Dear Abby: Boyfriend’s secret makes it hard for her to trust him

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DEAR ABBY: I’m having a hard time getting over a secret my boyfriend, “Wayne,” kept from me. We have been off and on for 14 years, but back on for the past four.

The problem is, he had a child with a woman in a different country. The child is now 9. Wayne didn’t mention it until four years ago, during our last breakup. It bothers me that he kept it from me. I have since met the woman and the child, but my trust in my boyfriend is strained. In the back of my mind I keep wondering what else he hasn’t told me.

Abby, he was always against having kids with me. He said he didn’t want any. Now I wonder if it was because he already had one. Wayne is surprised I’m so challenged by this. He says he and the woman dated for only a few months, then broke up because he didn’t feel they were compatible. She told me their child was the product of a one-night stand. Now I don’t know who to believe. Please advise. — BETRAYED OUT WEST

DEAR BETRAYED: There is a reason you and Wayne have been “off and on” for 14 years, and I’m guessing it’s because he has a problem with commitment. Now it appears he may also have a problem leveling with you.

If you have to make a choice about whom to believe, I think you should believe the mother of his child because by telling you what she did, it’s clear she wasn’t trying to make herself look any better.

DEAR ABBY: My 85-year-old mother told me that upon her death she is leaving each of her children a letter expressing to them how they have hurt her throughout the years. Never once has she acknowledged how deeply she has hurt US.

It affected our childhood and adulthood. I think if she feels we hurt her, she should say it to us while she’s living. It has always been about Mom’s needs, not ours. I, for one, plan to put her unopened letter in her coffin to be buried with her when the time comes. Her letter is just a final hurtful arrow to stab us with, and I already have had a lifetime of that. I don’t need her to damage me further.

Am I wrong? Normally parents leave heartwarming letters to give their children peace. She reads your column, so I hope she reconsiders. — ALREADY WOUNDED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ALREADY WOUNDED: You’re not wrong. Your mother appears to be toxic. Sending her negativity down with her is a perfect solution in my opinion.

DEAR ABBY: I am an Irish-American man with a problem of the heart. I recently began reconnecting on social media with a girl I knew in high school. I wrote her several times, and she said what I wrote was very sweet and kind. She told me, however, that she was seeing someone. I said I understood and did not want to mess up the relationship.

I decided to bide my time and hope she becomes free. I love her with all my heart, and this waiting is killing me. Should I keep biding my time and waiting, or should I move on? — HOPING IN TENNESSEE

DEAR HOPING: When the woman told you she was seeing someone, she may have been trying to tell you kindly that she isn’t interested in a romance with you. For you to put your life on hold waiting for a woman you haven’t seen since high school would be a mistake, and that’s why I’m advising you to move on.

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 http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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