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

by Abigail Van Buren

Husband's Promise to Late Wife Is Unsettling for Second Wife

DEAR ABBY: My husband was previously married for five years and had been widowed shortly before we met. He and his late wife had matching tattoo wedding bands. They had agreed they'd both be cremated upon their demise and that eventually they would be "reunited" by combining their ashes after his death.

My question is, what can we do to honor our marriage vows without removing the tattoo that will be respectful yet completely our own symbol of our vows? Secondly, I'm uncomfortable with the combining of their ashes. I'm 48 years old, and he is 44, so we have the potential for many more years of marriage than they had, but I do not want to completely dismiss her memory. What should I do about this? -- SECOND WIFE IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR WIFE: You could honor your wedding vows by wearing matching wedding rings. As for the "ashes" promise, talk to your husband about what his wishes currently are should he predecease you. He may have changed his mind about combining his ashes with hers -- or not. If the two of you are together longer than he was with his first wife, his feelings on the subject may change.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Death