Dear Amy: I have been a widow for almost 13 years. My husband was only 32 when he died. We were together for 16 years, and had two children (who are now 24 and 16).
Unfortunately, my husband cheated on me more than once. I was devastated over the infidelity. I never had closure.
I moved to a new home three years ago, and I started dating my neighbor.
He is nine years older than I. He was married for over 30 years, and his wife ended the marriage.
Things between us went way too fast. I literally slept at his house just about every night for almost a year.
He started drinking, and his drinking has become a problem.
He expressed his love for another woman, and his sexual interest in two other women. That put a big strain on our relationship.
I’m very much in love with him and want to move forward, but he said he’s not ready for that, and doesn’t know if he ever will be.
He knows I have insecurities because of my husband.
He tells me I push too much. I think he is pushing me away.
Am I wasting my time?
— Lost in Love
Dear Lost: If you enjoyed this relationship — as it is — I’d say that you were not necessarily wasting your time. Although, speaking of time, your choice to spend every night for a year away from your teenager (was anyone else home?) is time neither you nor your children will ever get back.
I understand the devastation of infidelity, but you will not get “closure” until you actively pursue it. I’m talking about accepting the reality of what happened during your marriage, and choosing to move forward.
Would you encourage your children to pursue a committed connection to someone who drank too much and didn’t meet their needs? I hope not, but by engaging in this relationship under the noses of your kids, you are basically demonstrating that this is the way to be.
Your neighbor is pushing you away. Let it happen. Take a fresh look at your life. Work on your own growth. Pack your possessions — and your emotions — into a U-Haul and move to a different street, if you have to.
Dear Amy: My co-worker friends like to drink. A lot.
In pre-pandemic times, we would go out after work to a local bar.
They would get drinks, and since I’m not a big drinker I would get some food or a soda. They don’t mind.
Now we are all furloughed.
When the restrictions lifted, we tentatively got together.
It turns out we all like riding bikes. There are some cool bike paths around town.
The first time, one of them packed a six-pack to take with us and we stopped at some scenic spots so they could enjoy a beer and then move on.
Now that things have reopened, our latest bike trip started at a bar. And then we biked to another bar. And from there we biked to a brewery, followed by a scenic beer stop on the way home.
What is the least awkward way for me to still participate (without drinking) when all I want is to ride my bike with my friends?
— Sober Socialite
Dear Sober: Checking through various state laws, I am surprised to see that — in most places — riding a bike while intoxicated does not seem to be against the law. All the same, drinking while riding a bike is extremely foolish — and outright dangerous. With reaction times slowed (or otherwise altered), any one of you could experience — or create — a dangerous situation on a bike path that involves you — or others.
You are not the only pandemic-prompted people hitting the bike trails — many family groups and walkers/runners are also using them.
And people who are drinking are less likely to adhere to appropriate mask-wearing/social distancing guidelines during stops, and are more likely to become belligerent when corrected.
Are you sure you want to ride with these people?
If you are determined to accompany your friends on their bike/bar crawl, you should order seltzer or soda, and make sure you are always wearing your helmet.
Dear Amy: “Caught Couple” described being “front line” physicians and “potential vectors” for the COVID virus. And yet they were considering going to a big wedding!
Thank you for this line: “Wake up and smell the COVID!”
I have to admit, it made me laugh.
Dear Chuckling: That line was in questionable taste — and I have no regrets.