Couple's Difference in Age Causes Girl's Family to WorryDEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and dating this older guy. Everyone is afraid that one day I'll just disappear, but he isn't like that. I know him from when I was younger, and my dad and his dad were really close. People just don't trust me, even though I have told them nothing but the full truth from the start. I'm happy. What should I do? -- MISUNDERSTOOD IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR MISUNDERSTOOD: It might help if you ask this young man to talk to your parents about his interest in you. If he is nice, respectful and employed or in school, they may be less suspicious about his intentions.
Ben finally met a great woman he cared for. We were all happy he had found someone and maybe he'd finally be the great dad we knew he could be. Our family loved his new girlfriend, and welcomed her to all gatherings as she was an extension of him.
Six months to a year into their relationship, we learned that Ben failed to mention to her that he and my sister had been an item for many years (engaged at one point). When she found out, she demanded that he stop talking to us. We even had a "goodbye" dinner with him.
Ben is now married to his then-girlfriend. I miss him dearly and think about him every week as he was that important to me. He attended all birthdays, graduations, etc., and he has now missed many of them. I always thought he would be the "uncle" my children never had.
Would it be selfish or unfair to him if I approached his wife about letting us back into his life? -- MISS HIM DEARLY
DEAR MISS HIM: I don't think it would be selfish or unfair to Ben, but depending upon the level of his wife's insecurity, it may be unsuccessful. Ben should have been honest with her from the beginning about his connection to your family. That the information was withheld from her may be why she reacted the way she did.
You tend to have the best advice. Please tell me what to do, because I'm not sure. -- FAMILY FIRST? IN INDIANA
DEAR F.F.: Have a talk with your cousin and repeat the agreement you had with her before she moved in. Then tell her that if she doesn't start living up to it, she will have to make other living arrangements.
P.S. If you don't want her using your car, don't let her have the keys.
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