Aging hubby wants to screen potential suitors for his wife


Dear Abby: I am an old man, married to a wonderful woman who does everything for me. I’m in poor health and don’t expect to live much longer. My wife is a youthful 80. She’s trim, pretty, active, hardworking, loving and sexy. She enjoys skiing, fishing, gardening, board games, puzzles etc. She is the most organized person I have ever known. She likes to cook and entertain and is excellent at both.

Although she has quite a few friends — widowed and otherwise — we don’t know any men who would be acceptable as a future mate after I’m gone. She’s financially independent and meticulous about keeping track of expenses. Neither of us is formally religious.

To be blunt, I can’t imagine a better wife for someone special. I would like us to meet a man, probably in his 70s, preferably widowed, physically active, romantically inclined, energetic, capable with tools and household projects, not addicted to drugs or alcohol, financially independent and preferably politically conservative who would be a potential mate for her after I am gone.

We have discussed this to a limited extent, but she has expressed little interest in the subject. I can’t imagine she won’t experience a renaissance after this albatross is off of her neck. She has more than earned it. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them.

— Thankful in Washington

Dear Thankful: You are clearly a caring and protective husband who is deeply in love with and concerned for his wife. However, as much as you would like to screen the applicants to fill the vacancy that your death would create, there are some things people must do for themselves. When you pass on, your wife may not feel ready to move on according to your timetable. Please let her make this decision for herself when the time is right.

P.S. I am sorry you are not in better health, because it seems you and your wife have a strong and loving relationship that will not be easy to replace.

Dear Abby: My grandson is in a relationship with a girl who manipulates him and abuses him emotionally. I told my grandson what she is doing, but he doesn’t see it. Because of that, neither one of them is speaking to me.

My grandson was a caring, happy person until he met her. Now he’s withdrawn. He is working, but she is not. They are struggling to make a life for themselves. When I ask how he’s doing, he just says OK and nothing more. Is there anything I can do to make him see what she is doing to him?

— It’s Obvious in Iowa

Dear Obvious: No. You have done everything you can by trying to enlighten your grandson, who, it appears, “love” has blinded. Now it’s time for you to accept that nothing will change until he wakes up and smells the coffee.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at

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