DEAR ABBY: I am a twice-divorced woman who has never been good at choosing the men in my life. Two years ago, I met a man who is 12 years my senior. He is sweet, thoughtful and caring, and would do just about anything for me. What started as companionship has turned into a full-blown love affair. The problem is that he is married.
His wife is not well. She has a chronic disease and other medical problems. The way he cares for her is what attracted me to him in the first place. He spends what time he can with me, but mostly he is there for his wife.
I am OK with the situation, as I don’t want him to leave her for me. I have tried breaking it off with him, but he gets me to take him back, saying he doesn’t know what he would do without me in his life. He is very strong-willed.
Abby, I feel like I’m in the background waiting for her to die so I can take her place as his wife, and I hate this feeling. What should I do? — GUILTY IN KENTUCKY
DEAR GUILTY: Your feelings are well-founded. You ARE waiting in the background for this man’s wife to die. But what if she doesn’t?
You say you have never been good at choosing men, and I have to agree. Please don’t think I am unsympathetic, but it’s time to ask yourself why you chose to get involved with someone who isn’t available except for a few stolen moments. If marriage is what you really want, your priority should be to find a man who doesn’t have the kind of previous commitment this one does.