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by Abigail Van Buren

Dating Is a Struggle for Man Without a Song in His Heart

DEAR ABBY: I need your advice about a touchy subject. I am reuniting with my high school sweetheart, "Arthur." We dated 50 years ago. Arthur lost his wife of 44 years a little over a year ago, and started a long-distance relationship with me on the phone and writing letters. He lives in Ohio; I had moved to Florida.

Arthur has asked me to marry him and move into his lovely home, but he has his wife's sister living there. I don't think I could be myself under the same roof as his deceased wife's sister.

Arthur says he hopes I can change my mind, because she has nowhere to go. I have a feeling the family would resent me if I insist she find another place to live. He says if he has to, he will ask her to leave, but that makes me feel guilty. I am 67, Arthur is 70, and the sister-in-law is in her 70s. She works full time and gets Social Security. What do you think? -- IRIS IN FT. MYERS, FLA.

DEAR IRIS: My first reaction to your question was to tell you the woman should leave. Then I got to thinking ... stranger living situations have worked out. Have you met her? Would she welcome or resent you? Wouldn't it be interesting if it turned out you liked each other, and the communal aspect of living together turned out to be a positive and didn't interfere with your romantic relationship with Arthur? I suggest you go for a long visit before making up your mind either way.