Wedding Finance

I panicked and destroyed our new marriage

DEAR ABBY: Three weeks after meeting my love, he proposed. We got married four months later.

Jeanne Phillips

We hadn’t discussed finances, but he knew my income was higher than his. (We are both retired and widowed when we met.)

After nine months of marriage, we had financial problems, and instead of sitting down to discuss it with him, I did what I usually do when I’m scared: I ran away.

I asked her to leave and filed for divorce.

Since then I realized that I still love him and want him in the last chapter of my life. I know I hurt him and I want to make amends, but he’s afraid I’ll ask him to leave. I also love his family and miss them all very much.

I would never hurt him again. We talked, and he has a girlfriend and doesn’t want to hurt her. Advice?


DEAR ANOTHER CHANCE: You ruined everything. Your former husband has moved on since the divorce, as evidenced by the fact that he has a new woman in his life.

Learn from his example and carry on with yours, because it doesn’t look like he’ll be returning any time soon, if ever.

DEAR ABBY: How do you know that a grandparent is no longer able to babysit?

Recently my mother-in-law came to visit and as usual babysat our toddler while I ran errands, went to the gym, etc.

Upon my return, it was immediately apparent that my son had soiled his diaper, so I changed him. I could tell that it had been a while since he had relieved himself. His water bottle and milk were out of reach because she “didn’t want him to spill any,” so he hadn’t had a drink in hours.

There were also smaller issues. I talked about it with my husband, but he minimized the situation.

Am I overreacting or my husband denying his mother’s diminishing abilities?

She’s planning another visit with us soon, and I’m sure she’s expecting some solo babysitting time. Is it safe? Should I say something? If yes, what?

Sure, I appreciate free babysitting and a loving grandmother, but not at the expense of my son.


DEAR MOM: Ideally, you should have asked your mother-in-law why the diaper hadn’t been changed when you got home and realized that was not the case.

Your husband may have downplayed what happened because he can’t accept his mother’s diminishing mental abilities. Denial is common when a parent is in the early stages of dementia, as the symptoms can be subtle.

Worrying about leaving your son alone with her isn’t “going too far.” Next time she visits, stay close to home and quietly watch what she’s doing – and not doing. If she does slip, she should be evaluated by a geriatrician and may need supervision for herself.

DEAR READERS: Today we celebrate the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the visionary civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. So many of his words ring as true today as when they were spoken for the first time: “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. (This applies to many aspects of life today.)


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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.