DEAR ABBY: A friend's wife died six months ago after a 10-year battle with cancer. He was her faithful caretaker, as she was mostly homebound and bedridden. He told me previously that he has had a female friend for the last four years. He didn't say, but I think she comes "with benefits" (i.e., they have been intimate). Her office and his workplace regularly interact, and he knows her family and her kids.
He likes me, and I like him. During this initial grief period -- perhaps even for a year -- I wish to only be friends, and I have told him we are not going to be intimate anytime soon. As his grief lessens, it is possible that he and I may eventually date. But I don't feel good about his female friend, and I wouldn't want her in our space at all, not even as a casual friend. If they have been lovers, I would want him to cut ALL ties with her.
Abby, how likely is a widower to carry forward the (likely) mistress he had during the wife's protracted illness? -- WAITING IN THE WINGS
DEAR WAITING: Very likely! Although I wish you good hunting, you may be four years too late to bag this buck.