Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An unwelcome visitor

                                     On Life and Love After 50

An unwelcome visitor: “But honey, it’s just golf.”

A 69-year-old woman emailed me saying that her romantic relationship is worthy of a soap opera. She’d like a little guidance.

Kathryn (not her real name), said, “I have been going out with my boyfriend for three and a half years.  We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship. He is the best ‘boyfriend’ ever! I have never met anyone like him. He goes out of his way to be helpful and sweet to me.”

Kathryn was married for 33 years; she has been a widow for 13 years. Her boyfriend, also 69, was briefly married. He lived with a woman for 12 years; they broke up four years ago. 

Two years ago, Kathryn and her boyfriend hired a golf pro and took golf lessons together and have been golfing as a couple ever since. He enjoyed the community where she lives so much he bought a home there.

Here’s where the plot thickens. Kathryn explained that recently the 54-year-old daughter of the same woman her boyfriend lived with for 12 years called him, after four years of no contact. When he told her how great the community and the golfing were, the daughter mentioned that she had always wanted to learn to play golf. He invited her to come to their community to learn. 

Kathryn said, “Her first visit was golf. The second was golf and dinner. The third was golf, dinner and swimming in the community pool. Then, tennis was mentioned. On one occasion, she brought her robe and slippers and stayed overnight at his house. On that night, he stayed he stayed with me.”

She added, “I am asked to go along on parts of these golf/dinner/swimming outings (I feel like a chaperone or worse…part of the crowd). He is happy and flattered to be in her company, but is disturbed that, after several weeks of us entertaining her, I do not wish to continue the charade. 

“She is more educated than I; he believes this means I should respect her. I feel he is disrespecting my feelings and me in general. From the start, I’ve believed she has an agenda. To suddenly be ‘best friends’ after four years is suspicious.
“I do not understand why he is forcing her on me. I have not been rude to her, and I have attempted to accept her into our lives since he means a lot to me, but I am baffled as to the point of all this. He is dismayed that I cannot accept her. 

“She is not someone I would become friends with. I consider her pushy and somewhat vulgar in her language. She should be able to express herself without expletives. 

“I am thinking of ending the whole thing, which would hurt; but not as much as watching him ‘respect’ someone I feel is up to something. Wouldn’t she be concerned that this would be upsetting to her mom?”

Kathryn said she and her boyfriend have both invested large amounts of money into two trips to foreign countries together. One in August for two weeks and another for all of November.  “This could turn into a messy situation,” she said.

Kathryn added, “I have tried reasoning with him, but he insists she is just a ‘friend.’ I am past being polite and am just plain angry, not to mention hurt.

“Am I overreacting? Am I being unreasonable?”

In golf, what's the warning word one yells out after hitting a golf ball that is heading in the direction of a person who might be in danger of getting hit by the ball? "FORE." That's the word I am saying to Kathryn.

I told her I would not like what is happening either. Any thoughts from any of you? 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Anger, yelling and the silent treatment - not the way to live

On Life and Love After 50 newsletter  Friday, July 18, 2014

Anger, yelling and the silent treatment are not the way to live

Have you ever dated, or worse yet, lived with, or even worse, been married to, someone who yelled and screamed at you? Particularly, when you did little or nothing to provoke that type of behavior? That's the topic of today's newsletter.

It warms my heart to hear from couples who meet and fall in love later in life. When I heard from Ann (not her real name), she glowingly described her 16-month relationship. My initial reaction: I hope she and her new man will be together forever.

Ann, 60, divorced for 12 years, said, “A year and a half ago, I met a divorced man, 62, online. He is nice looking and his profile seemed sincere. We met for coffee. He was very charming and easy to talk to and we seemed to have a lot in common.

“I have a great time with him. We both wanted to be committed. Our relationship became serious; we got engaged in March and he gave me a ring. I have never felt this way before. He loves being with me and reminds me how beautiful I am. I feel very special with him.”

I thought, so far, so good, how nice that Ann is sharing her love story with me so I can share it with you. A key ingredient for a new, later-in-life relationship to work is that both the man and the woman sincerely want to commit. Having a lot in common can be an asset as well.

But—and there often seems to be a “but” when people find love after 60--Ann mentioned two that bother her.

