning 81 this year, but looks and acts much younger. Abby, he's a big flirt, and talks to women constantly.

I am very depressed about not playing right alongside him, and I'm beginning to feel completely excluded. How should I handle this? Do I let him do as he wishes? (By the way, he's also been married four times.) Thanks for any guidance you can give me. -- ON THE SIDELINES IN VERO BEACH, FLA.

DEAR ON THE SIDELINES: Don't try to curtail your husband's activities because you are unable to participate. Become his biggest fan -- sit in his golf cart or in the gallery and cheer him on as he swings with the ladies! He'll love the attention, and it may make it more difficult for the women to score.