Dear Harlan: I’m a recent widower – my wife of 30 years passed away five months ago. I’m now dating a woman who’s insisting I not mention my wife by name, or even refer to her as “my wife.” Yet, she wants to know all about me, my experiences and “where I’ve been” her whole life. For instance, she forbids me to say “My wife and I once lived in Texas,” but it’s OK if I say, “I once lived in Texas.” How can I forcefully ignore the one woman I spent a great portion of my life with while talking about that life? What can I say to convince my date that I must talk about experiencing life with my wife, whom I lived with for 30 years? – Single Again
Dear Single: How about you refer to your wife as “the woman I can’t talk about because I’m dating a woman who is too insecure and forces me to avoid saying my deceased wife’s name because she’s too afraid of competing against someone who is no longer alive.” That might be a little wordy, but it says it all. For someone to expect you to wipe out all reference, memory and mention of someone who is a central part of your identity isn’t equipped to date a man who has loved another woman for 30 years. This isn’t about your wife – rather, it’s about this woman’s fears and insecurities. Remind her that you’re a loving, loyal, committed, monogamous man who spent 30 years with one woman. Your wife is part of you and will always be part of you. If she can’t handle this part of you, she can’t date you. Then, find a hot widow and enjoy life without censorship.