Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My adult granddaughter, “Lola,” is in a two-year relationship with a wonderful young man and has been anticipating a proposal. During a conversation, he mentioned he would not propose to her until he has introduced her to his parents, who live in another state.
He says his mother wants him to marry a woman who has never been married or divorced and who has not had a child. Lola is divorced (due to her ex-husband’s infidelity) and has a young son. This seems to her to be a no-win situation if he won’t propose until she’s met his parents, but he lacks the courage to introduce her to them. What is my granddaughter to do? She’s so unhappy and disappointed. — IMPOSSIBLE IN TEXAS
DEAR IMPOSSIBLE: Your granddaughter’s boyfriend is a mama’s boy. The decision of whom to marry should be his, not his mother’s. If, after two years, he cannot summon up the courage to introduce her PROUDLY to his parents, she should quit wasting her time with him because this romance will go no further than it already has.

DEAR ABBY: I cannot seem to get over the loss of my first husband decades ago. I still think of him often. I am still grieving our divorce and his subsequent marriage to someone I’d known for many years. They have happily gone on with their lives.
I am a widow now. My second husband was like me, dumped by his first wife, and we cobbled a life together as best we could. My problem is that I can’t stop longing for my first husband. Logically, I know we’ll never be together, even if he were free from his marriage to the “other woman.”
How does one ever get beyond the grief from a marriage that made me feel happy, safe and loved? Do others suffer for decades? I can’t seem to move past the sadness, but would like to be free of these feelings before I pass away. — MISSING THAT LIFE
DEAR MISSING: You are stuck in a rut of your own making, grieving the loss of your first marriage because there’s nothing else going on in your life to distract you. If you want to get beyond this, start finding other things to occupy your time and your thoughts. Explore special interest groups you can join and activities that will take you out into the community so you have less time alone to brood. And if that isn’t enough, consider asking your doctor to refer you to a licensed mental health professional.

DEAR ABBY: The past couple of years I’ve given $300 to $400 in cash to my personal trainer and his therapist wife for their birthdays and Christmas. When I hand them the card, they’ll thank me for the card, but I never hear another word. How do I know they just didn’t throw away an unopened card? Maybe I’ve insulted them with the cash? Or someone pilfered it? Or is this a sign of the times? — BITTER IN THE WEST
DEAR BITTER: The next time you hand them their cards, say, “I hope you can use what’s inside to get yourself something nice or have some fun.” (If you still want to continue giving them money, that is!)

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])
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