Older boyfriend considers meeting in person too risky

Published 4:06 pm Thursday, August 13, 2020

DEAR ABBY: I have a dilemma. My 33-year-old boyfriend keeps badgering me to see each other. We live 15 miles apart.
I’m a 60-year-old man in pretty good health. Before this pandemic, I worked out every day at a gym, and I still do at home now. Every day he keeps asking me to either come visit or if he can come here. Because of this shelter-in-place advisory, I have been telling him I’m more at risk due to my age. He then tries to make me feel guilty by saying things like, “We are both fine; there’s no need to worry,” and, “OK. Fine! That’s the last time I’m going to ask. See you next month … MAYBE.”
The thing is, he’s a nurse in a hospital. I live with two roommates who are also in their 60s, and I don’t want to compromise them or my living situation. Am I doing the right thing? What are the risks if I decide to go for a visit and be with him? — UNEASY IN THE WEST
DEAR UNEASY: You are doing the intelligent thing. What your boyfriend is proposing is risky. Because you don’t want to possibly risk exposing your roommates to COVID-19, you cannot travel back and forth.
In my opinion, your boyfriend has a moral and ethical responsibility not to put YOU at risk. Here in Los Angeles, some hospital employees who live in multigenerational households have arranged to live apart from their loved ones during this crisis to prevent possibly exposing their families to the virus — an arrangement that in some cases lasts for months.
If your boyfriend was concerned about your welfare, he would not be trying to guilt or threaten you into seeing him. IF you agree to visit him and plan to continue, find an apartment in which you live alone and do not visit your roommates unless you have first been tested and quarantined.
DEAR ABBY: My 50-year-old estranged daughter-in-law was abused by her brother growing up, and her father defends the abuser, which upsets her no end. I’m friendly with her father because he has been nice to me, and this revelation was news to me.
My daughter-in-law sent an email to me and others saying how hurt she is. I would like to respond, but since I’m friendly with her father, I’m not sure what to say. I want to tell her I am deeply sorry for her having been abused because it is extremely traumatic. Do you have any advice for me?
I love my son and his family, and I don’t understand how things got this way between us. They no longer speak to me or let me (or my wife) have a relationship with my grandchildren, whom we love very much. — HURT FATHER-IN-LAW IN TEXAS
DEAR HURT: It is not surprising that your son and daughter-in-law are now estranged from you and don’t want you around their children. Things got this way because you placed as high a priority on your friendship with the father who defends her abuser as you did on your relationship with your daughter-in-law. While you understand that what happened to her was traumatic, you seem unable to grasp just how painful it has been for her. By siding with the wrong person because he was nice to you, you have intensified her trauma.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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