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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: New beau sets sleeping conditions for marriage

by Abigail Van Buren | September 2, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: About a year ago, I started a long-distance relationship with a widower. His wife died four years ago. He told me he slept on the couch a long time and got very little sleep after her death, because he couldn’t stand sleeping alone. He has two dogs and had never allowed them on the bed. He finally decided to try sleeping in the bed with the dogs, and was then able to sleep.

I have visited him several times, and he doesn’t want to sleep with me. We have discussed marriage. When I told him I want us to sleep together, he said he wants us to continue sleeping in separate rooms/beds after we are married. I don’t want that. We have a great relationship except for this.

Am I being unreasonable? I feel like I’m taking second place to his dogs, and I’m hurt that he would rather sleep with them. I told him how I feel, but he doesn’t want to compromise. I don’t know if I am wasting my time with him. If I insist on it, he might think I am being too pushy and break off our relationship. — Going To The Dogs

Dear Going: Could it be that he doesn’t want another woman sleeping in the bed he shared with his late wife? Ask him that question. If that’s his problem, buying a new bed would solve it. However, if it isn’t and being forced to sleep separately would feel personally demeaning, then this isn’t the man for you.

P.S. When a couple is discussing marriage, no question is considered “too pushy.”

Dear Abby: I have two beautiful adult daughters. The older one treats me like someone she wishes she didn’t know. She and her husband plan vacations with his family and never think of including me. When I asked her why, she said, “Mom, you’re always broke and you embarrass me.” I’m on disability and yes I’m loud, but that’s because I’m hard of hearing.

I love my daughter with all my heart, and it kills me how she treats me. She lives on the West Coast, while I live in South Carolina. I can’t even get her to come visit me. She and her husband prefer visiting his family, who live on the Northeast coast. My younger daughter doesn’t treat me that way. — Heartbroken Down South

Dear Heartbroken: Your older daughter not only lacks compassion, but her values are seriously out of whack. That she would blame you for having limited finances or being hard of hearing is shameful. According to the NIH, 15% of adults over the age of 18 have some hearing trouble. Nearly 25% of those between 65 and 74 have it as well. If you are 75 or over, it’s 50%. So, please dry your tears and concentrate on the child who loves and treats you well, because your older daughter isn’t likely to change. You will have a happier life if you accept that fact and move on.

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 P.O. Box 69440,Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit


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