DEAR ABBY: I recently started dating a man who, until now, has been everything I wanted -- respectful, kind, caring, funny, the list goes on. He's recently divorced, and from what I know, he was unfaithful to his wife with many long-term side partners. Later, he started having one-night stands.
He travels a lot for work, and because I had a relationship where I was cheated on, his travel already is a concern for me. Since we have decided to be an official couple, he has disclosed more detail about his one-night stands. They were with prostitutes.
He says he has found peace with himself and knows what a poor decision it was, and how much damage he did to his wife because of it. He claims redemption, that he has disclosed all this to his pastor and will never be that self-destructive man again. He told me because he didn't want to have any lies of omission walking into a new relationship.
I want to believe he's the man I thought he was and that he would never disrespect me, but this was a huge blow. Should I try to move past this by giving him credit for his honesty? -- DUMBSTRUCK IN CHICAGO
DEAR DUMBSTRUCK: I can't blame you for wanting to be cautious in light of this man's track record. Considering the number of women he has slept with, it's important you have a discussion with him about any STDs he may have contracted, as well as make an appointment with your OB/GYN to be checked for them because these days they are rampant.
After that, if you are really serious about each other, go as a couple for relationship counseling so you -- and he -- won't bring any baggage from the past into this current relationship.
DEAR ABBY: A woman I worked with years ago recently moved to the city where I live. We are both in our mid-60s, retired and unattached. After she contacted me on a social website, we met and have continued seeing each other for lunch, movies, sporting events, etc.
I misinterpreted her attempts to become friends with me. I liked her very much and became attracted to her. Recently a situation arose in which a missed communication, an irrational act by me as well as an insensitive comment I made, upset her and now she no longer wants to talk with me. I understand her feelings.
I don't know how long I should wait to contact her to attempt to renew our friendship -- a month, two months, six months or more? Or should I just walk away and hope she has a change of heart, decides to let bygones be bygones and contacts me to renew the friendship? -- UNFRIENDED IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR UNFRIENDED: If apologies are in order, do not wait to make them. When you do, make clear that you didn't mean to upset her or make her uncomfortable, and you would still like to be friends -- on her terms -- if she is willing. From there on, the ball is in her court.
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