Man ‘dating’ estranged wife is unsure what future holds

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been together more than 20 years. Our relationship grew stale over time, and a couple of years ago, she decided to leave me. However, over the few years, even though she has had several lovers, we have started to get close again.
The problem is, I really love her and want her back as my GIRLFRIEND, but she sees this as a casual relationship, which leaves me feeling hurt. For example, she doesn’t see a problem with having a long conversation with another lover while she’s at my house. When she realizes that I’m hurt, she gets exasperated and says she feels like she has to “walk on eggshells” around me. Is it me? Is there a path forward? — STRANGE SITUATION IN FLORIDA

DEAR STRANGE SITUATION: Your problem is you have allowed yourself to be put in the “friends with benefits” category when what you really want is an exclusive relationship with your ex. IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. If she’s talking with other men while she’s at your house, it means she’s not interested in how her actions affect you. The path forward is one that’s as far away as you can get from this person because your agendas are polar opposites.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a widow who recently became engaged to a man who, I’m realizing after two years, has a gambling addiction. He recently lied to me about his whereabouts, and I found out this same thing went on during his first marriage. I can’t say for sure this was the first time he was untruthful, but I had a gut feeling.
We had developed what I thought was a good relationship based on mutual respect and trust. I could use some advice about what I should do going forward. He has become my friend and family since I have no children and have lost not only my late husband, but also a brother and recently my father. – THROWN IN NORTH DAKOTA

DEAR THROWN: I know you are lonely. But if you love your fiancé, continue the relationship as it IS, and do not plan on marrying him. Realize that should you marry a person with a gambling addiction, commingling your assets could ruin you financially and affect your retirement.
If he has a desire to change, there are 12-step programs he could join, Gamblers Anonymous being one of them ( But please be aware that compulsive gambling is an addiction, and your fiancé could fall off the wagon at any time.
DEAR ABBY: My husband texted a graphic nude photo of himself to his ex-girlfriend. I am shocked and hurt. Should I leave this man? – CAN’T UNSEE IT IN WEST VIRGINIA

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

DEAR CAN’T UNSEE: Yes, I think you should, because the naked truth is that your husband isn’t finished with his former girlfriend.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)