DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for eight years and have a wonderful, kindhearted 13-year-old son. My ex-husband and I barely communicate because he was very hurtful and controlling.
He was supposed to pay some form of child support, but has never given me a dime. He refuses because of my income, and he hides his money in his business.
I have come to accept his selfishness, but a month ago he “borrowed” $130 from my son’s piggy bank — hard-earned money his relatives gave him for doing chores, getting good grades and birthday gifts. My son has asked his father to return the money, but it has been more than a month and his dad keeps making excuses.
My son is devastated that his dad took his money. It didn’t surprise me because my ex always felt entitled to other people’s things.
What advice can I give my son on how to get his money back, or is it gone forever? — PIGGY BANK ROBBERY
DEAR ROBBERY: That your ex would steal money from his son and stonewall about returning it is shameful. Tell your son you are sorry his father let him down, and that the money likely won’t be returned.
Then advise him that because the piggy bank wasn’t secure, it’s time the two of you opened a bank account for him and that the signatories will be you and him. This will prevent a repeat of what happened. If it’s an interest-bearing account, it will earn money while it’s there instead of sitting idle with “Miss Piggy.”
DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl in a somewhat happy relationship. When I first started dating my boyfriend, he was all about it, as was I. But now it seems like he’s only interested in sex.
He’s always asking me to send him videos and pictures of myself nude, and I just keep telling him I’m not ready for anything like that. I also don’t think he is understanding my comfort zone about the topic of us having sex.
I have told my friends. They say I’m in an unhealthy relationship because he might pressure me into something I don’t want to do. So now, I’m debating whether or not to break up with him. Do you think I should stay with him or break up with him? — TEEN IN EDMONTON, CANADA
DEAR TEEN: Your friends are right. This romance doesn’t appear to be headed anywhere healthy. Naked pictures are considered pornographic and could get you and that young man in serious trouble.
Surely you are aware that once something gets on the internet, it’s in the public domain forever. Once you have sent your boyfriend the pictures, they could wind up passed around and viewed by everyone at your school. Your resolve not to have sex may be rock solid, but even granite can eventually be eroded by a constant drip of water.
Don’t think for one moment he doesn’t understand how you feel about not having sex with him. If he cared about your comfort zone, he would stop bringing the subject up and trying to wear you down. Because he persists, you should break up with him.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)