DEAR ABBY: I'm writing this as a warning -- especially to older women who get married a second time to someone with adult children. Please keep your own money separate, if at all possible.
Throughout our long marriage, I trusted my second husband to do what he promised me and my relatives. He arranged very good financial care for me in the event of his death, and assured me that I would want for nothing.
Unbeknownst to me until it was too late, my husband had left power of attorney to his money-hungry children, who proceeded to take advantage of his dementia and very old age. Tragically, they convinced my husband to divorce me. This brought me much heartbreak, shock and lack of trust after a happy, long marriage.
Because I am a strong person, I have learned to cope and take care of myself. It wasn't easy, and the process has been slow, but I'm succeeding. Along the way I have learned some painful but valuable lessons.
I would like my experience to help other women, especially older, traditional women like me who have spent most of their lives taking care of their husbands and are dependent on them to take responsible, proper and loving financial care of us. Thank you, Abby. -- MOVING AHEAD NOW
DEAR MOVING AHEAD: What was done to you is disgraceful, and I hope your letter will serve as a warning to other wives. If your husband had shown you the documents he had drawn up regarding his estate planning, and he and his lawyer had explained them all to you, this wouldn't have happened. To me, the lesson here is "trust, but verify," and I hope others will learn from your experience before it's too late for them.
DEAR ABBY: I have encountered an "over-hugger." I hug often, but respect how others feel about it. This person does not extend that courtesy. His typical hug involves picking the recipient up off the ground, which I think is his way of showing off. The last time I saw him I offered my hand. Instead, he yanked me in and said, "We give hugs here!" It felt invasive. I know he is trying to show love, but he puts his own desire before the needs of others.
I want to tell him not to hug me anymore. However, it's complicated because we are part of a loose-knit athletic community, and people hug left and right at our events. I hug a lot of people, but I'm polite about it. Not only would I likely have to declare "no hugs" to him in front of others, but it would become obvious that we don't hug.
Am I odd to not want him to hug me? Would I be wrong to just tell him I'd prefer a handshake? -- OVER-HUGGED IN TEXAS
DEAR OVER-HUGGED: You're not odd. Even people who like to be hugged dislike being swept off their feet in the manner you have described. It would not be wrong to take the person aside and tell him privately that in the future, you would prefer that he just give you a warm handshake instead of grabbing you.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)