Annie's Mailbox: Not wanting marriage leaves woman alone

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Dear Annie: I am a widow and have been going with “George” for almost 15 years. It began with me inviting George over for a homemade meal. Then he took me out to dinner, and it just grew from there. In the beginning, we did have sex, but that stopped a long time ago. George is 78, and I am 75.

We belong to the same church and have many of the same friends. George told me from the beginning that he never wanted to marry again. I also didn’t want to remarry and lose the military benefits I received through my late husband. Although we keep separate households, everyone considers us a couple. Our families feel we are practically married. I thought it was a relationship that would last a lifetime.

Three days ago, George delivered a shock. He said he has reconnected with an old friend and plans to marry her. She lives in another state, but they rediscovered each other about a year ago via e-mail, and when he attended a funeral in her area, he went to visit her. He says they are “in love.”

Annie, I have invested years in this man. We spend all our free time together. I have seen him through three serious surgeries and always go with him to his many doctors’ appointments. I am too old to start up with someone new. I love George, and we are so used to each other. How can I make him see what a fool he is being with this other woman? I want to get back to our regular life.

— Wanda and Worried

Dear Wanda: Sorry, honey, but George is head over heels — and not with you. Your comfortable old relationship cannot compete with the excitement of the new one. We urge you not to cling to the remote possibility that he’ll change his mind. Wish him well, and move on. We know it won’t be easy, so please enlist the support of your friends and family to get through this.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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