pepper schwartz

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Q: Last year, I confessed to my wife of 35 years that I'd had affairs with several women approximately 20 years ago. She's in the process of forgiving me. We have agreed to move forward and have both seen counselors, separately. However, I feel she's not really moving forward, due to the questions she has about my affairs. She wants me to share my story of infidelity with her: How was I able to do it? How could I do this? I don't think it's in her best interest to know more than I've already shared. I'm trying to help her recover from the heartache I caused, but is it wise for me to keep the details of my indiscretions to myself?
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Q: How (and when) do I tell a dating partner about my difficult family situation? I haven't dated in a long time (I'm 59, never married). This is partly due to being a caregiver - first for my dad, who had a stroke, and now my mom, who is recovering from a stroke , and my brother, who has schizophrenia and is in poor physical health. They do live independently, and with some help from community agencies, I don't have to do all the caregiving. Still, my mom does need my help frequently and my brother has crises from time to time. There are no other siblings and no other family nearby. I am seeing a therapist about setting boundaries, but the boundaries don't always work. I'm very lonely and would like to have some male companionship - even marriage, if things went in that direction. I feel that I've been shortchanged in this area of my life. I know everyone has baggage, but I'm afraid this situation might scare a guy off. What would you suggest?
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Q: I am almost 65 years old and have never been married. My longest relationship lasted 10 months, right after I turned 40. Since then, I've done some online dating, and like the prospect of finding a partner.  But I'm wondering if it's possible to find a long-term relationship at this stage of life?  (You should also know that I've had five years of therapy that has made a huge difference in my life, and that my two sisters have similar histories.) 
Breaking Up
Q: After my  wife died three years ago, I reconnected with a woman I'd known in high school. I gave her a ring on Valentine's Day 2009. Three months later, she died of a massive stroke. That came on the heels of my my father's death three months earlier. Since then, I have been having extreme bouts of loneliness.  I'm now dating three women, one of whom I especially like. But I'm not sure the feeling is reciprocated.  What should I do? I know I shouldn't have three gals at once, and this is making me more depressed. 
Gift box
Q: I remarried two years ago and am happy as can be, except that my husband and I can't figure out how to deal with gift-giving. I have to buy presents for 10 people on  his side, and he has only one person to buy for on my side. Can you help us find a logical solution?
Online Dating1
Q: I've been a widow for almost three years and have gone on some dating sites. I just turned 70, and most of the men in my age category are looking for 50 to 60 year-olds. I don't look 70, but I don't look 50 either. I have a difficult time putting things into an email. How and where do I start to email a man I think I may want to meet in person?
cruise-ship
Q: I met someone on a cruise. I am 58 and he is 59. I've been divorced for roughly 20 years; he's been divorced three years after 30 years of marriage. We have a lot in common and although we live in different states and struggle with the long-distance issue, we've been trying to keep in touch weekly. He has invited me to come visit him. I have been out of the game so long I'm nervous about going! Any tips?
father daughter
Q: I met a widower online last year. We started seeing each other and fell in love. I have been divorced for many years and he became a widower last year after being married for over 40 years. This is the first time I've seen anyone since I divorced. I have met his brothers, sisters, and his youngest son, who were very kind and friendly to me and were very happy for him. Also, my children are all fine with my seeing him and becoming involved. The one I worry about is his daughter: she does not want to meet me, which upsets him. I told him it would take time. How do I help him in this situation and how do I handle the situation once I do meet his daughter, knowing she does not want anything to do with me? I know she still grieves for her mother, which I understand because they were very close and she passed away last year. Please give me some advice. This is a new situation for me and I love him very much. He is happy with me, and he says I make him laugh, which he hasn't in a long time.
Online Dating
You have a slightly better chance of staying together if you meet online: That's the finding of a recent collaboration between a dating website and a respected University of Chicago psychologist, and to me it's Big News.
Photo Credit: thecomicproject via Flickr Creative Commons
Q: How do you enter the dating world at my age?
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