Widower struggles to find a way forward

Published 8:55 am Monday, July 1, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I was married to a wonderful woman for 27 happy years until she passed last year. We did everything together. Now I feel lonely and depressed. We had a sweet furry guy named Maxx who was our whole world. I lost Maxx a few months ago, and I am devastated. 

I’m a very hardworking man. After losing my family, I feel lifeless – like the life has been sucked out of my body. My co-workers tell me I need to start dating and move on. It’s not that easy. Is this normal? 

I have been attending grief therapy, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I tried joining a dating site but it’s a disaster out there. Most of the women are gold diggers or interested only in hookups. I like only curvy ladies. I don’t think I’m ever going to find someone intelligent or reasonable. What do you suggest? – OUT OF SORTS IN OREGON

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DEAR OUT OF SORTS: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your dear wife. I’m sure she is irreplaceable. Losing Maxx, your emotional support furry friend, has only added to your loss. Because the grief counseling you have been getting hasn’t helped, it may be time to find another therapist. Do not begin dating until you are stronger emotionally. 

If you are contacting only “curvy ladies” for their looks, it may be why you are finding “gold diggers or women interested only in hookups.” You will meet women who are intelligent and reasonable once you start looking specifically for ladies who have those qualities. Once you do, you may be surprised to find some of them are curvy. But, please, make “curvy” the third item on your list.


DEAR ABBY: I have an acquaintance I became friendly with 20 years ago through a mutual friend. The acquaintance now lives in another state. She is a taker and a talker, and I have nothing in common with her. She has made antisemitic comments that left me speechless and unable to respond. I regret not being able to speak up at that time. 

This woman stayed with me at my house a few years ago, which was awkward and uncomfortable. I respond to her texts out of politeness. I do not contact her. She has just contacted me to say she’s visiting my state in two months. I do not want to get together with her, but I responded by telling her we could check in closer to the date. 

I do not want her to stay at my house. I would be OK with lunch, although she is cheap and would try to find a way to get me to pay for it. I like how you find appropriate words to use when responding to difficult situations. What is your advice, please? – TIMID IN COLORADO


DEAR TIMID: Grow a backbone. You should not have told this woman you would decide about hosting her “closer to the date of her arrival.” Notify her NOW that you won’t be available when she is in your state, or you may wind up hosting her. If she presses, tell her that you have grown apart and in different directions. Then wish her well, make your exit and do not respond to any more of her attempts to contact you.


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.


Good advice for everyone – teens to seniors – is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)