DEAR ABBY: I am in a two-year relationship with a very nice man I'll call "Ronny." I'm divorced; Ronny was widowed three years ago after many years of marriage.
I'm having trouble accepting the fact that he displays his wife's ashes in his bedroom. We have discussed it, and I have told him it makes me uncomfortable. He moved the urn to another location when he sold his house, but about a month ago it reappeared in his bedroom.
I spend considerable time at Ronny's house and feel somewhat unsettled, not because the ashes belong to his wife, but because they are human remains. I have no problem with a picture of her that he displays -- in fact, I had it framed for him.
Ronny is unwilling to consider other options for the ashes. He says he promised his wife she'd be buried with him. He has also said he is not ready for a commitment.
I'd like a future with Ronny, but I'm afraid he's unwilling to move on with his life because he continues to keep his wife's ashes so close by. Am I out of line with my feelings? Any suggestions for me or for him? I need a new perspective. -- THREE'S A CROWD IN VIRGINIA
DEAR LADY: That Ronny moved his wife's ashes out of the bedroom and then moved them back in indicates to me that while they were "out," you may have gotten too close for his comfort. He has already told you he isn't ready for a commitment. That's a strong message.
Your feelings are not out of line. However, the most practical advice I can offer is to be prepared to be very patient if you want a future with Ronny. This man is going nowhere in a hurry, and neither is your relationship.
DEAR ABBY: We had houseguests during the holidays -- an old friend and his new girlfriend. My parents had given us a beautiful set of expensive towels, which we used for our guests.
Whatever cleanser the girl used to wash her face destroyed them. My wife is devastated, but insists that we can't say a word to them about it. I disagree. I say we should not only mention it, we should request that they replace them. What do you think? -- BLEACHED OUT IN THE BIG CITY
DEAR BLEACHED OUT: If your guests realized that they had damaged your towels, they should have offered to replace them. (If what caused the damage is a product the woman uses regularly, wouldn't you think she'd have known it could cause a problem?) I don't think you should request that the items be replaced, but it would not be out of line to mention that they were ruined. And if the couple visits again, make sure not to use the good linens.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend, who lived with me for three years, left me. The reason is that I went on a cruise and took my 24-year-old son instead of her. (Her father was scheduled for heart bypass surgery during that time, and only half our money would have been refunded if we canceled.) She moved out and is now living with her dad. What do you think about this? I need a woman's opinion. -- HURTING IN ANDERSON, IND.
DEAR HURTING: Here it is: Your romance is probably history. When she needed your emotional support, instead of being there for her, you went sailing off into the sunset with your son. Had you said, "To heck with the money, I won't leave you until we're sure everything is all right," you would still be together.
You might try offering an apology for abandoning her, but I can't guarantee it will be accepted. And frankly, I can't blame her.
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