WORDS FROM THE WISE
AARP’s online community is a kind of “wisdom circle”
that draws on the shared experiences of AARP members.
This column is adapted from an online discussion.
OF YOUR LIFE
A widow moves in with
her high school flame,
but her mom disapproves
Dear Wisdom Circle,
As my husband neared death—likely
worried that I’d be lonely after he was
gone—he encouraged me to contact
“Antonio,” my first love. Months after
the funeral, Antonio and I exchanged
e-mails. We fell in love all over again
and moved in together. Today our
new arrangement is perfect, with one
exception: my mother. She’s upset
that we’re “living in sin” and doesn’t
understand why we’re not getting
married. My late husband of 34 years
was the only husband I would ever
want. Now I’d just like a loving, considerate mate, and my mother to be
happy for me. Am I a terrible person
for not wanting to get married, and
instead wanting to live with the man
I first loved when I was 18?
—Happy but Not a Bride
RESPONSE #1 I think you already
know the answer to that question. Whatever is in your hearts and your souls is
what’s right for you and your newfound
love. I doubt very much that you are a
terrible person. While I understand your
concern about your mother’s disapproval, I hope you don’t allow it to override
THE CIRCLE SAYS
w w RESPONSE #3 You’re not living in sin;
you’re living in love and happiness. No
piece of paper can make you love each
other more than you do right now. Your
mom raised you to be an independent
person and to think for yourself. That’s
exactly what you’re doing.
ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN CARLSON
RESPONSE #2 I believe you should
live with someone first. You never get
to know a person until you’ve lived with
them. I loved being married. It was the
happiest time in my life, and we lived together for only four months beforehand.
But if you don’t want to get married,
don’t. There is nothing wrong with that. I
don’t want to be married again either. It
sounds like you have a strong relationship
now. Why change it?
I appreciated the advice. A few
months after I wrote, Antonio and
I—surprise!—got married. But we
didn’t do it because of my mother.
We did it because I realized I needed
to make a permanent commitment.
Of course my mom is satisfied now—
but, more important, at age 63 I’m
married to the man I loved as a teen.
We will not let go for any reason this
time. I am blissfully happy!
Adapted by Tomás Baliño
HOW TO JOIN
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