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Divorce

Retiree Is Considering an Affair

July 24, 1986|VIRGINIA DOODY KLEIN

Question: I have been married for 37 years, and suddenly my life is so confused. I am newly retired, so I have a lot of leisure time. My wife is busy with her clubs and organizations. She seems to want me out of the house. I've met a neighbor woman who's single, in her late 40s and happy to spend her time with me. I've never thought of cheating on my wife, but I am now. I even think about what it would be like to marry this woman and start over. After all the years of hard work, aren't I entitled to have some fun?

Answer: Adjusting to retirement is difficult for many couples. Years of feeling needed on the job must be replaced with those same good feelings in other areas. Often men find themselves tempted to look elsewhere for reassurance that they are still attractive and vital after retirement age. Recognize that you are reacting to this woman's attentions and not necessarily to her. Acknowledge that you are vulnerable. Talk over plans for your future with your wife. She must do some adjusting, too. The time you have before you can be precious. Don't waste it.

Q: What can be done about a future mother-in-law who thinks that she's a detective? I am planning to marry her son in three months. It will be my second marriage, his first. Nothing short of a blow-by-blow account of my first marriage will please her. The personal questions that she asks are amazing, and she expects to be answered. It's hard to imagine building a close relationship with this woman, but I know that it's necessary in order to give this marriage the very best chance to succeed. Any suggestions?

A: Your determination to make this marriage a successful one will be a great help in dealing with your mother-in-law-to-be. Try to remember that she, too, wants a happy marriage for her son. Be direct. Reassure her of your love for her son, but be firm about not discussing your past. That is between you and your fiance.

Q: Your answer, please. Who is responsible financially for our son's rehearsal dinner? My husband and I are divorced and not on good terms. I know that I'll have the chance to ask only once, so I want to know what to ask for.

A: Usually the groom's parents host a prenuptial dinner for the bride's family and the wedding party after the wedding rehearsal. Some families include the out-of-town guests. It can be a formal dinner or a casual buffet. Decide what is most comfortable for the two of you. The important thing is to celebrate your son's happiness. The best gift you can give him is a friction-free wedding.

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