OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Longtime marriage evolves into lonely routine for wife

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 45 years. We are both retired and have hobbies to keep us busy. My problem is, he has so many friends that he doesn't have time for any of the things I would like us to do together. I seem to be the last person he wants to do anything with. I don't mind some alone time, but after a while, I feel lonely and left behind. If a vacation is planned, it's always planned around his schedule.

-- Lonely in Minnesota

DEAR LONELY: Could you possibly develop an interest in any of the hobbies your husband enjoys? That way you could be alone less of the time. If that's not possible, tell him you are unhappy and the current arrangement makes you feel lonely and isolated. Too much time alone isn't healthy. If he's willing to do some compromising, your problem is solved. However, if he is inflexible, you will have to find more activities to fill your time that involve other people.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two close friends. They were a married couple but are now in the middle of a nasty divorce. Last winter, while they were still together, they came over and brought along an outdoor heater for us to borrow. It broke while it was in our care, so we bought them a new one. They knew it was in our garage, but they never came to pick it up. (Back story: He cheated and is keeping their house. She kept a lot of the indoor/outdoor items, some over his objection.)

My husband called him last weekend to remind him, again, to pick it up. Coincidentally, today she asked me for it and wants to come and get it ASAP and beat him to it. In all fairness, I don't know who it should go to. I hate being in the middle, and I hate confrontations. My husband feels it should go to the husband because he called and reminded him. What should we do?

-- Caught in the Middle

DEAR CAUGHT: Give these former spouses a deadline after which you want that heater off your property. Whichever one gets there first can have it. Do not involve yourselves further.

DEAR ABBY: There is a man I may be attracted to and have a lot in common with. The problem is that his teeth are crooked and yellow, and I can't get past that. He's quite a bit older than I am, so I'm not sure that we would get together even if he got his teeth fixed. But I won't know unless something is done. I'm not someone who likes confrontation, so I'm having a hard time saying something. How do I deal with this problem?

-- Frowning Over his Smile

DEAR FROWNING: It would be appropriate to wait until you are SURE you are attracted to this person. Then, if you decide you are, talk to him at a time when you are both relaxed. Smile and say something like this: "You know, 'John,' you are such an attractive person. Perhaps you should consider talking to your dentist about having a little work done. If you did, you'd be an absolute Adonis." His response should reveal if there is a path forward together, or give him something to chew on.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.