DEAR ABBY: My wife is in a nursing home and will be for a long time. While I was caring for her at home, I was very lonely. She wasn't there for me except to demand that I do this and that.
I did what I could to keep her happy, but nothing worked. I had no life of my own. My life was wrapped around her and doing the best I could to take care of her. I did all the chores that were required to keep the home running.
Would it be wrong to find a lady friend to do a few things with, like have dinner, go to a movie or just for a ride in the country or to the beach? My son thinks I shouldn't do it, but he doesn't know how lonely I am, nor do the other kids in the family. -- NO LIFE OF MY OWN
DEAR NO LIFE: You're asking me a question no one can decide for you. Much depends upon the quality of your marriage before your wife became ill. You promised to love and cherish her until death do you part. If she's still in her right mind, you owe it to her to be there for her to the extent that you can -- just as she would be if you were sick and in a nursing home.
You should discuss all of this with your children. While it is important that you spend enough time with your wife to ensure that she's being well cared for, you are also entitled to have a life. Some husbands want to spend every possible minute at their wife's bedside, while others do what you are contemplating. Only you can look into your heart and decide what would be best for all concerned, because it may affect your entire family.