Dear Annie: A friend whom I have known for 40-plus years got married for the second time in his life five years ago. At the wedding, some of the bride's relatives told the minister, "These two should not be married."
Two years ago, he filed for divorce. In the settlement, he wanted nothing from her. (The house was totally in her name, as was the $15,000 car he bought for her.)
After he moved out, he began seeing a psychiatrist, during which time he became very reclusive.
As it stands now, they are once again dating each other. I have no respect for either at this point.
By the way, she would never consent to any counseling during their marriage. So why does he seemingly want to go back to her, and why hasn't she asked him, "You didn't want me then, so why should I want to see you again now?" — Stumped
Dear Stumped: The question that has me stumped is, What's it to you? This is their relationship, for better or worse. Quit rubbernecking. Keep your eyes on the road. If we all gave as much thought to our own mistakes as we do to everyone else's, perhaps we'd make fewer of them.
Dear Annie: In light of all the revelations about sexual misconduct by men toward women, I would like to share my personal experience. I am in my 60s and single and have never been married. I tried very hard for many years to find a woman I could go through life with but quit trying many years ago.
I have always been extremely respectful toward women and treated them with kindness and dignity. This, even when I was stood up for a date or had very mean and ugly remarks made to me. I have never been what I consider to be good at flirting, but that is mainly because I don't want to be disrespectful in any way.
I guess the main frustration for me has been the way that some friends and others I have observed have treated women in a very disrespectful manner but nonetheless have been able to have success wooing women. Of course, in many cases, these relationships haven't worked out, but I have always been somewhat amazed when women initially find a man's disrespectful behavior acceptable.
I realize and accept the fact that I will end my life alone, but I do find solace in knowing that I have never done anything to be ashamed of in my pursuit of a partner. I only wish that there had been a woman who found my qualities desirable. — Lonely but Proud
Dear Lonely but Proud: Truly respecting women means respecting their intelligence and judgment. So rather than blame your loneliness on their taste in men, consider that something is lacking in your approach to dating. Perhaps you could improve your conversation skills or work on your confidence. When you feel good about yourself, other things fall into place. The inner critic pipes down; you can actually be present in real conversation and figure out whether you like someone (instead of just worrying about whether she likes you). This kind of genuine self-assuredness is palpable and magnetic to the right kind of partner.
You're only in your 60s. If you want to experience the joys of romantic partnership, I encourage you to adjust your technique and give love another shot. With all the online dating platforms, it's never been easier to find someone looking for the same things you are.
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