DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing this guy for nine months. We had a good relationship, but then it hit a bump in the road. He was told some false information about me, and instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, he immediately assumed it was true. He said nasty things to me, called me horrible names, and we didn’t speak for a month. Once we came back into contact, I forgave him for falsely accusing me and put the episode behind me.
My mother is not as forgiving. She told me I can do better than him, and I should forget about him altogether. I tried to explain how I feel about him and how I want to move on from it. She hasn’t had a change of heart and says she does not approve of him. So now I sneak around with him and leave my mother out of the loop.
I want to respect her opinion, but I do not want to give up the guy I love. I don’t know what to do. Help!
— Torn in Massachusetts
DEAR TORN: I can’t salvage this romance and neither can you. There’s a term for people who call others “horrible names and say nasty things” to them. They are called “verbal abusers,” and the effects of what they say can be lasting. An example would be the way his accusations have affected your mother, who thinks her daughter deserves better, and your relationship with her.
Sneaking around is immature and dishonest. A guy who would help you do that is nothing to brag about. If he loved you as much as you say you love him, he would have apologized not only to you but also to your mother. If he had, she might have changed her opinion about him.
This is a message about our senior population. Our children grow up, marry and have children. Each grandchild is special. We love them and adore being with them. Then the grandkids grow up and have little ones of their own. By this time we’re old and sometimes need help with housework, yard work, or just would like to get out of the house to go eat or shop. We still have feelings, and we’re not dead. But while it may not be intentional, it seems there is no time for the elderly.
We may say we’re fine and don’t mind being alone, but it IS lonely at times. No one calls to say hello or ask if we need anything. How long does it take to make a call? It would be nice if each family member called once a week or came by once a month. The love we’ve always had for family is still there and strong.
Children and grandchildren, please think about this and remember: The most important thing you can give your elderly relatives is your TIME. Time is the most precious gift of all and doesn’t cost a thing. Someday you will be old, too!
— Wise woman in North Carolina
DEAR WISE WOMAN: I’m printing your letter because it carries a message that some families need to hear. That said, I am a strong advocate for individuals who advocate for themselves. Because your children and grandchildren don’t call, perhaps it’s time you picked up your phone and called them to check in and see how they’re doing. And if you are not fine and need help with something, ASK for it.