Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I’ve been seeing this guy for almost a year now. We practically live together, in fact. At first, to be honest, we just “hooked up” for, as he put it, “pleasure.” But over the course of about three months of these hookups, our relationship got a little more serious, and now, almost a year later, we have deep feelings for each other. We both know that we love each other, too. We talk about our future, making plans for trips together.

The problem is that two of my sons aren’t happy about or accepting of our relationship. You see, there is a big age difference between my guy and me. I’m 52, and he is exactly half my age. We don’t look at that as a big deal, since we connect on so many levels. Sure, there are some things that are not what each of us are accustomed to, but we look past those things. He has made me feel more sexy and desired than any other man as well. But my two oldest sons, who are older than him, just can’t get past the age gap. My oldest son is dead set against it. Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

 — In Love but Losing

Dear ILBL: The part of your letter that struck me the most was that you say you and your beau “both know” that you love each other: It implies that you two haven’t actually said those words to each other. If that’s the case, it’s time for a “define the relationship” conversation so you can make sure that you’re on the same page. If this is indeed true love, then set aside your sons’ disapproval. Over time, as they see how much this man means to you, they may come around. A family counseling session including you and your sons might help with the process.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Heart in Shambles,” who found out her boyfriend was cheating on her after his other girlfriend sent her a message. From my personal experience, I’d bet her heart is not the only one in shambles. I’ve been married to the same man for almost 54 years. Let me just say “Heart in Shambles” could have been the women he had affairs with at different times throughout our marriage. I could have told each of them he would never leave me or his children for either one of them. I knew this as a fact, because no matter how much I knew about his philandering, he was always here for holidays or any other celebrations or times he needed to be here. I knew he would never leave.

I won’t go into the whys of my decision to stay with him; they are varied and complicated. And every time I read a letter such as hers, I almost feel sorry for women like that.

As an aside, we have both been retired for over a decade, and we are growing older happily, in spite of the heartaches. But whether I speak it out loud or not, the pain and humiliation are still there no matter how much time has passed.

Please continue to advise those like “Heart in Shambles” that they can do better and they should always choose to do better.

 — Cracked but Not in Shambles

Dear Cracked: Time heals most wounds, but scars are a different story. I am glad you and your husband were able to find happiness on the other side of infidelity, though I’m sorry to hear you’re still carrying that pain. Thanks for the perspective.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com

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