DEAR ABBY: I am a 38-year-old woman with two daughters, 17 and 13. I've been divorced for eight months, but the marriage was dead 10 years ago. Most of that time, I have slept on the couch. Although my daughters never saw me hold hands, kiss, or show any kind of affection toward their father, I'm not sure they realized how unhappy our marriage was, and they were upset when we divorced.
I met "Andy" while separated but still legally married. We have fallen in love and want to marry in about six months. However, my daughters are not crazy about him and think I should date others.
Andy and I have been looking at engagement rings. I'm worried that if I just show up with a ring on my finger, my daughters will be upset. They don't like it when they see Andy and me being affectionate with each other, and I'm not sure they know how serious we are. When should I tell them? I've been somewhat of a pushover in the past, but I won't budge on this. Andy and I love each other and we will be married. -- FUTURE FIANCEE
DEAR FUTURE FIANCEE: Forewarn your daughters and explain, without blaming or belittling their father, that you are seizing this opportunity for a happy future. If they're not forthcoming, make it clear that just as you treat their friends with respect, you expect the same from them with regard to your future husband. Reassure them that your love for them won't change, and ask for their blessings.