DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for 26 years. I have been engaged a couple of times since, but never made it back to the altar. My ex-wife has now permanently separated from her second husband. I have helped her financially and emotionally through a couple of stressful situations in the interim due to her second husband.
I became available again myself about 18 months ago, so I have been considering inviting her to dinner to help her relax and give her someone to talk to other than family. The problem is, she still seems to regard me as “the enemy.” She will speak to me, but it’s just bare-bones conversation. I have never stopped loving her. Should I ask her to dinner or just let things be?– STILL LOVIN’ MY EX
DEAR STILL LOVIN’: I wish you had mentioned what destroyed your marriage 26 years ago. Whatever it was, because your ex still seems to regard you as “the enemy,” in spite of the fact that you have helped her financially and emotionally, I don’t think what you have in mind is feasible. Sometimes it’s safer to love someone from a distance, and this may be one of them.
DEAR ABBY: We live in the downstairs apartment of an old Victorian house that has been converted into three separate apartments. We try to be good neighbors and do our part keeping up with our neighborly duties. However, lately we’ve been finding ourselves the only ones doing our part.
Every Sunday evening, we roll out the garbage, recycling and compost bins for the Monday morning pickup. Currently, there is only one other tenant living here, a man who has been here for more than a year. Not once has he bothered to roll out these carts that he uses as well. How should we handle this without coming off as nagging or rude?– PEEVED IN PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR PEEVED: Your neighbor isn’t a mind-reader. He may think you are doing this as part of your deal with the landlord. If you haven’t discussed this with your neighbor, you should. If you do, you may be able to agree on some sort of schedule.