DEAR ABBY: I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. I love him, and we have an undeniable connection I have never had with anyone else. The problem is, he’s separated but not yet divorced from his wife.
I have a hard time moving forward in the relationship and meeting his family when he hasn’t filed for divorce. He says he’s going to file, and he doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal, but meeting his son and family members under these circumstances makes me uncomfortable. It’s almost like this is a test run to see if I’ll fit the part before he finalizes everything.
He and his wife have been separated for only a year, and I’m ready to start a family. Our timing seems off, but he treats me so well it’s hard to let him go. Should I put our relationship on hold until he finalizes his divorce, or will he resent me because I’m not being supportive? What if his separation is only temporary, and he’s just having fun? Could I be a side chick?
— HAVING DOUBTS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR HAVING DOUBTS: You are asking intelligent questions. You have been supportive for quite some time now. Have the two of you actually discussed getting married and starting a family? If you haven’t, you should, so you have some idea of whether his separation is temporary and what a realistic time frame would be. Once you know what that is, it couldn’t hurt to meet his son and his family, if only to see how they react to you.
As to whether you could be this man’s side chick, it depends upon how long you plan to remain in a holding pattern, waiting for him to do something concrete. Some women wait for years only to have things not work out as they had hoped.
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DEAR ABBY: My sister “Dana” spent decades taking care of our disabled sister, which meant Dana and her family sacrificing greatly to provide for her care. The rest of us siblings live out of town and shared none of the responsibility.
Our disabled sister passed away recently, leaving an estate that is now in probate. I suggested to my other siblings that before the estate is divided equally, we should set aside enough for Dana and her husband to take a long-overdue and well-deserved vacation. It’s something I know Dana has been longing for, but they won’t hear of it!
I can’t believe my siblings are acting this way. They say Dana can take a vacation on what she inherits, but that’s not the point. While we all had free weekends and could take vacations, Dana was extremely limited because our disabled sister couldn’t travel and needed a caregiver. How do I change my siblings’ view?
— DISAPPOINTED BROTHER
DEAR BROTHER: Your sentiments are laudable, but there is no way to force your greedy siblings into doing anything for Dana. It appears your disabled sister died without a will, which could have ensured that Dana was repaid for her efforts. Your letter highlights the importance of putting last wishes in writing, preferably with the assistance of an attorney. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough.