DEAR ABBY: I had a brief affair with a married man 36 years ago. "Jerry" had left his wife after learning she was sleeping with his best friend. Our affair ended and we went on with our lives. Jerry stayed with his wife, and I married the man of my dreams.
After 45 years of marriage, Jerry's wife died. My husband died suddenly two months before she did. A few years ago, a mutual friend put us together. We enjoy each other's company and spend time together.
Jerry's two daughters are giving him a hard time about us dating. They told him they will never accept me because they know I was the one he had the affair with. They don't know about their mother's affair.
A month before she passed, she told her daughter, for whatever reason, that her father would go back to me. My family has welcomed him with open arms. Jerry's daughters are married, so he's alone most of the time.
How should we handle them? His son is OK with us. It hurts Jerry when his daughters tell him he's not to have me at his house or any gatherings they may have. Would really like your thought on this.
- Brief Affair
DEAR B.A.: Not knowing Jerry's late wife, I can only guess why she told her daughter what she did. It's possible it was to prevent you and her husband from rekindling your relationship after her death.
The person to handle it might be the mutual friend. Because the "girls" know only half the story, that person could tell them the other side. Whether the information alters their view on your relationship is anybody's guess.
Jerry should also make clear to his daughters that he is now a single adult, who doesn't need anyone telling him who to entertain in his home and that he expects the woman in his life to be treated, at the very least, with civility. Unless he is prepared to draw the line, they will run his life for him as long as he's breathing.
Grateful for friends after heart attack
DEAR ABBY: I recently suffered a heart attack. Everything's fine now except for some minor damage to my heart and some necessary lifestyle changes. Smoking is now out.
I live in a rural area. The only cath lab facility was 45 minutes away by helicopter. My boss and assistant supervisor both traveled 2 1/2 hours to visit me and, in addition, my boss and his director are coming here today to transport me back home. I would like to show my appreciation for their kindness, but I'm not sure what would be appropriate. Your advice would be appreciated.
- On the Mend
DEAR ON THE MEND: I'm pleased you are doing better. I'm sure anything you choose to give them would be appreciated. Consider taking them out to dinner. Alternatively, perhaps present them with coffee mugs with "hero" or "champion" on them - they can be ordered online - and a card explaining that the word reminded you of them.