I tried to respond as tenderly as possible. And I urged her to not be so hard on herself. In my posted response, I referenced links on the internet to help her make a decision and invited her to write me again in six months.
Well, I happened to hear from this woman. Again. I will publish her words and my response in days to come.
Here is the original post and my response.
Recently I received a letter from a widow. This widow wrote saying:
I am a widow and I have been seeing a man for five years. Always during the week, rarely on a weekend does this man ask to see me. I know very little about his personal life. Though he seems to know about me. When I don't hear from him, he makes excuses for being absent saying the reason I haven't called is I have been very busy. He insists that he is my friend. He is charming and says the sweetest things. Before I know it, my guard is down, he is at my place, and I am in his arms. Again. For awhile everything is fine. Or so it seems. Then suddenly I don't hear from him. Days, weeks and months will pass and not one word. Of course, I am devastated every time. But I pick myself up, and move on with my life vowing never to let this happen to me again, then, suddenly when I least expect it, when another suitor asks me for a date, when I've accepted that this man is not interested in me, and I have moved forward, he calls, or happens to appear, like out of the blue, where ever it is I happen to be, and always when I least expect it, saying same nice things, and making me feel like I am mistaken and feeling guilty I thought terrible things about him. He behaves as if he has feelings for me. But I am not so sure. Am I wrong to think that something is missing. My heart can't take it. I'm deeply troubled and hurt. I am feeling betrayed thinking this man is just using me for sex. How can I be sure if this man is seriously interested in me?
Feeling Used and Wondering
First, my sincerest condolences on being a widow. Next, very sorry to read that you are experiencing a man who would prey on your weakness and vulnerability. We widows can be an easy mark. I dislike being the bearer of bad news, so I am referring you to an article I located on the internet. Read it through. Then bolt the door to your heart, block that man's telephone number, delete all his text messages and or emails and stop thinking about him. Accept that dinner invite from that other guy. You've wasted enough time and energy on this loser/user. There is nothing worse then discovering the friend you thought you had was no friend at all. Good luck! *And please, six months from now, write me another letter and let me know how you're doing.*
Here's that article:
Do you feel like your man is always "so busy" –– until it's time to get busy? If so, then your man may not be in it for much more than what you have to offer between the sheets. If you want to know if your guy is really just using you for sex, then see if he fits the bill. The truth may hurt, but knowing that you're with Mr. Wrong can bring you one step closer to finding Mr. Right.
1 See if he only contacts you after dark. If your guy only calls you hours after the sun has set below the horizon and the stars come out, chances are, it's not because he's in the mood for stargazing. Though it does mean that he's definitely in the mood. If you never hear from him until after-hours, unless he's a doctor with an insane schedule, it's likely that it means he only has sex on the brain.
See if he only contacts you on the weekdays. If he gets in touch with you on week nights but you almost never hear from him on the weekends, it's because he's reserving the weekends for his Grade-A tail, or for the women that he actually thinks are worth dating. If you never hear from him on Friday or Saturday nights, but come Tuesday, his schedule is wide open, then it's because he expects your legs to be wide open, too.
See if he only contacts you sporadically. If you only hear from him once or twice a week, and it's not to set up a date, but to come over right now, then he may just want you for sex. If you can't get a hold of him when you want to see how he's doing for five days, but suddenly he's blowing up your phone at midnight on a Wednesday night, then he must be ready for some more late night lovin'.
See if he doesn't respond to you unless you want to hook up. If you text him to say, "How's your day going?" or "How was your big test?" and you hear nothing but the crickets in the woods behind your house, then he doesn't want to make small talk. But if you text him a casual "I want to see you," one night, and you can already hear him put his foot on the gas pedal, then you have a problem. 
See if he's always "so busy." It's okay to have a busy schedule, but if it means your guy can never make time for dinner and a movie but can always make time for some catching-up between the sheets, then he's not busy -- he just wants to get busy. If you know that he has time to hang out with friends, go to sporting events, and spend hours watching TV with his brother, but when he's too busy to grab coffee on a Sunday afternoon, then he just doesn't want to make time for you.
See if he never invites you anywhere. If he only calls you to "hang out" at your place, or to spend some time "catching up" on the couch of his dirty apartment, then he doesn't really want to do anything that doesn't involve your body. Sure, the occasional drink or fancy dinner can be his way of "making it up to you," but if you feel like you almost never see the outside world together, then he doesn't want you to be a part of his everyday life for a reason.
Go with your gut. Wake up! If you're even contemplating that any of the above might be a possibility, you've got a gut feeling in there that is trying to warn you. Look around you and assess the situation for what it is. How is it making you feel? Are you happy? Are you satisfied with the relationship as it is? Most likely not, meaning you need to start thinking about whether this relationship is worth it.
Guess what? There's plenty more where he came from. Move on and locate your self-esteem; put it back where it belongs, reclaiming your self-respect and keeping your physical health, emotional sanity, and sense intact.