But # one – he’s messy

Ann said, “One of my concerns: he is not neat. His car is messy and his house is cluttered. It doesn't bother him. I hated going into his car because of the mess. Eventually, we drove my car. 

“When we started talking about marriage, I explained that I can't live in this clutter and he seemed fine about cleaning it up (I was going to help him). I felt I can overlook this since I don't mind cleaning. He wanted to make the change.” 

Tom’s comment: It sounds like Ann and her guy have uncluttered that mess. However, older people find it hard to change; I wonder if he is really willing to do so? Regardless, Ann will still have to be the cleaning machine in this relationship. Always having to pick up after someone would get old after awhile. 

But # 2 – He’s a ticking time bomb

Ann’s second “but” is more serious. She said, “He has a temper. At times he gets explosive. When we went on our first driving trip last July, it was fun and beautiful at first, but on our way home, I made a comment about his driving. He yelled at me and said I was treating him like a child. He stopped talking to me and though we had one more day together, he drove me directly home. We did not speak for a week. Eventually, we made up.   

“This behavior has occurred a few other times. What bothers me is it is always my fault. He doesn't accept any blame in our arguments.”

Ann described another road trip this year. ”By the fourth day together, we started to snap at each other; I understand that happens when you are together around the clock four days in a row. We were sitting on a bench in a public park. I had made a comment that his legs sticking out could cause someone to trip. He started yelling at me. People around us were staring. When I tried to be nice, he ignored me and was rude. He did not speak for eight of the 11 hours on our trip back.

“At his home, the same ‘silent treatment’ behavior continued. I was angry, decided to go home, and gave him back the engagement ring. I asked myself, ‘Do I want to live with a man who yells and then gives me the silent treatment?’ I have a 16-year-old daughter. Will he be yelling at me when she is there?

“In discussing our previous marriages, he blamed his wife and he didn't like the way he was treated by her. I'm confused and wonder if I was the cause of these arguments?  His anger scares me. Any advice would be helpful.” 

My response to Ann: Your relationship is dysfunctional. Arguing, yelling and the silent treatment are not the way to live. It will only get worse. Whether the arguments are your fault or not is irrelevant. What should bother you instead is that he yells at you and then pouts like a child. Yes, he will yell at you in front of your daughter. What happens if he explodes and hits you? Dealing with a person like him is stressful and potentially dangerous. 

And stop taking road trips together. 

Oh, and the house will be messy and cluttered, unless you always keep it clean.

Possible solutions: First, he needs anger management counseling. And second, get him a vacuum cleaner for his birthday and make him prove to you that he can learn to use it.  

Until then, if ever, don’t accept the ring back.

For more finding love after 60 articles: Finding Love After 60

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New romance scam targets American women

On Life and Love After 50. New romance scams target American women

Another scam email arrived in my inbox this week, sent from Ethan Armour, It read, “please did you get my previous message about you being a beneficiary to a late client?I will make provision for all relevant document needed and then we can both share the proceed . please reply to

A quick look at the grammar in this email reveals multiple mistakes; it’s obviously a scam, and a lame one at that.

As I am sure all of our savvy Champs would do, I marked the email as fraudulent and deleted it.

The same day, Champ George, of San Francisco, forwarded an Internet article he found on, written by Stuart Grudgings, that was posted on Reuters, titled, “American women targeted as Malaysia becomes Internet scam haven: U.S.”

I know we’ve discussed romance scams before, but this one has a bit of a modern twist to it. I never want any of our Champs to fall for a scam, so I think it’s worth mentioning the subject again. Thanks to George for bringing it to my attention.

Grudgings’ article stated, “The mostly Nigerian conmen, who enter Malaysia on student visas, take advantage of the country’s good Internet infrastructure to prey on lonely, middle-aged women, wooing them on dating websites before swindling their savings.”

Grudgings said that scammers are, “…helped by Malaysia’s banking system allows perpetrators to quickly set up accounts and receive international transfers.”

The article indicated that two American women have lost $250,000 each in the past twelve months, which often amounts to a person’s entire life’s savings: “There are more than 600 cases a year, and the amount lost by each victim averages in the tens of thousands of dollars.”

How sad that these victims are so lonely and naïve that they allow themselves to be swindled.

