DEAR ABBY: A year ago my 13-year marriage fell apart. My husband, "Rick," will be spending the next six years in prison. I am 32 and have two boys, ages 13 and 15.
The last year has been pretty tough for all of us. I've been learning how to be both mother and father to them. I am also heartbroken by what he did that landed him in prison. I have filed for divorce, and there will be no reconciliation.
I never thought I would be with another man. Rick is the only man I have ever been with. But over the last couple of months I have begun developing feelings for someone, or at least I think I have.
"Jason" is a great man. We attend the same church, and it's very important to me and my family that he's devoted to God like we are. Jason loves my kids, and my kids like him a lot, too. He has also taken the time to mentor my oldest son. Every time I see Jason I feel happier than I've been in a very long time. He is the polar opposite of Rick, and he has no idea of how strong my feelings are toward him.
Should I let Jason know what my feelings are? I'm confused. Could this just be me wanting companionship? I love being his friend and would like to continue to be. I don't want to ruin it by revealing my feelings if he doesn't feel the same. Also, I don't want to rush into anything. Please advise me. -- LONELY AND CONFUSED OUT WEST
DEAR LONELY AND CONFUSED: There is nothing wrong with wanting companionship, but the last thing you and your children need is for you to jump from the frying pan into the fire. You are still a married woman. Jason may be terrific -- Heaven sent, even -- but it's too soon to "declare" anything. The two of you are still getting to know each other, and love needs time to develop. Be patient and allow the relationship to evolve gradually in its own time.