Dear Abby, I’m too old to cheat on my wife.

DEAR ABBY: Every time I leave the house, my wife needs to know where I’m going, how long I’ll be gone, etc. Years ago, I used to play, but age has caught up with me. . Advice? — GETTING FRUSTRATED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I find it disappointing that you stopped cheating only because time, and not your conscience, finally caught up with you. Tell your wife what he needs to know. It is the price she is paying to regain your credibility and her trust.

DEAR ABBY: I am 42 years old and my friend is 59. He is a wonderful person and a great provider. I’ve known him for a year, but he seems a bit controlling. He wants me about seven days a week and he expects him to be the submissive woman that I am not. I am very independent. I have always made my way in life with little or no help.

I am not perfect. I admit that sometimes I can be a bit confusing. But her constant complaint that I’m not there confuses me. When I come and go and spend time with him, he pushes me away and says it’s my fault. Of course, I have a 7-year-old daughter. I like her a lot, but she tends to be too much. Should I let it go or try to find common ground and work things out? — CONFUSED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR CONFUSED: I would vote for the former. Because she has a young daughter to care for, she can’t be at the beck and call of this high-maintenance “wonderful” man 24/7. If you can convey that to him, it can save the relationship. However, if he can’t accept reality, you better move on without him. You need a partner who is ready to accept you for who you really are instead of who he wants you to be.

DEAR ABBY: My brother passed away six months ago. With difficulty, I am coping. We were very close. Our birthdays were four days apart and we enjoyed many celebrations together over the years.

My birthday is coming up and I’m dreading the day. Worse than being sad is pretending I’m not. My immediate family understands that I do not want “Happy Birthday” cards or greetings. Would it be appropriate for me to contact people before the day and ask them not to send cards or gifts? I shudder to think of any celebration this year, or having to thank people for the attention. Can I throw any card I receive in the trash? It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to. — SURVIVING SISTER IN THE WEST

DEAR SISTER: Considering your loss, there is nothing inappropriate about telling your friends and family that you do not want to celebrate this upcoming birthday. Tell your closest friends and family what your wishes are and post them online as well. If you receive something after that, you can do with it whatever you want, including donating it or throwing it away.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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