How do these scams work? Grudgings’ article stated, “Large teams of scammers typically trawl dating or Christian websites and contact middle-aged women…They pretend to be a Western man who then gets into legal or business difficulties in Muslim-majority Malaysia.”

One of the victims in the article said she had met a man on It should be pointed out that most American dating sites, including, have prominent warnings about scammers on their sites.

The more knowledge about scams—of any kind--that we Champs gain, the less our chances of becoming victims. Another email forwarded to me this week by Champ Chris has to do with a travel scam. Chris travels often to be with his woman friend in England. Many of you travel as well. The email stated:

“You check in at your hotel front desk. Typically when checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your room). You go to your room and settle in. All is good. 

“The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an example) room 620 - which happens to be your room. The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following: 'This is the front desk. We came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number, expiration date, and verify the security code on the reverse side of your card.’

“Not thinking anything wrong, since the call seems to come from the front desk, you oblige. But actually, it is a scam by someone calling from outside the hotel.
They have asked for a random room number, then ask you for your credit card information. They sound so professional, you think you are talking to the front desk.

“If you encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem.

“If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee.

“This was sent by someone who has been duped and is still cleaning up the mess.”

I hope today’s tips help. If any of you care to share your experiences with scams, email them to me.

Next week, back to the trials and tribulations of dating after—oh, just pick an age—50, 60, 70 or 80. By 90, you should be settled in.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dating while still married not a good idea for this woman

Dating while still married not a good idea for this woman

Happy July 4th, 2014 . Last week’s newsletter had four parts. The first three parts centered on a married woman named Cindi and her dilemma. Part four was blank; I asked Champs to fill it in with their thoughts about Cindi’s situation. We had so many sage responses, I could not include them all.

Let me say this before we dissect Cindi’s situation. If there ever was a panel of experts needed to discuss the issues surrounding “On life and love after 50, 60, 70, 80 and beyond,” our 2,000 or so Champs--located in the USA and Canada and several other countries around the world—would be the group I’d choose. Your knowledge, caring and wisdom help make writing these columns possible. And now, let’s delve into Cindi’s situation.

Cindi had been married 34 years to a man that she said never made her a priority in their marriage. He left her four years ago but has remained married to her.

“We are remaining married because if he passes first, I am the beneficiary of his "Survivor Benefits" from his long-term job. That is the only reason I am staying married,” Cindi said. She also stated that his health insurance paid for her treatment for 25 years for chronic foot pain.

Cindi owns five pets, “They give me a lot in return and keep me going,” she added.

Cindi would like to meet a man; she said she is “a little overweight.”

“Is it wrong to go on dating sites while still married?” Cindi asked.
She also wants to put an end to his intrusion into her family social events. She asked for suggestions that would make her happy.

I suggested she join to pursue some activities she would enjoy and there she could meet new people.

“Does have any men in it?” She asked.

To fill in the blank Part four, our Champs took over.

Gail stated, “I am a widow and constantly appalled by married women that complain about their husbands. I think Cindi needs to reach out to him, talk to him, find what made you love him in the first place. Good men are hard to find and it takes two to make a marriage work. Give it a try and good luck.”

George was trying to figure out why Cindi’s husband was even sticking around: “There’s an awful lot of drama here.”

Cydne said, “Cindi doesn’t realize what she has. She has a bond with his children and grandchildren, a house and a comfortable lifestyle that she doesn’t have to work to keep. On top of this, she has medical insurance and if she gets ‘lucky’ and he dies first, she gets his pension. She wants her cake and to it eat too.

“She knew exactly what she was getting into years ago and sold her life for exactly what she got. I don’t have a house and probably never will because of my decision to live my life independently as I saw fit and not to cow tow to a man I did not love. I raised my three sons by myself.

“Unless her husband is a wife beater or abuser of some kind, or does drugs or is an alcoholic, I don’t see why she can’t appreciate what she has and make an effort to keep her vows and find something she likes about him. Bring the love back is what I say.”

Tia, “Why not make an effort to turn things around so you and your husband can share your final years together happily?

“Forget dating another man.  You have a companion - your husband. He has been married to you, and provided full financial support to you, for 34 years. That sounds to me like commitment and making you a priority. It's time for you to prioritize him in the relationship.

Janice, “It appears she is already taking your advice, eating right, going to the gym, and making friends in her community. Kudos to Cindi for loving herself enough to give herself the care she deserves. Ultimately happiness and joy is our responsibility.”

