DEAR ABBY: I was in a seven-year relationship with a wonderful married man I'll call Hank. We were discreet and respectful with his wife. She died three months ago after a lingering illness. A month after that, Hank suggested we date openly and talked as though we were a couple.
Two weeks ago, he canceled our plans at the last minute, saying he had had a "surreal experience" and "what was OK then is not OK now." He would not be more specific. I begged for an explanation and closure. He refused to be more specific and became defensive. We have not spoken since.
Abby, I am still reeling from this because I thought we had a strong friendship and a foundation for something in the future.
Friends have told me that rejection of the mistress after the death of a wife is very common. Can you give me some insight into the emotional dynamics of this situation? -- FORMER MISTRESS IN MOURNING
DEAR FORMER MISTRESS: Yes. It could be delayed guilt -- or his "surreal experience" was with someone else.