Dear Abby: I am a single mom. A few months ago I met a man who contacted me on social media. After meeting him, I realized he was married, but he was not happy. Unfortunately, his wife has a terminal illness, and he feels obligated to care for her until it is over. We formed a very close bond as we talked and soon realized we are in love and want to be together.
Because of her illness and lack of support from her immediate family, we agreed that he needs to fulfill his obligation to her, and I will wait for him. We have continued talking and spending any time we can together, even though her care always takes first priority.
When she found out about our relationship, she was very upset. She has left him many times in the past because of wrongdoings on both their parts, but since her illness she has come to rely on him for everything.
She claims to have deeper feelings for him since her illness, but he says it’s just a fear of being alone. He claims his feelings for her are those of friendship and compassion, not love. My question is, do you think we are doing wrong to continue quietly seeing each other while he sees her through this illness, or should I step away until his obligation is completed?
Waiting for Him
Dear Waiting: Forgive me, but this sounds like the script for a Movie of the Week. I can’t help but wonder what this man was doing looking for company on social media without mentioning that he was married.
Under the circumstances, you should take a break and let him finish his obligation to his terminally ill wife — if she is, indeed, terminally ill. After that, because you have made promises to each other, you will be able to see each other openly, with honesty and integrity, and determine where the relationship winds up.
Dear Abby: My ex and I have a 2-year-old son. We were together only a short time before I found out I was expecting. He freaked out and left when I was five months along. A month after our son was born, he came back in the picture and there have been no issues since.
We live in different states now, but we are trying our best at co-parenting. My only issue is that his side of the family doesn’t know about our son. Since we were together only a short time before I became pregnant, I never met them. Every time I bring up the subject of our son meeting his grandparents/family, he ignores the question and moves on.
Family is a big part of my life. I would be lost without their support and love. I don’t want to deprive my son of any family that has an interest in being in his life. Should I reach out to his family, tell them they have a grandson and try to connect with them? Or should I wait until my ex does something about it?
Dear Mommy: Give your ex a deadline to introduce you and their grandson to them. And if he doesn’t meet it, send them a letter with your name, address and pictures enclosed.
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.