I hope you can help me with a relationship problem.
I am 60, have been a widower for eight years and do not plan to remarry. My children and grandchildren live on the other coast and, while we are a close family, distance keeps us apart. I keep active in charity work and a men's club.
Some months ago, I met a widow who is a lovely, interesting person involved in a local charity organization. She has two adult children in the city and they are a close family.
My problem is that, although we spend a great deal of time together and I find her kind and honest, I never hear a word of endearment or any action that indicates she really cares for me. If I ask, she laughs and says, "of course I care for you."
Is there any way to get her to warm up and show real affection? -J.R.
Your letter sounds like two adults with poor communication skills. Is there any reason you can't bring up this subject and discuss it like mature adults? After all, this is not a schoolyard crush.
I do realize that fear of rejection can be the reason for such reluctance in bringing this out in the open. Also you mention that marriage is not an option for you, and that could affect her interaction with you. She may want marriage. Can you change? These are matters that need discussion, and soon, if you are serious about saving the relationship. Start talking!
My sister and I are both widows in our 80s planning to go into care residences. Our families are pressuring us to share our accommodation but we are both reluctant because we have never got along well in past years. Neither of us wishes to continue disagreements in close proximity for our remaining days.
What do you say about this? I'll be waiting to hear. -N.J.
This situation isn't unusual.
Families are always trying to mend old feuds, but it is important for the people instigating the problems to be part of the action. You and you sister are the main characters in this scene and must participate in all the decisions.
The two of you seem to accept your differences and, in view of this, you will be happier in separate accommodation but perhaps in the same complex.
An occasional spat or disagreement when you meet could put a spark in an otherwise lonely day. There is collection of family memories that usually overshadows all disagreements in the end.
It sounds like you are both aware of your circumstances and able to make your own decisions. Hopefully you will find suitable living quarters where your families can keep an eye on you while you maintain your independence.
Enjoy your new home!
JUNE 2009 - SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND
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