DEAR ABBY: I am a 45-year-old divorced mother of three. "Jeff," the man I am seeing, is kind, patient, understanding and generous. He is a gentleman. There isn't anything I want or wish for that he does not get for me. Jeff sends me flowers several times a month. He loves my children dearly. I could not ask for a more perfect man.
The problem is: HE'S STILL MARRIED. Jeff and his wife have been separated for 10 years. He refuses to see a lawyer, even for consultation, because he says he can't afford a divorce. He's convinced his wife will take "everything." How can he be certain if he doesn't talk to someone?
I love Jeff with all my heart, but quite frankly, I am tired of waiting. I want to be his wife. I know Jeff loves me with all his heart, mind, body and soul -- but maybe not enough to get married.
Abby, how much longer do I wait? -- EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE RING
DEAR EVERYTHING: The gentleman you are seeing may love you with his heart, mind, body and soul -- but he loves his current economic status more.
Ask yourself: Can I live like this indefinitely, or should I push for a commitment with the risk of "losing" him? Only YOU can answer that.
DEAR ABBY: I work in an office where people often bring food: doughnuts, casseroles, birthday cake, etc., for special events. On these occasions, "Cora" will fill an extra plate with food and say, "I'm taking this home for 'Susie"' (her 5-year-old daughter).
I wouldn't mind if Cora couldn't afford to feed Susie. But that isn't the case. Cora owns her own home, has a nice car, and frequents restaurants several times a week.
I think Cora is rude. I often want to say to her, "I didn't know Susie worked here," hoping it will stop her from pilfering our food for her child. Can you think of anything we can say to her to get the point across that what she is doing is wrong? -- NO FREE LUNCH IN OHIO
DEAR NO FREE LUNCH: Oh, come on! How much can a 5-year-old consume? I'm sure it makes the child happy to feel remembered. In the interest of office morale, refrain from criticizing and being so possessive about the leftovers.
DEAR ABBY: I write this as a warning to older people about lending their credit cards to a new friend or neighbor. Normally, it's done because the older person can't pick up his or her own prescription or run an errand, so he or she gives a credit card to the new acquaintance.
My friend's mother gave her credit card to a woman who, in one afternoon, ran up more than $10,000 in charges and then took off. The police can do nothing about it because the "kind person" had written permission to use the card. The poor trusting victim had to declare bankruptcy because she could not pay off the debt on her small pension.
Abby, please warn your readers never to blindly trust a person they do not know well. -- WANTS TO HELP IN HEMET, CALIF.
DEAR WANTS TO HELP: What a horror story! The lesson here is that people who blindly trust get robbed blind. A safer way to handle such a situation would be for the credit card owner to call the pharmacy (or store) and give the card number when the item is being picked up.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
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