He loves a widow, but not her last name
DEAR AMY: I have been dating a wonderful woman for several months now, and we have fallen in love. We talk of spending our lives together, and, although we are undecided if we would get legally married, we would at the appropriate time make a "commitment" to each other before living together. My partner has been widowed for five years after a 20-year marriage and has two college-age children. She says she does not consider herself "married" anymore. The question is, when we begin living our lives together, is it appropriate for her to continue using her deceased husband's surname or should she revert back to her maiden name? I would never ask her to take my name unless we were legally married, but I am somewhat uncomfortable living a life together as a committed couple when she has another man's name. Am I being silly, or do I have a valid reason for my feelings? We agreed to "Ask Amy."Feeling SillyDEAR FEELING: Your beloved is not a piece of property. Her identity is not dependent on the man she is with, nor is it completely dependent on her surname. Her surname is not "another man's name" -- it is her name. It is the name she has held for 25 years and (I assume) the surname she shares with her children. If she wants to change her name, she will. She alone gets to decide. Your feelings are valid -- because they are your feelings. But I suggest you work harder to give your loved one complete and total freedom.
DEAR AMY: I am compelled to respond to "Workplace Crush." This woman needs to stop daydreaming over this man she "admires and adores" and face reality. I speak from experience. I, too, faced a midlife/marriage crisis and made the mistake of communicating my feelings to a co-worker, who was my superior. I ended up having to leave my job. I suggest she concentrate on her marriage.Been There