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Dear Abby: I took care of my husband for 10 years before his death from early-onset Alzheimer’s. I am in a relationship now, and I’m finding that a widow’s status is far different than that of a wife.

Not long ago, I was invited to a friend’s daughter’s wedding. When I asked if I could bring “Sam,” I was told, “No, we don’t know him and there are a lot of other people we would like to invite.” I got the same response from my first cousin when I asked if I could bring Sam to her son’s wedding: “No, we don’t have room for him and we don’t know him.”

Abby, Sam and I are a couple; he is not a casual boyfriend. Surely, if we were married he would be invited. Please tell me what is proper when inviting a widow to a wedding or other event.

– Widow Stands Alone

Dear Widow: It is considered a breach of etiquette to ask to bring a guest to an expensive event like a wedding if only you have been invited. If that option were open, your invitation would have been addressed to “Mary Smith, and guest.” It’s likely that money constraints dictated the guest list be limited at both of these weddings. If this happens again, it is up to you to decide whether witnessing the event is more important than your discomfort.

Best to clear the air

Dear Abby: I have been dating this awesome guy for three months. The problem is, I lied to him. He’s well-educated and he continuously encourages me to further my education. He thinks I’m a college grad, when in reality, I am three credits short of a diploma. I plan to finish this summer. Should I come clean?

– Going Someplace And Feeling Guilty

Dear Feeling Guilty: I think you’d feel better if you cleared the air, and if you do, I’m sure he will respect you for having the character to do so. Explain that in your eagerness to impress him you didn’t mention that you’re three credits short of graduating. If it’s a deal-breaker, I’d be surprised, but it would mean he wasn’t the man for you.