Dear Annie: I have been dating my boyfriend for two years now. He had lost his fiancée three years before we began dating.
The problem I am having is he still has his deceased finance’s phone number saved in his phone. He sometimes texts her, but, of course, it goes nowhere. I did ask him about it but he said he does not do it too much anymore.
I found out by accident that he texted her the other night. Should I be worried? He is very sensitive and I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it is morbid to me. What should I do?
— I’m Concerned
Dear Concerned: In a TED Talk in November 2018, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny spoke about how, when people we love die, we don’t “move on”; we simply move forward. It’s a poignant, insightful, at times humorous talk, and I recommend finding it and watching it online.
I thought of Nora’s words while reading your letter. Your boyfriend has moved forward with his life, even as he still cares for the fiancée who lost hers. Though it might seem unusual for him to text her, it’s not unhealthy, as long as it’s not interfering with his life.
I get the impression that you two have a great relationship: You’ve been able to ask him about this topic without him becoming defensive; you’re writing out of concern for his well-being, not out of jealousy or insecurity. With that level of openness and empathy, you can trust that you’ll know if anything is truly wrong with him or between you two. In short, don’t sweat it.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Unhappy Player,” who was wondering how to “break up” with his or her bridge partner who was experiencing cognitive decline, was perfect.
What only could have been better was if had been published on June 21 to coincide with the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Longest Day.” The American Contract Bridge League partners with them.
When my wife, Mary, had a small incident (connected with cognitive decline), management forbade me from ever bringing her back. That was in early June, and by the end of July I was forced to move her to an assisted living memory care facility. Social isolation certainly escalated her decline. The story is chronicled at https://bridgefeed.acbl.org/the-longest-day-hits-home.
— Richard O.
Dear Richard: I appreciate your sharing your personal story so that others might learn the importance of empathy in such situations. Thank you bringing attention to the Longest Day. Readers can learn more at http://www.alz.org/thelongestday.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Credit Confused,” the recent college grad who was looking for tips about establishing credit. You missed an important point: The very best advice I ever got from a financial adviser about having credit cards was to pay them in full every month.
We are now approaching retirement. We charge a lot on our credit cards, but we never have to pay interest, because we pay them off every billing period. The only charges we get are a membership fee from one of them. The other two cards cost us nothing, ever.
When we are gone, our estate will have no bills to be paid. That’s the only way to live.
— Owing Nothing
Dear Owing: Such a fundamentally important point that I forgot to make. Consider my forehead smacked. Thanks for writing — and kudos on living debt-free.
Annie Lane, a graduate of New York Law School and New York University, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Email questions to email@example.com.