DEAR ABBY: I'm a 38-year-old man who is in love with a 45-year-old woman. She was married for 20 years and has three children. She was separated for two years before we started dating.
She and her ex are extremely civil, and she spends nights at his house in order to see the children. I support her in this because I don't ever want her to feel like I'm making her choose. Her ex doesn't want her back, nor does she want to reconcile. They are friends.
This morning she had an appointment with a divorce lawyer and came home saying she isn't ready to do it. She's afraid her ex will become vindictive and use the kids as leverage. I told her there are custody arrangements that protect both parents. She says she loves me, but she's worried that it isn't fair for me. I told her relationships aren't always "fair." She expressed that when she's with her kids she misses me and vice-versa.
I don't know what to say or do. I love her, but how do I comfort her? -- STANDING BY IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR STANDING BY: Your lady friend may be separated from her husband, but she's not yet ready to move on. Or, the lawyer may have said something that frightened her. You're doing all you can to comfort her. But she may need professional counseling and more time before she's ready to take the next step and end the marriage.