I’m an 85-year-old woman in love with an 85-year-old married man.
His wife of 60 years is in assisted-living because of a stroke four years ago that took her speech and caused paralysis. She also has slow-advancing cancer.
She’s aware of her surroundings and gets jealous whenever her husband talks to women, even the staff.
He visits twice daily and ensures that she’s happy/content as possible.
He says there was no sex together for 10-to-20 years.
He met me soon after he was told she didn't have long to live. She’s now seemingly improving health-wise and has good care.
I’ve experienced these circumstances myself and lost my man, so I understand his needing companionship.
If we were younger I'd probably not got involved.
I've been faithful to him for three years now. We’re compatible and look after each other’s needs and wants.
I feel guilty sometimes. I don’t like being secretive or a second fiddle, but I know it won't change while his wife is alive, and I wish her no ill will.
I care too much for him to call it quits at our age and health issues. I've met his wife, like her and feel sorry for her predicament.
I’m independent with my own means and have no trouble attracting men, but no desire to do so.
Yet guilt sometimes overpowers my judgement.
Need Another Opinion
You’ve brought home a reality for readers to consider: The healthy-seniors’ population is living longer, with consequences.
More people will reach this situation where one partner lingers with illnesses and the other survives, feeling “needs and wants.”
But many people will disapprove of your affair, since his wife is being betrayed even if she doesn’t know it.
Your feeling “guilt” doesn’t change that fact.
Yet, you’ve both spent three years in a relationship that lifted him from loneliness and despair, and brought you unexpected love at this age.
Honour his wife by staying as discreet, even secretive as possible. She doesn’t deserve being part of a gossip fest.
If guilt feelings increase, either re-think the arrangement, or accept that life’s too short for regrets.
My boyfriend of six months confessed on our first date that he was still living in his ex's place.
I said I’d wait until he left, then he could call me.
He called next day about getting another place and said he’d leave in a few days.
I trusted him as he took a big step towards me. But I learned two weeks later that he was texting/calling her behind my back.
He insisted there were no romantic feelings and showed me that he mentioned me a lot to her.
He admitted he shouldn't have done this and was sorry.
I asked him to cut off everything related to her and he did.
He regularly shows me that he doesn't do anything secretly anymore. Still, I have distrust and doubts.
He’s genuinely a good person, trying to earn my trust.
He keeps telling me to stop holding on to the past when I'm upset from out of nowhere.
Is it me?
Yes, partly. You’re apparently always checking his phone, which is oppressive and shows insecurity.
Yet you both rushed into a relationship based on one date and his response to your request. It was a promising but premature move. Now you hound him for constant proof of loyalty.
Seeing a therapist about the root of your insecurity could be very helpful.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman who resents being excluded from her daughter’s Christmas morning breakfast (July 5):
“Her daughter’s breakfast with grandchildren is a beautiful bonding time. Grandma’s attendance would change the dynamics or atmosphere and perhaps the focus would change to her as matriarch, instead of the equality of each other.
“I love to see (hear of) my children and grandchildren interacting without me. My children and their spouses will get together for a dinner.
“They spend time with their nieces and nephews. It’s fun to hear about the visits. My grandchildren call just to chat and visit me in another city so they can have grandma-time without the whole crowd.
“She should revel in the fact that her children like each other as well as her.
“She should invite someone who’s also alone for a breakfast. It could grow into a great experience.
“Her family isn’t responsible for her loneliness. That’s such a burden.”
Tip of the day:
Late-age love is a gift to enjoy. But if it feels stolen, decide how you can best handle it.