Wayne, I'd suggest some counseling and making an effort to seek out what makes her happy before dating. She needs to sort out her own issues before deciding if she is really ready to exit the marriage.

Dawn, “She could check out Al-Anon meetings. They are for people who have friends or family addicted to alcohol or drugs. Al-Anon helps people learn to take care of themselves.

“I've written to you before about a man’s abuse of me. I left that relationship and am very happy in a new love.

“Five years ago I was getting divorced, two kids were addicted to drugs,I was unemployed and losing my insurance.

“Going to Al-Anon meetings helped me learn to put me first. And take care of myself. My kids are in recovery, both working and healthy, thank God. I'm about to celebrate five years at a good job, I own a home and am in love with a man who knows he's lucky to have me! The lady is selling herself short.

Gale felt differently, “I commend you for sticking it out this long, but I truly believe you need to cut the ties that don’t really contribute much to you. Insurance benefits won’t replace the hole in your heart that you would love to fill.  I think being free from this apparently one-sided relationship would give you more in terms of happiness than you have now. It may be difficult to do, but in the long run necessary.

Ceil,My head is reeling! She almost had me convinced that she had turned a corner, when she gave a successful party to meet her neighbors. But then she turned right around and asked you if there are any men in Meetup groups. Find out for yourself. Cindi!  First and foremost, she should dedicate herself to honesty: stay off dating sites. I also do not wish to be mean, but I think Cindi would benefit from psychotherapy ... as many of us have. She needs to simplify her life and I'm pretty sure she cannot do that on her own.

In addition to her comments above, Cydne added this about “She should look up MEETUP and she will find out if there are any men. (Of COURSE there are men silly!)  There are singles groups and mens’ groups and womens’ groups and family groups.  There are groups that do specific activities like hiking or photography or bicycling or knitting or book club etc. Just about anything you could think of as an activity is covered in MEETUP.

One man requesting to be anonymous who was writing for his wife and himself wrote, “I can't imagine her current husband, or a man in a future being able to have a relationship with Cindi.  Her baggage will never allow her to be free to truly love, care for, and see the new man as primary in her life.  And, just as important, what does she offer and bring to a new relationship?

"All I can see in her is a woman who buried two children, which she is not able to move on from, a sore foot which will prevent her from participating in many activities, and five pets.  In addition, she appears to be a sad woman looking for a knight in shining armor who will supply her with medical coverage, life insurance, money, help around the house, and worship her with an undying love.

Larry,There is more about Cindi's dislikes and wants than you can shake a stick toward. From her own self-description, she is a large part of the problem. No man (or woman) would be happy around an unhappy woman/or man. Perhaps her husband has only stuck around to take care of her and/or out of compassion for her?

“She should not be going on dating sites while still married. Meetup is also basically an organization for singles. A suggestion for more communication between the two and acquiring long term counseling if possible even if Cindi goes alone. Her life can/could get a lot worse as a single woman. She doesn't appreciate what she has and for what this man has done and gone through to stand by her unhappiness for all of these years.”

And summarizing these wonderful comments, Jane wrote, “Cindi, it sounds like you've had some hard times and had to make some hard choices. You have chosen to stay in a loveless marriage for financial reasons. That's not too uncommon, actually. Yet you crave a relationship and the love you dream of. If you disentangle yourself legally from your husband, you put your future finances in jeopardy, with no guarantee of finding love. You've made your choice, and it seems a little late to second guess it.

“You should not be dating while still married. Just because some people lie on the internet doesn't make it all right! If you do meet someone under false pretenses, what do you expect to happen when you tell him the truth? Who would want to start a relationship with someone unavailable -- only someone who is just interested in sex, not any commitment. That doesn't seem to be what you want either.

“Happiness has to begin inside you.  You can't expect to find it through someone else. It sounds like you have many friends, yet look to sites like just as places to meet men. There are no knights in shining armor, but there many imposters in tinfoil. Concentrate on fixing what you need to fix in yourself, both physically and emotionally. Dreaming of what could have been doesn't get you through the day; it just makes you more miserable.

Thanks Champs. And again, Happy 4th of July, 2014

For more "On Life and Love After 50" articles, visit  Finding Love After