DEAR ABBY: A year and a half ago, I reconnected with “Paul.” We were in grade school together and hadn’t seen each other for many years. We have been extremely happy and want to spend our remaining years together.
Because of our ages (we’re both seniors) and separate families and incomes, we feel marriage is not what we’d like to do. But we would like to move in together.
Would it be ridiculous for us to do that without being married? Will the world condemn us? Will our children understand or ostracize us? How do we handle questions about why we have chosen not to marry? — IN LOVE IN LOUISIANA
DEAR IN LOVE: Many older couples do what you are considering because being married would negatively affect their retirement income. If your children like Paul — and his children like you — I doubt you will be ostracized. Most adult children want their parents to be happy.
If you’re worried about how the community will react to your living arrangement, consider talking to a clergyperson about being “married in the eyes of God.” As to questions about why you have chosen not to marry, apart from your family, it is nobody’s business and you are not obligated to discuss it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.