DEAR ABBY: I am 56 and I had an affair with a woman I met 17 years ago. We grew close and five years later we moved in together. We separated five years after that, but stayed friends. At that time, her daughter "Chloe" and I developed feelings for each other.

Chloe's mom became sick two years ago and has now passed away. I love Chloe, but she doesn't want anyone to know about our affair. I don't see how we can hide this any longer. Do you think this relationship will work out?

— Pondering in California

DEAR PONDERING: You're asking the wrong woman. It's time for you to have a serious talk with Chloe to ask why she doesn't want anyone to know about the affair. Her answer will tell you everything you need to know about where your future is — or is not — heading.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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